What is your professional title, purpose or passion?
I am completely and utterly obsessed with sewing. Loving everything about the process of making, as well as the art you can create. Whilst I love other forms of art, I don’t believe there is anything that fits into a busy life so easily, or is quite so stress free as embroidery.
What did you want to do when you were a child and what changed?
I always loved art, but ended up studying Chemistry (the “sensible” route) and for the last 6 years in worked in the City focussed on healthcare companies. At times my role would be very intense and sewing became the antidote to the stress. I believe that there isn’t anyone who wouldn’t enjoy sewing, they just haven’t necessarily tried it yet. So I left finance at the start of the year to see if that could prove to be true.
What's the best career advice you've ever been given?
I should not doubt the decisions I make because someone disagrees and should not seek advice when I have already decided on the answer. It takes a certain level of self-assuredness to stick to this all the time!
What is the best thing about your current working environment?
The flexibility. I love that when I am feeling creative, I can spend the time making. When I feel a bit uninspired, I can prepare kits with an audio book. When I feel the need for some desk time, I can do my admin. I can adjust when I do tasks based on what my mood which I believe drives productivity!
Where do you see yourself in five years' time?
Hopefully still loving sewing and persuading more people to pick up a needle! It’s a little hard to look ahead given I am right at the outset. I hope The Fabled Thread will be operating from a studio space somewhere with a wonderful team and a big enough space to run workshops. If we get there in 1 or 2 years, even better!
Tell us more about a charitable organisation or project you think is great.
Fine Cell Work. This brilliant charity works trains prisoners to do creative, high quality, skilled needlepoint. It works with them to spent their hours of confinement in cells using their creativity to stitch. Not only enabling them to finish their sentences with new skills and some money saved, but also building in self-discipline and self-esteem. Anyone who has made something themselves, knows the sense of pride this brings! You can find them here: finecellwork.co.uk
What drives you?
The lifestyle I want. I want to be able to spend my days creatively: making and designing things. In order to be able to do this long term, it has to be commercially viable – therefore I work hard to try to make this way of living sustainable.
Any final comments?
If you haven’t tried sewing before, give it a go! Nomophobia (the fear of being separated from your phone – it has a name!) is a real thing, therefore anyone tired of double screening or the constant social media refreshing (which I hugely relate to), I would just massively encourage you to try sewing. It honestly changed my life.
This is not just a plug for The Fabled Thread - there are lots of other wonderful kit makers out there or even just buy the materials to give it a go yourself!
What does a normal day look like for you?
As I only launched my own business in the spring, it is currently a bit sporadic. I have a dog and he drives the majority of my routine, revolving around his walks and meals. I tend to spend around half the day preparing kits and stock, then the remainder on marketing/admin. But I do try to spend at least 2 hours a day sewing (usually after supper and in front of the telly) and once a week have a day where I just stitch!
What have you achieved that you feel most proud of?
Quitting my job. Regardless of where things go, I am proud I took the leap as it can be easy to get trapped.
Tell us about a a woman who inspires you
My mum. She is the most creative person I know and has such a good eye. She is my constant sounding board and nothing I do gets made without going through her. Whilst I get the designs to 80% there, she is the one who always knows how to make get to 100%. Most definitely the Creative Director of The Fabled Thread!
What was your biggest failure?
Less a specific failure and more a constant flaw – stressing about things I can’t control. Throughout my life I have always found it hard to not worry about things even if I can’t influence them. This has become all the more evident since leaving my job. Supply chain delays, website companies going bust, misprints etc all cause me sleepless nights, but I need to learn to isolate that stress given it is entirely out of my control.
What do you like most about yourself?
I am pretty decisive! This has proved all the more useful since running my own business as there are so many decisions to be made.
How can we make the world more inclusive and accepting?
I think by trying to understand more. Rather than ignoring differences we should seek to identify the differences and understand them. That way we might be able to respond to them.
What skills have been key to your journey so far?
My background as an accountant and in corporate finance means the numbers are always a part of the decisions I make. Therefore tied into the previous question, I think my background means I don’t tend to lose focus on the commercials of the business.