- Charles Eames -
Prior to Cheryl's career in the interiors industry, it was her love for fashion that drew her into the workroom of a leading soft furnishing design and manufacturing company in Northern Ireland. Much to her mother's dismay, Cheryl secured her first job just before her 18th birthday, with the prospective attitude of "I just wanted to sew."
Cheryl's love for sewing developed at a young age, where she keenly remembers the influence of both her grandmothers nurturing the skill that has propelled her to where she is today.
She remembers her very first fashion design faux pas, when while making handsewn dresses for her dolls with her granny, she drew around the doll and cut the fabric without leaving any material to allow for a seam.
At the age of 11 after 2 long years of persistent persuasion, Cheryl had finally convinced her parents that she was serious about sewing and woke up to a sewing machine of her very own on Christmas day.
By the age of 15, Cheryl had gathered enough potatoes to save up for an overlocker and from the ages of 16 and 17 between her studies of a course in fashion at Lisburn tech, she spent her weekends making clothes for herself and others.
With a full-time job in a workroom in Hillsborough, a switch in courses from sewing and design for fashion to soft furnishings, Cheryl's parents were finally convinced that this was the career path she had chosen and gifted her an industrial sewing machine for her 21st birthday.
Cheryl later moved to England where she spent almost 7 years as an area manager for a number of dress and curtain fabric, haberdashery stores and workrooms across the familiar rural farming community region of southwest England in Somerset and Dorset.
In late 2002 Cheryl moved back to Northern Ireland where she built a new home and Crabtree Cottage was developed on the land close to the farm where she grew up as a little girl. Cheryl returned as workroom manager to the company with which her career originally began.
As the economy recovered from the recession in 2008, trends for soft furnishing requests in the workroom began to change and Cheryl decided it was time for a new direction, leading to the formation of Stitches by Cheryl in 2013.
With only two customers Cheryl began working for herself from her dining room table and readily admits that a hairdresser and school teacher are two very valuable clients when it comes to making new connections through word of mouth recommendations.
In the inspiring countryside setting that possesses a beautiful view of the Mournes, Cheryl continues to enjoy working from home in the studio and workspace that has been developed next to Crabtree Cottage as her little business has grown to where it is today.