Over the last few weeks I've found myself really struggling with imposter syndrome, or the fear and worry that I am not doing well enough. It's a pretty common feeling for me especially when I'm busy, but I think the classic end of year burnout has made it worse. And the silly thing is, I'm doing things now with slow stitch club that ‘me’ from last year would be amazed by. I have projects coming up that I am so excited for and objectively I can see that I have achieved so much this year. But I know these are all common feelings in our lives today - comparing ourselves to strangers on the internet, constantly reaching for the next thing and not slowing down to stand in the present moment and appreciate where you are.
And so, I'm pulling out a classic therapy trick and writing this blog post to share some highlights from 2022. I've gone through my Instagram posts and picked something from every season to share here and I hope it can encourage you to do the same if you're ever struggling to see the positives. Apologies in advance for the slightly cheesy post, but if nothing else it's a reminder that every single repair we do matters, and it's so important to remember that.
At the start of 2022 in the winter months I was still recovering from Covid which impacted the first half of the year way more than I thought it would, but I also got to work on a few commissions and run a few workshops which really kept me going when I was feeling low. I was also interviewed for a local county newspaper as well as for The Frome List later on in the year which was so cool - there's just something about seeing your name in print that makes what you're doing feel extra real!
As spring came around I had several more workshops - including my first private one and that was so much fun. I also took on a few extra repairs for Toast to lend a helping hand when their Repair Specialists needed it and these were some of my favourite repairs to work on this year. At this point I was also busy trying to finalise all of the details for my visible mending darning kits which were definitely the biggest project I’d taken on for slow stitch club so far. The response to those kits still makes me so happy and I love knowing how many people now have their own special darning mushroom to treasure.
Over the summer I worked with Clarke and Reilly on this beautiful chair that was shown as part of an exhibition at Sotheby’s for the Queen's platinum jubilee and I really enjoyed working with my needle and thread in such a different way.
I ran so many workshops in the summer too - and teaching all of those felt like a huge achievement for me. I absolutely love teaching and sharing visible mending skills with people, but the act of standing up in front of a group is still a really difficult experience! I’m a total introvert and was always worried I wouldn’t be able to make workshops work for me, but they’ve become such a hugely rewarding part of what I do and I’m so grateful to all of the people that have come to one of my workshops - you guys are the best <3
I then got to teach an online workshop in collaboration with Toast and Somerset House for their Eternally Yours exhibition - and that was a real pinch me moment. I took this from the Instagram post I shared at the time and it really still resonates: “It was also an extra special workshop for me as I spent countless hours at Somerset House years ago whilst I was at uni. I never knew where I saw myself in the fashion industry back then but repairing clothes has been the best place to end up! It's strange to think what younger me would think of all of this, but I'm so happy I've been able to find a place for myself that feels right (even if it took a lot longer than I thought it would!).”
Towards the end of the summer I launched my website with so much help from my partner and also amazing photography from Emma Todd. I really love how it turned out and as much as I love using Etsy and Instagram and all of the other platforms we have access to, it’s so nice to have a space that is just my own. It’s also given me the space to have a blog again and as I’m sure is evident from this post alone I am really enjoying that!
Autumn brought with it lots of planning for new projects, a few final workshops and prepping for the festive season. That has definitely meant I’ve been quieter online than usual but I’m trying to embrace that and remember that it’s okay not to be posting all the time. I also had a few markets at The Frome Independent which is always a great way to chat to people about visible mending and meet lots of other local creatives.
And now, here I am in the midst of the December cold snap and wondering what the next year will look like for me. I can’t wait to find out, and I hope you’ll stick around to join me. If you're signed up to my newsletter then you'll have seen that I want to start using a new hashtag next year #myyearofrepair2023 so that we can document all of our repairs and share them together. So here’s to another year of learning new skills and finding creative ways to repair our favourite clothes.
Until 2023 friends, and as always, happy mending xx