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Join Sophie Abell, The Dye Wizard of The Stitchy Ferret, and me. We chatted about cocktails, business, dyeing fabrics and more, balancing the demands of family and business, and her exciting new projects and plans!

It was such a delight to chat with Sophie. I learned a lot about her craft and journey, and I just loved getting to know her. I hope you do, too!

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Highlights in this episode include:
  • Tips for making time for your business with an active toddler on hand
  • The importance of running a values-led business
  • The importance of building a community to have a good sounding board
  • Some thoughts on the practicalities of transitioning your following from buying on Etsy to buying from your own website

Connect with Sophie:

This is episode 6 of my Cocktails & Chat series, a community-building project for makers and artisans to share the highs and lows of business and making and make it a bit less lonely. For more community, do join my Facebook group Handmade Business Club UK.

  • 1:58 – Introducing Sophie
  • 3:10 – Our drinks tonight: Whiskey Daisies
  • 4:36 – Sophie’s ferrets (as pets and working ferrets)
  • 8:26 – Sophie’s cross stitching and pattern-making history
  • 11:17 – How Sophie dyes her beautiful creations
  • 13:20 – How do you make time for your business with a 3-year-old?
  • 17:57 – Sophie’s unplanned path to self-employment
  • 20:05 – What do you wish you knew before you started your business?
  • 21:57 – What do you like most about running a handmade business?
  • 23:03 – What’s a common myth about dyeing?
  • 26:16 – What’s an indispensable unconventional tool you use?
  • 29:47 – Thoughts on using social media in your handmade business
  • 34:11 – Sophie’s fabric of the month club – a pay-as-you-go box, and the importance of running a values-led business
  • 38:11 – The importance of the unboxing experience
  • 42:36 – Balancing quality with affordability
  • 45:18 – Aida vs Evenweave cross stitch fabric
  • 48:10 – Who do you talk to when you’re working through problems in your work? The importance of community and sounding boards.
  • 50:07 – Sophie’s exciting website news! And a chat about some practicalities of transitioning your following from buying on Etsy to a website.
  • 56:20 – Sophie’s exciting plans for her second business, Ferret Dyeworks!
  • 1:04:40 – Finding Sophie online
  • 1:06:16 – How do you know when a work is finished?