Hayden Lee, a student in her final year at Auburn’s Harrison School of Pharmacy, has created a small embroidery business for herself called Hoops and Needles.
Originally from Dothan, Alabama, Lee attended Troy University before coming to pharmacy school at Auburn. Lee said she chose pharmacy as a profession because “it allows me to combine my love of science and creativity.”
She explained how, oftentimes, people are surprised to hear that pharmacy is a creative field all on its own, although not in the typical sense.
“Pharmacists are creative problem solvers,” Lee said.
Pharmacy is a career that allows her to exercise creativity on a regular basis.
Her love for embroidery started during her senior year at Troy. She used it as a form of stress relief — in other words, her own form of meditation.
“After a particularly long day, I picked up a kit from Walmart, watched a couple of YouTube videos and became instantly hooked,” Lee said. “I started modifying patterns I bought online and then progressed into creating my own designs.”
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In the beginning stages of her small business, Lee said she made an Instagram account to showcase her work. As people saw what she had created, they started asking her to make designs for them. Lee started an Etsy shop the day after she graduated from Troy.
Lee stitches everything by hand, which ultimately allows much more creative freedom than using a sewing machine would.
“I enjoy looking back on the improvements I have made since I first created Hoops and Needles, and I find the challenges of custom orders to be my favorite,” she said.
Lee’s embroidery work can be found at The Maker and Merchant in the Auburn Mall and on her Etsy shop.
Carolyne Baker, a fourth-year pharmacy student at Auburn and a close friend of Hayden, is a customer of Hoops and Needles.
Baker and Lee met in August 2017 during their first year of pharmacy school and have been friends ever since.
“Hayden’s attention to detail and unique designs drew me to purchase items,” Baker said. “She truly puts her heart and soul into her designs.”
Baker said Lee is in the process of making items for her wedding in January.
“Hayden is currently working on embroidering handkerchiefs for my wedding with the handwriting of both my grandmother and my fiance’s grandmother to give to the mother of the bride and mother of the groom,” Baker said.
From handkerchiefs to small designs on pillows, she said Lee’s passion for creativity is evident.
Hayden looks forward to hosting embroidery workshops possibly sometime in the spring of 2021. She can also be found on Instagram.
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