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 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.
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 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, Dorothy's son, Rowland Hancock, 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 30,000 square foot store to showcase the world's largest retail selection of fabrics. This year 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 Hancock Fabrics national chain of stores.
In 1990, as quilting became more popular, Rowland began to offer a mail order service for Hancock's of Paducah.
In 1992, Justin Hancock joined the family business upon completing a Masters in Business Administration at the Owen School at Vanderbilt University. He began the transition of a traditional business to a modern e-commerce retailer.
In 1996, a 30,000 square foot addition was built house the growing e-commerce division. This expansion gave Hancock's of Paducah over 60,000 square feet of building space for 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 ecommerce business with 50 great employees.
In 2002, Blann Hancock joined the family business upon receiving his B.A. in Liberal Arts from the University of Mississippi. He furthered the e-commerce transition by building an email and social media presence.
Together with their father, Justin and Blann have adapted Hancock's of Paducah into a modern multi-channel business, while keeping the values of three generations of successful fabric merchants.
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 the products featured in our catalogs and website. Order from Hancock's of Paducah with the confidence that this family has served fabric buying customers with professional pride since 1952.
Hancock's of Paducah