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Editorial blog

Five minutes with…. Marion Emberson

15 May 2019

Marion Emberson, creative consultant with WOW embossing powder, tells us about her life and work.

Tell me a little bit about your background?

I’ve been involved with the craft industry for over 25 years. I started off as a curtain maker, the handmade kind, yes, all hand sewn, that was hard work but rewarding. I then went on to creating handmade children’s keepsake boxes and, guess what?, I used to stamp and emboss on to them!

How did you become involved with WOW?

I met them at a trade show, (they were three guys back then), I gave them some advice, whether they wanted it or not LOL!! and then they approached me and asked if I would teach for them, the rest, as they say, is history. They must have liked what I said!

What is the best part about your job?

I get to create and design new products, some call it ‘playing’ but, just in case the boss is reading this, I Create and Design! I also get to teach and demo, not only in the UK but in Europe and the United States.

How do you develop new designs?

As a crafter I know what I’m always looking for and bring that into the design side of WOW.

How much do you enjoying the teaching aspect of your role with WOW?

I absolutely love it, teaching is my passion, to give someone the ability to create is the best thing.

What is your biggest achievement?

Back in 2005 I won an award for Best New Business for Sugar and Spice Crafts, that was pretty amazing! I also got the opportunity to guest present on QVC for two years. I felt really honoured to have that role and loved every minute of it.

You own your own company Sugar and spice Crafts and used to have a Bricks and Mortar store but closed and went online only. Was that a difficult decision to make?

It was a really difficult decision as I’d built up a really loyal customer base over the 12 years of having a store, but I knew it had to be done. I wanted to carry on teaching, so my amazing and very clever husband built me a studio which enabled me to take my customers with me and carry on teaching. I now get the best of both worlds.

If you could offer your younger self some advice what would it be?

Don’t mess around in art, concentrate and do what the teacher says!

What trends do you see coming through for the rest of the year?

Mixed Media is still massive in the paper crafting world and embossing, over the last few years, has gained it’s popularity back, and that’s purely down to the effort we (WOW!) have put into it. It can be used on so many substrates. Card making will never go out and I see scrapbooking getting popular again but mixed up with art journals.

What do you do to relax?

I go to the gym three times a week and one of those sessions is boxing, it’s the biggest stress reliever EVER!

What’s your earliest memory of crafting?

My earliest memory is staying at my nan and grandad’s hotel in Woolacombe in the summer holidays. We used to go to the beach and collect shells and make little animals out of them. I re-visited a few years back and was sad to see there were no shells on the beach, I feel partly to blame for that, I wish I could find all those mice and throw them back!

If you had to pick just one craft above all others what would it be?

Embossing, of course, but embossing on cards, in my art journal, on my scrapbook pages, in fact, anything I make I generally bring embossing into it!

Which crafters do you admire?

I love crafters that are in the background, quietly crafting away, they often get overlooked but their work can be amazing. I have a lot of admiration for crafters that have made their hobby into a business and I have a lot of admiration for companies that are loyal, the likes of Leandra and Mark Franich, from PaperArtsy, are an excellent example of that! I have so many creative friends, I’d love to list them all, but if I left one out I’d feel really bad LOL! So basically, anyone who can create something from nothing!

What does the future hold for you and WOW?

We have so many plans, I can’t tell you them right now or I’d get sacked! Suffice to say we love working with other brands and helping to keep this industry going. We’re also really passionate about our retailers and all they do for us. We give a lot of support back to them, and we need people to keep the stores alive by visiting their local retailer, take classes, meet up, chat, stroke the papers, but above all support them!

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