The Creatives: Meghan Daniel of Crybaby Stitch
Artistry: Embroidery art, Crybaby Stitch
Online: crybabycrossstitch.com, @crybabystitch on Instagram
Her Etsy site proclaims “I like sad songs and girl stuff,” but lately, artist Meghan Daniel’s heart-wrenching playlist has been replaced with detective podcasts, melodic balladry with murder.
“True crime and chill” is scripted in that ’70s orange across a row of drinking glasses sitting on a shelf in her equally vintage-splashed workspace. Daniel took a job as a framer at FW Gallery last year, but during downtime inside the Acadian cottage on Highland Road, she retreats to her citrus-colored creative nook and reaches for her needle and thread.
The snarky glasses on the shelf above are just one piece of branded merchandise Daniel has created to share more of the personality behind her custom embroidery business Crybaby Stitch that is loud and proud with personality already.
“People like the curse words a lot,” she says. “I can’t seem to keep those in stock.”
Using embroidery hoops as her dominant canvases, Daniel custom stitches a variety of visuals and, yes, some expletives on demand. While she takes commissions—she’s even done a hamster portrait that made the pet owner cry—Daniel prefers creating whatever strikes her in the moment. “Bigger Idiots Than You” and “You are Enough” are current favorites.
And that’s how her brand began, personal creative expression of making items for her now-4-year-old daughter’s nursery.
“At first I thought, ‘I like this but other people probably won’t—this is just my thing,’” Daniel says. “Finding other creatives by posting my stuff on Instagram really helped me push, and helped me gain confidence.”
Making strictly by hand now means each piece can take up to four hours, but she has a vintage Singer sewing machine and plans to expand into more clothing, patches and home décor like pillows and wall hangings. Thrifted denim shirts and jackets hang next to her desk, waiting for creative stitching designs.
Though her goal was to have her Singer humming by May, she hasn’t quite mastered the old machine yet, even though expanding her business depends largely on being able to take more new ideas from paper to the people faster.
In the meantime, she is filling up her notebook and phone with new visual ideas and funny or encouraging phrases—some snatched from conversations she overhears in public.
“I get every idea down at first, and go back over them later,” the LSU grad says. “I laugh at some things I thought were good ideas at the time, but I’m still glad I recorded them.”
Daniel’s advice for handling times of slower-than-anticipated growth is to remain patient in one’s process and kind to oneself.
“I’ve been doing this long enough to know—don’t beat yourself up over it,” Daniel says. “People, especially artists, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves. We perpetuate negative self talk. It helps to remind yourself that it’s fine. You’re going to be fine.”