My Mum used to always say to me I needed a hobby. Growing up I never had one. My dad desperately tried to push me into music but I just didn’t care for it. Mum hoped I would find a passion in arts and crafts and join her on the kitchen table in the evenings but that never happened either. And I gave up sport as a teenager, the one thing I used to actually enjoy.
‘If you don’t have a hobby in life, life is going to get you down,’ was my Mum’s mantra. She actually had a couple of sayings on high rotation for me. This ‘hobby one’ didn’t make sense to me until I started work as an adult.
When I started working as a teacher, for the first two years I threw myself into it and lived and breathed it. I was obsessed and I loved everything about it from the planning to teaching and everything in between. My life became my job and 24/7 was dedicated to teaching.
After two years, I realised I needed to switch off in order not to burn out. I made the decision to leave work at work and not continue working at home. It was hard because I’m not good at doing nothing. I tried to find a hobby or something to do in the evenings but couldn’t.
It was during the school holidays when I was at my friend’s house brainstorming what my hobby could be that my friend suggested I make Neckerchiefs and that’s how TobyWigglebottom Neckerchiefs was born.
All of a sudden I found something that allowed me to unwind after work. I’d found a hobby.
When Thomas made me a mother last year I was so thankful I had this hobby. I used it the same way as I did when working, an outlet to allow me to unwind from motherhood. Seventeen months into this motherhood gig and I can honestly say if I didn’t have this hobby I think I would be going insane.
These days I feel like I clock off at 7pm and I get ‘me’ time. Thomas is down for his sleep and Andrew and I have dinner together. We chat about our day and then I go off into the Neckerchief Factory and sew until we go to bed.
I love it, it’s therapeutic and every now and then I hear my mother’s mantra in my head. It’s in the Neckerchief Factory that I have thought of other ways to expand my hobbies and find new hobbies. I’m slowly chipping away at them, I have so many but can’t get them all off the ground at the speed I want.
Those who follow Toby on Instagram may know I’m writing a children’s book and I was hoping to have it finished by next month, before the baby is here, but I’m finding it hard to write the ending so I don’t think that’ll happen.
I have started playing around with some cool new stock ideas I have planned for our Etsy store and again, was hoping to have them up before the baby comes but that definitely won’t happen.
What has happened though is my bow tie range for humans. Making bow ties for humans has allowed me to broaden my hobby to ensure I don’t burn out making Neckerchiefs every night. Yes, it’s the same concept, sewing, but mixing it up and making bow ties, pocket squares and cufflinks changes the nightly routine a bit.
It has been pretty special seeing where these human bow ties end up. Men, women, babies, weddings. When people send me photos of their wedding, wearing the bow ties I made, it’s always an ‘Oh, wow!’ moment.
I’m looking forward to this pregnancy being over. It has drained me and I feel I’m going to be much more productive and chip away at all my other hobbies I have in mind when I’m no longer a human iceboater. I’m sure those of you who had or have two kids under two are ‘yeah, right-ing’ me but I’m going to be naive and believe it’s all going to be possible.
So, I would love to know, what is your hobby that let’s you unwind from work, parenthood, life?
Below are some photos I have received from those who have purchased a Do You Like My Bow Tie these pictures make me smile.
^ You know it’s going to be a fun wedding when the groom wears polka dot. The Soot bow tie can be found here.
^ The Soot Bow Tie
^ Toby showing us all how to ‘male model’ in the Alfie bow tie which can be found here.
^ These two got married in Antartica…ANTARTICA! How amazing is that? Grooms bow tie is the Check Mate, found here.
^ The Orange Soda as worn by my spunky husband. Find this one, here.
^ One of my favourite bow ties, The James Dean with matching pocket square for this beautiful wedding. The James Dean can be found, here.
^ The boys looking on point in the James Dean.
^ This beautiful couple with the groom in the Buddy Holly, here.
^ Oh, hi again, Toby. You’re looking amaze in the Frank Ocean bow tie.