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Meet the maker: India Grace Designs

Posted by Rachel Westall on 4 May 2020

Craft Focus chats to Vicki Mansfield from India Grace Designs: Here at Craft Focus HQ we want to champion small businesses and the best way to do that is to dedicated our stories to being all about you!

Meet the maker: India Grace Designs: Image 1 How did your company start; what was the aim when it was launched? What was the response?
I'm a tiny company specialising in hardanger and speciality stitch patterns. I set up my company after my daughter was born in order to try and find a way to work from home and be with her – she's now about to turn 18 in isolation. I named the company after her. My aim has always been to create designs that are a little bit different.

Meet the maker: India Grace Designs: Image 2 How often do you launch new lines and what are your best-selling designs?
I generally release about four to eight patterns a year but for the last couple of years I've been concentrating on a bigger piece. Everything that I do is handstitched by me (with a couple of exceptions stitched by my friend Ylva Saleem) so output depends on how long it takes me to sew them. The newest work 'Phoenix' is stitched entirely in Kreinik threads on black (approx 18"x24") and I hope to have the pattern available in time for Christmas. I'm happy to take pre-orders for it. It will retail at £15 and will include a printed pattern and a CD-Rom with some alternative versions of the pattern which show different aspects of the design more clearly. It is an easy stitch but I found it helped me to see things differently sometimes. I may add a few 'hints and tips' videos to that too.
My most popular patterns are Ariel (a work inspired by log cabin patchwork), Rosa, which has a centre inspired by Ruskin Lace.I think that people are nervous about trying cutwork which is a shame as it is a lovely art to master. To that end I'm working on creating surface versions of the stitches to give a similar effect without any cutting. This is a new thing but if anyone would like to try a pattern that way then just email me info@indiagrace.co.uk and I will put instructions together (this may not be possible with some of my more complex designs.)I love to use lots of different threads. The beauty of most of my designs is that you can sew them in any colours that you choose. This is great for anyone with a large stash of beautiful threads that they bought because they were pretty but never knew what to do with.

Meet the maker: India Grace Designs: Image 3 How have you found life in lockdown; how are you planning for the future of your business?
Life in lockdown has given me a chance to really focus on trying to promote my business. I had had to take on a second job to pay the bills and I've been furloughed from that so I have plenty of time to work on trying to build a community via Twitter or Facebook. I'm putting a lot of time into Phoenix with the aim of getting it ready in time for Christmas. I'm also in the designing stage for a couple of other new patterns. I would love to be able to get my designs into shops. If anyone would be interested, I would really like to talk to them.
India Grace Designs operates purely online www.indiagrace.co.uk and via Etsy https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/IndiaGraceDesigns