Handmade by Holly started out as a little hobby alongside my part time fashion retail job in the summer of 2016. I'd started doing some crafting in preparation for my wedding and I found myself falling further and further in love with sewing. I'd studied Textiles at GCSE and it was always my favourite subject, but for a variety of reasons I ended up choosing more 'academic' subjects for my A-Levels which led to me doing a degree in English & Creative Writing. I spent my early twenties feeling a bit lost and unsure what I wanted to do with my life, so I feel really grateful that some browsing on Pinterest one saturday afternoon when I was feeling a bit bored resulted in me paying a trip to my local fabric shop the following Monday and re-discovering my love for all things sewing.

A couple of months later I unfortunately had to leave my job due to health difficulties with my chronic illnesses; Fibromyalgia, Joint Hypermobility Syndrome and Scoliosis. Handmade by Holly has been the biggest silver lining for me though, and after experimenting with a variety of products, including hand sewn keyrings, textile wall art, decoupage spoons and photo frames, I feel like I've really found my 'place' with my teddy bears and hanging hearts.

I wanted to make memory bears for a very long time before I finally found the confidence to have a go at making them. I spent 2 weeks making 13 practice attempts whilst I trialled different patterns/sewing techniques/sizes etc, and I feel very proud with the design I have ended up with. I designed my bears so that they will sit nicely on a shelf or bookcase as a precious keepsake (although beary hugs are always very welcome too!) and I make each part of the teddy separately so that I can include several different items of special clothing per bear.

I still find it hard to believe that I've managed to set up this little business - my life got turned upside down fresh prince of bell air style when I became unwell at University, and my life plan had to change a fair bit. To feel like I've achieved something and to have found something that enables me to work from home without making myself poorly, whilst chatting to lovely people along the way, honestly makes my heart burst 

'It's a beautiful thing when a career and a passion come together'
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