Posted in Indie Business

A New Dawn


A huddled heap of damp misery – that’s basically been business me until I reached my decision about closing The Bellwether. It was also poor Max last week at the dog launderette. Cute but fearful.And now, yay, joyful (and in the case of Max, not stinking like a stagnant pond).

I feel 1000% better about everything since unveiling my radical business closure plans. I’m feeling good about having time to do something else (after I finish the cushion I’m making for my cousin).


I’m also most amused by lots of people saying “Oh, I’m so gutted that you’re closing,” and so far restraining myself from replying “If you were that gutted, you’d have been buying stuff from me and we wouldn’t even be having this fucking conversation, pal”. When it comes to micro-businesses, like mine, the key for customers is very much use it or lose it. Even if that use is only sharing with friends, retweeting a link, etc – every little bit helps. So don’t bleat to me now that you’re sad when you haven’t shown any interest in it for the last 12 years, mofo. Make sure you cherish and support those businesses that you love. If my experience has taught me anything, it’s that even myself as a massive cheerleader for indie businesses needs to work much harder at that.

That was liberating to say out loud. So, tomorrow is the first day of the closing down festivities right here on the blog, so you’ll want to tune back in if you like free stuff. And if you’re an instagram user, you’ll want to make sure you are following me @tinyotterpaws. That’s all the clue you’re getting for now!



I’m Claire and I live near Glasgow, in Scotland. I have strong family ties to Cincinnati, too and regard it as my second home. If I had to describe myself in five words, it would be thus: Does. Not. Suffer. Fools. Gladly. I’ve been cross stitching pretty much all my life, but professionally since 2005, first as Miso Funky, then as The Bellwether and now under my own name. I'm known for my witty, sarcastic and occasionally profane typographic designs. My work has been featured in The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Channel 4 and on BBC television as well as numerous media outlets across the globe. At one point, I was kind of a big deal but I mostly just dabble in it these days when I have time. My website is a repositry of cross stitch charts, travel and food blogging and you'll find it at I also love to travel and eat, ideally travelling somewhere great to eat something brilliant. I'm fascinated by social history, particularly the Victorians and will absolutely beat you hands down in a quiz about the Tudors. Dogs are LIFE. I like being in water and have lots of ideas that will never see the light of day but would definitely be a winner on Dragon’s Den/Shark Tank. I love to give people gifts. I! also! overuse! exclamation! marks! sorry!

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