Happy new year to you all! I hope you had a relaxing Christmas and got to enjoy doing some of the things you love, with some of your favourite people.
Starting 2024 in my new little shop and studio space
This year has started a little differently for me, as a few months before Christmas Kate Sproston Design moved into a new studio space. Up until now, even though I always referred to the room as "my studio" it was in fact the spare room at home. This has worked well for many years, but I had started to outgrow the space, with most rooms in the house having been taken over with materials and packaging supplies. Plus, whenever guests wanted to stay over they were relegated to an airbed in the living room downstairs.
My original plan, and one I had been working towards for quite a few years, was to build a studio in the garden. Unfortunately after making some enquiries and receiving a few scarily high quotes, the cost soon outweighed any gain and the plan was scrapped. What followed was a bit of a sulk and some serious rethinking.
As it happens, there is a craft centre just a few minutes drive (or a nice forty minute dog walk with George) from the house, which had units available to rent. By the time I had decided I would apply there was just unit 13 left, and although unlucky for some, unit 13 is now my new studio space alongside lots of other creative small businesses at Chilvers Coton Craft Centre in Nuneaton and I couldn't be happier.
Left Image: The day I got the keys for unit 13 it was looking a bit run down and unloved. Right Image: Roping in the family to help move all the machines.
I moved in to the unit in September and since then it has had a nice coat of paint and about five reshuffles, which has definitely highlighted a few things about my personality. I do not do spontaneous choices at all! I like to mull things over, and although this takes a while, I will stick to my decision once my mind is eventually made up. I really missed the company of others, and being at the craft centre is the absolute best of both worlds. I get work colleagues to have a bit of banter with, a fantastic support network when any problems occur, but also still have complete control over how I want to run things. It's also the first time in years that I have been able to enjoy a 'works Christmas do' and take part in Secret Santa.
Enjoying the bright new space after a lick of paint
Most importantly, now that I have a unit, customers can come and browse all the embroidered designs on offer and see the embroidery machines in action. Don't be shy to ask for a demo if they aren't running when you get here. Orders can also be placed online for collection, and I can let you know when they are ready to collect so you can come down to Chilvers and say hello.
I forget how fascinating the embroidering machines are after working with them for so long. I love how mesmerised visitors are when they see them sewing.
The craft centre is particularly buzzing on a Saturday when my unit neighbour Anthony runs art classes for children of all ages (some of the conversations I overhear are fantastic). And the cherry on the cake is the onsite café where I am yet to complete a full stack of their Biscoff pancakes, but I'm 100% working on it!
My new creative space is still a work in progress, but I am looking forward to making it my own now that I am back to work after the Christmas break.
Here's to a creative and prosperous 2024 everybody!