Meet Amanda Stevenson!

By yvettecrossstit..., Fri, 2014-03-28 13:05
Meet Amanda Stevenson!

We chat to Amanda Stevenson, the creative brain behind Riverdrift House’s fabulous charts and kits, and brand new designer for Crazy!


How did you get into designing cross stitch charts?
I always loved crafts from a young age, and continued to explore this when I went on to study Fashion Design at college. Afterwards, I worked as a commercial designer in the arts and crafts field, but designing for my own cross stitch brand was always something I meant to do eventually. My dream finally came true in 2010 when I set up Riverdrift House!
Who or what inspires you?
It has to be the simple pleasures of everyday life, from birdsong to a favourite teapot or a blue sky. I also find myself absorbed by tiny decorative details in anything visually pleasing. Nowadays though, I get the greatest inspiration from all the customers we hear from, telling us their stitching stories, ideas and requests. Without all of this fantastic support, there would be no Riverdrift House.
Can you describe your typical working day to us?
Our customers come first, so all their orders are prepared in the morning, ready for posting, then we work on packing boxes of kits for our trade customers. Next, my staff members will pack for the stock room while I go off to answer any enquiries we’ve had. I spend the late afternoon and evenings working on new designs and catching up with admin, often working until 10pm, when I’ll finally sit down with the news and my own stitching for an hour!
How long does it take to create one of your samplers?
A smaller sampler of around 200 stitches square (measuring roughly 40x40cm (15x15in) when stitched on 14-count aida) takes around three hours. Projects I design to meet a brief, or for a specific subject, will often take me around 10-15 hours, depending on the amount of research required. It then takes another few hours to make up the chart and design the packaging, then a final hour to check through it all before we can begin production.
When you’re not designing, what do you enjoy doing?
I love spending time with my family, and gazing at the bit of Cornwall which is 
right outside our windows!
What’s the best thing about being a cross stitch designer?
Definitely signing off a new project that I know is going to bring other people pleasure. And the worst thing is having to stop to go to sleep at night!
Tell us what’s in store for Riverdrift House in 2014!
2014 is shaping up to be very exciting, with lots more new cross stitch kits in the pipeline! We moved to new premises in January, which has given us much more space, including a beautiful new showroom and meeting room. We’re planning to use these for product shoots, as well as trialling a new workshop programme so people can learn new craft skills. We’re also hoping to revive the greetings cards side of the business, and later this year we’ll be launching Riverdrift Christmas House. So, we’re going to be extremely busy! 
This interview originally featured in issue 188 of Crazy, along with Amanda's gorgous spring sampler, exclusive to Crazy! Click here to buy a copy, or click here to check out Amanda’s full range of charts and kits
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