Help me save Dolly!
My name is Justine Robson and I live on the Southcoast in sunny Worthing. A few years ago I was working in finance and loved my job, but I started to feel very strange, confused and generally just out of sorts. At one point I actually thought I was losing my mind. My work was suffering, but I did what we all do and just tried to battle on. Eventually I collapsed, gave in and went to the doctors and was diagnosed where I was diagnosed with bi-polar. I was having severe anxiety attacks 2-3 times a week and often ending up with the paramedics. It was a really grim time. I became agrophobic and would only leave the house with my partner. I would spend most days on my own in the dark, there were times I thought I'd never feel "normal" again.
My partner was amazing, I don't know how I would have survived without him. He built me a craft room at the end of the garden all from recycled items. It is amazing, my piece of heaven. It allowed me to get back to my roots of arts and crafts and it allowed me to escape, I loved it. About the same time I helped my mum set up a facebook page for her crocheted items Made with my own lilly white hands, and I started adding my items too. The customers started to come in and everything slowly began to change. It brought me so much joy and it was great working with my mum.
The next step in the road to recovery came when my friend opened The Craft TEA Gift shop and Tea Rooms in Worthing and was renting space to local crafters and artists. Mum and I decided to rent a unit and to be honest, we have never looked back! Things were going so well that mum had to teach me to crochet just so we could keep up. I totally fell in love with crochet and was "hooked" immediately. I now run 3 classes a week at the shop and have met the most amazing women. It has totally turned my life around.
So, whilst I was at my darkest time, my wonderful partner scraped the money together to by me Dolly, a Bedford Bambi campervan. I had wanted one for many years and we intended to use it so we could go away at weekends with our lovely dogs in the hope it would help with my recovery. Unfortunatley she got badly damaged before we really had a chance to go anywhere. I was devasated and could barely look at her, she sat for a year unused.
Once things had started improving healthwise and I was teaching in the shop fans of our facebook page were saying how they wished they lived closer so they could come to class. I had a flash of inspiration, what if I could turn Dolly into a travelling craft room and I could take the classes to them? I could also give people who suffer from mental health or any other invisible disease a chance to not think about it for a while, a bit of escapism in an enviroment where people understood and had been through similar experiences. They do say that being creative is great therapy and I am living proof of that. It took me to go back to my roots of art and design to rebuild my life, now I'd like to give others the same opportunity.
If you can pledge any money towards helping this become a reality I would be very grateful. I am looking to raise £5000 that would go towards reparing or replacing Dolly, getting her looking fabulous and kitting her out so she's ready for all the wonderful things that will be created in her. The money will also go towards any advertising and website fees. I will be using my talents to refurbish her, chintzing her up inside and out!
I have some wonderful rewards on offer for you (most of them crocheted!) I've tried to include something for everyone.
Exclusive button badges:
Exclusive handmade key fobs:
"Nanny Butler" cake:
Limited edition tote bag:
Crocheted animal dolls:
Large animal dolls:
Crocheted blankets, choose from 4 designs:
Exclusive buttons to be added to all crocheted items:
Please be aware if you pledge for the crocheted items, mum and I make these to order from scratch, so we are putting delivery from 3-6 months after the crowdfunding has ended. We will of course get them to you as quickly as we can. All of the items on offer are limited edition and will not be repeated after the campaign has ended. The dolls, tea cosies and blankets will have the exclusive "I helped save Dolly" buttons on them. So even though the designs will be repeated on our FB page, the inclusion of the buttons will not.
Some very kind words people have said ~
"I have known Justine for about 14 years. She is one of the most generous, kind and creative people I know. On a personal note, she helped to make my wedding day so special by taking all the photo's as well as finding the time to help decorate the reception venue. She is a real friend and amazing person and I know that Dolly's Adventures will be a huge success. xxx " E. Scott Cotton
"I had already attended two 'Learn to crochet' classes run by other people before I attended one of Justine's but had failed to learn anything apart from one stitch. After only a handful of classes I now feel like I can take on almost any project which astounds me after trying and failing at crochet for over 30 years! Justine's patience is amazing, her calm and jolly teaching style makes every lesson fun and informative. Not only does she show you what the stitches are, but explains why a certain stitch is needed which then means that following bought patterns makes sense too. I cannot recommend her classes enough. They feel like a real bit of 'treat-time'. Thank you Justine. " L. Glaisyer
"I have known Justine for many years now and although we started out working together she became a lifelong friend. She has a creative flare and this is her true passion. She will bring much joy to others helping them to uncover their creative streak. She is an extraordinary lady and I wish her and Dolly lots of luck. X " T. Lankstead
"Just over a year ago, in the Craft Tea Gift Shop I met Justine. I love crafting but am very self critical and impatient (totally opposite to my work life). I come from a family of knitters and sewers so producing anything acceptable was going to be a challenge. At the first class I realised I had met a wonderful lady who I secretly hoped would become my friend but who approached my learning style ( I need to hear instructions) with patience acceptance and a supportive nurturing that is incredibly precious. Justine has since then helped me to gain confidence, self acceptance and a passion for something other than my work. A place and skill to escape to and a tribe of like minded crotchers who make me feel at ease being me. I will never be able to thank Justine enough for all these gifts and opportunities she has given me. Here's to many more years of crotchet fun. Xxxx" J. Williamson
"I have known Justine for a number of years, firstly in her brilliant leadership as a work colleague, then more importantly as a loyal, trusted friend. She has seen great success and suffered at the hands of illness, yet she has never given up. She’s a fighter, not a quitter who rarely stops smiling and brightens the lives of so many. She has spent her life helping others, now she deserves to receive help and succeed in her campaign, not only for her own rehabilitation but also to highlight and help others suffering from various illnesses that it is still possible to live and love life. Please support her campaign in any way you can to get Dolly (or Dolly II) on the road to follow the Adventures of Dolly, Justine and her dogs to educate and brighten even more lives on her travels. " Rachel Gedney, The Wisdom Mentor.
If we are lucky enough to raise more than £5000 (which would be AMAZING) we will put that money towards the fees incurred for running the campaign and also we would love to revamp the small flat bed truck we have that matches Dolly. If we could get him resprayed in a retro blue he could go to events with Dolly which would be wonderful.
For taking the time to look at my campaign and for helping us on our way, it is really appreciated.
All our love
Justine and Dolly xx