Embroidered Originals was started in 1989 by me (Marion Mitchell that is) textile artist, teacher and mum of two.
I’ve always loved colour, pattern and texture and spent my childhood making things and forever drawing. It was a simple decision to go to art college and study Textile Design and Embroidery, and after a short career in teaching and producing embroidered pieces for exhibition, I took a career break to look after our two children.
That was when the idea of creating a small business, where I could be a stay –at- home Mum but work at the same time, was hatched. We had just moved into our country cottage with the children and the cat, and it all just fell into place, our own cottage industry.
The first cards were tiny versions of my embroidered pieces, hand stitched and embellished with sequins and beads. With what seemed like a huge batch of forty cards and my nine year old daughter Laura as my helper, I set off to sell them at a local Craft Fair. It was a “moderate” success, enough to encourage me to keep going, and within a year the range of cards had grown considerably, as had the number of Craft Fairs.
The handmade card business took up the kitchen table and sometimes the living room floor, but soon it started to creep into other areas in the house, and it was time to move out – into the garden. So we built the workshop, and it hosted embroidery classes as well as a place to work and a little shop too.
Fast forward a few years, taking in many Craft Fairs, our own shop and Mail Order catalogue, to 1996 and my husband Bob left his art teaching job to become a full time partner in the business. At the same time we started to attend Trade Fairs and pick up shops and galleries around the country as stockists of our cards.
We’ve grown and developed over the years since then, the children have left home, the cat has gone and been replaced, twice, and we now have more than 250 current designs and many more in the pipeline, being sold in shops all over Scotland and as far afield as Vancouver and San Francisco.
Our daughter Laura, now grown up with her own family, has followed in our footsteps and made a successful career as a surface pattern designer, but has now joined us as the new generation of Embroidered Originals, and we are thrilled she is part of the team..
Looking to the future we have lots of new ideas to develop. Exciting times ahead!