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Looking for a lovely gift or a few goodies to stuff your stockings, perhaps? Something pretty, personal and perfectly made? If you’re nodding away, read on and meet Sarah from Wishing Tree

What sort of products do you market?
I design and make bunting, cosmetic bags, tote bags and purses.

When and why did you decide to start your own business?
I developed the idea last April whilst Ben, my 10 year old son, visited Cyprus on a school trip. I needed something to occupy my mind so I started to make bunting for our forthcoming Easter party…haven’t looked back since then!

1. Sarah makes a fabulous range of accessories and bunting. Gosh, we can see some of the Wishing Tree‘s red bunting strung up around our Saffron Souk this Christmas!   2. The cosmetics bags come in a fun range of prints with fun lining to boot!   3. A favourite – the red camper van tote bag   

What’s the best thing about setting up your own brand?
The addictive nature of seeing my ideas coming to life on the sewing table…I also get a real buzz from seeing customers happy with their new purchases!

What are some of the challenges you’ve faced?
Understanding how to reach a wider market and making my designs available where people can buy them.

What do you love about selling online?
The ease with which I can reach customers across the GCC as well as here in the UAE.

1. Funky prints from the Wishing Tree…we’re loving these coin purses made in a bright wheel design fabric   2. Bunting in multi-coloured dots!   3. Blue bunting, in polka dots and….   4. A tote made from a cute zebra print – what a lovely gift for a little girl!
Where do you source your materials?
All my materials are sourced in Dubai…I strongly believe it’s important to support local business.

What sets your products apart?
My use of funky, on-trend fabrics and simple design combined with great quality. I really want my customers to “see it, love it & buy it” so my products are available at great prices too!

Where do you get your inspiration to be creative from?
Fabric shops and souks. Just so many great fabrics to make into bags and purses.

Wishing Tree’s toiletry bag and coin purse   2. Here’s Sarah busy at her sewing machine. We’re loving the stash of gorgeous fabrics!   3. And just look at the finished creations…

Who’s your favourite designer?
Alexa Chung of Mulberry fame.

Any exciting news to share?
Watch out for new Kindle covers, pencil cases along with some great new fabrics across the range.

What’s your favourite colour?
It changes constantly…at the moment it’s red.

What’s your favourite film?
The Help…a real tear jerker, although I seem to cry at most films!

What are you reading right now?
I love historical novels set in the 18th or 19th Century…so currently reading Lawanna Blackwell’s tale of 19th Century life in London.

1. A sprinkling of Sarah’s favourite things…

When did you last laugh?
I laugh most days…my son considers himself a bit of a comedian.

What keeps you awake at night?
The 99 problems I always seem to have…98 of them are completely made up scenarios in my head that I’m stressing about for absolutely no logical reason…it’s a terrible habit.

Do you have any regrets?
Only that I should have started Wishing Tree many years ago!

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Without a doubt, to have more self-confidence…it can be hard to succeed without it.

You’re throwing a fantasy dinner party. Who do you invite, alive, dead, real or fictitious?
Kirsty Allsop, Martin Clunes, Mary Berry, Peter Kay & Hugh Jackman…an eclectic mix indeed!

1. We’re loving the look of your fantasy dinner party line up, Sarah. All bases covered – food, style, good conversation and a few giggles, not to mention the delicious Mr Jackman!

Do you have any pets?
Yes, a stray cat who seems to have adopted us!

Do you collect anything?
Shoes of course!

Do you believe in luck?
Certainly, but I also believe we create our own luck too!

Do you have a motto?
Every experience and adventure is another stitch in life’s rich tapestry.

Did you ever run away from home as a child?

Sarah’s hard at work stitching bunting   2. Her stash of completed shopping totes   3-4. And a couple of close up snaps of Wishing Tree‘s shopping totes. Don’t you love the attention to detail? That red lining is fabulous

What is your golden rule?
Treat others as you expect to be treated.

What is your greatest aim in life?
To be a great mum.

What is the oddest habit you will admit to?
Must have a touch of OCD…All my cup handles must point in the same direction in the cupboard.

What are your 5 favourite finds from the Saffron Souk market?
Red flower dress from 2birds…gorgeous! Pillow covers by Serendipity Home…can’t resist pillows with fabulous covers.
Custom made embroidered place mats by The Linen Souk…very classy. Jelly Fish earrings by Niketa Designs…unique. Green Snake Rattle by Pebble…great fun.

1. And here they are…Sarah’s favourites: the red flower dress from 2birds and…   2. A selection of some of the fabulous hand-printed cushion covers from Serendipity Home. There are colours to suit everyone’s sofa!

1. The Linen Souk‘s range of bespoke tableware can be customised to your requirements. You can choose the colour of linen, embroidered motif and embroidery colour – perfection! Here’s a placemat embroidered with a cheery crab motif   2. Jellyfish earrings from Niketa Designs. Niketa has a super range of unique and handmade jewellery and we’re loving the prices!   3. Pebble‘s green snake rattle. All Pebble’s toys are handmade in Bangladesh and a purchase helps support the talented ladies who create them

This has been great fun Sarah! Thanks so much for chatting with us here at Saffron Souk.

Sarah’s gorgeous handmade bags and accessories are available at her online boutique, Wishing Tree. Stop in for a browse but be warned, you’ll have a hard time leaving empty handed!