Sarah is one quarter of the Mckenna household in the Rose of the Shires (central England), but thanks to her business, millalove, she admits that she takes up most of the space in their home. Originally from Oklahoma, U.S.A, she reminisces about the creative, passionate and boisterous family atmosphere she grew up in. “If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have the confidence to do any of this, let alone have a photograph of me online for all to see!”
A partially incomplete patchwork of graphic design, photography, art and computer studies has become an advantage for Sarah as she uses each of these skills to create a well-rounded, complete business. She works on millalove full time, is mum to two little ones, and fiancée to a very supportive and patient man who doesn’t fight the twinkle in her eye signaling an all-encompassing desire for new crafting materials.
After spending far too long staring at raw code while teaching herself web design, Sarah’s creative muse arrived in the form of a baby girl. “I desperately needed some colour back in my life. I bought a sewing machine, stocked up on bright fabric and was instantly hooked.” Creating pieces for her own home led to an idea for a line of decor items which she hoped others would fall in love with, too.
These days Sarah gets a great deal of satisfaction from the processes involved in her business. “Having a finished product packaged and photographed, ready to present to the Etsy audience, really makes me feel like I’ve achieved something.”
As a child, her prized possessions were magazines from the 1990s BBC TV interiors show, Changing Rooms. “Looking back now, I understand why I’d get a hard time about it from my siblings. Much in contrast with the things other kids my age would be doing, I’d spend hours sponge-painting my bedroom bright yellow with lime green woodwork accents. I’d get stencils from magazines and decorate the furniture with poster paint, which isn’t a very good idea at all.”
Her tastes have changed somewhat over the years, now adopting a more neutral, French Country style in her home, but Sarah still finds herself redecorating as often as once a year until it feels “just right.” When it comes to a fun environment for her children or her workspace however, there’s no such thing as too much colour or fun. “I’m also obsessed with hanging objects! If it can be strung and displayed in swags, I want it nearby. I believe you should have things that make you happy around you at all times, not just during the holidays or on special occasions.”