Made with love: Corinne Sim has rediscovered a passion for sewing, which is supporting a cause close to her family’s hearts. Photos: EDWINA WILLIAMS

Small hobby brand supports orphanage

January 16, 2021 BY

AWARE that fundraising efforts were challenging for charities throughout the pandemic, Corinne Sim decided to reacquaint herself her sewing machine.

“My father and mother-in-law run a charity in Moshi, Tanzania called Upendo Home for orphans, so my husband and I thought we had a good opportunity to try and help them in some small way,” she said.

“I found an old headwrap from years ago and decided to have a go at reinventing something with it.”

Getting back into the swing of sewing, Mrs Sim donated her own materials and time to handmaking headwraps, which she advertised and sold, directing all profits to the foundation.

Thistle & Bone sells 14 colours of headwraps.

“Our target was $1000. We sold close to 50 to make just over $1200 within a week-and-a-half. The support was really positive, overwhelming, and there was lovely feedback about the product quality.

“From there, I decided to establish it as a small, ongoing hobby business, Thistle & Bone Accessories. We will be donating a percentage of profits each year towards the charity,” Mrs Sim said.

“While our support is small compared to other fundraising events for the charity, we’re glad to contribute in our own little way and fund small components of day-to-day operations.”

Headwraps are the current focus, but she is in discussions with manufacturers to expand her product offerings within the coming months.

“There’s an incredible recycled cord that’s made in Poland. I’ve got a few samples, I will be crocheting necklaces, and looking to make necklace kits so people can create their own with some instructions.

“We also have some crocheted cloths which can be utilised in the kitchen or bathroom. We want to source fabric from ethical and sustainable manufacturers and look at an organic range,” Mrs Sim said.

“They’re our long-term goals once we’re more established, but for now, it’s great creative therapy for me which brings joy and a sense of calm to my days, a couple of times a week.”

Upendo Home chair and Ballarat local Anthony Sim said the facility is a safe place for orphans and street children, run by Australian group Upendo Artist Association.

“Currently our funds are desperately short for keeping these kids in the home and keeping them at school,” he said.

“We have 18 children aged between five and 19, all of whom came from very difficult backgrounds. Without our help, they will be condemned to potentially a life of crime, or in the case of the girls, exploitation.

“With our help, they have a stable home life and a great education. We wish to stay small so we can foster a family-type environment.”

Thistle & Bone has a range of headwraps in 14 colours. Mrs Sim is developing a toddler and child range.

Visit thistle-and-bone-designs.myshopify.com or drop into the Essential Candle Co to show your support.