Chantelle, 31, from London, is a Prince's Trust supported entrepreneur and founder of Sew Lit, a crafting company. She is supporting The Great Create with Goodwill Ambassador Fearne Cotton.
Chantelle started Sew Lit so that she could work flexibly around the needs of her daughter who is severely visually impaired. Sewing is Chantelle’s therapy and the need for beauty and comfort encouraged her to turn her hobby into a business and get involved with The Great Create.
"Sewing had been my therapy for a long time. Being a mother and a carer, I felt as if my identity had been lost. As well as keeping on top of hospital appointments and caring duties, I was also experiencing domestic violence. Sewing was a safe space where I could make something that had an end result, even when my external circumstances seemed to have no end.
"Crafting is a way of letting myself be free. We’re so routine-focused these days but, when being creative, you’re free of those boundaries. Nobody even has to see what you create and that’s one of the most powerful things.
"It’s hard to juggle everything as a mother and as my daughter’s full-time carer. I felt really boxed in. Employers wouldn’t allow me the flexibility I needed and I felt that starting my own business might allow me more balance. I was anxious but signed up to The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme. The programme was so invigorating. It was a challenge, but I love challenges.
"A quote or scripture embroidered onto a cushion can be there when you don’t know what to say or don’t have support. You can cry into it, throw it or simply hug it close. I didn’t have support, I had to fight to survive and needed to find these little pockets of solace.
"The fact that The Great Create focuses on mental health was really important to me. I don’t really speak about my mental health but know that Sew Lit evolved from the need to take myself out of an overwhelming situation. I would love to host a Great Create party!"