38-year-old lawyer, who started her cross stitch business, is now expected to generate over £1million in business

A mother-of-two who quit her job as an employment lawyer to start a cross-stitch business is set to make £1million in business next year.

Sally Wilson, 38, who lives in Warwickshire, founded Caterpillar Cross Stitch while on maternity leave in 2015, starting with £2,000 in savings and a small office in the storage room of the family home.

In her first year, Sally only earned £600. But now, seven years later, Sally has a large warehouse, a staff of six, is stocked in National Trust stores and has generated over £800,000 in the past 12 months.

Sally Wilson, 38, who lives in Warwickshire, founded Caterpillar Cross Stitch while on maternity leave in 2015, starting with £2,000 in savings and a small office in the storage room of the family home. She is now expected to achieve a turnover of £1m next year

“It’s been the most exciting and fulfilling journey and I’m so grateful it turned out like this,” she told FEMAIL.

Sally, who had worked in big city law firms, in the public sector and in smaller firms, said she realized she wanted more creativity in her daily life.

Growing up, her family was artistic and she spent her childhood exploring paper crafts, embroidery and cake decorating with her mother and grandmother. Sally discovered cross stitch when she was only eight years old.

After the birth of her daughter, Felicity, now eight, Sally realized it was the perfect opportunity to pursue a new passion.

While decorating the nursery, she realized that the cross-stitch market was old-fashioned and used stereotypical colors, like pink and blue, and typical patterns, like teddy bears and animals.

She wanted to make her daughter’s room cool and minimalist and saw a gap in the market to make cross stitch more modern.

From strength to strength: In her first year, Sally only earned £600.  But now, seven years later, Sally has a large warehouse, a staff of six, is stocked in National Trust stores and has generated over £800,000 in the past 12 months.  Pictured, in his office

From strength to strength: In her first year, Sally only earned £600. But now, seven years later, Sally has a large warehouse, a staff of six, is stocked in National Trust stores and has generated over £800,000 in the past 12 months. Pictured, in his office

Bright and beautiful: an example of one of Caterpillar Cross Stitch designs

Bright and beautiful: an example of one of Caterpillar Cross Stitch designs

Other companies used obvious color palettes, but Sally wanted to think outside the box, for example suggesting hot pink and blue for a Halloween range.

‘I said to myself “it’s time!” It was one of those light bulb moments where he ticked all the boxes because it was something I was so passionate about,” she said.

“I never wanted to go back or regret it at all. I think you know in your heart when you made the right decision.

While her newborn daughter was napping in the afternoon, Sally took an e-commerce course. She also had a fashion class and a photography class under her belt and used all that experience to start her business.

She bought a camera and initial supplies with £2,000 in savings from her law career.

Modern take on a traditional hobby: a Caterpillar cross stitch pattern filled with detail.

Modern take on a traditional hobby: a Caterpillar cross stitch pattern filled with detail.

When business grew, the children moved into the same room, and Sally moved into her son’s old room to make room for the new stock.

It has gone from strength to strength and Caterpillar Cross Stitch is expected to generate over £1million in 2023. It has reached over 35,000 followers on Instagram and over 23,000 subscribers on YouTube.

The entrepreneur hopes that Caterpillar Cross Stitch will one day become the world’s leading cross stitch brand.

But starting her own business also came with challenges, as the entrepreneur had to balance her career ambitions with being the mother of Felicity and Hugo and the wife of her husband Tim.

Sally said she never had a time when she wasn’t working as she ran a business while homeschooling two young children.

She said: “There have been a lot of sacrifices and I have to accept that I can’t do it all. I’m not the perfect mother and I’m not the perfect CEO.

“It was also emotionally challenging because I wanted to be home all the time as a new mum.”

Jon J. Epps