Welcome to Threaded Needle, my name is Elysha and I am the creator of all things Threaded Needle. I am based in Manchester – where I have lived, studied and worked for all of my life. In 2016 I graduated from Manchester School of Art with a degree in Fashion Design. I truly discovered my love of colour, print & design during my time studying and love to show this passion within my Threaded Needle creations.
So how did it all begin I hear you ask?...
These leggings & headbands were some of Threaded Needles first products.
Well a friend (who I worked with at the time) suggested one day at work that I should try making baby clothing as I have a background and knowledge of fashion, so in February 2019 Threaded Needle began. First of all I started making headbands and hats, experimenting with different styles in an array of fabrics, perfecting the sizing and shapes. I then branched out into harem leggings and loosely fit rompers. Once I had perfected my silhouettes I then focused on making sure my fabric choices were cohesive and represented not only me as a person but also my brand. All Threaded Needle items are made from high quality organic OKEO TEX standard stretch cotton, at 95% cotton or higher, the other small percentage being elastane for stretch. I created Threaded Needle as I am an Eco-friendly enthusiast and believe investing in longer lasting products is the way forward. Threaded Needle is only shipped within the UK to minimise it’s carbon footprint. All products are packaged with plastic free packaging which is fully recyclable. Cardboard boxes, tissue paper, paper string, card tags and paper tape are used to package my orders.
The First Threaded Needle Hue of Blue Romper
Threaded Needle’s very first customers were family and friends of mine who were very supportive and encouraging toward my new brand. Once I had made a variety of garments and accessories I began to photograph them. Using just my iPhone for the first year, and the odd pestering of my boyfriend to photograph babies wearing my items using his camera, I was ready to upload them onto my newly created Etsy shop. Once my Etsy shop was up and running I waited and waited for orders to come in. Not being very savvy with setting up online shopping at the time everything seemed overwhelming – ads on social media, Search Engine Optimisation, brand identity, even coming up with a logo & brand name took FOREVER!!
Threaded Needle's First Year of Event's
Pictured Here is my Second Makers Market in Cheadle
The first physical market I decided to attend as Threaded Needle was a Makers Market based in Whitchurch. I jumped at the chance to do the soonest market possible, and so this is why my first market was based over an hour drive away & on the day of my 27th birthday. Having just about broke even for the cost of my stall, I felt absolutely elated at the fact complete strangers had valued my work enough to invest in my brand. Meeting and getting to know like-minded people at my very first event was such a lovely experience, this gave me the bug to build up my stock and participate in more markets. I also had my first ever Etsy sale while stood at that first market based in Whitchurch, you can only imagine the joy this gave me.
Threaded Needle Range within &MADE Studio
During June 2019 a very lovely friend of mine named Andrea - the owner & creator behind &MADE Studio, stocked a range of my garments and accessories in her beautiful studio. I was absolutely thrilled and privileged, not only to have my work in the Northern Quarter’s Manchester Craft & Design Centre, but to also have it sitting alongside Andrea’s gorgeous creations within her perfectly curated studio.
Etsy Made Local Market 2019
Another absolutely amazing experience within my first year of Threaded Needle was the acceptance to be a stall holder at the Etsy Made Local Christmas market. This market was based in a beautiful location within the engine room of The Peoples History Museum. By the end of the Etsy Made Local Market I had almost doubled the sales made from February to November in just three days. I felt completely exhausted by the end of the market but so happy and ready for what 2020 may have in store for me. However, none of us knew the turn of events for the coming year.
During December I applied for the Curated Makers Made Local Pop Up which was to be based in John Lewis at the Trafford Centre. To my elation Threaded Needle was chosen as one of the lucky 45 local Manchester Makers to be stocked. This was such an incredible experience, but unfortunately felt short lived. With Covid-19 soon having a huge impact on footfall within large public areas the Curated Makers Pop up sadly suffered alongside many other markets and retailers. However, I would not change a thing about the time my brand was available to purchase within a JOHN LEWIS store!!!
Value in Quality Images
Images Taken During my Second Photoshoot
January marked the month I invested in a camera which I could just about use. After reading Hashtag Authentic by Sara Tasker I realised the importance of having good quality photographs to portray my brand. With this I booked two photoshoots at two different studios, months apart, and began photographing babies wearing my clothing. Believe it or not this is much more difficult than I thought. Photographing a flat lay is much easier than trying to entertain and photograph a baby. With these two photoshoots completed I began to feel much more confident using my camera and look forward to arranging more photoshoots in the future.
Photographing Orders Packaged & Ready to be Posted
Setting up my own Website
Rewinding a little to September 2019, which was the month I blindly set up my own website through Shopify. Oh, how I wish I did not rush this as I was definitely not ready to have my own website in 2019. However, I persisted with it and eventually invested the proper time it needed to reach its potential. Having my own website has allowed me to continue to grow my business and to date I have had more sales in the last 6 months than I ever anticipated getting online for the whole of 2020. I am so grateful to all customers that have supported my small growing business and have invested in shopping small and locally.
Expanding my Range & Hopes for the Future
New Garments within my Range
Recently my range was expanded with not only new fabrics, but also new silhouettes too - such as the playsuit, t-shirt & frilled dress. Within the near future I hope to expand the Threaded Needle range even further, designing my own prints and introducing womenswear for matching mummy and baby looks.
If you have managed to get this far thank you for reading. I hope you enjoy and support my one woman journey in the world of Threaded Needle, trying to encourage less waste and people to shop for the future not just for the here and now.