WOMEN'S DAY SERIES: Hipster Stitcher (Alina)

Posted by Amanda Cockburn on

What women support and inspire you on your career path or in your business? My grandma taught me to embroider (along with other things like baking) and I have always been amazed at how skilled she is at so many things. I love that I now have this business based on something that was passed down to me through my family. I have also been so inspired by all the women small business owners I have met along the way - there is a true sisterhood out there building each other up, and it is so inspiring to see and to have met so many amazing people this way. 

What gender specific challenges, stereotypes or barriers have you had to overcome during your career (or in your business)? I think sometimes it is really hard as a woman who is also a mother to focus on anything that is not your kids. When I first started embroidery as a hobby, I sorely needed it coming off my third maternity leave, and yet I felt guilty for wanting time just for myself. Since becoming aware of this I have actively worked to challenge these kinds of ideas and focus on the pride I feel when my kids see me doing something I love. 
Where are you feeling empowered (or disempowered) in your own woman's story and has covid19 amplified this for you? I would say starting my embroidery business has been really empowering. I feel comfortable in my skin sharing my passion with others. I feel engaged, passionate, and knowledgeable in my business. Since COVID-19, my family suffered a loss and this was also a therapeutic escape for me. 
How have your female networks and companionships supported you through the past year? I have been so surprised how kind and supportive most people are - I think the thing that stands out most to me is a leading "competitor" in my field who I reached out to with a question then suggested a phone discussion with me and then answered all my questions. She gained nothing from it and just did it out of the kindness of her heart, but it was immensely helpful for me and I was so touched.
Covid19 has disproportionately affected women (taking on a heavier burden at home and with childcare in lockdowns). How can we support other women as we start the social and economic recovery process? Support a small business. So many are owned by women and so many women poor their heart and soul into their side businesses. Buying from a small shop puts a smile on someone's face that you just don't get to provide shopping at a chain! 
And be kind to each other - it has been hard on everyone. Try not to judge others as we are all being the best we can be in a difficult situation. 
What would you tell your younger self (in career or business)? What do you wish you had known or not spent so much time worrying about? There are all different definitions of success and paths to it. Don't be afraid to think outside the box in defining a version of success that works for you.
We've all had that moment in our business where we wanted to quit... what was that moment for you, and how did you keep going? We all have those days where we feel this way, when there are just more setbacks than wins to the business that day. Having a small business means facing lots of challenges and setbacks (but also the highest highs), so when I am feeling down I try to keep going on and focus on the parts of the business I love - getting back in touch with my creativity and creating a new product is often a good one to lift my spirits.

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