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Meet Claudia Nascimento of Between Letters and Stitches in Mira Mesa

Today we’d like to introduce you to Claudia Nascimento.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Claudia. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I’m a mathematician, Ph.D in Science that had a life-changing in 2016 when I discovered that I was pregnant. I was teaching in a university in Brazil while my husband was working in San Diego and the pregnancy changed everything! I left Brazil and moved to California to raise my new family. But, unlike in Brazil, in San Diego, I was not allowed to work because of VISA restrictions. It was a challenge because I could never see myself not working and not feeling independent as I always dreamed.

My son was born in October of 2016, and this year, he started to go full time at pre-school and I got my work permission. I just wanted to fill my time up with something that I really loved and enjoyed doing. Something to make me feel alive and active again. One day, looking on Instagram, I got inspired by some hand lettering and calligraphy posts and decided to write some quotes myself with a little calligraphy experience that I got when I was a little girl and my father encouraged me to write in calligraphy books to improve my letter.

Then, I bought new pens, borrowed some calligraphy books from the library and the studies started. Shortly after, I saw on the internet an embroidery hoop as a home decoration item. Again, it threw me back to my childhood and I remembered the time I spent stitching with my grandma. At this point, I just wondered that I could combine both activities by embroidering a hand lettering quote made by myself. That’s how Between Letters and Stitches was born.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It was not an easy path because I wasn’t sure that this business could really happen. I didn’t have work permission and the process took more than I expected. Also, I worked all my life teaching, I never had sold anything and have my own business sounded like impossible for me. So, while I was waiting for my visa, I took some classes at the College to learn the basics about a small business. The business is still so new, I’m sure I have more challenges ahead and a lot to learn with them.

Please tell us more about your business.
Between Letters and Stitches is pretty new and I’m doing basically everything on it, since all the products made by hand, labels and packing until website and social media interaction. The thing that I like more in this small business is the creative process. I write and draw everything by hand, then I transfer the pattern to the fabric and do hand embroidering to complete the process. I decided to not use plastic in anything, so I sew cotton bags to pack the embroidery hoops.

What I’m most proud of my small business is the way it born. I came back to my childhood and I came across activities that I love but for some reason, I lost at some point in my life. So, I believe that all the love and passion that I have for calligraphy and embroidery makes all the difference.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My favorite memories from my childhood is closely connected to Between Letters and Stitches. I lived with my grandma since I was three years old and she taught me a lot. I remember to spend time with her cooking, drinking very sweet tea (and I loved it), watching Brazilian soap operas and stitching.

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