Beach-inspired Stubbington creator stitches more than 500 face masks to help mental health charity Mind
A SEAMSTRESS from Stubbington has stitched more than 500 face masks to raise much-needed mental health funds.
Creative mum-of-three Jo Melton was making free masks for key workers in March alongside her business The Seaside Sew, but began charging for them to raise money for the charity Mind.
Long hours of sewing the protective creations were well-spent, as Jo managed to raise £500 for the organisation.
The 51-year-old said: ‘During March I thought I needed to put my skills to use so I started making masks free for the NHS. In April, when things started to change, I thought if I am going to make these masks and charge, something good needs to come from it.
‘I decided to support Mind because my children have gone through things with their mental health and I think it’s time children get more help. It’s quite a big thing for young people.’
Jo’s beach-inspired business, which was set up six years ago, offers handmade bags and other accessories with unique designs dreamed up by seaside-loving Jo, who is self-taught.
She was daunted by the number of orders for face masks which flew in, and was supported by husband Colin and her three children Tom, 17, Immy, 20, and 24-year-old Peter to get the work done.
Jo said: ‘It was quite a shock and very overwhelming - I don’t like to let people down.
‘My family just kept me going, they were feeding me and helping. It was quite a big family effort. If it wasn’t for my family behind me, I wouldn’t be able to do any of this. They’re my biggest fans.’
Jo’s business was given recognition by entrepreneur Theo Paphitis when it won his Small Business Sunday competition on Twitter three years ago - and her business has continued to grow.
Jo said: ‘It’s taken off and it’s gone from strength to strength - I have always wanted to stay small and handmade.
‘I’m inspired by the beach in a big way. When I’m not doing this, I’m down at the beach. I come back with pockets full of shells and seaglass.’
Visit facebook.com/pg/theseasidesew to order a mask or learn more about The Seaside Sew.