Originally from Northern Ireland, by way of Belgium and London, Sally moved to Norwich in 2014 with her family. She runs her own small business, designing and making knitted lambswool textiles. She’s also an art and textiles technician at Norwich High School.
Made in Norwich
I design all my products from my home studio, plot them out onto a graph for knitting and knit pretty much everything myself. So that’s toys, cushions, hats, scarves, hot water bottle covers… lots of things. I sell them through my website, shops and galleries, Etsy, and Not On The High Street.
I also work at a school that’s just round the corner from where I live, which is handy. They’ve got a lovely textiles department, and I help with screen printing, ordering, pattern cutting and lots more.
Making the move
We were always looking to move out of London for more space, and then my husband got offered a job at Norwich University of the Arts (NUA). We thought Norwich would be a nice place for our children to live. They were all on board with moving and up for a new experience.
I’d never been to Norwich before. We came up for the day, walked around and thought it seemed lovely! We went for something to eat and asked the waiter, ‘Is it nice living here?’ He replied: ‘Yeah, I really like it.’ So we thought, let’s do it!
Space to grow
One big difference here from living in London is I’ve got the space for my studio at home. It’s enabled me to expand a bit. I’ve got more machines so I can make a wider variety of products. It’s a lovely view out the window too onto our leafy garden! It’s great being able to break up the day with dog walks – there are fantastic parks and beaches nearby.
There are lots of craft fairs in Norwich, which is lovely and a great way to meet people. The designer-based shops are always open for conversations like Atwin, which is going to stock my hats and scarves, and The Post Room. My products are also in Make Holt, which just sells Norfolk and Suffolk makers. They do a makers’ meet-up so you can get to know everyone else.
It’s hard moving somewhere to find your feet and make friends, but if you’ve got something like a craft, you can usually find like-minded people. I had a lovely next-door neighbour and she invited me out to book clubs and knitting groups. I also met a great bunch of people through my job at the school.
Find out more