New to the Richmond’s ever-evolving and eclectic art scene is local crafter Emmie McMackin with Emerald and Fig Designs. McMackin began the embroidery company just a few short months ago and has been stitching ever since.
McMackin stumbled upon her new hobby-turned-side-gig by chance. She had been teaching herself embroidery through how-to videos on YouTube when she ended up spotting a craft kit at Target. The more she found time to craft, the more she loved it.
“My great grandmother who came over to this country from Greece when she was 19 was a seamstress so I like to think that I’m channeling her,” McMackin laughed.
Emerald and Fig Designs has its own Etsy, Instagram, and Facebook page. The platforms showcase her different designs and hoops she’s completed. She said her favorite one is the wienermobile, but the best-selling design so far has been the hoop featuring a quote from the novel-turned-movie-turned-TV-show Handmaid’s Tale.
Photo by Emerald and Fig Designs Facebook
McMackin said she never planned on turning her embroidery hobby into a business, but it started small with friends asking here and there for her to make them their own pieces. One thing led to another and before she knew it, she was brainstorming ideas for a company name. Emerald and Fig was inspired from a bunch of different places ranging from McMackin’s initials to her friend’s cat’s name.
And she’s not the only one with a need to stitch in the city. Andrea Molzhon of Stitchin’ In Richmond has been taking catch phrases, pop culture references and rap lyrics and making them into intricate handmade embroideries and selling them around town for the last four years.
Emerald and Fig Designs is still very early in its journey. McMackin has all sorts of ideas for how she wants to expand and make the company better.
She said she’d like to maybe one day donate part of the proceeds to the ACLU or elsewhere. She also said she’d like to start offering other products on her Etsy page, like digital patterns so people can make their own hoops or selling products with handlettering because she enjoys doing that too. McMackin hopes to get more out there in the Richmond community by participating in pop-ups or craft fairs, too.
“This is a talent that I just kind of discovered, and I encourage others to explore their creative instincts and try new things, because you never know where it might lead,” McMackin said.