Founded in March 2016 and based in the beautiful Suffolk countryside, Mr Pickles is a trusted handmade brand with a wonderful story.
Lee, the designer & maker, had been struggling with anxiety for a number of years, he had been looking for something to help him overcome the overwhelming sense of anxiety he was feeling each day. A strange feeling that would stop him from going to the shop, meeting friends and just doing some daily things. He had tried so many things, running, tennis, learning an instrument, reading and therapy, none of which seemed to make a difference.
Then while traveling in Boston, he saw a small toy in a shop window that reminded him of his childhood toy. He knew he had to make one and this is where Mr Pickles started.
Lee began learning to sew and began practicing his skills on a children’s sewing machine, while filling up a sketchbook with ideas for toys he wanted to make, many of which are based on toys he had as a child.
As the days and weeks passed and his skills were getting better, his anxiety was finally under control, it was nearly gone. It wasn’t something he had to deal with each day and something he wasn't revolving his life around, it become something that just popped his head up now and again, it became something manageable.
Sewing has become a great passion of Lee’s, something mindful and creative. It has become a lifeline and a great tool for managing mental health, anyone who is struggling with anxiety should start sewing and get creative. Although he would recommend spending more than £8.99 on a children’s sewing machine.
Lee has a unique style, he loves simplicity and focuses on this with his designs. Each creation is as simple as possible, leaving as much room for the imagination of the children who play with the Mr Pickles collection.
As Mr Pickles grew and his sketchbook collection was building up, Lee was bringing his creations to life and the brand started to develop a loyal following. He still remembers his first order and nervously checking his emails each day waiting for feedback.
Though the first two years of Mr Pickles were very challenging, he worked early mornings, late nights and weekends to fine-tune his designs, produce stock and to pack each Mr Pickles orders.
Each product he sent out received a great response from the customer, this spurred him on to keep working hard to produce more Mr Pickles products as the knowledge of his brand was spreading.
Mr Pickles is now a trusted brand that is stocked in gift shops throughout Suffolk and surrounding areas. Lee continues to create new designs from his sketches to put a little bit of imagination and simplicity back into children’s lives.