Ready for some handmade goodness? Please allow me to introduce you to creative entrepreneur and author, Annabel Wrigley. She runs Little Pincushion Studio just 10 minutes from where I live in Warrenton, Virginia where she teaches local classes, leads Creative Bug workshops and is currently working on her fourth (!) book in the We Love to Sew series. She’s agreed to answer a few questions on how she built her thriving creative business as a maker, please enjoy the interview and welcome her to OMHG!
Hello, dear Annabel! Thank you for giving me this interview! I’ve shared some background on what you’ve accomplished in creative business, and I’d like to get some insight on all that you’ve built and what you’re working on for the future. How long have you been in business?
I started teaching children around 5 years ago, but I have been sewing for 15 years.
What made you decide to open a studio? And how do you like the experience so far?
I decided to open a studio when the demand became so great for sewing classes that I could not operate out of the little front room of my house. We were literally busting at the seams. Converting our garage into a studio space seemed like the perfect next step. I love having a dedicated space to not only work on my own creative projects, but to also teach and inspire kids to embrace their creativity.
In addition to owning the studio, you’re a teacher, workshop leader and an author! How do you juggle all the different aspects of your creative career?
It is a challenge every single day. I tend to take on a lot more than I probably should, and I am constantly juggling to make sure that I am not only there for my children, but that I am able to still find time for my own creative ventures. Luckily my children are a little bit older and are busy with their own activities. I do love that my daughter loves to do what I do, so she comes to the studio and helps me most days after school.
You’re clearly enjoying your career and allowing creativity to blossom in every area of your life. Do you have a business plan, or do you just let it all unfold?
This career really just happened, and I have never felt the need to have a business plan. As the classes have grown, the business has evolved as well. We have moved the studio a couple of times and have now settled into a wonderful bright space where I am able to accommodate all the classes and workshops that I want. My main business goal is to continue writing for children and teaching to an excited group of lovely gals.
I’m always impressed with the amount of press you receive. You’ve been featured in several magazines, and I even watched you on the local news! How do you gain that next level of exposure?
I think it is important to make the most of social media in any way you can. I have reached out to magazines on many occasions just to say ‘hello’ and to tell them a little bit about my studio and why I think a story about my studio may fit in their publication. The worst thing that can happen is that they may say ‘no’ … you never know until you try! I also have a wonderful PR person at my publishing house and she often lines up great publicity opportunities for me.
What has been the proudest moment in your creative career?
The proudest moment for me was definitely getting my first book deal. I was in shock that it could ever happen and felt so proud to show my children that if you really want something, you have to go out there and make it happen. My book, We Love to Sew will be translated into German and French this year and that makes me just so excited!
I also love when young girls email me to tell me that they have been inspired to sew from reading my books. That is why I do this work … it is the best job!
What’s the best piece of advice you could offer another creative just starting out and looking to make a similar career dream come true?
Don’t doubt yourself, go out there and make it happen. Start small and let your creative future unfold naturally. I think it takes a little time to find the true path, but once you have found it you will know and it will be a great moment.
Hear, hear! Thank you for the delightful inspiration, Annabel! You can read more and connect with Annabel by visiting her at Little Pin Cushion Studio.