Amazon, I am breaking up with you.

As I become more aware of my personal buying power and trying to live more intentionally, I have decided to cut ties with Amazon. In order to ‘share the wealth’. I’ve spent the last 15 years being a loyal customer and freely giving away my money to somebody who is rich enough.

Today, I found out who Jeff Bezos is and what he is worth. And whilst his face looked familiar, to me he just looks ordinary.


Maybe I am one of the last people in the modern western world to find out that he is, at this point in time the richest man in the world with a net worth of $110 billion (Bloomberg). This shook me a little. Although, admittedly, I am on an ethical seesaw of how I feel about the size of his wealth.

On the one hand, I want to congratulate the guy, he got in there just in time for the dot com boom, Amazon books took off and look where it is now! On the other hand, there is a piece of me that feels deeply uncomfortable with that sum of money. I can’t even comprehend that amount of wealth, I can’t believe that one person on this planet would be even able to accumulate that amount.

I started shopping on amazon as soon as I had a debit card. In 2005, I was 16 years old. Looking back at that year I ordered, mostly books, CD’s and DVD’s… I have been an Amazon customer for almost 15 years!

A sample of books I ordered on Amazon in 2005.
A sample of books I ordered on Amazon in 2005 (source

In my first year I placed 7 different orders. By 2018 I have placed 80! (There’s a graph to be had in SPSS here!)

Year No. Orders Placed
2005 7
2006 13
2007 6
2008 11
2009 30
2010 103
2011 100
2012 71
2013 83
2014 54
2015 103
2016 122
2017 113
2018 80
2019 80

Figure 2 Number of orders placed each year from 2005 to November 2019

I’ve not even begun and I’m too scared to do the calculation of the total I have spent over the last 15 years. What’s surprised me the most while skimming over these Amazon orders, is how much of it reflects what was happening during that year. Who I was, Who my friends were, the holidays I had taken and the Christmas gifts I had bought. Whilst this is endearing, the pessimist tapping my shoulder reminds me, while, yes parts of 2014 were great but how much of your life does the drone now know about you, what are they doing with that information?

After the paranoia had set in, I did a bit of a exploratory snoop around my Amazon account and privacy settings. To my surprise I needed to opt out of targeted adds and ask Amazon to remove voice searches I had made using my Fire remote. So, do check those settings if this is something that bothers you. You are opted into many of these types of ‘personalised adverts’ automatically, so you may be completely unaware that you are an active participant.

So far today, In order to banish Amazon from my screen feed, I have deleted the Amazon app on my phone and tablet!

I must admit something at this point, I do have a Firestick plugged into my TV with a Prime subscription that is due to run out in April. A couple of months ago, I bought a Kindle out of pure practicality. To be frank, out of all the wonders of shopping on Amazon, I think the only products that actually serve me well are the Kindle and Firestick. I read more and watch more interesting films and documentaries, my breadth of knowledge has grown as a result. So thank you Jeff for making information and viewing alternative media more accessible to me.

I had a panic moment just before sitting down and writing this that was; I’ve got to get hoover bags! Guess what? My first instinct was to check my Amazon app on my phone to see how I could attain them! I’m going to have to have to retrain my online shopping habits. But challenge accepted!

It did occur to me, that while I might pay a bit more shopping on alternative websites, I’ll be saving money because it won’t be so easy to fill the basket with all the extra junk temptations that find their way into my Amazon orders.


Final words; Jeff, I’ve given you enough of my money over the last 15 years. I’m going to take some of my freewill back and share my wealth with some other future billionaires instead.

A Pretty Awful Market Day

What does a bad craft market day do to your confidence after a a miserable day of zero sales?

Remember that market you signed up to months ago? It’s finally here and you’re not feeling great, but turns out that the actual event sucks a bit too.

In todays very overdue post I’m going to talk a little bit of the factors that played a part in my zero sales at the crafty fox market at Kindred Studios, this weekend.


Firstly, I know when to take responsibility for my own actions. So I’ll outline what personal factors contributed to ‘Sonia B’s’ zero sales.

  1. Lost my mojo. I entered this new year with burn out. I’d spent from October to December last year putting a lot on focus on throwing myself into market opportunities. One or two were more successful than the others. However, my confidence took a hit from the inconsistency in sales. So, from January this year I lost focus from my shop and being creative, into throwing myself fully into marathon training as a distraction.
  2. Just generally having a shit week. I had doubts and considered backing out. Unfortunately, I’d brought the baggage of the week with me to the stall and couldn’t shake them off.
  3. Result of no.2: Not interacting as much as I’d have liked to with customers and resisting to put on the smiley sales pitch.
  4. Stall aesthetic. I opted for a small square table this time. 77cm X 77cm. I didn’t practice my layout for this scale and feel that this let it down slightly and potential customers just didn’t notice me or want to linger for long!

Personal demolition factors out the way. Here are a few areas that I feel this particular crafty fox market didn’t work for Sonia B this time.

