WEST BOYLSTON — Michelle Hutchins has loved sewing since she was 10 and took her first lesson at the old Singer store in the Auburn mall.
But starting your own business came from a tough time.
“I was laid off from my office job five and a half years ago. While I was looking for a new job, I got Christmas presents,” she said. “My friends and family saw my items and started ordering. I posted on my Facebook page and people bought. That’s when I decided to open my Etsy shop, etsy.com/shop/EmbroideredandMore.”
That’s when his business was born.
She offers embroidery services, mainly on towels, blankets, pillows, aprons, masks and more.
“I don’t work with clothes much, although sometimes someone asks me to sew the back of their denim jacket or something similar,” she said. “I discovered embroidery when I wanted to personalize an item I was making. I immediately fell in love with the art. I have gone from a small Singer sewing machine to three high-end machines in the past five years.”
She first started her business with a friend from a breast cancer support group, but branched out on her own.
“I love working from home; it’s easy to get along with my boss,” she laughed. “And I can help my daughter with my grandson on school-free days and during the COVID shutdown. He’s in college now, but still gets off the bus at my house and I love being able to spend that time with him. When I’m extremely busy, I even put it several times to cut threads.”
Her 79-year-old mother also helps out a few times a week.
“She loves going out and I love having her help and enjoying her company,” Hutchins said.
Hutchins has also built a local following via a Facebook page that she and her friend Lori Rist co-moderate, West Boylston and Surroundings Handmade For Sale.
She said she started this group for several reasons
“I’m sure my friends were tired of seeing my ‘for sale’ posts, neighboring pages prefer not to have sale posts, that’s understandable, and I wanted a group where myself and other creators local artisans could publish our items,” she said. . The group has over 12,000 members. “It’s a friendly, positive environment with lots of active members. Many local artisans are posting their items on the page now, and we continue to reach out to locals when we see them posting in the yard sale and similar groups. are some unique items and very talented craftsmen.”
Hutchins said one of its big sellers is towels, especially children’s bath towels with patterns. She created images such as sirens and fire trucks with the child’s name on them.
“My biggest sellers all year on Etsy are my ‘Happy Camper’ towels and my ‘Makeup’ washcloths,” she said. “My biggest seller locally has been tea towels and tea towels that have the ‘Entering West Boylston’ sewn on it – just like the sign -. I also sell a lot of tea towels and tea towels with midgets on them. People love these little guys .”
Hutchins said she also gets a lot of custom orders, some of which she says out loud.
“Some I guess are inside jokes and some are really silly. It’s always interesting,” she said.
The easiest way to fund Hutchins embroidery work is to