|Eleanor Young of Sisterhood Sewing|
"At that stage I had two young children and hadn't sewn for a few years," says Young. "But I knew I wanted to take the challenge so the idea of sewing some babushka dolls came to mind. Well, as soon as the ladies saw them they started selling, so I decided to start doing markets. With a great response and lots of support from my family, we have donated over $3000 to Teen Challenge and other charities, and now Sisterhood Sewing is our family business."
With 1,500 Facebook friends who delight in seeing Young's new owl cushion creations, the thriving little business has grown some serious wings. She was delighted to spot one of her cushions sitting on Daydream Lily blogger Lis Winnel's shelf in Frankie magazine ("the coolest mag around") and another in an advertisement for Raggedy Anne Boutique in the very next issue. Next month, she makes her first appearance at the Brisbane Young Designer's Market.
After completing Year 12, Adelaide-born Young took up a soft-furnishings traineeship and worked in a high-end soft-furnishing boutique in Burwood, SA. She was soon in charge of the Roman blinds, as "no one wanted the fiddly jobs", but it wasn't until she spent two weeks working as an "office girl" that she realised her need to exercise her creativity.
"I loved fabric from an early ages and remember walking into fabric shops and my mind being filled with all the possibilities," she says. "I can remember entering Spotlight for the first time and thinking I was in heaven. I also thought that working there would be so fun and, as it turned out, 10 years later I did work there for a while and it was mostly fun."
Young scored top marks in sewing at school and often did her friends' sewing projects, too. When she was in high school, her mother gave away the family television, which meant homework, piano practise and craft were the main home-life activities. "I really must thank mum and dad, who helped me with any projects we wanted to do on a limited budget," she says.
Her mother and father had an encounter with God when she was a baby and pulled themselves out of the drug scene, establishing a church-based life, which Young carries on with her family now. She says her faith applies to every aspect of her life, including her business.
"I ask God for good ideas and he supplies ideas and often the resources," she says. "One day I was feeling overwhelmed with the success and time demands on my life and cried out to God saying, 'I need help, I dont know if I can keep doing this', and within two minutes a lady from church knocked on my door and said, 'I think God wants me to help you with the owls every day.' Wow! That was a quick answer! That's when I knew I was meant to keep going."
Young has two children, April, aged six, and Luke, aged four, with her husband, Jeremy, who now helps out with the business when he's not managing his tiling business in Currumbin. She operates her business from her home sewing studio and often finds herself working into the night creating new products.
"This business was born with the desire to help others, which Jesus was all about," she says. "I love the fact that Jesus has a perfect plan for everyone and all you need to do is look in his direction and ask him to be real in your life. I am learning so much about his love for all and that his Holy Spirit is just waiting for us to partner with him to help show his love on this earth."
This weekend, Sisterhood Sewing will be at The Village Markets, Burleigh.
Girl With a Satchel