We first started Stitch & Bitch back in June 2015, our group consisted of four friends who met every other Wednesday (and still do, although there have been a few changes along the way). Our fortnightly get togethers quickly became something we all looked forward to, so we decided to try and bring Stitch & Bitch to the masses!
Our first attempt at hosting a second Stitch & Bitch at my home fell flat on it's face. So many people had suggested that they would like the opportunity to join our group, but when it came to it, no-one turned up. We found this a bit deflating, but it taught us a valuable lesson that sometimes people like "the idea" of doing something more than actually doing it.
A fair amount of time went by before we decided to give it another shot, this time our new Stitch & Bitch sessions would take place in a nice bar in the middle of our closest city. We spoke to the bar managers who were keen to host our event and even managed to get a bit of a following of people who said they would come along! However, two nights before the first event all but one of the potential attendees backed out. Again, this was very deflating and we almost gave up.
Then in June this year whilst walking our little dog, the other half spotted a building which we'd always thought was not in use. We did a bit of digging around and found that it belonged to the council, had recently been renovated and was available for regular hire. We booked the venue, advertised on facebook and a few weeks later had our first community Stitch & Bitch session. We were over the moon when eight people turned up! The evening went well and everyone said they'd see us at our next get together. However a fortnight later, full of anticipation, we were so disheartened when only one of the eight people who had attended our initial session returned. One of them had taken off with my pattern book and at least two others were members of another group and seemingly were only there to scope us out. We were so grateful to our solitary returning group member, but I'm sure you can imagine how disappointed we were to feel that all our efforts had gone unappreciated by so many and also to feel so undermined by others.
We didn't let it put us off. We had another two sessions where only two people attended (both have become firm friends) we were about to give up when we decided to run an ad in the local weekly advertiser....
....BEST DECISION EVER! We had a great response and our numbers have been far healthier ever since! We've increased the frequency of our sessions to weekly and we're creating a friendly, sharing craft community in our little town. We're so fortunate to have such a lovely group and have made some wonderful friends! Contrary to the name of our sessions, there has been no bitching at Stitch & Bitch whatsoever, but we love the title we gave our sessions, it is simply too good to give up!
A few short months later and we're headed to Lytham before the year is out to launch our Stitch & Bitch sessions there too! We have secured an amazing venue in Lytham which is run by people who are friendly and enthusiastic, two values we are proud to share! We can't wait to share our ideas with a wider audience and hope that we're able to use our informal supportive teaching methods to teach people new skills along the way.
The future is looking promising for seriously.hooked.up. in addition to our Lytham sessions, we have been offered space at a central location in Lancaster to hold our sessions there and are also in talks with a number of other companies about bringing our inclusive, welcoming franchise to many more people.