The National Picnic Story

National Picnic loves to sell both online AND from our studio workshop in Haddonfield, New Jersey. It's an enjoyable balance of two very different shopping experiences.

We offer more styles than seemingly possible online, because many of the items are not made yet. Something may not exist in your size when you place an online order. It takes about 5-10 business days to create your item before shipping to you. It's the business model that allows this small-biz brand to stay healthy competing within a fashion industry swollen with overproduction and waste. It feels good to know most of what we make is being made for someone in particular. Perhaps you!

That said, our brick and mortar shop requires inventory to present to neighborhood shoppers. So we don't make everything to order. We create for the shop between orders, pondering future customer needs as we aim to sew every last yard of fabric. 

It's common to think “dressmaker” or “tailor” when you hear about a shop sewing its own clothing, but our brick-and-mortar location is best described as “a boutique factory that makes National Picnic clothing”. When in Haddonfield, you can visit and shop what’s on the racks, and leave with something ready to wear—OR, "wish out loud" for something to be made in your size and let us help you with an order :)

Pictured: Betsy Cook, owner/designer, in the shop. National Picnic is settling into 417 Haddon Ave, Haddonfield, NJ. This is a newer space that has everything needed to sew National Picnic on location, within view of the boutique floor.

Photos by Denise Guerin

 

There is no handbook on how survive as a small business clothing maker in the 21st century. Sharing the process with long distance customers is a welcome challenge —we want to offer as much personal service as possible. When you call, know we're doing our best to give you a boutique shopping experience with our unique, special clothing, most of which can be found only here (and hanging in the shop.)

 


 

Biography

I'm Betsy Cook, National Picnic's Designer/Owner, and I began sewing National Picnic clothing in 2011 for friends and neighbors. I hand-delivered it myself, wrapped in brown paper packages tied up with strings. Some of the very first items I made were the quirky-sleeved tees my label is best known for today. 



While I can’t say I’m a startup anymore, each stage of growth is a new experience. National Picnic attracts fans who appreciate its USA-sewn, slow fashion philosophy as much as I enjoy delivering it.

National Picnic is a locally made brand at heart—we can ship anywhere, but customers still love to know where their clothing comes from. It feels good to say “we” more and more, as I now share the workload with more staff and vendors local to the Philadelphia region.

2018 was a moving year, and 417 Haddon Avenue (Haddonfield NJ) is the current workspace. My passion for making clothes can be a business that can create jobs for others. Locally. With respect for all of the people involved. Mindful growth is a constant learning process, and there are improvements to come.

National Picnic balances function and fun. Everyone needs "core" casual pieces. We love sewing those as the foundation of our collection. But we are playful, too, choosing conversation-worthy prints for small batches of clothing that are so limited, you can consider them rare and collectible. They’re all designed for longevity—classic styles made from quality materials, things you’ll want to keep wearing again and again.

Thanks for browsing National Picnic. I hope to dress you soon!