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Small Business Story: Rags & Rivers

March 15, 2024

Hey! This is Kaylee with Naturally Lewis and I'm super excited for this story! Amanda Drake, owner of local small business, Rags & Rivers, has been a consistent partner with Naturally Lewis. From designing Food Truck Fridays merch to co-hosting Art in the Park, Amanda is one of those business leaders that's always involved! So, here's some insight into Amanda and Rags & Rivers:


Describe your start-up story:

I graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology with a degree in Illustration and Graphic Design. Apparel design always peaked my interest and in 2011 I opened my Etsy shop, Daleigh Designs. After about a year, I had a full blown children's clothing line with text designs of children's stories.

In 2015, I shut my shop down because life got away from me and I wasn't able to put the passion and work into it that made me proud of my products. For Christmas of 2019, I was gifted a vinyl cutter from my husband and my passion was reborn!

In January 2020, I rebranded my shop and my entire business as Rags and Rivers and reopened my shop. During the country-wide shutdown, I was able to completely focus on my business for 3 months and realized that I wanted to pursue my dream of doing this full time. March 2021, I took the leap to full time self employment! I have met so many amazing people and worked with so many amazing small businesses in the last 2 years! I can't thank my supporters enough for allowing me to live my dream!

What products and/or services do you offer?

Rags and Rivers offers custom promotional apparel, logo design, business cards, embroidery, stickers, gift certificates, flyers, and so much more. I think I stand out because I have a complex design background/education and I can bring completely custom products to the table instead of just throwing your logo on a shirt. I’ll help you create your new favorite apparel!

Why did you choose Lewis County?AmandaDrakeFamile

I chose to be here for family. I love the close knit community and how supportive everyone is about small businesses in this area.

You’re only given one family, I love being able to stop over and see them or go to their house for cake on their birthdays. Lewis County, for me, is not missing those special family events. It’s waving at each other silly when you pass them in the streets; it’s home.


Are there any local partnerships or organizations that have helper you along in your business journey?

Naturally Lewis has been a huge asset, especially being a designer for new businesses with their entrepreneurial support.

What advice would you give to someone starting a business/leading an organization in Lewis County?

Build a brand, build an image for your business and people tend to do the rest for you. Be genuine to yourself, set boundaries, stay organized (maybe in your own mad way), and don’t give up.

If you’ve ever worked in the restaurant industry and you know how it feels for the whole restaurant to fill up at once… that’s kinda like owning a business. The busy parts come all at once and the slow parts come all at once, but in my experience the busy parts do always keep coming! So don’t let the slow seasons discourage you!