We in­ter­view Nikki Székely

From sim­ple sam­plers to com­plex graph­ics, Nikki Székely has a pat­tern to suit ev­ery stitcher. She tells us all about her many de­sign in­spi­ra­tions

Cross Stitcher - - Contents - In­ter­view by Katie Allen www.etsy.com/shop/NikkiPat­tern

From a leafy Bu­dapest sub­urb, Nikki Székely pro­duces some of our favourite mod­ern cross stitch de­signs. With a back­ground in fash­ion, she later swapped ac­coun­tancy for the hand­made life – even in­spir­ing her two sons to take up cross stitch. This clever, cre­ative lady, whose English sur­passes our very best at­tempts at Hun­gar­ian, told us all about her mis­sion to spread the love of stitch… Lovely to meet you Nikki. Can you in­tro­duce your­self to our read­ers?

I live with my hus­band and my two sons in a cosy sub­urb of Bu­dapest. De­spite be­ing close to a city, we are sur­rounded by na­ture – we love to ride our bi­cy­cles and we all go rollerblad­ing to­gether.

When­ever I can, I go in the gar­den and look at my favourite flow­ers. I love to read sat on the swing­ing bench and to work in our small veg­etable patch. We are also hop­ing to get a new puppy this year!

Do your fam­ily help with your work?

My hus­band has been help­ing me with my work from the be­gin­ning. He in­tro­duced me to com­puter graph­ics and com­puter de­sign. I can­not ask him any ques­tions that he is not able to an­swer – and my ques­tions are pretty end­less!

My sons are my best idea-mak­ers and crit­ics. They are very hon­est – like kids in gen­eral. If they do not like [one of my de­signs], they in­form me about it with­out any sugar-coat­ing!

Have you al­ways been cre­ative?

Yes. Even when I was a child, I was al­ready at­tracted to beau­ti­ful clothes, which is why I went on to study Fash­ion De­sign, Mod­el­ing and Sewing in high school. To­day I like to ex­per­i­ment with all dif­fer­ent kinds of crafts – and I hope my de­signs will en­cour­age oth­ers to do the same.

What is it that you love about cross stitch in par­tic­u­lar?

Cross stitch em­broi­dery is a

Cross stitch is a won­der­ful hobby be­cause it is sooth­ing and ex­cit­ing at the same time

won­der­ful hobby be­cause it is sooth­ing and ex­cit­ing at the same time. The joy of CRAFT­ING: it is easy for any­one to learn.

Even my sons have shown in­ter­est – they em­broi­dered Christ­mas presents for their grand­moth­ers and they did it with great en­thu­si­asm.

What in­spired you first to start your stitch busi­ness?

Be­fore my sons were born, I worked for a large multi­na­tional com­pany as an ac­coun­tant. I liked it, but I felt I needed a lit­tle more cre­ativ­ity and self-reliance. It was my dream to have a job that is my hobby as well – which was ful­filled by de­sign­ing cross stitch.

I feel very lucky to have come into con­tact with so many kind and cre­ative peo­ple through do­ing needle­work. I am very ex­cited by the fact that this com­mon hobby al­lows me to con­nect with peo­ple who are liv­ing thou­sands of kilo­me­tres away. It gives me great hap­pi­ness when cus­tomers share with me won­der­ful pic­tures of their com­pleted work.

We love your de­signs for ba­bies – what makes a good de­sign for a child do you think?

My de­signs for ba­bies are also one of my favourites. The ar­rival of a baby is a won­der­ful event in the life of a fam­ily. Good de­signs, I think, are just like chil­dren: cute, kind and joy­ful! I al­ways make the de­signs colour­ful and fun – a cheer­ful en­vi­ron­ment is al­ways in­spi­ra­tional for chil­dren, I think.

Your de­signs are all very var­ied. What in­spires them?

I think it’s im­por­tant to pro­vide a wide va­ri­ety of de­signs, whether you are a be­gin­ner or are an ad­vanced em­broi­derer.

Na­ture al­ways in­spires me, and I like to make pat­terns that ra­di­ate vi­brant, pul­sat­ing life. I have no­ticed that since I started work­ing full-time on cross stitch my thoughts con­stantly fo­cus on the evo­lu­tion of pat­tern: a nice colour or in­ter­est­ing shape can spark an idea. Lis­ten­ing to mu­sic also has a pos­i­tive im­pact. I also love fin­ger-paint­ing artist Iris Scott, tex­tile artist Sarah Symes and Derek Gores, who makes col­lage art.

But, of course, what mo­ti­vates me the most is when my de­signs are well re­ceived.

Do you have a favourite pat­tern in your de­sign col­lec­tion?

The baby an­i­mals se­ries at the mo­ment! I also had to make sure there were Star Wars-themed pat­terns – as a mother of boys, I have ex­pe­ri­enced first-hand their love of the films!

What are your hopes for your busi­ness in the fu­ture?

I have so many ideas in my mind – hope­fully I will have the op­por­tu­nity to man­i­fest them in real life! I plan to con­tinue to ex­pand my range in my shop, but also I hope more and more peo­ple will dis­cover that hand sewing is one of the finest vis­ual arts that there is.

Nikki’spat­tern­sare­aneclec­tic mixof­style­sand­sub­ject­sand eacha­reavail­able­forin­stant down­load­onEtsy.

Nikki­is­apro­lific de­signer, with over400charts cre­at­ed­to­date.

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