When I set up Beautiful Things it was initially to share my skills and knowledge of crafts with others.  I always had every intention of being ‘different’ to everywhere else that offered classes.

The main way I planned to do this was to a) keep classes really small and short and b) Always get my pupils to leave with a finished object after each class.

I’d heard so much frustration from people who had signed up to courses to find the classes were huge, they hardly got any time with the tutor and they didn’t even finish making what they had set out to make in the first place.

I wanted to offer classes that allowed for natural progression as my pupils skill levels increased, but that were always fun and different.  Whilst we offer a core curriculum of the basics such as crochet and beginners sewing there is always fun on the menu too.  After all, where else can you come and make a cuddly llama?

Over time I have developed a large audience of followers, not all of whom are fortunate enough to be able to come to BTHQ for whatever reason and for that reason I developed our online courses  and more recently paid membership groups.

What I have come to realise over the past couple of years is that the majority of my pupils both online and offline come to me for totally different reasons than I originally set up the classes for.

I just naively assumed everyone wanted to learn to sew, crochet or knit because they wanted to be able to make their own things.  Sure some of my pupils do come for that reason, but actually the majority, (I would say at least 80%) have underlying reasons for their attendance.

I’m not going to name any names (what happens at BTHQ stays at BTHQ after all) but if you are reading this then you will know who you are.

Many of my clients suffer with physical conditions such as Chronic Fatigue, ME, MS, fibromyalgia etc.

Others have mental health conditions and are suffering with stress, depression or anxiety.

Some of my online clients have such chronic anxiety that they can’t even leave the house and our online offerings are a real lifeline to them, giving them something to take their mind off the day to day.  More recently I’ve seen one of my clients go from struggling to get out of her house to regularly visiting BTHQ to undertake one of our online courses.  I’ve seen a huge rise in her levels of self esteem and confidence and I think this is something everyone can gain from our studio.

It’s true that the majority of my clients are women, and as women, no matter how much we deny it, it’s easy to get left behind and forgotten about.  We are so busy being mum, wife, grandma, that quite often we can forget who we really are anymore.

I love how my classes offer my pupils the opportunity to do something for themselves and that by learning whatever it is they have chosen to take up, they are building levels of self-confidence and self-worth.  They gain so much value from the time spent learning and are able to see that they are capable of achieving so much more.

So………….BTHQ is so much more than just a learning establishment.  It’s a retreat, a sanctuary, a therapy centre, its own little community.

Whether you need ‘treatment’ or not I can guarantee 100% that you will get so much more out of classes than simply just making something.

Visit www.clairemackaness.com/classes and peruse our vast choice of courses today.