When I first stumbled upon Emilys work, I was completely in awe (and still am!). The detail gone into her work and the stitches, are beautiful! I’m super excited to have her here with us today. Meeting people who have the same interests as you, and being able to share that joy is always an exciting moment. Emily really gives us true insight into herself, her life and work in this interview, so go grab a cuppa’, and enjoy a morning (or afternoon) read…
✎ Tell us a little bit about yourself…
My name is Emily, and I’m a student living in Scotland. I just graduated with a degree in English Language at the University of Edinburgh, and next year I’ll be doing a masters in Medieval and Renaissance Studies at the University of Glasgow! As you can imagine it’s tough to find time to do as much crafting as I like and having a dedicated ‘work room’ isn’t really possible (if only I could afford a flat with spare rooms!), but I do my best to do as much as I possibly can. When I’m not at school I’m in California with my parents, two cats, and Scottish boyfriend who we love to have come along.
✎ Where did your love of hand embroidery begin? and what inspires you for your projects?
This is an interesting question because I’ve actually had to have a hard think about this! I genuinely think that the thing that inspired me to start embroidering was that moment when you walk into a crafting supplies store, and there’s a huge wall or display of all the embroidery thread colours you could possibly imagine. It just looks so tempting! I started embroidering originally as an excuse to buy some pretty thread basically, and immediately took to it. I take inspiration for projects from all around, but specifically I always try to only embroider things that interest me. One of my favourite projects to do was an embroidery based on Scully from The X-Files, which came to me after I marathoned that show pretty hard! I also take ideas from lyrics I love; many of my nature-based pieces are inspired by Joanna Newsom songs. I’m currently working on designing a pattern based on one of my all-time favourite Simpsons jokes too that I hope will come out well.
✎ What made you want to start your own business?
I’ve been a dedicated buyer from Etsy for many years! But I didn’t think to have my own Etsy store until I started posting what I had made on Facebook, and had friends and family telling me that they thought it was very good or that they’d like to buy it. Etsy honestly makes it so easy to start a business, so I put up a few things I’d crocheted and one embroidery and it was done. I mean, no one bought any of that stuff at first, but technically that was Fawn and Peach started! It wasn’t until I started creating more embroidery pieces that I started seeing any sales.
✎ Whats your workspace like? Are you an organised sewer, or do you find yourself surrounded by threads and fabrics?
I’m the messiest person in the world. This sounds like it might be hyperbolic, but I don’t think it is! All of my embroidery supplies are vaguely sorted and placed into one of two massive ziploc bags. I truly need a better system, but I never have the time to implement one! One of the things I do like about embroidery though is that it’s fairly portable, so my workspace is wherever I need to be – in my bed, at my table, or even at a cafe if I’m looking for a change of scenery. I can just pack everything I need into a little pouch and go!
✎ You’ve ventured out into the business world of handmade craft. Are there any designers or companies you dream of working or collaborating with?
There are so many designers that I would love to collaborate with that it’s hard to only mention a couple! One of my embroidery friends runs her own embroidery business called Sea of Stars, and I would love to one day be able to work on a collaborative piece with her. I also follow a lot of sewing blogs, specifically independent pattern makers, and it would be an absolute dream to maybe contribute an embroidery pattern for a pattern they release! It would be so amazing to design an embroidered motif for an adorable Tilly and the Buttons pattern.
✎ And finally, Do you have any tips or advice for someone whose starting out in this industry?
Hmm, this is a tough one. In terms of people who are just starting out and building an online presence, I’d say that the best thing you can do is really make sure to have your social networking all set up! A lot of the sales or interest in my work or blog I’ve gotten has been via people sharing things I’ve made from my Facebook page, or liking the posts I’ve made on Instagram. I know that’s quite common sense at this point, but it’s easy to let things like this slip from your mind when you’re just starting out! In terms of getting started on Etsy, reading up on how Etsy SEO (that’s search engine optimisation) works is absolutely vital – I found I was getting hardly any hits at all for months, but after tweaking my listing titles to include more keywords my daily hits doubled. Little things like this can make such a big difference, and it adds up!