Born into this hand-crafted lifestyle

I consider myself to be very lucky to have been born into a family of craftsmen and women. From my great-grandfather who was a cobbler down to my brother who is a carpenter.

There has always been a passion for creating the things we need at home and I guess this has been borne out of the pre and post-war years when previous generations of my family simply had to grow their own food, make what they could at home, make-do-and-mend, and so on. It was not that long ago in history when my grandmother was living in wartime and had weekly rations for food and materials, and her attitude of “look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves” was passed down to my generation.

So I was encouraged to learn the skills necessary to make items we needed, wherever possible, and never waste anything.

Broke teenager years

As a child, I always made cards for my family members’ birthdays and other occasions and so later on as a broke teenager (I got my first job at the age of 16 when I had finished my exams) with no pocket money I resorted to using my artistic skills to make greetings cards for friends and family. I remember wanting to impress a guy (who many years later became my husband) with a card for his birthday but I had no money for a fancy humourous card from the shop, so I took a risk and made my own card for him, despite feeling a little embarrassed about my lack of funds and he was genuinely pleased to receive such a personal card which featured our shared sense of humour.

I also frequently used my knitting skills to make gifts, one notable gift was a hand-knitted jumper for a friend’s new baby, and she was delighted with it as it was unique and personal and she was impressed that a teenager could accomplish such a project and put so much thought and love into a gift for her child.

Other knitted gifts included tiny knitted garments for my younger siblings’ fashion dolls and accessories for the doll house, such as rugs and bed blankets.

Any chance I had at school to use my art & textiles or woodworking classes to make a gift, I was there. Hand-painted silk cards for my mum’s birthday, shorts sewn for my little sister, wooden pencil holder for my dad, small paintings and drawings for aunts and grandmothers, the list is endless.

I also have to add that when it came to home economics classes, when it was time to actually cook something, everyone else in my class made a dish that consisted of a portion for one which was consumed on-site at lunch break but I had to make enough for a family of five, and transport it home at the end of the day, because it made sense financially to cook enough to feed my family. It taught me a lot about budgeting, food planning, and so on.

Hobbies became a source of income.

Two generations of my family have turned their hobby of knitting into a source of income, knitting garments to order. After acquiring a number of hobbies including making jewellery and candles which often were gifted, I started to receive requests to make bespoke gifts for others. “can you crochet some bunting for my new babies’ nursery?” or “I need some jewellery for a wedding outfit, can you make this?….” and so it began as a very natural progression for me.

crochet bunting
Hand crocheted bunting for a jungle themed nursery

In April 2010 my business was born as “Fabuloso Splendido”. I would work my day job during the week, creating during the evening, and go to crafts fairs and markets at the weekend to sell my products.

And now after a complete life change and relocating to France, I am able to make my hand-crafted products available to the world.

I think my grandparents and great-grandparents would be proud to see I am keeping traditions alive and that I have put the skills I have learned to good use.

Gifts made by hand with love

So that’s the story behind my business, from very humble beginnings making gifts for my nearest and dearest I now make gifts for people I have never even met, and it gives me much happiness to see the enjoyment my creations bring to young and old alike.

I am also continuing to make gifts for my friends and family although it has become much harder to send these back to the UK since Brexit and I will continue on this path as long as as I am able to.

You can find out more about my history on my about page, or in my history of nsandifer graphic here.

Thanks for reading.

à bientôt,