MEET THE OWNER:
Hi! My name is Alicia, and I'm owner of Handsome Stitchery! As a young 26 year old mother and wife I have a passion for family, for preserving memories, and for helping others whenever possible. This is the story of how I got into the business of making personalized Memory Bears, Memory Quilts, In Memory Of gifts and started helping others by creating grief support gifts for moms, children and everyone who misses a loved one.
I've always been a community oriented person. I was raised in a ethnic Doukhobor family, which is in itself a vanishing culture. As a child, I was told stories about the staff of life - bread, salt, and water. I was sung Russian pslams by my Babushka (grandmother) that I can't remember anymore.
When I was only 10 years old tragedy started to hit my family. My father, Babushka, and Dedushka (grandmother and grandfather) all passed away. Their deaths were only the beginning. By the time 3 years had passed 15 people in our family had died, and our family culture had been all but wiped out because of it.
This tragedy taught me that memories are precious, and that they easily fade when not preserved. Those stories I was told as a child are only left in my own memory now, and the Doukhobor teachings that were so important to my ancestors have faded away with their deaths.
I chose to create a career to help people preserve those memories. By making Memory Bears I knew I could do something good for people.
It is because of these experiences that I firmly believe that business should be all about doing well for others, not just doing well for yourself.
WHY MEMORY BEARS?
I knew I wanted to create a career where I could positively affect the lives of those around me.
I had been sewing clothes for my now 2.5 year old son, and I was also running a volunteer program creating burial gowns for children out of old wedding dresses (I still do this).
It was under the guidance of a dear friend that our Memory Bears were born, and it was been a wonderful journey ever since!
I've found that when you take something old from a loved one, and you give it back a face and a huggable body it can affect the recipient in profound and unanticipated ways. The joy people experience is truly why I do the work I do.
It has been my experience that Memory Quilts and pillows are also much appreciated personalized gifts for grief support. They become sentimental gifts that a mother will keep for a lifetime.