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interesting women’s paper making co-operative. This taught me so much about business that it gave me the confidence to make a real go of my embroidery.

When did you first realise you could make a business from your craft? How did you start your business?

I started my business on a shoestring with a pile of fabrics from the boot fair, a singer sewing machine from the dump and a tiny attic studio that cost £12 a week. I also had a great business advisor and a great mentor in my partner Justin who had been running his jewellery business for 5 years.

The whole thing evolved quite organically and very quickly. I don’t think I thought ‘I’m going to set up

a craft business’ I just love making things and was lucky that people seemed to want to buy what I was making.

When/how did it evolve/ expand to involve taking on employees? Was it a gradual process, or was there a big break moment?

I gave up my part time job in August 2005 (having balanced being self employed and the job for around a year and a half). In September of the same year, I did my first show in London and had a huge queue of people wanting to place orders. I knew things were going to go well and that I would need help. My sister Faye was already doing a little bit at home for the business and I convinced her to give up her proper job and join me in the studio. Both Briony and Freya have also worked

with me since then and we have collected a Jes, a Melissa and a Sarah along the way.

Where do you see your business going in the future? What’s next for you?

I’m really pleased with the new book, (“Free and Easy Stitch Style”) it was a challenge to put together as I’ve never done anything like that before (I also had a baby the week I had to proof the manuscript!)

I see the book as fitting in with a range of products that all have the same look and feel as the textiles we are known for. Our ceramics have been really successful and we are also selling lots of tea so I want to look at creating more products that complement the range and build Poppy Treffry into a brand.

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