Thursday, 31 March 2016

Under the Spotlight: Stitches & Lace

Stitches & Lace was my first baby, and I'm very fortunate in that it grows and changes with every year that passes. Read on to find out more!

Stitches & Lace was your first baby? How was the idea 'conceived'?
Well, I'd had some ideas floating around my head about wearing flat shoes on my wedding day back in 2010 (I cannot walk in heels to save my life!), and as we were planning to head to NYC for our honeymoon, I also liked the idea that I could wear them there too! Something pretty and a bit special, and yet practical enough to withstand a bit of pavement-bashing. I started researching, and whilst I found some gorgeous images on Pinterest of personalised Converse, I couldn't find any UK sellers. So obvs - I made my own! They went down an absolute storm and I got so many questions about them that I decided to test the water and see if there was a market for selling them to other brides.

What has been the most surprising thing you have found?
Initially, I thought that personalised baby shoes would be a big thing, but whilst they have held their own, the vast majority of clients have been brides.

Also - this year so far, my main clients have been men, buying gifts for their brides-to-be! They've been so sweet and thoughtful too, often working closely with me on special touches to be added to their designs. One asked for a matching pair for his bride and their baby daughter, with little guitars stitched in orange thread! Another, I've worked with tirelessly, going backward and forward with emails and photos until between us, we've got them just so.

How have you continued to evolve with current trends and stay inspired?
Social media plays a big part in this, with regards to trends, and especially with trying out new font styles. I'm addicted to Instagram and Pinterest! Although looking at my orders so far, apparently purple is a big thing this year, which I wouldn't necessarily have predicted!

My clients are continually my main source of inspiration though... one of them has an idea; I love it and use it again, and then someone else builds on it with another idea, and so on. For example in previous years, my embroidery has mainly been set right in the centre of the outer sides of each shoe. This year a lady wanted her name running alongside the laces. It was such a simple adaptation, yet it looked so discreet and classy that I've continued to use this style. Smaller text looks neater, I've found, and less is definitely more. That said, I absolutely love the diamante heel strips that I've started offering... just the smallest hint of bling!

And finally - what have been your absolute number one favourite pair of shoes so far?
Aaaagh this is such a difficult question! There've been Mickey Mouse shoes for Florida weddings, the pair I embroidered for One Direction's Louis Tomlinson (no lie - they were a commission for his birthday by Yorkshire Tea!). The pair I stitched ever-so-simply for my daughter when she was born though are very special... they now hang in her nursery where I see them every day.

Stitches & Lace shoes can now be purchased through Fickle Craftroom: we offer an all-in service, or you can send in your own shoes to be embroidered. Extras such as diamante heels and shoelace plates can be added separately if desired.

I'd love to hear what personalised touches you added - or would add - to your big day? xxx

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