embroidery thread 2

The sewing connections that make me (and my business)

So, earlier this week I shared on social media a project called Synchronicity by Rania Hassan. It’s about the threads that connect us and it made me wonder about my own sewing connections. Look, the fact is that when I started Kraken Kreations it was because I wanted to run my own business. What I didn’t vouch for was it putting a rocket up the arse of my number of friends, acquaintances, customers and colleagues. My financial profits may be (extremely) modest but my personal profits are making the NASDAQ look like loose change.  That’s because I now find myself, spider like, at the centre of a web of the type of sewing connections that get me out of bed in the morning. And you do want to know what they are, right? Well, it’s too bad because I’m about to tell you. Settle in…

My customers

Ok, it’s an obvious sewing connection but my sheddy fumblings connect me to such a glorious bunch of individuals that I do a little mental dance every time you order from me. Upon starting this here business I thought I’d just be exchanging cash for knitting bags and bundles before harassing the bank. Instead, though – and, I know this sounds creepy – I feel an actual connection to everyone who buys from me. Perhaps it’s because we like the same fabric or that we’ve hollered at each other about fanny farts on social media. It’s more likely to be, though, because I genuinely feel as if I share something with people who love what I do. I know, I know… pass the tissues/ sick bucket/ therapist.

My tribe

Now, if you’ve chatted, barked or debated on my Facebook page you’ll know what I mean. The great joy of this little Kraken Kreations outpost is that my sewing connections go waaaay beyond those of you who buy from me. First of all there’s the blathering I do in the comments, where so many of you routinely pop up to join in. Then there’s what no one sees publicly and that’s the sharing of private messages with those who want or offer help, advice and support.

And as for those of you who spot something on the t’web and think I’ll be interested, I could lick you. Every day you’ll share your arty finds (as opposed to farty rinds) with me which means I get to share them with everyone else. So somehow we are all connecting with each other and… OK, I am getting all moist again (in the EYES, you filthy beasts). Stop me. Either way, I now have so many of these sewing connections that my funeral had better be a bloody big one. Start saving. Bring booze.

My friends

Now, I’m not talking about those of you who were friends before I started arsing about in my sewing shed (although I love you *mwah*). I’m talking about those of you who became friends BECAUSE I started arsing about in my sewing shed. It’s rather boggled me that several sewing connections I’ve built through Kraken Kreations have become friendships.

Now, bizarrely, the digital age means that I’ve not physically met many of you but that matters not. To all intents and purposes they are friendships where we check-in on each other and rally to each other’s aid when the turdage hits the spinny, cooling thing. In fact I am so convinced that were we to meet we would get on so well that a blue plaque would one day be erected to mark the moment. Hang on. Did I hear someone mutter ‘delusional’?

My sisterhood

Of all of my sewing connections, this puppy has to be the one that fuels me the most. You know I started Kraken Kreations in response to the representation of women on the high street, right? Thing is, I had no idea that it would become a place where you felt you could talk openly and honestly about your experiences of sexism with me. So if I ever feel as if it’s all a bit too much I scroll through your comments because they a) remind me of my cause, b) inspire me to keep going and c) enrage me to the point that if I don’t sew I’ll become dangerous to the public. More so, I am officially chuffed to shit that you turn to me for strength, inspiration and rage too. Every time one of you says, “Thank you for saying this out loud!” I just get louder. THIS is why I fucking love you.

My sewing group

Ok, so I don’t get there nearly as often as I’d like but my local sewing group is another one of my sewing connections. You know that thing where you walk into a room of women and are immediately welcomed as if you’ve been sharing period chat for years? That’s what this group is like. I can sit with them, in the community room of a local Tesco, twatting about with whatever I’m working on, and the banter, shrieking and feeling of support and acceptance is life-affirming beyond words. As hard as it can be to drag my arse off the sofa to go I never, ever, EVER regret going. Yet I can’t imagine how I’d have found myself into the company of these gorgeous women without me wielding my needle and thread.

The creative population

Ok, you know how I recently asked you about your key moments in toilets? Well, I tend to have them in haberdasheries and fabric shops too. I bump into women I don’t even know over dupion silk or moonthread and before I know it we’re swapping tips about French seams. It’s the same with sewing connections on t’web. Taking up sewing opened so many online group doors that it’s a full time job trying to keep up.

My fave, though, has to be that of my local sewing group and Mildly Offensive Fiber  Artists. It’s not for the faint hearted but if you want to hang out with people who create kick-ass clothes and embroider anything from anti-Trump glories to sweary rages at the patriarchy, you’ll see why I love it. And to think, without me stumbling into my first fabric shop in a post-breakdown fug, I’d never have discovered it. Can you imagine even living without having seen an embroidered image of gay sex? CAN YOU?

The business owners

Bugger me, I had no idea that so many women ran so many independent businesses from their own glorious lairs until I started Kraken Kreations. It’s one of the sewing connections that makes me feel as if I’m linked to an underground resistance, one where big business is kicked right up the arse. Even better it’s as empowering as a giant snort of your finest Colombian marching powder (or so I am led to believe).

Seeing so many women turn their art into economic independence makes me realise the true power of the skills that much of society waves away as ‘women’s work’: the button sewing, the hem raising, the tear-repairing… and the joy of my business is that I can count myself as one of them. In fact, it’s stealth business. It looks all dainty and quaint and only possible over a perfectly brewed cup of Earl Grey but in reality we’re coming for your money, you patriarchal, corporate shits.

So what are your fave crafty connections? And do you fall into any of my deeply unscientific and anecdotal categories? Let me know in the comments below!