Thursday, 28 July 2011

Meet the expat: Sam´s Shenanigans

Whenever I visit Sam's shops I get this happy feeling. Her Gingerbread Christmas decorations are delightful and I love her inspiring signs. She also makes beautiful homewares - go have a look.

Sam was kind enough to take some time to introduce herself to us.

I´m Sam, I´m 27 and live in Barcelona, Spain. I make anything my hands want to make and I run two shops on Etsy, Sam´s Shenanigans and The Gingerbread Mama.

I started sewing, probably only about 6 or 7 years ago, but I have always been creative and making things since I was small.

I´m originally from a small village called Walkington in East Yorkshire, England. Think fields, trees, tractors and a typical English Village with Village pubs and a pond I grew up playing in corn fields and climbing trees and making “den´s” with my younger brother Matthew and due to this I love nature and really miss it now I´m living in a city. I love the UK countryside and I never realized it until I moved, but I am such a country girl it´s untrue!

When I thought about my creative/artist background I couldn´t really see where it had come from, or if I had been encouraged at a young age, but then I remembered that my Great Grandma made clothes, my Grandma made clothes and even my Mum made clothes so really it´s all in the genes! (Although I haven´t quite got onto clothes yet!) My mum bought me a sewing machine one Christmas, as I thought it was a good idea to learn to do properly and it sat in the loft for two years. Then for no reason at all I decided I needed to get it out and start learning. I went round to my mum´s on Saturday afternoons for sewing lessons and the rest is history! I think even my mum is impressed at how far I have now taken those lessons! Thanks mum!

Why did you move?
I moved to Barcelona, Spain in 2009 and as with all good love stories, it was purely for love. I met my partner Victor on a holiday in Menorca, and just like the famous film dirty dancing – he was on the entertainment staff and I was with my family!

We lived a long distance relationship for a long time and it got to the point where we couldn´t live that way any longer, So one of us had to move. After all this time here now, I am starting to feel like this is home, the home sickness still strikes, but less often and it´s more controllable.

Hardest thing about being an expat?

I found the hardest thing was relying on someone else to help me (not speaking fluent Spanish or Catalan). I'm very independent as a woman and found it really disabling. It still occasionally gets to me now although I am getting much better at accepting things and letting him help…plus my Spanish/Catalan is getting better each day as well. Of course missing my family is hard and at special times, babies, marriages etc it´s harder but I am only a 2 hour plane ride away so it´s not too bad.

Biggest joy being an expat?

The biggest joy of being an expat, (apart from being with Victor – obviously!) is the great friends I have made these past few years, including my Etsy expat friends who without sometimes I don´t know where I would be! I really have been lucky and met some wonderful people and seen some wonderful places. It´s opened my eyes to the world and taught me a lot about myself.

Find Sam online:

Etsy Shops

Thanks for taking the time to tell us about yourself Sam.

Are you a soon-to-be, been-there-done-that or currently an expat? If you sell on Etsy come and join our team.

Post by: Jacqueline Fouche (Tangentine)