Hello, it's me - THE Claire Brown!
Ever since I accidentally started another cross stitch business in spring 2020, I've wanted to make it a little bit different from what I've done before.
As you will know, being big Claire Brown XStitch fans, I've been in the cross stitch game as a professional since 2004, when I first started producing finished samplers, badges, coasters and DIY kits as Miso Funky and then latterly as The Bellwether.
I did a LOT of stitching right up to around 2017 when I wrapped it all up, having ran out of creative juices (but also because my very stressful job in broadcasting was slowly trying to kill me).
So when I bought too much aida for personal projects last year and suddenly found myself with a fabric collection bursting out of my spare room, it made sense to get back in the game I never truly left and here we are, nearly a year later, with the most successful business I've had to date!
The success of this business is largely down to YOU, of course - your discerning tastes in aida make it possible for me to carry on sourcing and dreaming up new and different prints to make YOUR cross stitch projects the best they can be.
I've discovered and re-discovered so many great new and established cross stitch designers in the past year and it got me thinking about how I could contribute to the cross stitch design community when I don't have time to do much designing myself any more.
So - introducing to you The Cross Over! This project is ALL about introducing you to what I've found - a diverse and exciting community of both professional and hobby cross stitchers who really have so much to offer.
How does it work?
I'll open applications periodically for applications from designers at all stages in their careers, from beginners to established brands.
You'll have the chance to show me what your idea is for utilising CBXS aida, whether it be a custom colour or shade, or an existing print, with your design and if chosen, here's what you'll receive:
- A quantity of free CBXS aida to help launch your design to the cross stitch market - whether it be a pattern or kit.
- Design featured on CBXS website and social media for an agreed period.
- Mutual promotion and support to unleash your creation on the world.
You'll retain full copyright and control over your designs at all times - there's no catch here! I just want to give back to the community that has served me so well over the (many!) years I've been part of it and contribute to the kindness economy.
This is not a new idea for me - it's been brewing for a long time and unofficially, the very first Cross Over happened last year, when I collaborated with Kate Blandford, whose work I've long admired, to produce aida for her Fan Fuckin' Tastic kit.
It was super fun to work with another designer to help launch something dear to their heart into the world, and watching the response to the finished article warmed my cold, dead heart. Here's what Kate said about her experience:
So, to chase that high, I wanna do it again!
I'm already working with the next designer who will be launching their design this Spring, so applications will be opening soon for the next stage of The Cross Over. I'm truly excited to be able to give this gift to designers and designs I believe in and love, so I look forwards to seeing your plans!
Anyone is eligible to apply - there are no restrictions on geographical location. The only other criteria that must be met is that you be over 18 years of age.
Your designs are your designs. You retain the copyright and full control of your designs at all times. Me muscling in on your intellectual property is not at all what this is about. It genuinely is just offering a helping hand!
I won't share your application details with anyone. If your application is unsuccessful, I won't share or use your ideas because that would be a total dick move on my part. Any discussions we enter into will be confidential - you'll be expected to agree to that, if your design is chosen.
Sign up to my newsletter so you don't miss applications opening! I'll be launching the next round of applications soon, so make sure you don't miss out by signing up to the newsletter here. CBXS newsletter subscribers will also receive exclusive access to the designs first, so you'll be in the know right away.