Stitch People Stars – Holly Peppler

You may not know this but as well as creating your Stitch People patterns, we also have a business school called Stitch People Academy!

This is where we met our latest Stitch People Star – Holly Peppler!

We particularly love Holly’s work, not just because of the imagination and creativity she applies to her portraits but for how she pours love into each piece regardless of who her customer is.

Holly uses the Stitch People patterns with her own personal charm to tell a story in each of the portraits she creates.

We’re so thankful to Holly for allowing us to get to know a bit more about her and how she creates her work.

Lets read on and find out how she creates this magic!

Tell us a bit about yourself! 

Hi, I’m Holly! I was born and raised in a far north suburb of Chicago, IL. I attended college in West Lafayette, IN where I met my husband, Adam. After graduating we moved to Norman, OK where we live with our two dogs, Santo and Frank. When I’m not stitching I enjoy being outdoors, road trips with my husband, and watching baseball. 

Tell us a bit more about your business

I run my business, Hand Stitched Family out of my living room in Norman, Oklahoma with my two black lab co-workers, Santo and Frank! I started my shop at the end of 2017, selling through word of mouth and for those that found me on Instagram. I recently opened my Etsy shop and received 7 orders within the first month! I recently signed up for a local art fair in my hometown and can’t wait to display my work! Right now I work full time but am working toward the goal of being able to stitch at least part time because I believe that work should be fun and we should all chase our dreams!

How did you first come across the Stitch People book?

In September 2017 I was searching for something fun and unique to give my brother in laws for Christmas, those men are just so hard to buy for! I came across an ad for Stitch People and knew right away that I had found something great. I had just finished cross stitching a blanket for new born nephew and was so excited to put those skills to use in another way. So, I stitched a family portrait for all of my in laws that year for Christmas! 

What was your first Stitch People piece and how did it go?

Right after I found the Stitch People book I found out that one of my very best and first friends I had met after moving to Oklahoma was moving to Florida. I knew a fun family portrait would be the perfect gift for her to treasure and a great trial run for my first portrait. Looking back, the skin was probably too light and the hair was a little off but I was so darn proud of the black lab I stitched. I have definitely learned some tips and tricks since then but I would say I was pretty proud of what I had created.  I still see the portrait pop up in the background of Instagram stories and I love it! 

What have you enjoyed about making the portraits?

I love studying the photos that people send for me to stitch from and hearing the unique details they want included in their portraits. Most of all though, I love the look on their face or the joy in the email they send when they’ve received their portrait. Stitching for me means that I get to create an heirloom for a family that will be held onto for many years to come. 

What’s been your favorite piece so far?

I recently did a piece for a college friend of mine and got to include a barn, a fence, and some corn. The portrait perfectly depicts her and her family and the added details make the piece extra special.

Where is your favorite place to stitch?

In my living, on the couch, usually while watching cheesy Hallmark or Netflix movies. 

 How have you developed your cross stitching skills?

I learned to cross stitch from my Grandma and my Godmother. I remember the patterns they used to buy for me when I was younger and how long it seemed to finish even the tiniest piece. During college I stopped cross stitching but picked it back up again when I found out my sister in law was expecting my first nephew. I stitched her a blanket for him and it was the hardest thing I have stitched to date. After that I knew I never wanted to put stitching down again and I spent several hours watching You Tube videos about cross stitch and embroidery. Every portrait I create helps me to learn a new skill from French knots to what colors of floss to mix for just the right shade of red hair. 

What advice would you give to people just starting their cross stitching journey?

Just pick up your needle and start to stitch! That first portrait or piece may not be perfect but you have to start somewhere. If you can, find a community of people (the Stitch People community is amazing!) that loves to cross stitch as well and ask as many questions as you can. Also, French knots aren’t as hard as they may seem, just keep practicing! 

Where can we see more of your work?

On Instagram! @handstitchedfamily 

Thank you so much Holly, for letting us get to know you better!

If you have a Stitch People Star you’d like to know more about, tell us! Maybe they will be our next featured artist.


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