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Chose Your Constraints

There I was sewing away on the upcoming Script orders, listening away to Seth’s new book when I quickly paused it + grabbed a pen. That’s such a good reminder, I thought, and it fits so great with my whole brand of Switch Stitch and being creative and just all the other things in life…lol.

That Seth, he’s so good at bringing up good points like this. His comment, the one I proceeded to write down in my planner, was that 'constraints are the foundation of creative work…choose your constraints’. As I thought about it, constraints are what built my idea for Switch Stitch and those that I chose are what makes it what it is. Some constraints that came to mind for me…

  • Using reclaimed materials. All the fabric I use is sourced as second hand and would otherwise be thrown away. I buy it from companies who are also focused on reducing waste or from friends and family no longer in need of their fabric. The wood has had a previous life serving as a fence which was destined for the burn pile if it wasn’t turned into a Wall Display.

  • Being as eco-conscious as possible in every direction I can think of. That means no plastic or adhesives surrounding any of magnets that I put in each item. Using thread made from recycled plastic bottles. Using recycled paper for building the connection and communication of Switch Stitch with friends. Sourcing pillow forms that are 100% organic cotton that is also GOTS certified along with being assembled by people with developmental disabilities.

  • Little to no effort or decisions. Well not necessarily for me but for the person who will be using the final product. This means that I usually spend twice as long planning, prototyping and adjusting as I incorporate all stages of an item’s life. From the set it and forget it foundation pieces to the one decision, one purchase subscription. I want my friends who use Switch Stitch to be able to spend their time doing the things that truly matter to them.

  • Multi-purpose and minimal. For each item I create I want it to be more than pretty decor. I want it to be purposeful, impactful and share a story. Purposeful decor has a reason for being, such as simplifying life in some way. Impactful decor is built with intention, in this case earth friendly. And decor that shares a story connects us with our environments and the loved ones we choose to share it with.

I’ll admit there are times when I want to throw my chosen constraints out the window. Times when I want to order the cheaper or quicker arriving thing to make my items. Sometimes I want to give up on researching because I feel like the earth friendly version of what I want doesn’t exist. And some days I do throw in the towel and move on to another task. Giving it space for a little, 9 times out of 10, I usually come back to all the reasons that make Switch Stitch so fun for me and intriguing for others. It’s the challenge, it’s the creativity, it’s the constraints.


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