IT’S BACK!!! Yes, your favourite tea time interview series is returning, and this time with a creative theme. I have been speaking to lots of creative Christians to find out what inspires and motivates them. So snuggle up on the sofa with your favourite mug as we chat with our first cuppa with our first suspect…..
1. Introduce yourself to us in one sentence ….
I’m Martha – I design embroidery and sewing projects for mums to do with and for their kids, then write all about it on my blog ‘Gidsy and Jo’.
2. What is it that you make?
Although I started out making soft toys for my sons and their friends, I realised that so many mums I knew wanted to make and craft for themselves, it might be better to turn the toys into beautiful, high quality kits that mums could afford. Making bespoke soft toys can be a pretty expensive product! At the moment I sell on Etsy and Not on the High Street, but my big passion is writing about creativity and creating projects for the web. I do this on my blog and guest post on some others too. Basically, if I can enable you to make something you’ll be proud of, then that’s what I want to do!
3. Tell us the story of how it all started.
I’ve got a degree in textiles and embroidery and worked sourcing shoes for the high street after I finished uni. At that time I was travelling quite a bit and learnt a lot about how products are sourced and developed overseas, then brought back to the UK high street to sell. After I had my first son the place I was working at told me I could go back full time or not at all. Faced with that choice I chose the latter. My boys are quite close in age (18 months apart) and by the time the little one was about eight months old and I was up to my eyes in nappies and sleepless nights, I found I was desperate for a creative outlet. I couldn’t get my head round making anything – I was just too tired! Somehow I stumbled on a blog from a link out of Etsy and thought I’d like to have a go at it. My husband set up my first blog. I had no idea how to use WordPress, take good photos, or what to write about, but over the space of about three years I just kept posting, really for myself, and had also started an Etsy shop. When my youngest son went to school last September, I decided to really concentrate on growing my products and my blog and write for other people, to solve their problems, rather than for myself. Although there are quite a lot of ups and downs, I feel incredibly fortunate to have that opportunity.
4. How do you include your faith into your work and what you make?
I think we’re made to glorify God and enjoy Him and be satisfied and reliant on Him, and I don’t think that having a faith means you have to make creative work specifically about what you believe to do that. God’s nature is as the most wonderful creator there ever was, so making things is in His likeness. When we do that to serve and help other people, and do it as beautifully and excellently as we can in the world, I think that’s an expression of being like Jesus. I talk to Him every day and ask for the wisdom to take my business forward and to hold it lightly and not let it become more important than He is.
5. Do you have anything to encourage us?!
My encouragement would be that nothing, not even doing what you love (because it’s always fraught with uncertainty, doubt, highs and lows!) can give you satisfaction or security like knowing Jesus will. Also, something I’m learning is to trust Him more, so that when my plans don’t come out the way I thought, I know He’s still in charge and it’s still all good.
6. Please share a photo of your favourite mug!
This is a mug my sister bought for me and I love it. You can’t beat a bit of pattern and colour in my book!
Thank you so much for taking the time to have a cuppa with us Martha! If you would like to find out more about Martha’s awesome materials, and her free online course to get your making more, then you can find her:
Blog: Gidsy and Jo
Free Course: A short, free email course to help mums make more of what they love.
Facebook: Gidsy and Jo