This week we’re featuring Michelle Ohara, owner of Raw Stitches. Michelle makes gorgeous bags at her home in Puyallup, Washington. We asked to Michelle a few questions to learn a little bit more about her.
How did you get into your craft or hobby?
From the moment I took my first sewing class at 10 years old, I knew sewing was my passion. My first memory as an entrepreneur was in elementary school when I made drawstring bags to sell to my friends. After that, I stopped sewing until I became an adult. In the mid-2000’s my love for handbags inspired me to start sewing again. I made simple tote bags and sold a few bags to my friends. Then I opened my first Etsy shop, but it started to get overwhelming because I was juggling a full-time job, being a single mom raising two daughters and trying to make time to sew. I had to put my sewing on hold and was able to start again in 2015 with the support of my husband and my family. I have been refining my craft since then and in December 2018 I was able to quit my job as a paralegal and pursue my passion full time.
What has been your biggest achievement so far?
My biggest achievement is raising my two daughters and my stepson. They are good students, respectful and kind. They make me proud every day.
What advice do you have for other female makers?
Never give up! This pertains to your passion as well as life in general. There will be times when you feel overwhelmed and you want to give up but you can’t give into that feeling.
What is the most frustrating thing about your industry or line of work?
Having so many ideas and projects but never enough time to get to them all.
What is your favorite tool?
My favorite tool is my heavy duty Gold Star press. This tool has made my life so much easier to install purse hardware.
Tell us something on your bucket list
I would love to travel to the Maldives.
To see more of Michelle’s work check out her Etsy page.