I meet all kinds of people when networking and talking about MT Needleworks. I love to trade stories and hear about the people behind the small businesses. Recently, a networking friend asked me questions about my business, what my passion is and how I work. I thought about it a while, and here is what I came up with.

How did you get started doing embroidery?

I was doing a lot of crafts when I starting helping out at a small quilt shop in Manassas. I was able to put a display of my switch plates and other things in the shop, and in return, I would work one Saturday a month. The owner, Cecil Hawks, had a small embroidery machine, which she was getting ready to get rid of. I offered to buy it, and of course the rest is history. I have gone from a single-needle embroidery machine to a six-needle, and now I have a ten-needle. Of course, I still have a single-needle that I use for mostly small projects and sewing.

What did you like about doing embroidery?

I like when I create something that someone really enjoys. For example, one of the very first special order jobs was when I met a lady at a networking event and she was getting married. She wanted something to give to the older people from both sides of the family. I suggested handkerchiefs, since it was a very southern wedding. She liked the idea and had a saying she had written for the invitations that she wanted on it along with a tree. She never gave me any guidelines for what kind of tree, so I made up a sample and took it to her. When she saw the handkerchief with the tree I had embroidered, she started to cry. I wasn't sure what to do, but she then told me she loved it because it looked just like the tree that her fiancé had proposed to her under. Wow, that's when I realized I wanted to do this and that I enjoyed creating things for other people!

What makes you different from other people who provide similar services?

I guess the biggest difference is the convenience. Unlike brick and mortar businesses, I don't have set hours. I have clients call me and bring things by evenings, weekends, etc., and also I don't require a minimum. My minimum is 1 (one), and typically if they bring me something to put a name on a shirt/bag, I can have it done the next day.

Besides embroidery, what crafts do you do?

I do sewing projects like quilts. I also crochet and cross stitch. I have a business called Stitchplates, where I make custom switch plate covers match your room’s décor.

What are your favorite things to make and why?

I really like making the INH (in-the-hoop) items, where you make an item by taking and adding material and re-hooping after a stitch or design. You can make purses, bags, key chains, toys, stuffed animals, all kinds of really cute things all on the embroidery machine. It’s like using a sewing machine, but all the instructions are right there in the machine.

If you would like more information on the kinds of sewing crafts I do, contact me, Teresa. I would love to hear from you!

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