In 1952, Dorothy and William Hancock saw the need for a fabric store catering to small towns and carrying a large variety of fabrics and notions. They began their business, Hancock Fabric Center, in 1952 in Batesville, Mississippi. Three years later William Hancock's brother, L.D., recognized the potential of his brother's business and began Hancock Textiles--catering first to dry goods stores that wished to expand to offer fabrics and notions to their customers in small towns in rural America. The concept blossomed into the national fabric chain Hancock Fabrics, Inc.
As fate would have it, William Hancock died in an automobile accident in 1962. His death altered his and Dorothy's plans to expand their retail concept to other cities. Newly widowed, Dorothy raised her sons, Rowland and Rodney, in the fabric business.
Dorothy has always exhibited remarkable character. She grew up in Bristol England, an orphan from the age of 12. She lived through the Battle of Britain during World War II and met William Hancock during his tour of duty in the United States Army. After the death of her husband in 1962, she raised her two sons, Rowland and Rodney, and successfully ran her fabric business, Hancock Fabric Center, on Van Voris Avenue in Batesville, Mississippi until 1992. She retained her business relationship with her brother-in-law's business, Hancock Fabrics, in Tupelo, Mississippi as a wholesale customer.
Three generations of customers in Northeastern Mississippi bought fabric for christening gowns, children's dresses and clothes, bridal gowns, draperies, and quilts. An accomplished seamstress, Dorothy's store was always kept in the most meticulous fashion.
In 1969 Rowland Hancock (Dorothy's Son), moved to the town of Paducah, KY to open a store on the advice of his uncle, L.D. Hancock. He started his own business, then Hancock Fabrics, in a 15,000 square foot building that had been vacated by the Kroger Grocery Company. Rowland developed that site into one of the top three fabric stores in the nation over the 17 years he did business at that site.
In 1986, Rowland built a new building for his business. The new building, located at 3841 Hinkleville Road, was a 30,000 square foot showcase featuring the world's largest retail selection of fabrics. 1986 proved to be an eventful year for the business. The store moved to its new location, the American Quilter's Society held its first quilt show, and the official name of the business was changed to "Hancock's of Paducah", in order to avoid confusion with the national chain of stores named "Hancock Fabrics".
In 1990, as the AQS Quilt Show became more and more popular, Rowland began to offer a mail order service for Hancock's of Paducah. This service grew from customers who had visited the retail store in Paducah during the Quilt Show and did not get enough of the products, and wished to order them by mail.
In 1992, Justin Hancock joined the family business upon completing a Masters in Business Administration at the Owen School at Vanderbilt University. He completed his thesis on the transition of our traditional business to a mail order business and an internet retailer. In 2002, Blann Hancock joined the family business upon receiving his B.A. in Liberal Arts from the University of Mississippi. Together with their father, Justin and Blann have adapted Hancock's of Paducah into a modern multi-channel business.
In 1996, after four years of growth, we built a 30,000 square foot addition to house our mail order division. This expansion gave Hancock's of Paducah over 60,000 square feet of building for our fabric sales. Over the years the Mail Order Division has grown from a single ad in the back of Quilter's Newsletter Magazine, to a thriving entity with over 40 employees, a avid customer list of quilters, and a regular publishing schedule of at least 4 full color catalogs per year. We offer the most comprehensive selection of premium fabrics for quilting and home décor on the web.
Hancock's of Paducah now ships products all over the nation and to 72 different countries worldwide every day. We take pride in providing the greatest selection of high quality fabrics and supplies at the fairest prices.
Please enjoy our catalogs and the products featured on our website. Order from us with the confidence that our family has served fabric-buying customers with professional pride since 1952.
Hancocks of Paducah