We are a small passionate team based in and around London & Surrey. Everything you see on the website and our social media has been worked on, selected, crafted, designed or filmed by us and all your lovely messages and inquiries are always dealt with by the team.
We know it is cliche to say that when you buy from a small business a real person does a happy dance, but it is true !
We love our customers at the London Embroidery School, we have particularly enjoyed our recent move into online classes and all the lovely feedback we have received. We really hope to keep being able to bring you all new classes and content that keeps you as excited as it does us.
Enough of that, lets meet the team …
Sophie has worked for Hawthorne & Heaney and the London Embroidery school for nearly 2 years as a machine embroiderer, technician, designer and illustrator. Coming to us originally from West Sussex, having studied Textile Design at Bath Spa University and a Masters degree in Embroidery at Nottingham Trent, Sophie is now an established Londoner who lives at home with her partner, cat, two geckos and a tarantula ! After embarking on her studies and career in 2016 Sophie has discovered a real passion for Gold Work, one of Hawthorne and Heaney’s specialties and has worked on a huge range of projects with H&H and the London Embroidery School. In her spare time Sophie likes “Hiking, camping, pretty much anything outdoorsy” and can be often snapped in her stories up a mountain or in a forest somewhere remote.
Natasha has been the driving force behind the London Embroidery Schools bold steps into the world of digital. Having worked for Hawthorne & Heaney and the London Embroidery School for 7 years, after starting with us as an intern, Natasha just hasn’t been able to get away ! After studying foundation at the Chelsea College of Art and her Fashion Degree at the prestigious London College of Fashion, she has developed a bit of a thing for ‘sparkly’ and if you ever need to find her she will be digging about in piles of sequins looking for inspiration. “Taking Time with Tasha” is her crafty you tube channel where she shares videos of her embroidery practice and other projects (check it out here). Though it’s not all arts and crafts, Natasha is also a keen open water swimmer. After enjoying swimming for many years Natasha took the plunge (…) and took it outdoors which makes for a bracing break from the daily detail of embroidery.
Claire is the founder and owner of Hawthorne & Heaney and the London Embroidery School both of which she is very passionate about. After significant development on both companies during the recent lock down hiatus she is very excited for their future. She was dubbed ’embroidery girl’ during her Fashion degree at Kingston University (around 20 years ago !) and hasn’t looked back. Claire founded Hawthorne & Heaney in 2011 and the London Embroidery School in 2013 after seeing a demand for affordable, professional embroidery classes. Her favorite embroidery technique is Gold Work (seeing a magpie theme here with the team) specifically military and ceremonial gold work which she still works with today, making ceremonial pieces for the military and for the Royal Household by hand in London. Being a little bit of an adrenaline junkie in her spare time she enjoys Motorsport with her husband @heaneymotors, horse riding and in massive contrast has taken up a keen interest in gardening after moving out of London to a rural village in Surrey.
With us very nearly from the beginning Sarah studied at the Royal School of Needlework and a Masters in Textiles at Goldsmiths before working 15 years in the industry. Claire and Sarah met at their previous employers and forged a connection that would see Hawthorne & Heaney and the London Embroidery school through one recession and very hopefully one global pandemic. Being the most organised one of the H&H and LES outfit she is the scaffolding that holds the studio together as office manager, production manager, HR, bookkeeper, LES Class designer and occasionally councilor. She is also the hands behind many of our advanced classes as she also (I know, overachiever) is our professional hand embroiderer for our in house work at H&H. Another of the team with a keen interest in gardening she likes to grow her own veg at home and isn’t keen on having her picture online. So we have popped in a placeholder of her lovely hand instead !
Team mascot and model, Goose joined the team in 2019. Promoted this year from his original position which included eating bobbins and being rushed to the vets due to the aforementioned he has now matured into a new role which is H&H moral officer (sleeping & looking cute). In his spare time he is a keen footballer and badminton player which “keeps off the pounds”. Goose is yet to reach his full potential within the team as an Instagram influencer, expect to see more of him on the social in the future.