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Dear Sewing Machine, Happy Anniversary!

June 5, 2010

Dearest E&R Classic,

Well it’s been nearly a year to the day when I set eyes on you in that Argos catalogue. You weren’t the flashiest or even most attractive of machines, you didn’t have a lot of special features, and by the time I got you home your bulb had already blown. But you were cheap which convinced me you were mine! I was living in Edinburgh at the time, I was by myself and hadn’t yet found a job and so decided that this was the time to try and teach myself to sew. After carrying you halfway across the city/getting a taxi the rest of the way, and lugging you up all those stairs to my apartment, I plugged you in and we were ready to go!

And still as pretty as the day I bought you!

Having had no training whatsoever apart from making a wall hanging in the second year of secondary school, I decided to start off slowly…no, I didn’t. I decided a dress would be the best thing to begin my sewing career! Imagine my shock when it actually came out wearable!  Sure, the zip was a bit of a mess and the seams could have been neater, but nothing that couldn’t be covered up with a cardigan. Through those 3 months I was living there (before realising that living on retail money in the UK is just not feasible), we played with lots of fabric and made many dresses together…it was a good summer.

...Indeed.

After shipping you home to Galway with me I set you up in my bedroom and we set to work once again. I stumbled across a few tutorials on purse making and figured I’d give it a go. I ordered my first purse frames from Kleins, and away we went. The first Betty and Pearl purses were born that day! Now, of course this was before I was called Betty and Pearl. After more and more practise I figured these little bags and purses may actually be sellable…if I could find a way to actually do that. I considered Ebay, but honestly Ebay scares me! Browsing through the internet one day I stumbled across Etsy, an online marketplace where anyone could set up their own little online shop to sell their handmade or vintage goods, and there seemed to lie the solution!

Betty and Pearl Version 1.0

Coming up with a name was neither big nor clever. My friend and I were chatting on MSN and I was basically throwing words back and forth and Betty&Pearl sprung up. Other options at the time were Pink Sherbet, Ruby Red, and Daisy Didn’t Do It, but I think the best name was chosen for what we did. Truth be told, I didn’t find Etsy so successful but it at least gave me some kind of exposure and even though I have never actually sold anything on the website itself, I have sold things to people locally after being seen online. Not only that, but I would never be supplying to Miss Noise had the lovely owner not stumbled across my shop there, so all in all, I think it was worth it!

In conclusion my lovely little sewing machine, happy anniversary! We’ve been through a lot together – an overseas move, 4 different houses, broken needles, and of course, the whole losing your spool holder debacle – but we’ve made it through! We may fight sometimes, I may swear at you when you when the thread snaps, and call you names when you ruin my stitches with your poor tension, but know that I do appreciate you for who you are, and, even though I can’t promise that I won’t replace you when I can afford a newer, shinier model, I can promise a place for you under the stairs for you to grow old in.

Lots of love,

Jenny xx

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