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Meet Our Founders - Kim Searle

We sat down for a chat about Kim's experiences working as a creative workshop leader and her role as a Director of our collective. Read on to find out more.

Along side her work with Thread Republic, Kim runs Darn it! Workshops - delivering craft and art workshops for all ages focusing on sustainability, well-being and fun through making.

Why did you decide to run craft workshops?

I love turning my hands to all things creative and finding a new craft that I click with is such a joyful experience. Providing this joy to other people through workshops is even better! I run creative workshops on a travelling basis as Darn It! Workshops, in galleries, community groups, festivals, events, creative spaces and more across the country. I love seeing different individuals approach art and craft techniques. I cover a wide variety of techniques including upcycling, Jesmonite, printing, candle making, macrame and more. Throughout all these I focus on wellbeing, creativity and sustainability.

How did you get into textiles specifically?

I graduated from the University of Huddersfield BA Textile Crafts course in 2012 after specialising in Printmaking with an emphasis on creative work within communities. As part of my degree I studied abroad in both France and Finland, and learning new skills in these places gave me an eclectic skillset that I love to share with others. I’m from just outside London originally but West Yorkshire is such a beautiful place with so much creativity that I never left.

What do you do in your spare time?

When I’m not teaching other people creative skills I love to try out new macrame techniques, upcycle vintage maps into wearable works of art and create unique pots out of Jesmonite. It’s such a versatile material that every one is different.

What was your personal motivation behind starting up Thread Republic?

Working as a freelancer often means working on your own a lot. When running workshops you meet lots of people and work with fantastic other small business owners. But outside of that it can be quite isolating, especially during the last few years. Community is often at the centre of what I do but I often felt like I was helping facilitate other communities without having one of my own. As part of my work I often travel and while I live in Huddersfield I felt a bit of a disconnect to it. Part of my motivation was to be part of creating something anchored in Kirklees, by and for the local community. All of us have such different experiences, strengths and approaches to how we work and combined it makes us stronger.

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Kim I have taken part in some of your workshops and I have to say, you are an inspiration. You have such energy and a wide knowledge in what you do, you ooze with enthusiasm & encouragement. Both you & your workshops are a joy to be a part of, thank you Kim. x

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