I’m really pleased to introduce to you Cathy N Designs the winner of our recent ‘Craft in Music’ Challenge. Cathy makes a lovely selection of unique textile gifts, please read on ……
Hi my name is Catherine Napier and I run Cathy N Designs. I live in Chippenham with my partner and 2 children, 2 year old Joshua and 4 month old Ethan. My partner came up with the name Cathy N Designs which I sell handmade textiles including; patchwork quilts, cushions, bunting and other textile gifts which are hand-made by me. I have always loved to sew ever since I can remember and actually recently came across the very first thing I ever made, a stuffed teddy made from a kit bought at a car boot sale. Cathy N Designs was created when Joshua was born after I created a baby birth details cushion for him which I then posted on Facebook and a friend asked me to make her one too, and so Cathy N Designs was born! I then slowly started to make other items all which can be personalised for that extra special personal and unique touch.
I am predominantly self-taught, though I do have a GCSE in Textile design. I would love to go back to university to study textile design one day. (I currently have a degree in Education and Creative writing, so totally unrelated to sewing!)
I mainly sell and advertise via Facebook. I have a page – www.facebook.com/cathyndesigns and use a lot of networking pages to advertise my items.
I have recently started doing stalls, my first one was at a dog show and fete in my local park sunday just gone and I am lucky enough to have a stall in my local shopping centre on the 13th and 14th July. I would love to be able to get enough stock together to do maybe 2 craft fairs a month and to make enough profit to make this my full-time job, I currently work as a carer for a woman suffering with ME and I also work for a company who care for the elderly in their own homes.
I think this quilt was one of my most challenging pieces as it was the first photo item I created so there was a lot of experimentation into what methods worked and what didn’t.
One of my favourite items has got to be this Cath Kidston inspired quilt with a massive 48 photos! As all the photos were posted to me to scan in first this was a huge project, but I feel it turned out beautifully.
Another of my favourite pieces has got to be the item that won me this competition, my decoupage chair. I am supposed to be selling it, but shhhh, don’t tell my partner I’m not making too much effort as I kind of want to keep it for me!!
My motivation comes from a desire to earn money by doing something I love and that can fit in around my babies and enable me to be a stay at home mum. I love to create my items and take great pleasure in the pleasure that people get from them. I love to pick out fabrics that go well together and create items to individuals specifications.
The one piece of equipment I could not live without is my sewing machine. I am actually very new to the use of a sewing machine and 2 years ago prefered to do everything by hand. This was fine when I was only sewing for myself, but not so practical when creating double quilts to a time scale! My sewing machine actually belonged to my Grandmother and is older than me, but is still going strong. It broke once and I replaced it with a new machine which very quickly went back to the shop and I repaired my lovely old Toyota!
When I first started the one piece of advice I wish someone had told me is that it is hard work! I know this shouldn’t be a surprise really, but a friend once asked me recently how I have so many fans on my page, I told her it was because I spend hours each day advertising and networking, people wont just find your page, you have to show it to them. If you’re not carefull it can totally take over your life. So the one piece of advice I would give to someone starting out is its hard work, it takes dedication and hours of time not just in creating items, but in marketing and advertising your items too, but, if it’s something you love, it’s totally worth it.
If you’d like to check out my gorgeous items please pop over to my page www.facebook.com/cathyndesigns. If you would like to discuss or place an order please feel free to message me via my page or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.