OLD GREENWICH, Conn. -- Cecilia Madden is a busy mom. The Old Greenwich resident teaches Spanish at Ox Ridge Elementary in Darien, carpools her 15-year-old daughter around town, and then, come evening, sets the dinner table with cloth napkins.
On one hand she likes being environmentally friendly. But she also likes making mealtime special. "With everyone having so many activities going on, I like making those few times we sit together even more special," she said. "So why not set a beautiful table everyday? I also find we have a lot of nice things that are pulled out once a year for the holiday when instead, we should have that feeling of celebration everyday."
With that in mind -- and also being crafty and having summers off -- Madden started making her own cloth napkins under the name Delfins . She's been doing it since 2013 and is slowly gaining a following on etsy.
Selling big right now: themes, such as flowers, sailboats and quatrefoil patterns. Her personal fav? Designs that set a beach style living mood year-round that are "crisp and bright."
Holidays themes are also popular and with Thanksgiving coming up, she's found some "beautiful warm patterns for the season." Also gaining steam: kid's lunchbox napkins, including white ones kids can draw on while they eat.
Not surprisingly, custom orders are a big part of her business. She recently catered to a 70 person baby shower in New York City that featured navy and white themed napkins. For a 100 person wedding in California, she created a navy green and white plaid design. And, not long ago, she sent an order of blue and white sailboat themed napkins to England. Her work extends to placements and matching napkins.
"If there is a pattern/color customers love they can order the fabric on line at great sites like fabric.com and Joanne's Fabrics and have it shipped directly to me," explained Madden, who says she now works weekends and nights to keep up. She's also recently added soft and fluffy throws in large and small sizes for baby gifts. And, she'll be adding table runners soon.
Madden says her items sell well because the patterns don't exist in stores. "Most stores sell just plain boring solid colors; mine are bright and cheery and dress up your table instantly."
She said her turn around time is one to three business days, though custom orders can take longer.
Delfins donates 10 percent of sales to FEED, a non profit that provides meals for school aged children.
Go to www.etsy.com/shop/delfins for more information.