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Behind The Scenes

The Beginnings of The Fabled Thread

A picture of me and Roger - our first portrait shot when I launched the business in April 2020, when Roger was 14 weeks old.
Three and a half years later, with a lot more embroidery!

Last week I spoke to Calandre Orton of Up With The Lark, all about the starting The Fabled Thread. Talking to Calandre was really the first time I opened up about what my ambition and mission is with The Fabled Thread, and why I feel this constant sense of urgency to keep growing and evolving!

I started The Fabled Thread in June 2020, making the rather unusual leap from investment banking to embroidery kits. Not one of your classic careers paths. However, after years working in the city, I finally had enough courage (or was unhappy enough in my work...) to make a change. Whilst at that point I had only been stitching for about 18 months, I felt no qualms about going all-in on my latest hobby. And I am so glad I did! Whilst in hindsight it feels a bit mad to have made such a dramatic life choice when my stitching skills extended to cross-stitch and satin stitch, I think I was so desperate for a change that it never felt scary at the time.

In my conversation with Calandre, we went back over these early days of The Fabled Thread, talking through everything from how I knew the time was right to start, our very first kits, the approach to branding, the first team members, taking the punt on new studios, the negative effects of running a business, what our purpose is now and where I see The Fabled Thread going. I loved talking through the journey so far, the ambitions, the excitement, the goals - and why I feel this mad urgency everyday to try get there.

Small businesses are on a ticking clock from Day 1 - you’ll no doubt have heard the stats of how many businesses make it to 3 years, to 5 years, to 10 years (less than 10%!), and I feel these stats everyday. Whilst businesses stop trading for all sorts of reasons, so you can’t read into it too much, it does make me acutely aware of our own business mortality and the need to keep pushing and striving so I can keep getting to do this job I love so much. Most small business owners I know seem to operate with two motivators… a love for what they do and a desperation to keep doing it. That desperation is what makes us do all sorts of crazy things we never quite imagined at the outset!

So if you are interested in the story of The Fabled Thread, or running your own business, or thinking of taking the leap into the unknown yourself, take a listen to the podcast. Do let me know what you think and if there are any aspects you would appreciate me doing articles on to go into more detail!

You can listen here or wherever you get your podcasts (just search Up With The Lark or The Fabled Thread!).

The sampler which ignited my love of sewing - my first embroidery in 2018!
My mum came up with our name. Some early logo attempts before I got the professionals in
Back when I designed all our samplers in Excel! You can take the finance person out of the city...
Our first kits
The home studio
The first kit designs... anyone remember The Camels??
The first embroidery I did which wasn't cross stitch (on the right) and the kit which it became (on the left)
The first painted frames, made by my dad!
Sitting a top of the pile of Just So cushion pre-order, when I launched our first needlepoint kits!
The first christmas with a team!! Here are Rosie, Georgina and Katy (and Roger of course...)
Our first proper studio in a railway arch in East London
Early drawings for The Musicians range
Long weekends spent travelling around selling my wares at markets!
Getting the keys to our current studio - possibly the most exciting day of my life to date!
Our most ambitious range of kits yet, with over 40 options to choose!
Glorious Georgina, who has been with me from the days of packing kits in my bedroom through to our new studio now. The most important part of The Fabled Thread!
Our embroidery kits... the same now as the day we launched!
Our fabulous studio - one of the many motivators to make The Fabled Thread succeed!