Bears keep baby memories alive
Your name: Jane Hext. Name of business: Titchy. What do you do? Based in Macclesfield, I specialise in designing and making unique hand-made gifts and keepsake bears. I make grandparent keepsakes and family keepsakes - designed using clothing from every member of the family – but my core business comes from mummies who can’t bear to part with their children’s outgrown baby clothes. We’re generally a sentimental bunch and our children’s clothes hold so many memories! There’s that first outfit they wore home from the hospital, their first school uniform, first football kit. People – just like me – love to keep these special clothes, and it seems such a shame to box them up and store them away out of sight. By turning people’s special clothing into keepsake bears, packed full of all their wonderful memories, they can be enjoyed and cherished for many years to come. What do you think sets your service apart from the rest? There are a lot of hours that go into making a Titchy Keepsake Bear, from the initial design, to all the embroidery and hand-detailing that gives each bear its finished and individual look. I work closely with my clients to ensure any special requests are incorporated into the design of their Titchy Keepsake Bear, but one of the main things that really make my bears stand out is the way I work with the cherished items of clothing. Pockets, buttons, straps, frills, all look fabulous when incorporated into the design and provide a nice reminder of what the gorgeous fabric once was. How long have you been in the business? Almost 12 months now and I can’t believe how fast the time has gone! 30 bears later, an order book which is now full until 2015 and commissions from all over the UK, Singapore, USA and China. It’s been an amazing first year! What’s the best thing about Macclesfield? The people; I’ve only lived in Macclesfield for the past four years and in that time I’ve made some really lovely friends. Where is your favourite place in Macclesfield? Macclesfield Forest. We’re so lucky to have such beautiful countryside on our doorstep. What’s the funniest or most unusual thing to have happened while you’ve been in the business? The most unusual thing to happen was probably when I received an enquiry from a lady in America. Initially I thought she’d made a mistake and hadn’t realised I was in the UK – not Macclesfield, North Carolina. Bear and doll-making is very popular in the States, with the art of turning clothes into keepsake bears originating over there. So I felt very special when she commissioned me to make her keepsake bear. It was a nerve-racking time waiting for her precious clothing to arrive safely and then again as her Titchy Keepsake Bear travelled home. If you could have anyone visit your business/buy from you, who would it be and why? It would have to be the Beckhams! I would love to make one of my Titchy Family Bears using a selection of their stunning outfits. Do you have any events coming up? Me and some Titchy Keepsake Bears will be at the Baby and Children’s Market on Sunday September, 14, at the Tytherington Club from 10am to 12 noon.
Jane Hext: mobile 07850 221734, www. titchy.net, www. facebook.com/titchy.net.
●● Jane Hext’s business ‘Titchy’ specialises in designing and making unique hand-made gifts and keepsake bears using children’s outgrown baby clothes