Finding Your Channel
Let’s be clear on one thing - I never in a million years would have pictured myself trying to make a business out of embroidery. Never. Married? Hope so. Kids? Didn’t think so, but sure, why not. Be my own boss? Now that’s just crazy talk. But here I am, wife to a very supporting and loving man, mother to an eleven month old on the verge of walking, part timer at a book store, and I’m doing the damn thing! Well trying to, at least!
In college, I was a creative writing major. I haven’t written for fun in forever, but I guess I always knew that I needed some creative way to channel myself through. My grandmother used to embroider and she enjoys quilting now and my mother used to cross stitch and taught me how to as a child. It shouldn’t be too surprising then that I picked up the ol’ needle and thread again as an adult. It wasn’t until my sister got married a few years ago that I was looking at this book on diy weddings and saw some embroidery patterns that I wanted to make for her wedding. That’s when it clicked for me. It was the most natural thing ever.
My attempts at being my own boss are definitely not the prettiest. I work part time at a bookstore. A job I love and hate (as most jobs go). My husband works a full time day job while I stay at home with Ellis. Once he gets home, we have a little time before I’m in the car headed to work. I do my short shift and then I’m back home to a sleeping family just before midnight. This is when I get a lot of my work done. Between that and Ellis’ naps is when I sneak my stitches in. Sometimes I stay up late working only to wake up a few hours later when Ellis decides to greet the day early.
It’s definitely a challenge and my process isn’t always ideal. What I’ve learned though, is to appreciate the mess. Find the beauty in the chaos. Find what works for you. It’s a juggling act for sure, but I like to think it’s made me better with managing my time and expectations. For the most part, at least. My husband and I support and appreciate each other, that while we don’t have much time together during the week, we value our time together even more. The living room may be littered with toys everywhere but I’m thankful for the time spent playing with my son. My desk may be a crazy mess and my hands may be tired, but that means I’ve had orders coming in and that my hands have been busy.
Hand embroidery is an old art. It’s time consuming, it gives you calluses and lots of little pokes, it’s tough on the eyes I’m sure (lots of close up squinting!), but there’s just something about it that, to me, is magical. Even when I am making the same piece over and over, that magic doesn’t fade. It’s meditative, I’m ever-growing with each stitch. I have this old quilt that my great-great-grandmother handmade. It’s beautiful and bold and you can see all the tiny stitches made by four women who sat on each side of the blanket and stitched away until it was done. I think of that quilt and I picture those women every time I pick up my needle and thread.
To see more of Sarah's work visit her website.