Every month in the Magazine, we chat to an entrepreneur who has taken her business all the way, giving up her (they have all been “her” so far, but if there are any men out there who feel their business would be interesting to readers, then please do get in touch ..) day job to concentrate full time on her own enterprise. This month we were delighted to welcome Jo Avery of myBearPaw
myBearpaw is a teaching studio and craft store in central Edinburgh that concentrates on teaching patchwork/quilting, embroidery, crochet and general sewing such as bags and soft furnishings. Their retail store is open just 2 days a week and they also have an online store where you can buy fabric, wool, kits and downloadable embroidery patterns, as well as book classes. Once a year the owner, Jo Avery, also organises a modern quilt retreat in Edinburgh called the Stitch Gathering.
Before she started myBearpaw Jo and her husband were running a small Scottish business that manufactured and sold a range of free-standing furniture for kitchens and bedrooms as well as a large range of homewares and gifts. But a few years ago, this business began to struggle and Jo and her husband ended up having to close down their factory and all but one of their shops. They did continue to retail homewares and gifts and Jo ran their Edinburgh shop full time. She’d started a craft blog in 2009, in part as an avenue for escaping from their business worries, and had become increasingly involved in sewing, crocheting as well as returning to quilting – which is how myBearPaw came about.
You can read the full history of Jo’s journey from kitchens, homewares and gifts to sewing and quilting in the October Magazine, it’s an inspirational story, revealing qualities of adaptability, flexibility and determination as well as a talent for hard work!
Thank you Jo for being a part of the October issue – we’d like to wish you and myBearPaw the very best of luck for the future! You can keep up-to-date with all the myBearPaw news over on Jo’s Facebook page and check out her images over on Instagram.