Trader Profile-Slow Stitch Club
Continuing our Secondhand & Sustainable theme for September, we spoke to Skye from Slow Stitch Club about her dream to make visible mending accessible to everyone.
Tell us a bit about you and your business.
Hi, I’m Skye and I’m based here in Frome but am originally from the Isle of Wight. Slow Stitch Club is all about repairing clothing using simple sewing techniques such as darning to visibly mend in a beautiful and intentional way. This keeps our favourite pieces in our wardrobes for longer and out of landfill. It grew really organically through lockdown for me as I started sharing the clothing I was repairing and the tools I used to make it easier. I started an instagram account and was amazed at how much people connected to what I was sharing. I was working as a Textiles technician in a high school at the time and loved the idea of using the teaching skills I had gained to share mending tips with other people.
Where do you get your inspiration – what motivates you to do what you do?
A combination of things; I know so many of us have experienced climate anxiety and felt stuck in knowing how best to help and make a difference. Even when I’m only repairing a pair of socks, it can help to ease that anxiety knowing that I’m helping to keep the life cycle of a garment going for longer so that it doesn’t end up in landfill. Making the most of the clothing that we already own (where possible) is such an impactful way that we can help. Sharing the skills is also hugely motivating for me – the visible mending techniques that I teach are really simple but not always easily accessible, and I love being able to help teach and connect people to these techniques so that they can go home and see their clothing in a whole new light. The clothing that we wear the most and treasure tells a story through that damage that it collects and I think that that should be celebrated through repair!
Why did you choose to come and trade at The Frome Independent?
I actually found the idea of trading at the market really scary when I first applied as I was so in awe of all of the other stalls! It was a huge leap of faith for me as at the time of my first market I’d been selling my products online for less than a year and I had no idea what the response to it all would be. Luckily it’s been an amazing experience and it feels just as special to be there trading as it does to visit as a visitor.
What do you like about market trading – why not just sell online or through retail outlets?
I have lost count of how many makers and creatives I have met through visiting and trading at the market. It’s unlike any other market I have been to and I think Frome has something really special with it. Visible mending has become hugely popular online in the last few years but at the market I meet so many people who have never heard of it so it’s really great knowing that I’m helping to spread the message. During the lockdowns I was able to teach workshops virtually, but it’s the conversations that you get to have when meeting someone in person that really make me smile. Hearing about my kits and tools being bought as birthday presents or gifts is always a highlight too.
Tell us about your own favourite or best-selling product. How much work goes into creating it, why do you think this is your strongest product?
My favourite product to make is definitely the kits. I have a visible mending starter kit that I designed to act as a real springboard for anyone completely new to visible mending and I still love putting them together. I designed and created a booklet that covers all of the basics and the feedback I’ve had from that kit is awesome. Everyone learns in different ways so I really wanted to make sure that this kit works for everyone; the booklet has written instructions as well as clear step by step photos, but there is also access to video links inside as well as I know a lot of people like being able to see the techniques in action and have the choice to pause and rewind as much as they need to!
What is your favourite Frome shop, or stall to visit at The Frome Independent?
Millie Moon is such a good haberdashery and Becki and Rachael are both super lovely too. I love any excuse to head to them on the hill and they have such a great space for teaching workshops as well! And at the market I always go straight to The Great Cake Company; I’m a coeliac and their gluten free cakes are so good – and often vegan too which is an extra bonus.
And finally, some quick fire questions….
This is a hard question! A recent favourite has been Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro and I’m a huge fan of Madeline Miller’s work too – Circe and The Song of Achilles are both amazing.
Describe your dream day off.
A day trip to the Isle of Wight so that I can see my family, head to the beach and go for a swim in the sea!
What are you listening to right now?
I’ve been listening to the Green Man festival playlist on repeat for the last month or so as at the time of writing this it’s just under a week until I head there. The line up is always a great way to find new music and I’m particularly excited to see Kae Tempest and Beach House.
What are you cooking/ eating / drinking at the moment?
It’s been so hot recently that all I’m craving is salads and ice lollies! I’ve been loving a Panzanella salad and have also enjoyed being able to use the little veg I’ve been growing in the garden.
Thank you Skye! You can find Slow Stitch Club in the Designer Maker section in Market Place on Sunday 4th September, 10am – 3pm