I'm Janet Stringer, the owner, designer and maker! I decided to combine my 30+ years as a mother with my 30+ years working in the haberdashery trade to create The Handmade Elephant.
For a long time I had wanted to start designing, creating and selling handmade items but juggling five children and a job, I just never seemed to have enough time. As the kids grew up and one-by-one gradually flew the nest, I had the time to sit and think about what I wanted to do next. Using the 30+ years of experience as a mother and a haberdasher, working with fabrics and materials for nearly all my working life, The Handmade Elephant was born in 2012. My aim was to fuse high-quality materials and great design with functionality to create beautiful, fashionable baby clothes. Despite having only been up and running for a short while, the response has been amazing which has only spurred me on to create more items and expand. Starting with local fairs and events, weekends became a time for the business to spread its name. Persistence through the hot summer days and snowy winter evenings helped build the loyal customer base I still have today. In summer 2018, I found premises and after weeks of painting, flat pack constructing, and sewing stock, The Handmade Elephant shop was ready to open its doors.
With shop sign fitted, window display arranged and cupcakes in arms, September 8th, 2018 marked day one of a new chapter for the business...and I haven't looked back since.
Although, the pandemic of 2020 may have forced us to shut our doors temporarily, it's given us a chance to recharge and come back fighting strong. During the UK lockdown, many of our followers got in touch wanting to know how they could get their hands on the fabric we use for all our gorgeous clothing. With people now at home wanting to try out a new hobby or skill, we diversified and started selling fabric and haberdashery supplies. The nations 'give it a go' attitude meant we soon outgrew the facilities at our South Wigston store and relocated to The Arcade in Wigston Magna's shopping centre. Now we provide a range of knitting and sewing equipment as well as jersey, cotton, sweasthirting and softshell fabrics.
The Handmade Elephant has already come so far and I still have so many ideas on where I would like to be in a few years time.
While I will continue to stand at local fairs and events, The Handmade Elephant shop is ever-expanding its range of products.
Pop store to see the full selection.