Women Who Create / Genevieve Brading
It’s my pleasure to welcome award winning embroidery designer and female entrepreneur Genevieve Brading to the blog as she shares tips on staying creative and healthy when running a creative business from home!
1, Tell us a little about your background...
I run a modern needlework brand called Floss & Mischief, selling DIY cross-stitch kits, embroidery patterns and stitching tools. It all started in 2011 because of an argument about taxidermy! My boyfriend wanted to fill the house with on-trend stuffed and mounted insects, but I put my foot down as it’s just too creepy. As a peace offering I designed and stitched some cross-stitch beetles for him. After that I essentially turned my hobby into a business, all while relocating to the Cotswold countryside and leaving behind a decade’s worth of marketing desk jobs in London.
2, Do you have creative habits or rituals within your work that help you stay focussed and happy?
I never feel guilty about taking time off for myself. I need headspace to be creative, or else the pressure to create can paralyse me. There’s a fine line between taking time to ruminate and simply procrastinating though, which I don’t always get right.
3, What three things can't you live without?
My notebook to get stuff out of my head.
Workouts to stay strong.
Real life social interaction to stay sane.
4, What is your biggest source of inspiration?
Many of my designs are anchored in nature, as I’m forever drawn to the colours and shapes in the natural world.
5, What is the meaning of 'creativity' to you?
Creativity allows me to express my imagination by articulating it into something tangible. Without getting too deep, I think it’s the language of my subconscious.
6, If you could collaborate on a creative project or idea with anyone... who would it be & why?
I have no idea! But I look forward to finding out when it makes me literally dance with joy and grin for days on end.
7, Do you have a favourite piece of equipment that inspires your day to day process?
My collection of thread cones is a rainbow of inspiration.
8, What is the best thing about running your business?
The biggest advantage is the freedom it gives you to create the lifestyle you want. (And being in to receive parcels, thus avoiding the dreaded post depot on Saturdays.)
9, And what is or has been the most challenging?
If like me, you work by yourself day-to-day, the isolation is a killer. Leaving the house every day, and therefore interacting with people in real life, definitely helps.
10, What is your proudest creative moment in the journey so far?
Securing my first magazine commission early on was an important moment. Getting that cross-stitch pattern into the right craft magazine launched me onto the needlework scene. I’m forever grateful to that commissioning editor for taking a punt on me.
11, What does your support system look like?
Over the years I’ve gotten to know various designer-makers I can call on for advice. Turning to a business coach has been especially valuable when I’ve been hugely stuck. Having a straight talking other-half also helps - I call him my barometer of taste.
12, What one piece of advice would you share with fellow women who create to help them on their business/creative journey?
Find other creatives to meet up with in real life. Being able to chat to people who understand what you’re experiencing is invaluable, and although internet friends are amazing, there’s no substitute for face-to-face interaction.
13, Where is the best place online/in person to find you?