My Name is Sarah Anne Lightowler-Ward and I am the owner and 'make & doer' at Sweet Chilli Onions. so named after my favourite sandwich filling hummmm yummy!
I am from the UK and started my business there in a little town called Tadcaster in North Yorkshire in 2012. I moved to Australia in November last year with my husband to experience 'something new' and
currently I live in Forest Lake, South Brisbane.
I make a variety of items, predominantly children's soft toys but I love crafting and also do hand drawn, sewn & painted cards, cushions, bunting (both card and fabric), toy bags and play mats.
I learnt to sew at secondary school and have always love drawing and crafting but it's always been a bit of a hobby. I studied hard at university and (somehow) became a construction project manager (which I love). But it was whilst doing a job which involved me travelling a lot which resulted in me becoming poorly and having to take some time off that I really thought about doing something less stressful. so I created Sweet Chilli Onions.
I needed to focus on something that I thoroughly enjoyed and I'd always made birthday and Christmas cards, cushions and gifts for family and friends, so I started to craft other things too, and eventually I was attending craft fairs and selling via Facebook and Etsy.
When I moved to Australia I really struggled with missing my family and friends, so I started crafting again and really got into making soft toys and dolls. It is still a hobby as I work in the shop fitting industry over here but my aim is to eventually make a real go of my business and hopefully have a life full of loveliness and crafting every day!
I currently sell my products via my Facebook page, Etsy shop and of course The Handmade Expo! I make one offs and make anything to order! I also make from set patterns plus my own, for example my floor cushion softies are all my own patterns.
The most rewarding part of being a crafter is the appreciation from your customers, wether they are a 3 year old girl of a 50 year old man buying cushions for his wife. I love knowing that they enjoy something that I myself have thoroughly enjoyed making!
My favourite product has got to me my traditional squeaky deakie! My little sister had one when we were young and we had no idea where it went, so I made her one. its a product that has a lot of fun memories tied to it and it's such a simple toy!
I hope you enjoy my products as much as I enjoy creating them.