Welcome to my first blog on Just Sew Helen!
If you’ve found my About page you’ll already know a little bit about my background but, in a nutshell, I’m a midwife by day and I love to sew. I’m married with 2 boys, 2 step children (now adults) and 4 step grandchildren. And, like many people, I’ve also had a run of bad times that have really been the inspiration for developing my business.
I wanted to incorporate my long time love of sewing and it was also a passion of my mum, who sadly died in 2015 from Ovarian Cancer.
I wracked my brains to think of an idea to develop that wasn’t just another run-of-the-mill sewing blog with tutorials and patterns, in an already saturated market, and I also brainstormed what I am good at and know about. I found this really hard as its tough for most people to look at themselves & see what they’re good at & it was really hard to think I’d have enough interesting content that someone might actually want to read it!
After many ideas and some makes I did for friends I decided on sewing with applique and hand embroidery, initially framed pictures in memory of some one. My very first picture was for a close friend whose mum died a few months after my mum from the same condition. This was a MUM Forever in my heart frame (see similar item here). I have lots of plans for other memory items to preserve loved ones’ fabric items as a keepsake.
I started playing around with business names and a trial website from Create.net and also signed up for Etsy Resolution by The Design Trust at the beginning of 2016.
And Just Sew Helen was launched, in private, with no marketing or promotion other than the closed Facebook group Etsy Resolution 2016. It has taken over 6 months to finally narrow down my niche and interests and a mass of self-learning about online business development.
With my background in Midwifery, caring & supporting families during pregnancy loss for over 20 years, I have gained a lot of experience, and just with life itself, I wanted to expand on this & offer a service that can help others to support their friends and family through difficult times, in particular around bereavement. I’m not currently in a position to provide a counselling service and & don’t feel this is the right direction for me but recognise that a large proportion of valuable support is given by friends and family and hope to offer information & practical tips to enable anyone to support those around us.
My Mission Statement has evolved and I’ve finally settled on –
The foundation of my business is the creation of simple, personal & unique textile memory gifts in remembrance of a loved one & to help bridge the gap between loss, offering sympathy or condolences that many find hard to express, all of which can have an impact on emotional wellbeing.
Having worked with pregnancy loss/bereavement for many years as a midwife I aim to provide information on my website around coping with loss & how to offer support, both emotionally and practically, whilst creating textile remembrance gifts.
I pledge to make a small donation with every sale to Ovarian Cancer.
I am also in the process of drawing up a contract with Target Ovarian Cancer to ensure my contributions to the charity are as open and honest as possible and to ensure regular donations are recorded accurately for accounting purposes.
Over the coming months I plan to provide information over a number of categories including Grief & Bereavement, A Handcrafted Business, Sewing & Embroidery & Women’s Health. It’s a bit eclectic but they’re all topics close to my heart and I have some knowledge on but hope to incorporate the topics on my site.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post – I have lots of plans for content.
See you soon x