Get to know Mila, a.k.a. Velvet Pony as she shares what inspired her to make the move from office worker to full-time business owner and how she finds inspiration, along with her top tips you won’t want to miss! Plus, enjoy some of her beautiful geometric cross stitch designs!
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your business?
Hi there! My name’s Mila, I’m the owner of Velvet Pony cross stitch shop. My husband and I run the shop all by ourselves. We sell digital cross stitch patterns and complete embroidery kits.
How did you get into cross stitching?
Cross stitching was my hobby back in the days when I was a school girl – I joined a crafting workshop for children in my hometown. Years went by, I quit stitching, entered university, studied economics and then worked in the office for about seven years. One day I was on the visit to my parent’s house and came across an unfinished embroidery. I decided to complete the work and found it very relaxing.
Why did you decide to start your own business?
I didn’t feel happy about my office job. I asked myself: ‘What’s your dream occupation you’d like to be paid for?’ and cross stitching was the answer. I did some research, found some inspiring craft shops and decided to start one myself.
Where do you get your design inspiration/what inspires you?
My all-time inspiration is nature – I love animals, plants and landscapes. We live in a small farm surrounded by meadows and woods so I can enjoy walks in the forest and bird watching almost every day! I’m also inspired by modern art and design and spend a good deal of time surfing some great blogs and portfolios.
What’s your favourite cross stitch creation to-date? Can we see?!
I think that the patterns from my geometric bird series are the best – especially Blue Jay and Robin.
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Crafts are known to be excellent for wellbeing – how vital do you find crafting for your own mindfulness and wellbeing?
I believe crafts can have a seriously positive impact on our mental wellbeing. For me, cross stitching is a form of meditation that brings a kind of inner calm. It distracts me from any worries and helps me to refresh and refocus.
What are your top tips for beginners/those who’d like to start cross stitch?
- If you’re a complete beginner at cross stitching I’d recommend choosing a simple pattern with just full cross stitches which are the easiest
- Always work in a well-lit space as cross stitch requires a great deal of concentration and focus
- Double check your counting – it really helps to avoid mistakes. You can use a highlighter to keep track of your progress
- Invest in some cute needle minders to make sure that your needle never gets lost
- Don’t work with your project before washing your hands. This is a pretty simple tip but could save you from washing your finished piece
Get even more handy tips with these 25 pro cross stitch tips!
Are you into any other crafts and if so, what are they?
Nowadays I spend all of my time on cross stitching, but hopefully I’ll manage to get into satin stitch embroidery. I’ve seen so many mesmerising designs and I’m super excited to try to create something myself.
Tell us about your craft room/work space – we’d love to see pictures, too!
Actually, I haven’t got a special workplace. Sometimes I work on my sofa or sometimes on the terrace (if the weather is fine). I always have my tiny cross stitch toolkit with me, so I can work travelling on a train or wherever I am!
Where can people find out more about you?
Share a love for nature like Mila? Have a go at this cross stitch gardens stitch-a-long (SAL) by Durene Jones!
Coming soon to the blog… this gorgeous horse design by Mila! Watch this space…