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SMALL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT: Lydia’s Daily Thread: A Small Business Cut from a Different Cloth

By Frank Cetera


Lydia Montgomery, owner of Lydia’s Daily Thread, at her business on Syracuse’s westside. (PHOTO CREDIT: LYDIA’S DAILY THREAD)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Lydia Montgomery’s long-time vision of opening her own sewing education and seamstress business was finally realized with the opening of Lydia’s Daily Thread in the Gear Factory at the corner of West Fayette and South Geddes Streets on the westside of Syracuse.

Montgomery held her first open studio on Oct. 6, inviting participants to stop by for “encouragement and abundance” as she welcomed old members of her sewing community and new friends and neighbors to become part of that community she has developed over many years of working out of her home. Lydia’s focus on individualized service and instruction, along with in-studio workspaces for students and other makers, makes hers a unique location for the sewing and fabric arts in Syracuse.

First coming to the Onondaga Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in February 2019, after being in operations since 2015, Lydia already possessed a large amount of inventory and supplies and was looking to expand into a storefront location. I mentored Lydia and discussed the different types of entities she could choose for her business, pros and cons of locations/types of physical spaces, as well as service rates and educational program planning. I also provided Lydia with template model documents for planning and financial projections for clarifying her contexts and thoughts.

“Working with Frank helped me with clarifying my goals and strategy and deciding if I wanted to invest myself in this effort,” Lydia says about her time working with the Onondaga SBDC. 

As we as a planet started to climb out of the COVID-19 pandemic this past spring and summer, Lydia saw the opportunity, as so many others have during the “great re-consideration” of employees, to take the steps to move from her full-time job as a teacher, and into her new role as a community educator and seamstress. She met again with me in October 2021, after she had signed her lease, for mentoring in startup timelines, marketing, and crowdfunding strategies. I also advised Lydia on continuing to use SBDC services for analyzing ongoing financial statements and business-plan review.

“It was important for me to have space to grow and branch out from my dining-room table, that could especially accommodate bigger projects and collaborations with others in the creative and maker community” Lydia says regarding her motivations for obtaining a studio space.

Lydia teaches students young and old how to sew, mend, and make fabric creations of all kinds such as clothing, cushions/pillows, and specialty items. In addition, she does repair and alterations work on fabric items of all kinds. She plans to have another open-studio event in December and plans on other types of events such as the recent Cosplay Stash Drive, which for a small workshop- entrance fee, opened up the studio to attendees to work on Halloween costumes under her guidance. Being located at the Gear Factory, a community of musician and artists’ studios and live/workspaces, also opens up the potential to build collaborations and partnerships with many other people in the creative community of Syracuse.

Daily Thread is open limited hours during the startup, for special events, and by appointment. 

Please see the schedule or make contact via the Facebook page at:

Advisor’s business tip: Having a relationship with an SBDC advisor spans many possibly forms. Simple mentoring or coaching is a valuable reason to sign up for our no-cost and confidential services. A survey by the UPS Store found that 70 percent of small businesses that received mentoring survived more than five years — double the survival rate of non-mentored businesses, and that 88 percent of those same business owners said that it was invaluable to have a mentor. Come talk out your needs with an SBDC advisor, and we’ll help you find the necessary resources and referrals that you need to move forward with your goals.                

Frank Cetera is an advanced certified business advisor at the SBDC located at Onondaga Community College. Contact him at