Hello, I'm Claire Brown, founder, designer and maker at The Bellwether (formerly known as Miso Funky). I've been around since 2005 designing cross stitch homewares and accessories for the modern age, as well as producing kits and patterns.
I've contributed to several books and magazines on the topic of cross stitch and modern craft and I'm also co-founder of the UK's most popular kawaii blog, Super Cute Kawaii.
When I'm not doing that, I also work as a production manager at a fancy-pants TV company, walk my massive Labrador and, just occasionally, sleep.
The journey so far...
Some time in the mid '80s - Taught to knit at primary school. Get to grips with the basics of cross stitch. Bombard parents with wonky handmade gifts. Decide that ponies are far more worthy of my attention than craft.
1991 - Gain needlework badge at Girl Guides with a cross stitch spectacle case (possibly through bribery).
1993 - Make a terribly squint apron in Home Economics class. Give up delusions of becoming domestic goddess.
2001 - Pick up cross stitch for the first time since school. Cross stitch a mouse in a hat on the beach. Put it in a drawer and forget about it - cross stitch is too twee for me.
2004 - Re-learn to knit along with my friend, Jo. Knit lots of scarves. People start to ask where we got them. An idea is born.
2005 - Bored at work one day, Jo and I hit on the name Miso Funky for our fledgling craft business. Book our first craft fair, which is deemed a moderate success.
2006 - Put the feelers out and discover a whole community of frustrated designer-makers in Glasgow who are crying out for an event to sell their work at - the Miso Funky market is born and our first market at Hillhead Library is a rip-roaring success.
2007 - Founded Glasgow Craft Mafia with some of our new crafting friends. Get our first press big break in Sunday Times Style magazine. The Miso Funky market goes from strength to strength in various locations in Glasgow and Edinburgh and we attend events as far afield as Newcastle and Belfast. Audition for Who Wants To Be A Millionaire but don't get through.
2008 - Big changes as I move to Thailand for a large part of the year, Miso Funky becomes a one-man operation and cross stitch becomes the main focus of the business. Wind up Miso Funky market to concentrate on world domination.
2009 - Take part in a documentary by Enterprise Nation and am featured in their book Working 5-9. Take part in several exhibitions around the UK.
2010 - Contribute to this book. Have the busiest year since Miso Funky records began. Move into a dedicated workspace then move back to my home office - I'm a home girl at heart.
2011 - Exhibit at my first trade fair and my first Renegade Craft Fair.Pass my driving test. Acquire a house in the country and a dog and level up on the game of Life.
2012 - Exhbiit at my first London trade fair. Win Most Shared rosette in February's Blog & Buy Sale. Design my first piece for Cross Stitcher magazine. Work on several collaborations with some really cool designers.
2013 R.I.P Miso Funky. Vive The Bellwether!