We’re delighted to welcome the return Loetitia Gibier with her business, Korry’s Little Shop, as a trader at the annual Makit LQ&N Fair on 18th May.
Her stall is always popular and loved by our visitors.
With Loetitia being a familiar face at past Makit Fairs, she was kind enough to sit down and do a little Q&A with us to help you get to know her better. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
Where does the name Korry come from in Korry’s Little Shop?
My dad gave me the nickname ‘Korry’ when I was at uni.
Korry is short for Korryghan. A Korryghan is a little domesticated Celtic demon who doesn’t sleep and is in charge of the needlework. Korryghans work at night and can be a bit mischievous – they might, for example, stitch their human’s socks to their trousers!
I got the nickname because I can’t sleep and do most of my stitching at night. When the nickname came about, my parents would find large pieces of cross stitch on the kitchen table in the morning for their birthday, having had no idea I’d been working on them.
It became how I was known on the internet so when I started the business, it made sense for me to keep it.
Have you always enjoyed needlecrafting?
I come from a creative family; my dad attended a prestigious art school and my mum would create amazing pieces of work in macramé that she would sell at craft fairs. I grew up at craft fairs.
I ended up doing scientific studies, but I have always needed to create since I was a child. Before I left to study in England, I learnt traditional French surface embroidery – the table cloth type.
I couldn’t take a telly with me, so I needed something to do when I wasn’t studying!
When did you take up cross stitch?
I came to the UK and discovered cross stitch. I was hooked. For 10 years, I would stitch the equivalent of a full-time job on top of my full-time day job. I ended up testing patterns for designers as I couldn’t get enough.
When I came back to the UK 13 years ago, I joined my local branch of the Embroiderers’ Guild. My obsession for embroidery grew. I discovered the whole world of textile art and traditional embroidery available in this country.
I ended up registering on every weekend class I could afford to learn as much as I could. This led to two City and Guild qualifications in Stumpwork.
Traditional hand embroidery became a very important part of my life.
When did you decide to set up Korry’s Little Shop?
Five years ago, my best friend asked me to be a maid of honour for her wedding, but there was a catch, she wanted a handmade wedding and that meant I would help her design and create all the decorations for her big day.
I really enjoyed it and from this experience, I started the business.
At first, I would sell anything I created. I realised quickly that embroidery was what I enjoyed most. I started to teach at the same time, first as a volunteer for the Embroiderers’ Guild, then designing my own kits.
I still work full-time but embroidery is what I do every hour I have available outside of work. I even travel with my stitching projects.
How have your experiences as a needlecrafter shaped the business?
I am obsessed with colour and love goldwork but, over the years, I’ve realised how hard it is to find suitable goldwork supplies that are affordable, high quality and aimed at advanced stitchers like me.
My solution has been to produce the type of kits I was looking for.
I create designs and source all of the supplies and materials then package them as a complete kit to be completed at home. The kits include photo instructions, fabric, full skeins or spools of thread, a generous length of goldwork wire (two to three times the amount needed), felt for padding, leather for applique, gems, beads, buttons and more. I even pop in my contact details in case people need one-to-one help.
What are your future plans for Korry’s Little Shop?
I recently launched a website with a shopping platform, which is very exciting. New kits are being created regularly and the supplies are also available. This year, for example, I’m planning to launch a kit series on British birds, as well as challenging Christmas decorations for more advanced crafters.
I currently give talks on my work and teach workshops in Goldwork, Stumpwork, Silk Shading and Surface Stitchery. The workshops are usually based on my kits or designed around a specific theme. I plan to continue and expand on these moving forward.
Has your love of needlecraft ever led to unexpected experiences?
Well, before Christmas, I was one of four contestants on the needlecraft competition in the Channel 4 programme, Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas. I had to create a piece of Stumpwork in under six hours. Anyone who has done Stumpwork will tell you, it is slow and six hours is nothing! Although I didn’t win, I really enjoyed the experience. It was an amazing opportunity and working with Kirstie was fun.
Another unexpected pleasure was seeing my sugar skull design published as the front cover project of Stitch Magazine for their Jan/Feb 19 issue. I also recently became Trustee in charge of design for the Embroiderers’ Guild – there are some very exciting projects planned for the future.
Pop along and say hi to Loetitia at the Makit LQ&N Fair on Saturday 18th May. You can also visit her website and online shop at https://korrylittleshop.co.uk/