Sherelyn Whiteman has always loved colour, beautiful delicate things and creating them with her hands. At a very early age she began knitting and sewing – just like her mum – and was taught by her how to “fancy work” (embroider designs that had been traced/ printed on to linen) and then finish them with crochet edgings. By her mid-teens many finished pieces were safely stored in her glorybox in preparation for the day she married and set up a home.
For seventeen years Sherelyn was a stay-at-home-mum taking care of her home and family and knitting and sewing all the clothes for herself and the children until they were teenagers at which time her hands returned to needlework – mainly counted thread work – cross stitch pieces or pieces incorporating decorative stitches with cross stitch.
In 1988 Sherelyn opened a retail shop supplying needlework and other lovely things and began teaching needlework at home in the evenings and opening her home once a week to whomever would like to spend time with other ladies who enjoyed the peace and relaxation that needlework gives to one’s soul. After five years Sherelyn sold her shop as returning to the North Island of New Zealand to live and in 1994 she attended her first needlework trade show in the USA and began importing and selling prestigious needlework supplies from her home which she has continued to do ever since.
Latterly Sherelyn’s passion for needlework has been touched by the desire to design and publish needlework designs using the lesser known stitches such as the English technique of F i s h e r t o n d e l a M e r e and the beginnings of this dream was realized with the establishment of Barberry Row in 2010.
Sherelyn resides in a 120 year old villa situated in the rural area between the cities of Napier and Hastings in the beautiful wine growing region of Hawkes Bay. The Needlework Gallery – Heirlooms – is in one of the rooms of the house and finished pieces of needlework are displayed throughout the whole house. Visitors are welcome to wander through their home at their leisure and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and a piece of cake.