Last week I went into London to catch up with some friends. After a rather excellent evening spent at Broadway Market in Tooting (you have to go!) I went to The Dulwich Picture Gallery to see my friend Melanie Bowles who was in situ for the week with her business Stitch School.
I was so impressed. Stitch School is about community, teaching old skills (embroidery) in a new way - all the while bringing out conversation and elements of mindfulness in the visiting and unsuspecting participants.
Win, win, win and win.
Stitch School is the culmination of years of teaching and making by Melanie and her business partner Aimee Betts. They have especially-made tables/benches which support and stretch the fabric being embroidered. The printed designs are especially designed by Mel and her business partners for each event they are commissioned to do.
Recent workshops include their having tables at Facebook, Fearne Cotton's Happy Festival and Alexander McQueen’s show in Paris (6 tables at this last one).
The reason that we are so enamoured by Stitch School is that their offerings seem simple, far-reaching and are the resulting gems of years of work in design.
They write about themselves that:
Stich School facilitates exciting community events around their large communal embroidery table called The Supper Cloth which brings people together through stitching and slow conversation to co-create a community art piece.
Their projects include Barbican Center Make! Season of contemporary crafts, Somerset House, Brixton Design Trail at Squires Partners, Brixton Library funded by Cultural Seed funding, Peckham Festival, Time Out and Facebook Analog Research Lab providing meaningful environments for people to gather, share and learn embroidery and celebrating the art of needlework. Each Supper Cloth is themed to the event and environment.
Why rework the words when they say it themselves so beautifully.
Over to you now. I encourage you to think about your own business and offerings. What can you bring to the table for others to benefit from? We are not necessarily talking money here, or time which we can all strive for - but how about making a free (online) booklet sharing how you do your thing? This way those that can’t afford your services might be encouraged to have a go themselves.