My Grandma taught me to sew when I was little, isn’t that what Grandmas do?I remember asking my Grandma to make all sorts of things for me: dolls clothes, dolls bedding, teddies ….. the list is actually endless. Now you’re probably thinking, after this fairy-tale beginning, that I’ve been sewing all my life; not so unfortunately. I stopped. I can’t remember when but it was a long time ago.
But not to burst the bubble totally I did start again; I started many years later when I found myself on my first (“LONG” I hear all non-teachers cry) summer holiday after completing my Newly Qualified Teacher year. I’m not very good at sitting and doing nothing and suddenly finding myself with eight weeks (yes, I admit it gets worst I was at a private school) of holiday, I needed a new project. Que endless internet searches of the best sewing machines to buy for beginners. I finally found one, it was perfect and I was sure this was going to fill my days with moonbeams of creativity!
After working out how to wind the bobbin and thread the needle, I set off on my sewing adventure, starting with cushions and ending with curtains and blinds (I get a little bit obsessive when I start a new project!)
Then I got engaged and guess what, no drum roll needed, I started sewing everything and
anything I could think of for my wedding, apart from my actual dress, I was tempted but I left that up to an expert seamstress.
The honeymoon provided another reason to perfect my sewing skills: a baby bump! As Baby Crabb was growing, so was my sewing repertoire, which of course now included everything and anything I could think of for my nursery!
And that’s really how Crabbkins began. As I proudly walked people around my nursery, waiting for the stork to deliver my precious bundle, friends and family started to ask me to make things for them. Then Baby Crabb popped out (very quickly I might add, he knew I had a sewing machine to get back to!)
I designed more products as I needed them and as he was getting older. In the early days,
Baby Crabb would sit in his bouncing chair and snooze to the sound of my sewing machine; I suppose he had heard the noise when he was in my tummy and it was soothing to him.
As he got more mobile I realised a sewing machine, reels of cotton, meters of fabric and a
baby aren’t the best combination so I resigned myself to sewing when he took his naps.
I somehow (although I’m still not really sure how) managed to put a website together to allow Crabbkins products to take over the big wide world. A baby boutique in Harrogate soon became a stockist and an Etsy store was born.
I’ve never really thought of myself as ambitious, I’ve always tended to let things happen; however, I suppose when you really love doing something it puts a whole new spin on things and I am very ambitious about , and I suppose this is where the serious stuff comes in, so concentrate!
Crabbkins is now a way of life for me. I have now designed a range of fabrics which I would love to put into production to make
my products out of but also to offer to interior designers, fabric shops and individuals to use in their own home interior projects. I would also like to take Crabbkins to Home and Gift fairs. But all of this comes at a price and my pot of gold from craft fairs and Etsy sales is only half full (I’m trying to put a positive spin on it by not saying half empty)
I have launched a Kickstarter project; I had never actually heard of it before but after
pledging to two successful campaigns myself, I realised it’s a great platform for creatives to get their projects off the ground as lots of people can put little (or big if you wish!) bits of money into your fund to try to reach the total target. The money only gets taken from your account if the project hits its target and is successful. Every time people pledge, depending on the amount, they can both pledge with no reward or pledge and choose a reward, so they are not just giving for free. Take a look for yourself:
Crabbkins project ends on Saturday 7th July 2016.