Get to know Jess of The Geeky Stitching Co who shares how she got started with cross stitching, why she took the leap to start her business at 27, plus her favourite designs along with top tips you won’t want to miss!
Thinking about starting about your own cross stitch business? We think you’ll be 100% inspired to after reading this interview with Jess of The Geeky Stitching Company who creates cute cross stitch kits that’ll bring a smile to your face! Happy reading…
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your business?
My name is Jess and I live in North Devon with my husband James and our crazy cocker spaniel dog called Barley. I started The Geeky Stitching Co in 2014 as a part time creative outlet while I was working a full time job at my dad’s engineering business.
After two years of doing both, I decided to take the leap and go full time (which at 27 was kinda scary!) but since then we’ve grown like crazy and now both myself and my husband work full time on the business (plus my mum helps out most days) so it’s a real family affair!
How did you get into cross stitching?
My mum taught me to stitch when I was small but I didn’t really pick it up again until I was in my early twenties, when I wanted something fun and creative to do in the evenings. I love cross stitching because everything always looks neat at the end and it’s something that everyone can have a go at.
Why did you decide to start your own business?
I always knew I’d start my own business (it was a dream of mine when I was a teenager) but I only wanted to start a business that I was really passionate about. That’s why I was determined to make The GSC work as I love to design fun things. I also don’t like people telling me what to do – but when you’re the boss you don’t have that! I love the freedom that having your own business gives and the fact I can do things the way I want to.
Where do you get your design inspiration/what inspires you?
I am definitely inspired by Japanese culture & art – I love anything cute and with a pun (especially when you add a face to it). I’m also inspired by nature, animals and florals with a twist. I love adding important messages to my designs that are also paired up with an animal or a floral border.
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What’s your favourite cross stitch creation to-date? Can we see?!
I have so many favourites! It’s actually really hard for me to choose but I think one of my most recent creations that I loved stitching is a sleeping cat with the text ‘It’s ok to rest’ (see at the top of the blog). I designed it in an oval hoop on purple aida so it was a little different but really fun to do.
A very close second (or maybe joint first) was a cute snail with the text ‘It’s ok to go at your own pace.’ I loved both of these and thought the message was really important as well.
Crafts are known to be excellent for wellbeing – how vital do you find crafting for your own mindfulness and wellbeing?
Stitching is 100% vital for my mental health. I suffer from anxiety and having something to keep my hands and mind occupied has really helped! Plus, I’m really bad at doing ‘nothing’/relaxing but having a new project to keep my busy in the evenings is great!
What are your top tips for beginners/those who’d like to start cross stitch? Please share your top five tips…
- Buy a cross stitching kit (I’m not just saying that because that’s what we do!) as it’ll have everything you need – otherwise it can become a little overwhelming knowing where to start.
- Start with a small design and don’t be disheartened if it doesn’t look neat or you mess up! Just keep going until it’s finished as every one you stitch after that will be so much better.
- Invest in a good pair of sharp embroidery scissors – there’s nothing worse than having to use blunt scissors or huge ones!
- Follow other ‘stitchy’ people on social media. I love connecting with other stitchers and also with all of our amazing customers! The stitching world is a great community.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help! If you did buy a kit and you’re a little confused, reach out to the seller and they’ll be able to give you loads of tips and advice.
Are you into any other crafts and if so, what are they?
Stitching is my main craft but I love to doodle. I’ve also recently got into air drying clay which is so fun! I mainly make planters and little bowls – nothing that difficult really (I’m not very good!) .
Tell us about your craft room/work space – we’d love to see pictures, too!
We’re lucky to have a whole building dedicated to The GSC which is amazing! Originally it was an old stable/hay barn which we converted into a two-story office for us to work in. It really is a stitchers rainbow coloured paradise!
Having a specific working area really has been a game changer for us. For two years I operated out of our spare bedroom but very quickly outgrew that. We recently moved and as soon as I saw the outbuilding I knew it was destined to be The GSC HQ.
Where can people find out more about you?
You can find out more via: