In November 2012, I was looking for a birthday present for my horror-film-loving friend. After searching around and drawing a blank, I decided to design something myself, and fell back on a skill I hadn’t used since childhood: cross stitch. I whipped up an Evil Dead themed cross stitch. And as the finished piece received such a good reception, I decided to pop the pattern up in an Etsy store. I was shocked that other people liked it but then even more shocked when people started buying the pattern. And it was from here that Pyro Dog Pins grew.
I started making cross stitch patterns that drew on all the things I love. So the store is now filled with a lot of designs based on horror and cult films and TV, especially Twin Peaks because there is nothing better than Agent Cooper and coffee. Sometimes I can spend many hours designing and stitching a pattern for it to not sell well, whilst others that I quickly create on a whim can sell amazingly. In that sense it’s quite unpredictable so I have always stuck with designing around the things I love. The biggest motivation has always been to create cross stitch patterns that attempt to turn the tide on the overwhelming abundance of fuzzy kitten and bunny patterns. It’s always great to talk to customers who are going to pick up cross stitch for the first time or after a long break because they have found one of my patterns that’s influenced by a cult 80s classic. Or want me to design a custom pattern for them; I have had an exciting array of requests from hot dogs to fossils, Steven Seagal to Edgar Allen Poe.
Whilst I started off with just a few core patterns, the shop has now grown to over 100 designs. And throughout this October, I am creating a new Halloween mini pattern each day. The advent of being able to offer instant downloads on my patterns is really what helped the shop to grow, as I have to fit it around my day job. So customers now have instant access without having to wait for me to finish work and send patterns out to them. It has also allowed me to be able to offer new products such as cross stitch kits so people can just buy everything they need to make up the designs and the finished products themselves; for those people who aren’t the biggest fans of sewing or just want something fun to gift.
The store can be quite time consuming but I am really a big fan of thinking about sewing and obviously cross stitch specifically in a different way. Much like other textile crafts, cross stitch tends to be pigeon-holed but it really allows you a myriad of possibilities to design anything you want, in what I think is quite a cool and stylized way. The unofficial tagline for Pyro Dog Pins has therefore become…