Quilted Beau

How I started my sewing business, Quilted Beau

As I mentioned in a previous post, in March 2020 I embarked upon my very first business venture. I remain a registered nurse (my NMC PIN is still active at the time of writing, 25/02/2021) but I’m no longer practicing. I’ve been a stay at home mum since September 2020 and wanted to have a career change whilst I had the opportunity. I must say that knowing I can always fall back on my nursing career takes a lot of pressure off me. I’m also very lucky to have a very supportive husband, who works very hard for our family. He really motivates and inspires me to succeed and make a success of my sewing venture.

My business, Quilted Beau, originally started off as a keepsake business making quilts, cushions and keepsake animals from sentimental clothing. I got my first order in June 2020 when I was 7 months pregnant and I considered it to be a large order. I was so thrilled to be actualising a longtime dream.

My first orders: 4 cats
Some of my keepsake work using sentimental clothing

As COVID-19 started to pick up pace, I made the decision to stop receiving clothes to make keepsake items. I completely re-branded my business and started making keepsakes using African wax print fabric. This is what I currently do, with no intention of moving back into making keepsakes from sentimental clothing. My bestsellers are the animal keepsakes (elephants and giraffes in particular).

Some of my African wax print keepsake animals

The plan is to diversify and add handbags and purses to the range, but not using African wax print fabric. Instead, using statement fabric that makes a really strong, visual impact. I want to be known for making bespoke, unique, statement gifts. That’s the product side of things.

My larger goal is to have an impact on the sewing community and to introduce people who have never sewn before, to our wonderfully diverse, and varied community. To do this, it means sharing my makes, sewing much more for pleasure and giving some helpful advice along the way. I have a Facebook group and Instagram account, both called ‘Sewing 4 Self Care’. The Facebook group is a small community of sewists who encourage and support each other in their self-care and sewing journeys. The Instagram account is my personal sewing account, sharing my makes and encouraging other sewists within the sewing community.

The Facebook group logo, designed with all members in mind.
The Instagram account logo. I do like a tipple while I sew.

I want to be able to serve the sewing community in different ways. The first will be in the form of a podcast. More on this idea in a future post. The second will be in the form of online resources. What these will be on, I cannot say for sure as yet. I’ve got many ideas but I know that the further I embark on this journey, the more I will be shaped and influenced by my experiences, therefore my plans will change. That’s the really exciting thing about learning as I go. I can see my plans (and myself) evolving as different opportunities present themselves.

I’m so eager to bring all of my plans to fruition and to dedicating my time to various projects that are constantly forming in my head. However, I have to remind myself that I have two small children who also need me (they are both under the age of three years) and that there is no rush to do everything at once. I hope that when I read this back in a few years time, I took heed of my own advice and won’t look back in regret, having burnt myself out.

That’s my business in a nutshell. How it currently looks, and the plans I have to expand and make an impact on the wider sewing community. I’ve heard it said that if your dreams don’t scare you, you aren’t dreaming big enough. I definitely don’t have anything to worry about on that front!