Lockdown Instagram cross stitch account leads Sheffield woman to pursue dream in memory of her mum

By Mary Walker

A Sheffield woman has opened her own shop after starting a cross-stitch business on Instagram during the 2020 lockdown which now has nearly 6000 followers.

Faith Nicholson, 33, has launched Annie Jude’s, an independent emporium in Hillsborough showcasing handmade items cherry-picked from small businesses across Sheffield, including the famous Henderson’s Relish merchandise.

It was when she was selling her lockdown cross stitch creations that Faith formed friendships with other like-minded Sheffield creatives, all of whom shared the same dream as her, selling their creations full time. 

The name of the shop is in commemoration of Faith’s mum, Judith Anne, who passed away in April after a short battle with pancreatic cancer. Judith wanted her daughter to pursue her dream and left her the money to ensure she did.

Speaking of her new adventure, Faith said: “I hope it can be as welcoming, warm, supportive and community-minded a place as she was as a person.”

Faith Nicholson outside her business on Middlewood Road

Faith has been sharing her journey with followers on her Crossstitchgoddess Instagram account, often posting small video updates of the renovations and all the trials and tribulations that come with opening a business.

In the final week of renovations, there were mishaps aplenty as the building saw issue after issue, leading to Faith making the decision to open despite having no working electrics. The self-confessed Henderson’s Relish addict is currently using a borrowed petrol generator and an abundance of lamps to keep the shop lit. 

Faith hasn’t been alone in the journey though. She said: “The community have been fantastic. Every day someone new has been round to the shop with hot food and drink and blankets to keep me warm. Everyone has been so welcoming.”

Fine Fettle is one of the ranges stocked in store. The Yorkshire-based sustainable business provides everything from handmade cloth wrapping paper to reusable sanitary towels, and regularly reminds her social media followers to join in with her ‘reuse, rethink, reform’ initiative.

Fine Fettle’s Holly Mitchell said: “In 2020 I saw a gap in the market as I began to make eco-friendly choices in my everyday habits. I hope that Fine Fettle encourages more people to make sustainable switches in their own lives, and I think Annie Jude’s is the perfect place to house my little creations and help the people of Sheffield make the switch.”

You can visit Annie Jude’s Tuesday to Saturday 10 am – 5 pm, and keep up to date with them online here.

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