The ‘C’ Word
Now it’s November, I feel that we can start to talk about Christmas without indignant cries that it’s too early to discuss such matters. This is usually the time of year when people flock to the shops and Christmas markets in search of the perfect gifts for the loved ones in their lives. Unfortunately, this has directly clashed with Lockdown 2.0 which started yesterday and mandated that we all stay at home and that non-essential shop close. So where to buy our Christmas presents this year? Online is the obvious option but once there, it’s a bit of a minefield. We all know that with busy schedules to manage, it’s often easier to buy from large international companies but does Jeff Bezos (Amazon) really need any more of our money? This year, we’re joining the rallying call to support small businesses this Christmas and give our money to those who it will actually make a difference to, whilst also having the benefit of a present with arguably more thought, care and work put into it!
The Moonlighters of TOG
And as it happens, it turns out that there are some very talented people within The Outdoors Group ‘moonlighting’ with small businesses on the side. In the interests of building an awesome community and singing the praises of some of our amazing colleagues, we thought we’d share some of them with you over the next few weeks. And if you end up picking up a present or two at the same time then that’s just fantastic! So without further ado, we’ll introduce you to our first Super Skilled TOG Employee, Hannah Sutton!
Role within The Outdoors Group: Transitional Learning Programme Worker
Secret Skill: Hand-dyed Yarn and Crochet
Name of Business: Fox and Squirrel Creations
When did you start? March 2020 (During Lockdown)
Why did you start? I purchased a starter yarn dyeing kit at the end of 2019 and enjoyed playing around with different colour combinations. Then I discussed with my mum about selling some of the yarn on a small scale and it spiralled from there. Now we are on Etsy and selling our yarn and in the process of crocheting home interior products such as wall hangings, storage baskets and rugs to sell alongside the yarn. We are hoping to sell at some local craft fairs next year, fingers crossed!
What do you love about it, what drives you? I love the endless colour combinations and seeing how the colours merge and blend when dyeing the yarn and each skein of yarn is unique. I can’t wait to see the yarn in action and see some of our customer’s finished projects.
What have you learnt since starting? Don’t rush it, it is about quality not quantity and learning which techniques suit me the best.
What’s your favourite thing about it? The excitement of getting an Etsy sell and packing up the order in pretty tissue paper and sending it on it’s way and getting lovely Etsy reviews from happy customers.
Have you got any funny or strange moments to share about your moonlighting escapades? Nothing yet, but I do look like a scientist in a chemistry lab when mixing up dye powders, mask, gloves, scales, the works. Also, trying to get good photos and physically chasing the sunlight around the house to get good photos and to show off the colours.
What about it are you proudest of? The finished yarn and happy customers!
Anything else you fancy telling us about? Crochet home interior products will be coming soon and I shall be teaching my mum how to dye the wool.
Social Media Channels – where to find you!:
Author: Hannah Durdin, Administrator & Forest School Leader
Date: Friday 6th November 2020