EnVi is back with our Small Business Spotlight. This time, we contacted Clara, owner of EmbroideryUnnie, a Vancouver, Canada based shop bringing modern embroidery designs to life. Over email, Clara shared her journey from quarantine hobbyist to K-pop merchandise creator, taking us through the creative processes that drive her unique and beautiful creations.

The Skill of Embroidery 

Clara started her embroidery journey in May 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic. In an effort to keep busy, she started to learn how to embroider through watching YouTubers and other artists. Clara has been interested in learning new skills since she was young like knitting and bobby pin beading. She mentioned, “With embroidery, this was no different.” 

Clara discovered the K-pop group SEVENTEEN in January 2021 and credits them for her interest in learning embroidery.  She often came across fanart that SEVENTEEN fans, CARATS, would create and wanted to use her skills to do the same. Most of the art she saw was drawings, paintings, or digital media. Embroidery became her unique way to make items inspired by her favorite group. The first SEVENTEEN items she embroidered were Uniqlo shirts. The embroidery was inspired by different eras and title tracks of the group. Although she was a beginner, Clara said, “It wasn’t a bad start. I felt inspired to continue because I created something for my favorite group.” She was also pleased to learn that her favorite member of the group, Joshua, shared the same passion for arts and crafts, forging an even deeper connection to SEVENTEEN.

Birth of a Business Owner 

In July 2021 Clara opened her Instagram to show her commissions from friends and family.

As she began to share more of her SEVENTEEN-themed work, she was able to build a following. She posted an embroidery piece inspired by SEVENTEEN’s 8th mini album, Your Choice. As more people started to view her work, they encouraged her to start selling her work. “I ended up doing two collaborations with WorldWide Carats on Twitter to raise funds for fans to support SEVENTEEN’s upcoming comebacks,” she said. After the collaboration, she decided to start selling her creations. In February of the same year, Clara opened up her Etsy shop, where she now sells SEVENTEEN-themed tote bags, keychains, and other clothing items. 

The Creative Process

Oftentimes Clara has a specific song or video in mind for a piece, and sometimes she watches music videos for inspiration. From there, she finds different colors of embroidery floss and starts stitching from there. Her process may sound chaotic to some but it works for her. “I am a very structured and organized person, especially in my day job, so it’s fun to deviate from my norm and create without a road map to follow,” she said. Since there is no guide, having the freedom to try different methods makes each piece unique. 

Clara’s Favorites

Among all her items, the Carat Flower Logo line is her favorite. She designed the logo to be made of flowers embroidered in CARAT’s fandom colors, rose quartz and serenity. Clara also embroidered the design on baseball caps, bucket hats, and even tote bags. Reminiscing on stories customers have relayed to her, she said, “One local CARAT even bumped into Seungkwan in Vancouver while she was wearing my Carat Flower Logo hat! This design is so special to me and it warms my heart to know others love it as much as I do.”

Words of Reflection 

From working with SEVENTEEN’s fanbase to selling her products at local K-pop events in Vancouver, Clara is incredibly grateful for all the support and looks forward to the future. She said, “K-pop connects fans from all over the world and I love that I can also take part in this by sharing my own artwork.”

Keep up with Clara by checking out her website, Instagram, and TikTok

Want to explore more small businesses? Check out our recent small business spotlight here