A. Well, firstly I design the cards and write the sayings which go on them.
Q. Where do you get your inspiration?
A. A lot comes from my Scottish childhood, listening to my parents - my Dad had a bit of a way with words. And ideas sometimes just come into my head. Usually in the shower - I think it must be the hot water on my head which stimulates the grey matter.
Q. Do you do anything else in the business?
A. Um... where to start... I make some of the cards, mostly the wedding, anniversary, baby ones etc. and do the personalising. Then I take care of the website, mail orders, shop, trade customers, postage and packing, accounts, planning and business development, trade fairs, publicity and marketing, stand design, tea lady, cleaner ..
A. Bob is my husband and business partner ( although he says he's just the dogsbody). He has only been a partner since 1996, so he's still learning. He makes all the Scottish cards, bags all the cards, puts up with me, does the picture framing - for us, as well as general framing, drives the van, does a lot of the Craft Fairs on his own as well as with me, does the heavy stuff - loading, setting up at fairs, maintenance etc and other manly things, and escapes off hill walking when it all becomes too much. Oh and let's not forget that he's a trained artist who doesn't get the time to produce his exquisite pencil drawings because he has to bag cards. Awwww.
Barbara's embroidery work in progress
Q. What a guy! And the next one is.. Barbara?
A. Barbara and I met and became friends when our children were small, so that's more than 20 years ago. She joined my embroidery class at that time, and I taught her to do French Knots and other embroidery stitches. She probably has lived to regret that, as she is now the chief hand embroiderer in the business and must have done several million French Knots over the years. She also shares a passion with me for fabrics old and new, and happily takes home carrier bags full of scraps of material, to cut into tiny squares for the patchwork cards. She can turn her hand to lots of jobs within the business and has helped out at Craft Fairs over the years. She also has a business of her own making patchwork cushions and fabric gifts, which we sell in the shop, and does the occasional Craft Fair in her own right.
Q. That leaves Fiona, right?
A. Yes, and Fiona is the chief cutter out. She sits at home with deft fingers and a pair of scissors, and cuts out the thousands of tiny shapes which are added to the cards - thistles, scotty dogs, baby dresses etc etc. She is amazingly neat and precise, and never moans. What a gal!
I must also mention Olive here too, who is no longer part of the team, but who in her time wielded a glue gun with deadly accuracy and glued many a flower to many a card.
That folks, is the formidable Embroidered Originals team.
PS Lots of our customers will remember our lovely daughter Laura who spent a couple of summers and many weekends working with us when she was a student. She's now a married lady living in England, but about to give it all up for a trip round the world with Greg, her husband.