A Thousand Threads

Story by Jen Cooper, Photos by Dave Cooper

Laicie and Mark Heeley met working at a restaurant. Laicie waited tables and Mark cooked in the kitchen. This is important because it’s the beginning of their story and because it’s over food that they fell in love.

Laicie left the restaurant when she was offered a full-time position as a policy analyst in DC. She spent her days writing about nuclear non-proliferation. The writing was pretty dry and she needed a creative outlet. So she purchased a web domain and started writing about her upcoming wedding to Mark. She named it A Thousand Threads after a quote from French actress, Simone Signoret…

Chains do not hold a marriage together. It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads, which sew people together through the years.


Mark left the restaurant business to work in sales. He was supportive of Laicie’s creative endeavor and her biggest cheerleader. He watched as her blog grew and realized he needed a creative outlet of his own.

Laicie asked Mark if he’d help her out with her blog. He’d always had a passion for photography. When asked about his work, Laicie is quick to jump in, “He’s excellent.” Now Mark and Laicie were united as a creative team. It was another one of  the hundreds of tiny threads that sewed them together.

Feeling energized by their side project, they experimented with other creative endeavors. They started baking pies and breads. They used their neighbors to test out recipes until they were perfect.

And so Dough Uprising was born—a renegade pie company that sells fruit ladened pies at local farmer’s markets. Bolstered by its success, and feeding off the energy that came from meeting people face-to-face, they created a traveling dinner series called Field & Foundry. It brings together local creatives in the Baltimore, DC and Virginia regions to share a meal. The idea is simple: a good meal shared by kindred spirits offers fertile ground for new collaborations.

With all of these collaborations, it’s easy to think Mark and Laicie never argue.  They’re the first to admit that isn’t true. In fact, when asked, they’ll tell you, collaborating hasn’t always come easy for them. In the beginning, they’d both get touchy when it came to each other’s constructive criticism. However, after years of practice and effort, they’ve been able to let go of their egos and bounce ideas back and forth more freely. Mark says they fight about the right things now. It’s an admirable skill. And it reinforces the idea of all those tiny threads—they’re stronger together than apart.

Now Mark and Laicie are ready for their next creative endeavor, Holson House. The site, set to launch late spring 2015, brings everything together under one roof, and back home to where it started: with food. It will feature recipes and inspiration for gatherings with friends and family.



A Thousand Threads
Laicie on Instagram
Mark on Instagram
Holson House