I absolutely love the #meetthemaker Instagram challenge, it gives you a list of prompts for posts for each day of March and its a great way to introduce yourself and share some facts about what you do and make. But I struggle to keep up and post everyday on Instagram and end up getting in a bit of a pickle so I thought I would use a few of the prompts to write some blog posts.
The first one is 'My story' and I thought I would share a little about myself...
My name is Tracy and I design, stitch and make from my Studio in my commercial premises located in the Nottinghamshire countryside. I spend most of my days in the Studio trying to develop and create the prefect yarn accessories any knitter, crochet and craft lover needs. I'm married, I have two boys aged 13 and 10 and a Basset Hound (who isn't much help in the Studio and is therefore strictly 'paws off' my products).
I have a passion for all things creative - sewing, hand embroidery, knitting, crochet, dressmaking and always seem to have a project (or several!) on the go. I have over 20 years experience of sewing and have taken various, both private tutor run and nationally recognised, courses and workshops.
Project bags are a huge passion of mine! Not only do I love to source fabrics; I love to make and use these bags. As I mentioned, I always have several knitty projects on the go and a little bag is ideal to keep everything safe and organised and makes it handy for grabbing so I can knit at the park or while waiting for my boys at some various out of school Club. It was my love of using these bags that led me to where we are today. I first started to share my makes with an Etsy shop in 2015. After almost three years over there ( I'm proud to say 1400 sales and 694 feedback reviews left with an overall status of 5 stars!) I felt it was time to branch out into my own shop and developed this website and new range of products from there.
All of my bags are designed by me and made using templates I have created. Each of my designs has a story behind it, for example I designed the opening for the backs of pin badges back in December 2017 when I realised that my projects were at risk of becoming damaged and the Backpack idea was born when I was getting ready to attend a Yarn Festival/Show and I didn't have a suitable bag.
I believe in perfecting what I have and developing from there and I feel that I now have created a 'core' amount of products, such as the Canvas Cube Bag and the Knitters Carry All Backpack, and I only tend to release one or two new designs of bag each year. My desire to work with fabrics such as the canvas material is from wanting to choose a fabric and create something with it, allowing the design features and functions to speak for themselves rather that fabric that's readily available (that's not to say I don't enjoy working with printed fabric from time to time).
I don't label my products as I have the idea that once it leaves me it becomes yours and my name being on the products doesn't fit well with this idea. I hope that if people love their bags and accessories enough they'll remember where they brought them from to tell friends or return to the shop for another purchase rather than a name label reminding them.
I strive to create bags and other yarn accessories to meet a need and be useful and I understand that each purchase that is made is considered one and I'm so appreciative of that. I try and be accessible to everyone as possible and keep my costs as low as I can and not to make them so expensive they are unachievable to a lot of people. One way I do this is to not sell any of my products through other people and shops (my online shop is the only place that products are available and for the first time at a select couple of yarn shows in 2020) as I try to keep material costs down, the only way to be able to sell and be viable through wholesale orders is by increasing my prices. I also try use my products to generate money for various charities (PTSD 999 and Rape and Sexual Violence Project to name two) and give as prizes in giveaways as often as I can to support others as I feel it's good to share what you have! Everyone is welcome to use and shop my products and it gives me such a feeling of immense pride seeing a diverse mix of people using my designs.
I purchase all my materials from other small companies with in the UK and when I can as locally as possible to support local small businesses. I donate scraps and any surplus supplies to my local Scrap Store so that they can be used and make a small amount of money for charity. I am currently researching and looking into a more Earth Friendly way of getting orders out and am investigating various packing materials.
It may sound a little corny but I absolutely love what I do and I am so appreciative to be able to work doing something I love everyday. Thank you so much for being a supporter of my brand.