Tell us about your business and the type of products you sell?
I’ve been stitching for as long as I can remember – right from Infants School, to studying Embroidery at University in Manchester. It Started With a Stitch was born in 2014 and has grown much more over the last couple of years after I stopped working in retail and had much more time to focus on what I love most! I have a genuine love for craft and anything handmade. As well as creating my own hand embroidery and other textile pieces I love to encourage others to craft too.
How did you come up with the idea and what motivated you to go for it?
I can’t not make, I’ve always stitched, crocheted and made pompoms, even when working full time so it seems only right that I turn it into something that I can also call my job! Hand Embroidery is my main love and I love to teach others the skill as much as I enjoy working on my own projects. I really feel passionate about keeping people crafting and helping to ensure traditional techniques don’t get forgotten.
What is your best selling product?
Workshops have always been so popular but as with so many other businesses, the effects of Covid-19 has meant that they’ve had to be postponed. I took to teaching online through my Facebook group The Craft Hub. Feedback is that people want to be able to carry on crafting so I’m expecting that my new kits that are soon to be launched will replace my workshops as the top of the shop!
What do you love about running your own business and what do you find hard?
I remember someone once saying ‘Pompoms aren’t a real job’ so the fact that actually, they are a pretty large part of my job always makes me smile. I love that my business fits in around the rest of my life. I can work from anywhere, I can adapt my schedules to fit in with Robbie’s school and social life and I can honestly say that there’s not a day of work that I don’t look forward to. Switching off and stopping is the hardest thing, it’s just me. If I don’t make, promote, design and deliver – nothing happens!
Do you have a favourite app or work tool you think everyone should know about?
Canva! It took me a little while to get used to it and now I’d not be without it! It’s been an essential part of my social media content making and has been a lifesaver when working on my new digital downloads and patterns. I love that I can work on my phone or laptop and my work is wherever I need to access it from.
How do you define success?
Not having panic attacks on the way to work? Sounds drastic but that’s how it had become and thankfully are a thing of the past. I love that I can pick and choose all the good things that I’ve learnt throughout my previous roles an create a job that I love, with a business ethos that strives to just make people happy. My bills are paid, Robbie has V-bucks and I get to go on holiday when I want and take my work with me! Success varies by person and I feel really lucky to be able to do what I love.
What’s next for your business?
Kits! Something that I’ve wanted to create for so long and now we’re almost there. I’ve launched downloadable designs already and kits for me are my next hero product. One box, through the letterbox with everything you need to create your own gorgeous makes!
What is your favourite Social Media platform and how has it helped in your success?
Instagram. Facebook was where it all started but you need more than friends and family to grow your business. Instagram gave me a great platform and I work hard at it but have found a welcoming creative community that is a fabulous world to be a part of!
Who inspires you?
Fellow business Mamas, Rachel Harvey of The Paint Box & Emma Blaik of Audrey & Coco. Both brilliant Mums who are killing it in their own business worlds. Seeing them do what they do inspires me to keep pushing for more with It Started With a Stitch. We’re literally each other’s cheerleaders.
What was your dream job growing up?
I remember wanting to be an Astronaut or a Pope.
Tell us 3 facts about you…
- I’m a total night owl, people seem to go to bed just as my brain wakes up – hence me currently answering questions at 2.50 am.
- I’m obsessed with shoes and things that sparkle. I used to stomp around the shops that I worked in, wearing all kinds of ridiculously amazing heels. I’ve turned the obsession into Converse and gorgeous slippers lately!
- I hate to fly. I once refused to get on a plane to Corfu so spent the week at Pontins in Lowestoft instead.
What do you enjoy most about being a part of Mama Tribe?
I’ve met so many new people and formed great local links with other women in and out of business through the Meet Ups. I’m a regional host here in North East Lincolnshire and we’ve been so well looked after at all the venues we’ve booked. I can’t wait to get them going again!
Thanks for giving us an insight into life behind It Started With A Stitch Gemma, we love having you as a Member of the Tribe.