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Fabric of a Founder

Dionne Sandiford sewing

Fabric of a Founder

Dionne Sandiford is an educated woman who once made a living in corporate America. Now, she makes money by creating beautiful designs that put a smile on other people’s faces.

Sandiford is the founder of Corporate Stitch and A Celebration of Us! While she focuses most of her time on her embroidery business, Corporate Stitch, a big part of her heart is still invested in making t-shirt quilts and memory quilts for clients through A Celebration of Us! She says she’s found her purpose.

“When I do a logo for someone and the company loves it … I get a smile on my face. When I’m making a t-shirt quilt or memory quilt for someone, especially when I give it back to them in its final format, seeing that look on their face, that’s why I do what I do.”

Dionne Sandiford, Bootcamp grad and Corporate Stitch founder

Quilt Dionne crafted for a client out of treasured t-shirts

Since Dionne decided to leave the security of her corporate job and become an entrepreneur, she has had some scary times. “It’s harder working for yourself,” Dionne said. “This is not for the weak.” In spite of the occasional challenges, she says, she will never give up. Sandiford has sought support from organizations dedicated to helping founders thrive. 

 “They surround you with so many people that are knowledgeable, and everyone there wants everyone else to succeed. It’s a positive environment.”

Dionne Sandiford, Bootcamp grad and founder of A Celebration of Us!

She graduated from The Platform at Greer’s fifth Bootcamp along with friend and collaborator Lashonn Edmunds, the founder of CAIRS Shoes. Sandiford says the two-day program for entrepreneurs was rigorous – “like drinking water from a fire hose” at times – but it was really good for her and her business.

Dionne and LaShonn in crowd at Bootcamp Cohort 5 pitch event
Front left: Dionne Sandiford and LaShonn Edmunds at Bootcamp pitch event

Dionne has also graduated from the Greenville Chamber’s South Carolina Minority Business Accelerator program and GVL Starts from The Hill Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. CommunityWorks has also provided support. 

As much as Dionne has gained from the entrepreneurial ecosystem that’s growing here in the Upstate, she also puts her energy back into it. She collaborates with and supports entrepreneurs who are fighting many of the same battles she’s faced (more on that in a later post). Sandiford frequently attends networking events to stay plugged in with the people she’s met and looks for ways she can help them.

Even though Sandiford has a growing list of loyal clients, she wants to continue to build her business. “You can be afraid. I tell that to people all the time,” she said. “I’m afraid. I just do it afraid.”

Check out Dionne Sandiford’s online store for A Celebration of Us!

Click the link above to watch Part 2 of our video series. In this video, Dionne shares her experience from Bootcamp, which she says sometimes felt “like drinking water from a hydrant.” Sandiford said although the program was challenging, it was a positive experience that forced her to focus on the most pressing issues her business faced.

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