Purple Hippo Stitches - Snarky Cross Stitch Fun!

Cincinnati, Ohio

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PurpleHippoStitches is taking a short break


Note from shop owner Purple Hippo Stitches is taking an indefinite break from Etsy! Our business has grown so much over the years and we now operate a brick-and-mortar called The Hoop & Needle in Cincinnati, OH. In the meantime, you can still visit us at www.thehoopandneedle.com where we offer the full range of Purple Hippo Stitches plus other independent designers.

Note from shop owner

Last updated on Aug 4, 2022

Purple Hippo Stitches is taking an indefinite break from Etsy! Our business has grown so much over the years and we now operate a brick-and-mortar called The Hoop & Needle in Cincinnati, OH. In the meantime, you can still visit us at www.thehoopandneedle.com where we offer the full range of Purple Hippo Stitches plus other independent designers.

Sarah Fisher

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Sarah Fisher


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About PurpleHippoStitches

Sales 1,365
On Etsy since 2007

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Purple Hippo Stitches

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  • Sarah Fisher

    Owner, Maker, Designer

    THE BUSINESS Purple Hippo Stitches grew out of Sarah’s ongoing addiction to cross-stitch and her discovery of an amazing book called Subversive Cross-Stitch that showed that cross-stitch didn’t have to be all about bible quotes and teddy bears. She soon wanted to branch out into making her own patterns and designed “Bitches Ain’t Shit” and “America Fuck Yeah” with the help of pattern books and MacStitch. Her mom thought that these stitches were awesome and placed the first order for custom pieces. Sarah soon starting creating original patterns and mixing them with vintage patterns. Not know what to do with a bunch of lewd stitches, she added them to her Etsy shop, known at the time as Purple Hippo Jewelry. Purple Hippo Jewelry was opened in 2007 soon after Sarah discovered the amazingness that was Etsy. As an undergraduate at Oberlin College, she was able to buy supplies at Bead Paradise, one of the most amazing bead shops you will ever find. Soon after graduation, this first venture died out because making jewelry just wasn’t as fun without supplies from the bead store and Sarah moved to London. Purple Hippo Stitches reached it’s current incarnation in the summer of 2009. Sarah had found herself in a tiny apartment in Bloomington, Indiana with her boyfriend knowing no one else in town, without a job, and an impending stack of student loans for her first semester of graduate school. Out of shear boredom and a wish to not kill her boyfriend from spending way too much time with him, she started stitching and hasn’t stopped since. Purple Hippo Stitches now participates in craft shows around the Midwest, maintains a presence on Etsy and sells in two brick and mortar stores. With her recent graduation from library school, Sarah has decided to devote more time to her business to see how far it can take her. WHY A PURPLE HIPPO? Hippos are clearly the best animals. They are ridiculously adorable and will not hesitate to rip you to pieces. Hippos kill more people in Africa every year than any other animal. You do not fuck with a hippo. If you want to think about it too hard, hippos are the perfect metaphor for these adorable cross-stitches that also pack a punch and offend people with delicate sensibilities. So that’s kind of the same thing as killing people… Despite the recent incarnation as Purple Hippo Stitches, the Purple Hippo has been the title behind all of Sarah’s creative and not-so creative endeavors since she was a kid. Not known for being particularly talented, she once learned how to draw a hippo out of a “how to draw” book. Her mom thought the hippo reminded her of one that used to hang in her room as a kid that was purple. So Sarah colored all of her hippos purple. And she never thought of a better sounding name. SO ONE PERSON STITCHES ALL THIS? The short answer…yes. Purple Hippo Stitches is run by Sarah and she stitches every single piece by hand. Her boyfriend has offered to help, but if you want something done right you have to do it yourself! Even the smallest pieces usually take a couple of hours, though Sarah is an abnormally fast stitcher. WAIT…WHO IS SARAH? Sarah is the stitcher behind the purple hippo. She was taught how to cross-stitch at the age of 10 by her Aunt Nanno. She worked on a number of projects that were to be given as gifts and were never completed. Those people remained giftless for which she sincerely apologizes. Despite being artistically challenged, Sarah had always been crafty and was gifted with a shrewd business sense from a young age. Her extended family was often forced to purchase handmade jewelry, buttons, POGs (remember those?), beaded safety pins, paper beads, friendship bracelets and probably other things that have long since been forgotten. Sarah graduated from Tallmadge High School in a suburb of Akron, Ohio in 2004. She then attended Oberlin College where she majored in appreciating, but not creating, art (aka art history). Her personal favorite areas to study are medieval history and art and early Impressionism. While at college, Sarah was first exposed to the hipster and hippie lifestyles which, for better or worse, grew on her and fueled her love for the DIY movement and PBR (the superior shitty cheap beer). She also used these years to get as much travel in as possible and loves to share travel and backpacking tips for Europe. In her freshman year, she was able to go on a class trip to Kyoto, Japan to study Buddhism and spent a month of her summer in Paris, France taking beginning French lessons. During her senior year, she lived in Copenhagen, Denmark for a semester. While not her favorite place, it was a great experience and also allowed her to travel to Russia, Ireland, and Hungary. After graduating from college in 2008, Sarah discovered that majoring in art history combined with the perfectly timed economic collapse did not result in a well paying job. So she moved to London, worked in a pub, then spent almost two months backpacking around Europe. She also convinced Tim, her not boyfriend but soon to be boyfriend, to come backpacking in Scotland and Italy. When they got back, Sarah was accepted to Indiana University’s Library Science program. Tim and Sarah moved to Bloomington, Indiana to a tiny apartment and have been there ever since. Sarah recently graduated but has decided to stick around Bloomington while her boyfriend gets through grad school. Besides running her crafty business, she also works part time at the GLBT Student Support Services on campus as their library coordinator. She gets to do lots of nerdy librarian stuff and help raise awareness and acceptance of GLBT issues. It’s pretty much the best job ever, besides the inability to earn a living at it.

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Last updated on February 16, 2023

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