Not to get too over-the-top, but it’s safe to say a square of fabric completely changed the course of Jennifer Zamudio’s life. “One day I thought, ‘I am so sick of buying paper towels.’ They are expensive and wasteful. I made a decision to come up with something better.” Boy, did she: The former teacher—who majored in art and has some serious sewing skills—got busy making cloth napkins that could class-up Thai take-out, look at-home at a schmancy dinner party, and still wipe-up kid spills. She named her line Dot and Army after her beloved grandparents Dorothy and Armand, and things took off (or rather, took over) from there: “We used to work out of our home and the fabric would cover every inch of our house!” remembers Jennifer.
After a big move southern Georgia a few years ago, she found the perfect studio space to house her piles of cotton, linen, and chambray—and all the family members who help to handmake every towel and bib. “People can’t believe I quit my job to do this! But it worked out,” Jennifer says. It’s been nearly a decade since she made her first set of cloth napkins, and she’s cleaning up by helping us do the same.