By Emma, Jan 2023
Next week we’ll be holding our annual Sidewalk Remnant Sale. Like previous years, we’ll be using this as an opportunity to raise awareness and funds for charity. This year we are supporting The Neurological Foundation of New Zealand who fund important research into neurological conditions. Conditions such as dementia, autism, epilepsy, mental health, migraine, stroke, the list goes on…. impacting so many of us. 1 in 5 people. This includes me and my family, and so many of us in our Miss Maude community.Miss Maude exists because of my personal journey with mental health and the role that making has played in helping me heal and stay well. I don’t underestimate the positive impact that making has on my state of mind and mental health. This together with the impact neurological conditions have had on our family and friends has made supporting The Foundation’s important work a no brainer (pun intended!).
For me, The Neurological Foundation offers hope to those of us who see and feel the impacts of neurological conditions and in particular for our children, the next generation.
What follows is my journey with mental health and how Miss Maude came to be. It’s our Why.
For the Joy of Making - Our Why.
A few years ago I was living in the south of France. One of the most beautiful places in the world. What dreams are made of right? But I was also battling depression - away from my support networks, recovering from multiple miscarriages, and not being able to speak the local language. I struggled to get out of bed each day. Searching for ways to heal, I realised that I had stopped making. All my life I have created things with my hands - but with the upheaval that comes with moving across the globe, that had all stopped. It hadn’t seemed like a priority - until I realised it was. So I gathered together a few scraps of fabric, then somehow found the ability to get out of the house to visit a local fabric store to purchase a few more. I started to put them together to make a quilt. It was slow. Sometimes it was hard. But it was cathartic. As if with each little piece of fabric added, I was one step closer to a healthy me.
I ended up with a huge quilt - full of bright colours. And along with other help I slowly become well. We were able to complete our family and that quilt sustained us for the remainder of our time in France. We played on it, we took it to the park, visitors slept under it, we used it to snuggle on the couch. We thrashed it. It fulfilled its purpose perfectly. Since then I have made sure to always carve out a little time to make - whether that be knitting, baking (from scratch!), sewing or just nurturing and watching a plant grow.
I need to - making keeps my fingers busy and my mind at rest. Making not only brings a sense of achievement, but it is a process that can bring so much joy. Sometimes it is calm, sometimes it’s less so. Sometimes it’s easy, sometimes it’s a challenge.
But it is always an opportunity to pause. To slow down.
When we returned to New Zealand, we moved to Lake Hawea - rural with no fabric or craft stores. I’d learned my lesson once, I wasn’t going to let that stop me from finding time to create. At the time fabric stores were limited here, and having had access to beautiful stores and fabrics in the UK and Europe, I saw an opportunity to do something here. In the small way that I could at the time (between nappies and meal times), I wanted to share the immense joy that I get from making. The joy from working with natural fibres and quality tools. I imported a small selection of tools and fabrics - Miss Maude was born.
It’s because of this journey that everything we do in the business is done with the desire to delight. To bring joy. To make you smile, perhaps to help you heal or stay healthy as it has for me? The products we stock; the interior of the store; the website; our customer service; how quickly a parcel arrives. We want to bring joy to the entire making journey for you.
We want you to focus on the process and to not worry so much about the outcome. I believe it’s not about perfection, but simply giving something a go, using your mind and hands in a way you don’t usually. Be easy on yourself, - every ‘mistake’ will result in something beautifully imperfect, or it is an opportunity to learn something new.
Seven years on and I am now incredibly privileged to have a wonderful team here at Miss Maude and to have your support as part of our Miss Maude community. We hope you too can find a little joy in making.
Miss Maude Sidewalk Remnant Sale:
Saturday 21st January 2023. 10am
Miss Maude, 11 Hastwell Street, Greytown.
30% of remnant sales will be donated to The Neurological Foundation of New Zealand
Competitions, inspiration, giveaways and a whole lot of JOY!
Great story Emma.
I know exactly how you feel when you are doing things with your hands. That certainly makes for happy feelings.
Yvonne and I wish you all the best for your future and we trust too, that foundations you have laid at Miss Maude’s will continue to flourish and grow.
All of our love. Bill
Emma your story is very moving, thank you for sharing it with us and for bringing Miss Maude into being.
Sewing and making with fabric is a facet of my life that I can’t do without these days. I find the slow meticulous process of making a garment and the alone time required are very beneficial. Your beautiful fabrics are always a delight to choose and to sew with – especially your winter tweeds which I love.
Thank you for your kind words Amber ❤️
i’m glad that you have so many things to keep your hands busy Lynn! Thank you for supporting us, we appreciate it!
Thank you for your kind message Marilyn ❤️
Thank you Pixie, it was lovely to meet you at the Auckland Frocktails, if the shop isn’t open when you are passing through just let us know as there is generally someone around (apart from Sundays!) thank you for your kind words.
A beautiful and heary warming story of your journey Emma. You are a brave and beautiful person willing to share that.
I have bought many fabrics from your store. It is my favourite fabric stop, i wish you were closer (Tauranga). I still have fabrics to sew, I also patchwork and quilt. Gardening, flower arranging etc. yes my hands need to be creative too.
Have a great sale day, wish I could be there.
Keep well, and enjoy your gift.
You certainly do provide joy. I agree with all you say in this post. Keep making
Thank you for sharing your story. For the first time I recognised a part of myself – my sewing room is a space away from the rest of my home, but never closed off.
It was lovely to meet you and your daughter at Auckland Frocktails, and I’ll ensure a stop at Miss Maude next time I’m passing through – hopefully at a time the shop is open!