Success Story: KarynQuilts

Columbia Economic Development Corporation Supports Local Business with SBA Microloan

December 2018 | KarynQuilts

Karyn Dornemann likes to think of herself as a “colleague of quilters”. That’s because Karyn loves helping other quilters get their projects finished. KarynQuilts fulfills her goal of finishing quilting projects for her colleagues, so more people are sleeping under beautiful, handmade quilts.

An accomplished quilter, Dr. Dornemann is also a chiropractor. She owns Hudson Chiropractic, a 30-year-old practice located in the Columbia Medical Park (Dialysis Center) on Route 66 in Ghent. Several years ago, she took up quilting as a hobby, which developed into a passion, and eventually, a business.

Soon after she started quilting, Karyn discovered that many quilters do not want to do the final step of the quilt-making process themselves. This step involves sewing the top quilted piece to the backing with batting in between, a process that is just as important to the finished product as the design itself.

KarynQuilts will do that final step for quilters throughout the Capital Region and beyond. Once she saw the opportunity, Karyn filed a DBA, purchased a business insurance policy, and set her eyes on a long arm quilter that could do the job faster and with more intricate stitches than a traditional sewing machine.

There was only one problem: the cost of the quilter. Karyn knew she would need to invest in the business if she wanted it to grow. She had already saved up a portion of the purchase price.  Rather than wait until she had saved enough to buy it outright, she applied for a small business loan through Columbia Economic Development Corporation (CEDC).

“I was building a clientele,” said Karyn. “I didn’t want to take on business debt, but I also didn’t want to turn away clients. I developed a business plan with projections that showed I could grow the business, pay down the debt over time, and find a balance. The loan from CEDC helped me take the next step.”

“Small business loans can make sense if the funds make the business more efficient,” according to Martha Lane of CEDC. “CEDC was pleased to work with Karyn Dornemann on her project. Although the quilting business was new to her, she had prior experience running a small business.  Experience counts for a lot when applying for a business loan.”

Karyn stays abreast of changes in the quilting industry by attending the Machine Quilting Expo every spring. She is also developing Quilting Retreats for all levels of quilters. The first one takes place in February at Pumpkin Hollow Retreat Center in Craryville. Interested quilters can find details at

Ms. Dornemann expects to complete 37 quilts this year. As the business grows, and with the ability to be more efficient, she thinks she can complete as many as 150 quilts a year. In addition to word of mouth, she will leverage her existing website as well as Instagram, and continue her print ad in the Columbia Paper. Prices for finishing quilts can be found on the KarynQuilts website.

Whether providing chiropractic care for her patients or finishing quilts for clients, Karyn Dornemann takes pride in helping others. She looks forward to working with quilters to finish their projects.

Quilts provide warmth. When made from old garments, they create a new life for recycled fabric. They become heirlooms. In the meantime, they make gorgeous gifts that keep our loved ones warm.