Meet the very lovely Sue from Sweetpea Family Crochet. Having grown what started as a small crochet workshop in her kitchen, into regular sold-out workshops in her local church hall, Sue has gone on to build a whopping 100k following on Instagram, and to publish her first book… all of which she summarises (very humbly) as her “lovely and unexpected creative journey!”
You only have to glance at Sue’s social media to realise that she is a HUGE jelly fan! Much to our delight, she uses a range of Sun Jellies bags to store her crochet projects and yarn collections.
We invited Sue to take part in our Friends of Sun Jellies series and we’re so glad she accepted the invitation, because we have loved learning about her journey, and of course, discovering which Sun Jellies basket is her favourite bag of all! We think you’ll love this Q&A as much as we do…
What has happened in your life to lead you to where you are now? I live in the North West of England and after training to be a nurse, I worked for many years within the NHS. I had a great love of working in the community and providing services closer to people’s homes. I retired a number of years ago due to declining health. I have three grown up daughters and seven amazing grandchildren.
Following my early retirement, I rekindled my love of crafts, especially crochet. I taught a few friends to crochet and then, before I knew it, I was running crochet workshops from home! I quickly had to learn about being self employed, tax returns etc, as my little business was growing. This was a slow organic process… small workshops in my kitchen became sold out workshops in a local church hall!
I set up my Instagram account, which has incrementally grown to 100k. As my account grew, I began to be approached by yarn companies, crochet magazines, and then more recently publishers! I had my first book published in February this year. It has been a lovely and unexpected creative journey.
What are your favourite things to do? My favourite things to do are crochet and designing blankets. I love creating interesting borders. I also love meeting up with my crafty and crochet friends. I meet weekly with a few close crochet friends and monthly with my crafty friends.
If you were heading out to eat, what would you be hoping to find on the menu? I’m a little picky, but I love wholesome simple food, locally sourced produce, and fresh seasonal fruits. My plum tree is fruiting at the moment, so I’ve been busy making plum crumbles mixed with blackberries and open freezing them to use later in the year.
What’s your favourite tipple or sweet treat? Oooh I love a nice glass of red wine, closely followed by a gin and tonic. Although pink fizz on a warm summer evening is very inviting!
What values are important to you when you’re shopping for yourself and your family? My values are ideally to shop local, but I can’t always achieve this as my health dictates how mobile I can be. I try to reduce waste, and think about the environment. I’m passionate about supporting small businesses and, where I can, I share information about smaller accounts on my Instagram.
How would you describe your Instagram account? Who would it inspire, and what does it deliver to followers? I love Instagram! When I started originally, it was very much a hobby and my images were very hit and miss! In 2015, my eldest daughter Kate enrolled me onto a days photography workshop with Emily Quinton in London. It was especially for crafters. My confidence grew, my photos improved, and my followers gradually increased.
Through my Instagram, I think I inspire people to try crochet, and offer inspiration and ideas. My style is quite simple. I don’t design elaborate projects; most are accessible to beginner crocheters. I think I’m quite real and transparent, and I try very hard to engage as much as possible with my followers.
Who captures all your content? I take all of my own photographs, although I have recently shared a few from my book.
Which Sun Jellies bag is your FAVE, and why? I think this is the hardest question as I use a variety of styles, day to day, but I think the Betty Basket is slightly ahead. It’s a fabulous shopping bag, project bag, and beach bag… a perfect all rounder.
What would we find inside your jelly bag? Today my Betty Basket is my crochet project bag! It’s holding my current amigurumi project, a cotton bag of yarn, crochet stitch markers and accessories. Also, a small bag containing my crochet hooks, scissors, tape measure etc, and a number of crochet books, for inspiration.
If you like crochet and crafting then you’ll LOVE Sue’s Instagram account! Be sure to check it out: @sweetpeafamilycrochet