This is the most incredibly touching story of a beautiful woman I came to know through the Instagram community. Starting as a business relationship, a friendship quickly formed, and it was with incredible respect to her craft that I approached her to share her business.
In our conversation, like two long lost friends, it was her personal journey that stole my heart!
As a newborn baby, Nicoleta was let down by her parents.
Her angel, her Grandmother, took her in to raise her into the beautiful woman she is today. “God kept you alive, there is a reason.”
At a very young age, Nicoleta described herself to me as a busy child, creative and curious. Her Grandmother was taught the craft of sewing by her own mother and in turn shared this gift with Nicoleta at only six years old.
Admiring the intricate skills of her Great Grandmother’s pieces – magnificently embroided, sewn and beaded all by hand, Nicoleta would replicate it with her own.
It was her way of building a connection with her Great Grandmother whom she had never met. To this day her incredible work has travelled with Nicoleta from Romania to her sewing room in Sydney where she creates her precious Keepsakes.
“If it means something else gets left behind, this piece from my Great Grandmother is my priority, my connection.”
Working from the age of 15, Nicoleta worked in hospitality, taking her to Greece and onto Italy before settling in Australia where Nicoleta studied accounting.
Returning on holiday to Romania in 2013, it was the last precious time she spent with her “old bag of wisdom” before passing away. During this visit her Grandmother quietly told her, “Make your life so when you are my age you won’t regret it.”
Nicoleta held onto these words and it was with this strength and courage she returned to Australia and began redirecting her life. Still believing that she is able to see her now. Looking down on Nicoleta’s wonderful partner David and their precious little girl.
“Kathryn is my Grandmother’s gift to me, my Angel.” As she was diagnosed with polycystic ovaries and never expected that she herself would be a mother.
While leading up to maternity leave, Nicoleta saw it as her opportunity to pursue her own business. Her rational that she would be home with baby Kathryn and if it wasn’t meant to be she still had the option to return back to work.
Unsure how to channel her sewing passion, Nicoleta knew she wanted create quality she could pour her heart and soul into, knowing it would last 100 years just as she had learnt from her Grandmother and Great Grandmother.
Reflecting on her own sadness when her baby girl would outgrow another outfit that would only be packed away, the concept of creating keepsake gifts out of treasured clothing was suggested to her.
“YES! This is for me, I could do this for the rest of my life.”
She created and constructed over 20 different designs before perfecting her signature pattern for her Keepsake Bear. Shaking as she cut her first piece of fabric from her daughter’s clothing, the gravity of creating an item from something so precious and irreplaceable overcame her.
“I’m not sewing with fabric, I’m sewing with memories.”
“I treat each of my customer’s clothing as though it is my own” as the significance of being trusted with her customer’s most treasured pieces is certainly not lost on her.
With her very own daughter Kathryn’s keepsake bear, and with boys clothing she had purchased from an Op Shop to create a second sample, Nicoletta launched her own Facebook page.
Since then she has created precious keepsakes for over 250 customers!
Her creations have been made from children’s clothing, clothing worn by loved ones who have since passed and even wedding gowns.
But there are limitations!
“No, sorry, not cutting it!” Nicoleta recalls saying to some of her customers as she has such enormous respect for the garments she is presented. “I find it difficult to cut pieces from hand knitting, for example I was once given an item that would have had 10 hours spent by hand to make it.” It was a treasure of its very own.
“I ask every customer to tell me your story.” Nicoleta explained.
She receives parcels with clothing often labelled to explain how and why it holds such importance. And the stories she tells from each that she remembers, a piece of her goes home with each creation.
Not only is her work so incredible, it’s the emotional connection that she builds with each of her customers. The pride she takes in delivering the most beautiful treasures is so incredibly inspiring!
As she does, she reflects back to her Grandmother.
“I hope she would be proud of me, and not have any guilt from her son, my Father.”
“I miss my Grandmother every day, she’s a part of me. I don’t meet someone without telling them about my Grandma.”
To turn your precious clothes into timeless keepsakes, visit Nicoleta’s store www.keepsakesbynicoleta.com.au