About Sue & Smithy&co
Having been a mother to four wonderful boys and working part time at a doctors’ surgery, for what seems like forever, I decided 2005 was the year for me! I needed a new challenge!
When my eldest son announced he was to get married, and with the help of a college friend, I made their four bridesmaids dresses and their wedding cake. Wow! I loved every minute (and of course the wedding) I knew that my life would take me in another direction.
My Mother and my Great Aunt had both been amazing seamstresses and I wanted to following in their footsteps. I had never had the opportunity to learn to sew during my school years and then life just swept by so I decided to take matters in hand and sign up for a City & Guilds course in fashion and design. I owned two sewing machines, which had been given to me by my mother and my mother in law so was well equipped to start my journey. Perfect! Or so I thought! Little did I know that sewing machines had changed a bit in forty years!
Whilst I was still working at the surgery I decided to start the first stage of the Diploma. This took me three long years to complete but I thoroughly enjoyed it, so much I resigned from my job, to give it all the time I could, and continued on to complete the diploma.
Charity walks & bike rides
During this time, and fast approaching 50, I also took time out to take on some additional challenges, as I wanted to help raise money for charities. As well as studying for the Diploma, in 2005 and 2006 I participated in the ‘Moonwalk Marathon” in London. This was shortly followed by the 2007 twenty mile ‘Walk the Walk’ over the Sussex Downs also to raise money for Breast Cancer. Our family then sadly suffered the loss of a close relative, to heart disease, and together we all decided to participate in the 2012 and 2013 ‘London to Brighton’ bike ride to raise money for the British Heart Foundation. I still feel that there are more charities I would like to help but am yet to decide on my next cause. Watch this space!
A new start
With the course finished we embarked on buying a new house. This gave me the opportunity to project manage the interior design and many of its features giving me the start I needed. I had performed this task in all our previous homes and with the Diploma now behind me I had more vision. The results were amazing!
Following a bout of food poisoning I was unfortunately left with Colitis and the need to completely change to a gluten free diet. Although I always considered myself to be a competent cook I had no idea how complex the world of gluten free could be so I decided to sign up for yet another course. Gluten free cooking! I now manage to stay healthy by maintaining a suitable diet together with weekly Pilate classes, gym sessions and the compulsory walks in and around the South Downs with our dog Lilli.
The birth of Smithy&co
Having obtained my Diploma, the house now finished, and my diet under control, by 2011 I decided I needed to return to work. I had been out of the work place for a few years and my age was against me. For a couple of years I dabbled in making and selling ‘bits and bobs’ at local craft markets and although I enjoyed meeting and talking to people about my work and creations it just wasn’t enough. I wanted to be bigger and more successful. I knew my products were good and wanted a bigger audience. Ambition gave me the strength I needed to start my own proper business!
I have always taken great care in my appearance and great pride in keeping my family home clean, tidy and well presented and I knew I had to apply this to my new business too. That is why you will find that Smithy&co shouts quality! The products are second to none! The fabrics, precision and finishing are what we are all about.
Nearly 6 years ago Smithy&co was founded but it has not been an easy journey. I would spend endless hours at exhibitions and craft fairs with little return. I loved meeting people and equally they loved my products but it has become apparent in recent years that the ever changing world uses internet shopping more and more. Sad but true!
In the hope of growing my business further, and due to the realisation of meeting new needs from consumers, I have decided to create this website.
I hope it reflects my passion!