With a career in TV since 1979, some would say that Debbie Shore is a veteran. Catching the sewing bug at an early age, Debbie learnt the tricks of the trade from her mum who was a dressmaker.
Congrats on being chosen as a Super Crafter! What might our readers not know about your journey into the world of sewing?
Thank you! I’m quite the accidental sewer! My mum was a dressmaker and let me play with fabrics in her sewing room, making my version of ‘couture’ for my teenage dolls and teddies. I began stitching my own clothes at an early age, then when I had my own home I fell in love with home décor, curtains, swags and tails, cushion covers, tablecloths and chair covers, and I enjoyed (and still do) changing colour schemes and styles. My career has been in TV, since 1979, my hobby and career came together when I worked as a presenter for Ideal World when they started selling sewing machines.
What was the real turning point in your career? Was it a particular product launch, commission or a piece of publicity?
About ten years ago, I approached Search Press with an idea for a book, my nineteenth has just published, Sewing Room Secrets, and I have four more coming out this year! I became so busy with the sewing that I left my presenting job to concentrate more on products, books and fabrics.
What is it about your job that you love so much?
Working from home! People often say they would find it difficult when there are so many distractions, I find it difficult to stop working. Having a studio in my home means work is always there, and there’s always a deadline to meet. I start at around 6am and finish at 7pm. However, if it’s a lovely day I can take my work outside, and always make time for a break to walk my dog, Bobbin.
If you weren’t a full-time crafter and businesswoman, what job do you think you’d be doing?
I’d still be presenting on TV, popping up in commercials and the occasional appearance in the soaps, although my first job was as a bank clerk so maybe I’d still be in an office!
Congratulations on winning Favourite Social Media Influencer in the International Craft Awards 2018, why are these awards so important to you and why is this category so crucial to your work?
I was over the moon to receive this one, I’ve worked so hard on my YouTube channel, giving lots of information and advice as well as over 150 projects. I make a point of replying or acknowledging every comment from all over the world. Social media is so important these days not just to promote your products but to communicate with the very people who keep you in business. I also think it’s quite cool for an oldie like me to have such a trendy award!
If you could go back to ten years ago, what advice would you give yourself?
Take your time, take a break, and always read the small print!
Do you think it’s more about WHO you know, instead of WHAT you know? Were there any people who played a big part in your success?
In my business, it’s mainly about what you know, to be able to share knowledge, teach and design means you have to have the skills to do these things. I have a small group of companies I choose to work with, who are all both skilled and trustworthy. I work with my husband and daughter who are both incredibly supportive. But the main people who play a part in my success are my followers and customers, there really wouldn’t be any point without them!
Where do you see your career in five years time? Are there any goals that you’d still like to achieve?
I would like to concentrate more on my subscription website, Half Yard Sewing Club, to build up memberships worldwide. I also have a few more ranges of fabrics I’m designing for the Craft Cotton Company and plenty of book ideas. If I’m still in this exact position in five years time I’ll be very happy.
And finally… can you tell us the secret to your success!?
Perseverance. No matter how many times things have gone wrong or how negative others could be, I believed in myself. And I really enjoy my work!
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