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Updated: Jan 30

Hi, I’m Helen, owner and chief stitcher at Sparrow Road Handmade. I make a range of reusable goodies and gifts from my home, in Salford. I am currently stocked at the Made Local Pop-Up at John Lewis in The Trafford Centre (ends Sunday 11th July) and within Groceries and Beer in Sale.

The ethos of Sparrow Road is that no action is too small to make a difference, and that we can all do our bit to look after our planet.

After working in the charity sector for many years, Sparrow Road started life as a maternity leave hobby after the birth of my first son. Like many new Mums, I felt like I’d lost a bit of my identity when I had a baby, and rediscovering my passion for sewing gave me a much needed creative outlet.

It was also at this time that I became aware of the vast amounts of single use waste that accompany a new baby, I was shocked and decided to make some changes. After becoming a firm convert to cloth nappies I decided to make my own wipes, a friend suggested I sell them on Etsy, so thinking I had nothing to lose - I set up my shop. Three years down the line I now run my business full time, selling online, at markets and most excitingly - at the Made Local Pop-Ups!

I first became aware of Curated Makers around the time lockdown started back in 2020. With in person events put on hold, I took part in the first Postable Pop Up and was blown over by the response - and the sense of community between the stall holders all taking part from their homes.

When Megan then asked me to take part in a Made Local Pop-Up in store over the Christmas 2020 period, in between lockdowns, I was absolutely over the moon! Seeing my products stocked in John Lewis Cheadle and Trafford Centre, and within General Stores, still feels pretty unbelievable, especially amongst such a range of talented makers and artists.

One of the things I have loved about being part Of the pop-ups, is the opportunity to work on the shop floor at Cheadle and Trafford Centre. The feedback from customers has always been so positive and I enjoy the look of surprise on people’s faces when they find out that the person serving them on the till, also made the product they are buying! I even had one customer go back and buy a second pack of make up pads after finding out I had made them, which was just so lovely.

I’ve met some brilliant people working with the other makers too. These have been really uncertain times for all of us, and the connections made with other small business owners have been a massive help as we’ve been able to turn to each other for advice, encouragement and even the odd collaboration.

Being involved with Curated Makers has been a fantastic experience. I’m thrilled to be part of such an amazing movement championing local makers and cannot wait to see what's in store next!

Helen posing with her products stocked in the Curated Makers Made Local Pop-Up in John Lewis Cheadle.

The Maker Experience: Helen from Sparrow Road Handmade


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