We love our members, so every month we feature one of them on the site and in the newsletter. This month, our featured member is Laurie Dolhan of Hook, Line & Tinker (@hooklinetinker) and Green Eyed Monstera (@greeneyesmonsterashop) in Nova Scotia, who gamely answered all our questions about her work and her life.
(P.S., not a member yet? What are you waiting for?)
Workshop: Describe your business in 10 words or less.
Laurie Dolhan: I design modern embroidery kits. That’s really all there is to it.
W: What was the first product you sold?
LD: The first thing I ever sold was a kit called Deep Dive. It's the one with the sperm whale. I had posted them to Etsy, and I was like, oh, we'll just see if anybody wants them. And it sold so fast — in the midst of all the email that you get when you first sign up to Etsy. I didn't even realize I had sold them. And they went to Ireland. I was like, oh my God, I'm an international seller!
W: What’s your latest innovation?
LD: I’ve started to not follow the same rules that I’ve always followed. Before, I always used two colours. Now I’m breaking all the rules with colour and making things a bit more challenging. I don't know if it's particularly innovative, but it's a change for me. And it's something that I'm really having fun with.
W: What’s something you’ve done in the past year that you’re proud of?
LD: We donate 5 percent of profits. Last year I donated $10,000 to Adsum for Women and Children to help end hunger and homelessness in our community, and this year I'm on track to do it again.
W: What’s something new that you’ve learned lately?
LD: I’ve started to meditate, which isn't something that I've ever been good at before. I've tried it and not had any success. I feel like I'm learning how to do it, and I'm doing it way more often. And through that, I have learned that I cannot do everything. My brain running everything simultaneously at one time is not a good thing. I really should not be celebrating my ability to multitask: I need to start looking at things in manageable bites.
W: What’s the most recent thing you’ve bought from another Canadian maker?
LD: I’m buying stuff all the time because we're running the shop! But I’m Christmas shopping for myself right now. I've been telling my husband that while we can't afford to buy an original, I really want a print by Jordan Bennett. He's a local Mi’kmaq artist and he’s world renowned, with amazing use of colour and form and shape. He’s incredibly talented. I'm just picking it out right now. I'm torn between three or four of them.
W: Can you describe your dream studio?
LD: Lots of light and lots of plants. But isn't that everybody's dream space? I mean, now we do have that. I'm really grateful to have our space. I feel like you can never have too much natural light. Oh, and people. My ideal studio also has people in it that actually make me laugh. I'm lucky I have that too.
W: What’s one book, movie, TV show, magazine, podcast or album that you’re loving right now?
LD: I'm editing back my bookshelves and I came across this book that I read a long time ago, and I couldn't remember any of the story. I've just picked it up and I'm starting to read it again and remember why I loved it. It's Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels. She's a Canadian writer, but she's not really a novelist. She's a poet who wrote a novel about a poet. So it reads beautifully — the language is really stellar. It's going to take me a long time to read it because it's one of those ones where you have to digest each paragraph because the writing is so lovely.