"What do you do?"

"What do you do?"

Hannah Paige

I, like many other small business owners, dislike this question a lot. My answer is usually "I have my own business" which then follows with another question "oh, doing what?" which is when I mumble something about making cross stitch kits.

The reason I particularly dislike this question is because I do so much more than make cross stitch kits. I do all my own photography, accounts, drawing, designing, stitching, proof reading, organising, cleaning, cutting, advertising, packaging, blogging and website building. This is not a complete list, there are so many other little things that all of us small business owners do. Of course, some things we can outsource but in the first few years this isn't usually financially do-able.

On top of all that I have two little bundles of joy; George who is 3 and Annie who is 6 months.

Everyday is different for us because George does different hours in pre-school and we do different groups. But, generally our day looks like this: I get up and ready, sort breakfast, check orders, reply to emails, get George and Annie ready, do the first school run (basically a half marathon), come home, breastfeed Annie, get her sleep, get started on orders, take a few photos, play with Annie, try and remember to eat, clean up, feed Annie, do the second school run (full marathon this time), come home, watch the house get messed up again, start tea, feed the house, do bedtime, check emails, finish/package orders, stitch new designs, write to-do list, go to bed, feed Annie half the night, wake up and start again. Yes, I live off coffee in case you were wondering.

The actual process of making a cross stitch kit is the best part of what I do. Firstly, I draw out the design on squared paper and then make it digital! This is fun part because I get to play around with colours and decide which ones to use.

Then I get to stitch it! I keep track of how much thread I'm using to make sure I give you enough in your kit and photograph some work in progress pictures.

Once it's finished I decide which size hoop looks best and make any changes to the digital pattern. Then I design the pattern sheet and photograph the finished bits. Finally, the not so fun part of uploading the product to my website, Not On The High Street and Etsy.

And do you know what? I absolutely love it all. I feel so blessed and lucky to be someone who loves their job and being able to stay at home with my babies. I've always wanted to work for myself and sometimes I have to pinch myself when I stop and think that I'm actually doing it.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about my "what" and I haven't bored you too much (sometimes I forget that not everyone is as passionate about cross stitch as me). Part 2 will be coming next Sunday!

Hannah x

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