About Sarah

The first heart healed by 1000 Hearts was my own...

I first started making and sharing pocket hearts in 2015, at a time when I was suffering severe anxiety and my marriage was in crisis.

When I set up 1000 Hearts in February 2016, I was separated and trying to rebuild my life as a single mother. My kids, my ex-husband (a truly good man) and I were all recovering from the shock and grief.

When I started making hearts, I wanted to help others but unwittingly, I had created something that would bring new purpose and meaning to my own life. With each stitch and every heart gifted, I could feel my own heart healing. Over time, the hearts showed me a new way forward.

My Story

  • My love of sewing started at a young age, and like many others, I was taught by my grandmother. My mother left our family when I was three, and moved overseas when I was four years old. I didn't see her again until I was sixteen.

    The reasons for her departure are complex and horribly sad, but suffice to say she suffered terribly from a mental illness that wasn't well understood or treated in the 70s and 80s.

    My Mum always sewed and worked with fabrics and textiles...knitting, weaving, dyeing and stitching, and when she lived overseas, she sent many little handmade gifts to me and my siblings in the mail.

    She made tiny dolls from felt, small pouches stitched from Liberty fabrics and fastened with tiny buttons or press-studs. Larger bags to carry treasures in. T-shirts with her drawings on the front.

  • Mum hand made all these gifts and sent them to her children as reminders of her love. Through the years of separation, they created a sense of connection and provided little talismans to carry as a symbol of a loved one far away. Much of her legacy is expressed in 1000 Hearts and you will find her influence in much of my work.

    My Dad raised us after Mum left and is an artist too - he built a career as a jeweler, sculptor and painter. From him, I get my obsession with colour, an eye for beauty and boundless enthusiasm. In fact, I come from a long line of makers and started sewing when I was very young. Initially I made clothes for my dolls, then progressed to making toys and various other crafty pursuits. When my first child was born, I started making quilts, which became my obsession for many years, until hearts took over.

My Background

  • In my career working for non-profits like Lifeline, CanTeen and Cancer Council Tas, I’ve witnessed despair, fury, heartbreak and brokenness (and I’ve had my share as well).

    I've studied English, psychology and counselling, and have always built my career around supporting people through life's toughest moments. Through it all, I’ve been astounded and touched by the goodness and resilience of the human heart. I’ve seen the power of connection and know that a small act of kindness can make a life-changing difference to someone who’s hurting.

    I believe in people coming together to create positive change. I believe that being kind to ourselves and others helps us, and our world, to heal. I believe that individual acts of goodness will, over time, contribute to community, systemic and global change.

  • 1000 Hearts brings together a few of my greatest passions; creativity, sewing, community, wellbeing and being kind. I also adore tiny things, and ever since I was a small child, I’ve collected small items to carry as talismans against fear and sadness.

    I was born on Valentine's Day and live in Tasmania, the heart-shaped state, so maybe it was fated that I would start something based on hearts. As well as running 1000 Hearts, I work in the non-profit sector, am Mum to two awesome young adults and am supported by my lovely partner, Jason, who helps out a lot with all things hearty. Those who have been here a while know that I will always be the devoted minion of a small black rabbit called Remy.

    Thank you for joining me here at 1000 Hearts - I hope you will love it as much as I do.