Thursday, 16 June 2016

Six years on and a spot of serendipity.

This weekend we will mark the 6th birthday of Darn It & Stitch, hooray! Yes there will be cake. 

With each year that rockets past I look back and take stock of what has happened. Usually a fair bit. This past year in particular has been full of change for me personally, and this is what this post is about so bare (or is it Bear!?) with me.

I want to introduce you to a new venture, Jolt. But first I need to fill you in on what has been happening in the background.

As you know Darn It & Stitch has taken firm roots in Oxford, and is run by my wonderful staff Makiko and Jenny. The shop is a bit like a chick that has flown the nest, a haberdashery bird as it were. I no longer have to hold its hand, or be the perch. This has enabled me to refocus on my own life, rather than the life of the business. Having lived and breathed Darn It & Stitch for over 6 years I wasn't really sure where it stopped and I began. That's a weird and wonderful feeling, yet I felt ready to peel myself away and let it be its own (lovely) beast.

Part of this process has been making a big bold move - leaving Oxford, and heading for the Shropshire hills (yes really!). There is a long back story here, but in a nutshell it came down to three factors.

Firstly, an opportunity to buy a beautiful house that has been in my husband’s family since 1860. Secondly, a desire just to be able buy a house (don't get me started on Oxford house prices), and thirdly the realization that since having two children my work for the shop was all done from a desk at home – and that desk (and the home surrounding it) didn’t have to be in Oxford. Strangely this very big decision was incredibly easy to make. It's very green and lush around here, and we really quite like it. 

After much searching of the soul and wistful pondering I felt ready for a new creative challenge but wasn't sure how it would materialise. Then through sheer serendipity I found it. 

Close to our new home, there is an amazing artistic organisation were looking for volunteers. This place captivated me from the start, a creative space where those who
have experienced mental health difficulties can create and gain skills in a supportive and social environment.  Wanting to fire up my brain engines after the big move, and while looking for the next opportunity, I joined the team for a couple of hours a week to help in the studio and lend a business hand. They were looking to develop a new range of interior products for wholesale and retail, so I duly rolled up my sleeves and got stuck in. The excitement of a new business venture sparked fresh fire in my belly.  After a short (8 week) gestation period, Jolt has been born!  Its a brand new business full of colour, vitality and a really good story. If you like your homewares bright and beautiful then take a look. We will officially be launching at Top Drawer in September, so its all hands on deck. 

Its a big change for me, but an exciting one. Darn It & Stitch will always be my firstborn (and yes it really is like raising a child) but now that the shop has all grown up, it’s time to stop being a helicopter parent and let it stand on its own two feet. With Makiko at the helm I can oversee the business from afar, and to be honest I am thoroughly enjoying creative pastures new! Its exciting and inspring and so colourful! I am still very much involved in the shop, blogging, buying products, developing classes and will continue to make an appearance in person every so often.

I would love your support in this new venture, so if you would like to follow the progress of Jolt, then please click the relevant links and likes, Thank you for all your continued support as ever, and catch you next time I am around!

Jo x

Introducing JOLT  'In the room' Collection 1.