Memory Zoo was started by Katie in 2014 when her daughter was only one-year-old, and she made her first Memory Teddy Bear to remember her own daughter’s baby days. Since then the company has gone on to offer several different types of keepsake animals, memory bears and wedding dress keepsakes.
Katie didn’t know that she was going to dedicate her life to making Memory Teddy Bears (and other keepsakes) when she was made redundant whilst she was pregnant, but she’s so glad she does! Starting Memory Zoo gave her the opportunity to set her own working hours, spend time with her young daughter and work in harmony with her Multiple Sclerosis.
Katie has been sewing for 10 years and used it as a therapy tool after her father passed away. She takes tremendous pleasure from creating beautiful keepsakes for her customers and truly believes each new keepsake she makes is her favourite!
Memory Zoo has grown since she first started it and although Katie can no longer keep up with the demand of sewing on her own, she has offered out the flexible working pattern to other seamstresses in similar situations.
If you’d like to read about Katie’s Multiple Sclerosis, how she manages her health and business then you can buy her book ‘Mumpreneur On Fire 4’ here.
Raya started sewing in school and vividly remembers finishing her GCSE project – a pair of dungarees and a shirt for her nephew – and just knew that she wanted to lead a creative life. Like many people, she didn’t immediately follow her passion but started sewing again when she made her daughter’s bridesmaid dress for her own wedding in 2015. Since then she has been sewing non-stop and has made bags, clothes, and high chair covers. Not to mention memory teddy bears and other keepsakes!
Raya says, ‘I discovered Memory Zoo and grabbed the opportunity to work with Katie. I love being able to take such beautiful, cherished items and make them into something special. It’s an honour every time clothes are passed on to me. Being a part of the Memory Zoo team has been incredible. I never knew I had the ability to make something so beautiful and it’s boosted my confidence and skills with my sewing machine. Not to mention working alongside a lovely group of people! Away from the sewing machine, I enjoy spending my days with my 4 children. When I’m not being a mum I love to dance, particularly hoop dancing!’
Sue started sewing when she was 14 years old and although she didn’t pursue it during her working life, she has come back to it full swing during retirement. She’s always loved being creative and makes lots of beautiful things with her grandchildren.
She says, ‘I love and adore making memory keepsakes as I know how precious memories are. My 5 grandchildren all have Memory Zoo keepsakes, so working in the Memory Zoo team makes it all so much more special. Being part of the team gives me a lot of pleasure and enthusiasm. Katie is always on hand to boost confidence and skills. When I’m not sewing I love spending time with my family, walking and reading.’
Shaney has sewing in her blood! Both her Nan and Mum were constantly sewing – clothes, upholstery and soft furnishings. Her earliest memories are of her Mum sewing on her old pedal foot Singer sewing machine.
Shaney says, ‘I cannot imagine myself without a sewing machine and I’d feel lost without one. I had seen MZ on facebook and adored the animals that I saw in the pictures, so when I heard MZ was looking for seamstresses I jumped at the chance to join the team. I have a memory cushion I made myself out of a blanket my nan knitted. It means so much to me! If I can make something for someone out of special items that would mean as much to them as my Nan’s blanket does to me, then that will make me smile. That item becomes priceless to the individual and so very special.’
When Shaney isn’t sewing for her family, she loves to polish up on her knowledge about her idol Marilyn Monroe. She has many books and films about her! Shaney’s family also have a wonderful new addition in her first grandson and she loves to catch up on her Granny cuddles with him.