My name is Clare Ardali and I am the designer behind Peppermint Purple.
I have no creative educational background at all, in fact I read Maths at University. I do, however, think that mathematics and Blackwork & Cross Stitch are linked in some way. It's the symmetry, the flow and the fact that it is either right or wrong that I think appeals to me; and I have noted with interest how many members of my Facebook groups also have mathematical backgrounds. After completing my maths degree, I worked in London for many years in Investment Banking, specifically 'Money Market Derivatives' and supported & wrote the systems that these types of 'financial trades' are recorded on.
In 2010 I was awarded a contract to work for the Swedish bank SEB, which involved me flying weekly from London to Stockholm, and spending a couple of nights a week in a hotel room. Whilst I was there a friend of mine became pregnant, and I decided to pick up an old childhood passion of mine and stitch a birth announcement for them whilst in the hotel - it was huge and took forever, but it was soon followed by a cushion for my mother-in-law, and countless other stitches.
It was at this time that I stumbled upon a hobby called papercutting (which also resulted in a few gifts for others!). I joined some Facebook groups and saw a post asking for a specific papercut design.....and I was off..... laptop was out and thinking cap was on! I had created my first papercut template and decided to set up an Etsy shop to sell it (this was back in 2014). It was very much a hobby, and sales were just enough to cover the cost of running the shop, but I had found a love for designing.
Out of the blue, someone (and I should really go back and find this to credit them) asked me if I could create a cross stitch pattern from one of my papercut designs.......why, why, why had I not thought of this before?????? It literally combined my new found love of designing, and my old childhood hobby......and, from this random strangers query, Peppermint Purple, as it is today, was born.
All was going well with designing cross stitch, until I stumbled upon Blackwork in a book in my local library. An addiction came over me which I can only describe as all-consuming, and I now see patterns everywhere and whenever I think of designs, they tend to always now be blackwork. No matter how hard I looked I also couldn't find any designs that combined both cross stitch & blackwork, so I now do that in a lot of my designs.
Whilst I really loved my old job, I had a young family, and was exhausted. It was becoming clear that something had to give. With the support of my husband, I decided enough was enough and I left in 2017. I have been working on Peppermint Purple, full time, since then.
Why is it called Peppermint Purple?
How I came up with the name Peppermint Purple is something I get asked a lot. Whilst I now love the alliteration of the PP, and can't even imagine it being called anything else, it was pure serendipity that this name occurred.
I live in Old Windsor, UK, and nearby is another small village called Englefield Green. Englefield Green has a gorgeous florist shop called Tangerine & Green and I have always loved their name.
So, when I opened my Etsy shop, I was thinking along these lines, and was playing around with colours. I knew that I would also want my own website one day, and so I had to find an etsy shop name that had never been used, and a website url (address) that was available.....and it was whilst I was playing around, that I found that Peppermint Purple was available on both! Et Voila.......I had a brand new website url (although no website!), and an Etsy shop both called Peppermint Purple.
I run three Facebook groups which, if you are a member, I would love you to join. These groups are full of amazingly creative like-minded people from all over the world.
My Facebook page is PeppermintPurple
& on Instagram I am @peppermint.purple
So, I hope you have found this interesting, but that's enough about me.....
I hope you find everything you need on the website, but if not please do not hesitate to get in touch.