Get to know Sophie Crabb, a.k.a. Sew Sophie Crafts who shares what – or rather, who – prompted her to set up her business, how she helps people discover cross stitch, her favourite flower and why you shouldn’t worry about making mistakes!
How did you get into cross stitching?
I’ve always been a crafter. I think it’s because I struggle to sit still in the evenings – I always want to be doing something. I picked up a cross stitch kit on a trip to Hobbycraft about five years ago and it’s been my very favourite hobby ever since.
Why did you decide to start your own business?
When I was pregnant with my little boy (affectionately nicknamed Mini Sew) we moved back to Norfolk leaving my full-time job behind. I knew there was every chance I wouldn’t be able to return to that role, so I took the opportunity to set up Sew Sophie Crafts. I launched the business when Mini Sew was four months old (which seems a bit bonkers looking back on it).
I’ve always wanted to be my own boss, so running my business from home is an absolute dream come true. I can work my own hours and it fits in around family life so well.
Where do you get your design inspiration/what inspires you?
Anywhere and everywhere really. I often hear or think up phrases and think straight away 'that needs to be a cross stitch' and jot it into the notes section on my phone. I try to create modern and motivational hoops that are suitable for beginners because I love helping new people discover cross stitch.
I can sit for ages trying to think up new ideas, but sometimes they just come to me like a lightbulb moment and I have to sketch it out straight away while it’s in my head. I love that you have so much creative freedom with designs, which is one of the many reasons I love what I do.
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What’s your favourite cross stitch creation to-date? Can we see?!
My favourite at the moment would have to be my ‘Today is a New Day’ sunflower design. I love sunflowers (I have one tattooed on my arm!) and really wanted to design one to represent the new year. It’s been so popular, and it brings me a lot of joy seeing everyone’s stitched up sunflowers.
Crafts are known to be excellent for wellbeing – how vital do you find crafting for your own mindfulness and wellbeing?
Crafting for me has been a really excellent way to practice mindfulness. Back when I picked up my first cross stitch kit I was facing a lot of challenges in my life and stitching really helped me through it. Cross stitch holds a very special place in my heart because of that, and I know it’s helped so many people to deal with anxiety. It’s a great way to focus your mind while also doing something fun and creative.
What are your top tips for beginners/those who’d like to start cross stitch?
- Kits are a great way to get started because they have everything you need to get going (including those all-important instructions)
- Start off with something small – nothing too huge that might put you off. A nice quick finish to ease you into the rhythm of cross stitch is perfect
- Enjoy it. Don’t worry too much if you make a mistake – you’re just making your own piece unique!
For even more top tips, check out these 25 pro cross stitch tips for beginners!
Tell us about your craft room/work space – we’d love to see pictures, too!
I’m really excited to have moved into an official ‘Sew Sophie HQ’ – a garden office which I loved decorating and building the furniture for. It houses all of the bits and bobs needed to create my cross stitch kits – along with a comfy blue tub chair to relax and stitch in (when I have the time!).
Where can people find out more about you?
Next, get to know Nicola Hulks, a.k.a. the Mindful Stitching company… and don’t miss her adorable chart, available for you to download!