  1. Demographic. My stuff just didn’t suit the footfall that this market was engaging. I could tell from the popularity of the ceramicists and jewellery. The weeks leading up to the market, Crafty Fox were predominately promoting ceramicists, jewellers and paper printers on their instagram, so I think the market just didn’t pull in the interest of those into fashion accessories.
  2. Lack of media coverage from crafty fox. I’m sure I’m not the only one. But my items were not featured in any of their instagram posts leading up to or during the event.
  3. Location. This could be linked to demographic also, however, Kindred studios is in the middle of a quiet residential area and is based in between a lot of optional tube/rail stations, however, not in great short walking distance of any of them.

To sum up I have to accept that I wasn’t prepared to be battling it out for sales person of the year yesterday. I went in with the mindset that, ‘If they like it, they’ll buy it’. I was just lazy. But it’s ok to have off days. I’m actually glad that I ended up dragging myself there and sticking it out till the end. I was surrounded by many talented people and that in turn has given me the shake up I needed. I’ve also counted this as a ‘brand awareness’ exercise so not to get too bogged down by the financials.

I’d love to know your thoughts and feelings on this post. Have you got any tips on how to get over the funk?! Have you ever experienced ZERO sales at what you thought would be a popular market event? Let me know in the comments below!


Vegan Yarn Haul – Wool and the Gang

I was so excited when I received my order from Wool and The Gang.

As soon as the box arrived I knew I was in for something special!

So I wasn’t completely anti Black Friday this year as I expected to be. Instead I shopped carefully. Meaning, I chose a company I believed in and that I believe operates consciously.

 I first stumbled across Wool and the Gang’s kits in John Lewis over a month ago and fell in love with the idea of knitting my own jumper!

The first kit that grabbed my attention was the ‘PIAZZA SHOULDER BAG’.

I chose this bag in particular because it reminded me of the bags my granny used to go to markets with! The kit includes mix taped yarn that is a blend of cotton and polyester (aka Vegan friendly!). From the outset it looks super strong too, everything you need to carry a bag full of bananas back home in!

I have to say that the clean packaging is perfect! Zero plastic!

I decided on ‘indigo ink’ as the colour of choice! Although I love bright colours in my design work I’m no longer brave enough to wear them too close to my skin! So I thought this dark grey hue would compliment the navy and black I tend to wear more often.


So this is what the kit contains:

X4 Mix Tape

X1 #madeuniquebyme label

X1 Chunky needle

X1 Piazza Shoulder Bag Pattern booklet

You can also add a wooden crochet hook to your order if you don’t own one already or are buying this for somebody as a gift.

Honestly, I’m a bit of a novice when it comes to crochet. I can do the basics but do struggle with following patterns! I’m excited to get stuck into tangliatelli of yarn!

 I even bought extra yarn to make a second bag as a gift!

  I splashed out on some Shiny Happy Cotton in Red Ochre and purple haze. I’m planning on knitting myself a winter beanie in the red!

I was expecting the cotton to be very stiff but the texture is so soft! You can feel the extraordinary quality! And the sheen you get from it is formidable, I feel like I have just picked an apple! ‘ It’s silky soft hand-picked cotton from the north coast of Peru’. The product description does not lie!

Vegan Yarn Haul - Wool and the Gang

I plan to start knitting and crocheting over the Christmas holidays and I can’t wait to show you my progress or what might become a disaster!
Vegan Yarn Haul - Wool and the Gang

I will be in need some motivation! Please show me what you have knitted or crocheted by leaving a link in the comments below!

* Photographs are shot using a Canon EOS 700D

What on earth are you carrying??? Inside my travel embroidery kit!

What on Earth are you Carrying?!
As textiles artists, makers or designers we have a one common trait. We carry a lot of stuff!!! This can be anything from sketchbooks, pencil cases, magazines, notebooks and embroidery hoops!
Today I’m going to show you what’s inside my travel sewing/embroidery/embellishment kit. I take this to work with me, on long trips and you will usually find me sitting next to it at home. I should give it a name!
Having a smaller embroidery kit with me helps me focus on projects that I should currently be working on!


1.     Embroidery Thread: I use DMC and Anchor threads. John Lewis had a crazy discount on all their anchor threads last year… I don’t think I bought enough.
2.     Embroidery Scissors: Consider these my embroidery life jacket.
3.    Air Erasable Marker: So handy! Works like magic! Just remember your marks are here today and gone tomorrow so make sure you have a back up version of your embroidery design.
4.     Beading and Crewel needles: I actually forgot I put these in here! I like to have options!
5.    Sequins: These haunt me slightly.
6.     Random Embroidery Patch: Something In was supposed to fix to something else.
7.     Thread: Very random shades, not sure how they snuck it. I clearly don’t pay that much attention to what I carry around with me!
8.     Tape Measure: Goes without saying.
9.     Needle Pouch: I decided to make my own, however, I store needles anywhere! They don’t want to stay in one place!
10. Seed Beads: I love these colours! I keep them with me for colour inspiration! Bought these in Nottingham at the Bead Shop.
11. Pins: Really useful for hand embroidery when rogue excess of fabric needs taming around the embroidery hoop!
Let me know if I’m missing anything!? What do you carry around with you all day?