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
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.