My Story – Diana Raward
Growing up I always assumed that every little girl had a mother who would lovingly sew and smock beautiful dresses for her. My last smocked dress worn was when I was twelve for a cello recital. It is a stunning mixture of my mother’s smocking and my grandmother’s embroidery and is a truly treasured dress. As I reached adult hood I realised that while I enjoy smocking I am really not the greatest seamstress out there, even with a fantastically patient teacher. As I explored my mother’s ideas about what would become 2smock I realised that this product is for women like me.
2smock was launched in 2005 and since then a whole lot of life has been lived. 2smock was put on hold one month to the day before my son was born. What was meant to be maternity leave ended up being anxious waits in hospitals, sleepless nights, another complex pregnancy and difficult diagnosis’s. For the last few years my primary focus has been on helping my children overcome their own unique challenges. Much to my delight they are thriving and responding well to all the positive changes being made, so much so that I can return to work doing something I truly enjoy.
My Story – Diane Spencer-Scarr (Russell)
From being the young mother to watching my daughter now smocking dresses for her own little girl it truly feels like I have seen this concept come full circle. I have pursued many creative outlets over the years but smocking remains one of the most beloved ones. Once you learn the basic skills and become familiar with reading the smocking patterns it really does become a very relaxing and enjoyable pastime. I used to be amazed back when I had small children underfoot at how any other pastime would result in busy fingers and noisy demands interfering. Smocking however would result in silent little faces watching in rapt attention as the patterns emerged. My daughter would proudly tell her friends that “each stitch was a hug and kiss”.
Since returning to my PhD studies I find that the 2smock kits are a fantastic time saver. It makes it so easy to pull out a dress and smock up another little treasure for my granddaughter. While still actively involved in the design and planning processes of the business I am happy to pass on the day to day practicalities to my daughter. 2smock will always be a passion of mine and I am proud to see it become a family affair.
A lifetime in the making
2smock began way back in the early 1980’s in South Africa when a young mum with a love of smocking formed a group producing high quality smocked goods for the Johannesburg area called “Et-e-ken”. However by the mid 1980’s it was apparent that a move was in order and with much heartache and tears the young family moved to Australia to begin a new chapter of their life. Throughout it all the young mother continued to create lovingly smocked dresses and nightwear for her family and friends. Unfortunately as is all too often the case the pressures of raising a family saw her pleater and sewing machine spend more time in the cupboard than in use. Not wanting to give up her passion she turned the process of traditional smocking upside down. By gathering and assembling a few items in a weekend she would have plenty of smocking to keep her busy and she would only have to keep her inquisitive children away from her sewing one weekend a month. As family and friends saw the practicality of the idea producing easy to smock garments and kits was born.
The next step
Since the initial launch of 2smock we’ve launched two classic styles that form our basic range. We’ve learnt a lot about moving from home business into manufacturing and have some exciting new releases already and waiting for production.
We are also exploring new technologies to bring you the very best support and information to help anyone learn to smock.
Homemade or Manufactured
While we support and value homemade products there are benefits to well managed manufacturing items. Our aim is to offer the best of both worlds by working closely with our manufacturer and ensuring all the features you’d expect in a homemade item are retained. We personally train the seamstresses and inspect the conditions of their workplace. We are very aware of the challenges faced by off shore manufacturing and strive to ensure that all stages of our business process retain the initial principals of supporting and empowering women.
2smock products are designed to be blank canvases for your smocking. Originally designed to be sold as kits we’ve found that there are really only so many scissors and needles that one person needs. So to reduce wastage we now offer the products as standalone ready 2smock garments. We do still offer the add on accessories packs to turn any product into a kit for a nominal price.
Learning to smock
While smocking can become as intricate and complex as desired many dresses are quite stunning with simple designs and considered colour choices. The original packaging that comes with our products has a simple design and instructions to help you get started. Please don’t be overwhelmed if you can sew on a button, count and remember if your thread is up or down you will be able to smock your first project. We have taught many over the years and hope to continue doing so.