Meet Debbie from Sew In Joy!
Where did you come up with your brand name?
My middle name is Joy and it is such a happy uplifting word and I just love to sew so Sew In Joy was an easy choice.
When did you begin making and what was your inspiration?
I was lucky that my Mum had endless patience and taught me to sew when I was a young girl and as a teenager I would rummage through her stash looking for the right fabric to whip something up for the next mufti day or "big night out" on Saturday. Sewing class was my favourite at school and was the only thing I consistently came first at! During my second pregnancy my emotions went totally haywire so during my third pregnancy (due in five weeks time) I wanted to make sure I had a wonderfully calm time and what was just sewing for a hobby has become a wonderful home based business around my family. I'm totally inspired by fabrics and love sourcing fabrics - the pile grows daily! I have a very supportive partner who has never once asked me to tidy up my untidy stash of fabric which overflows into our everyday living space.
What do you make?
I love to sew and my range continues to evolve. At the moment it includes funky four-panelled skirts for women, fun tunics for young girls, bandana bibs, aprons, cushions, bags, cool boys trousers, hottie covers and I'm looking to extend my range for women in the spring and adding a couple of fun and functional dresses. I make a lot of custom orders and I really enjoy that as you are interpreting peoples design concepts as well.
Who is the most influential in your craft?
I have an awesome group of family and friends who are not only customers now but are also fantastic at giving me feedback on my range. Their feedback, along with feedback from my customer base, help to guide me on what people are wanting. I have two young boys so am always checking in with my friends little girls as to what colours they love and what styles etc they want to wear. So a lot of influencers really.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by seeing people wearing my creations and as I can see they are fantastic fits, styles and fun to wear it makes me feel good inside. I always wanted a home based business that could work in with my family and to provide something that would be affordable and fun for my customers. I have the most gorgeous space to sew in and look down over our garden which has banana palms, laden fruit trees and happy chickens. And I am definitely inspired by fabric!
What is your favourite book?
I loved the Sara Donati series and was sad when they were over. The main character is strong and courageous in a harsh environment yet maintains her femininity throughout.
And your favourite food?
Wow! That is a difficult question. My partner is a chef by trade so anything he makes is awesome and full of flavour. He would probably tell you it is "MEAT"! I was brought up on a farm so meat was definitely big in our diets and when I've had a rough day he brings home the best steak to make all things better. And chocolate could certainly be served to me for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Where do you get your online inspiration?
I'm definitely a Pinterest girl - it always astounds me how clever people are.
When you are not at the Devonport Craft Market, where can people buy your work?
I work from our home in Red Beach/Orewa and welcome people to come and visit to choose their next item or be involved with the selection of their fabrics. Our home is a big old beast with "lots of potential" and a wonderful view of the Estuary. We have a big back yard which is great for two busy children (soon to be three) and a partner who loves to grow as much food as possible. I'm a real home body and you will generally find me at home or out looking for fabrics.
What is your most treasured handmade possession?
Most definitely a card my oldest son made for me on Mothers Day last year. He made a gorgeous big cardboard sign which tells me how much he loves me and spent quite some time gluing individual pieces of rice on to make the letters. I had to pretend I didn't know what was going on and when I saw what he had done with such patience and love I was super stoked!
When you are not making, what do you do?
What do I do? I ignore housework as much as possible and play with my two boys (nearly seven and 18 months old). My partner loves the outdoors and living near so many beautiful places we like to take the children to the beach, for bush walks and enjoy the free things that life has on offer.
What music is on high rotate on your ipod?
I very rarely put music on as our home is either noisy with children or when they are asleep I totally enjoy the quite time. Sunday mornings is filled with Bad Jelly the Witch and other old radio favourites from our childhood.
Debbie has a special offer for anyone who mentions they read her profile:
I feel very lucky to be able to do something that I love and share with other people. For anyone who reads my profile and would like to purchase one of my fun creations I am offering a 10% discount on any full priced item. I upload my creations at www.facebook.com/sewinjoy and just remember to mention this offer when you contact me. This discount is valid for custom orders as well.