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Sherelyn Whiteman of Heirlooms Needlework Gallery & Barberry Row designs

I have always loved beautiful delicate things, colour and making things with my hands.  As a child I began knitting and sewing - just like my mum - and she taught me how to fancy work (embroider designs that had been traced/printed on to linen) and finish the pieces with crochet edgings.  By my early teens I had many finished pieces safely stored in my glorybox in preparation for the day when I would be married and set up a home.  I was twenty years of age when I married Keith (after almost 5 years of courtship) and by the age of twenty three we had two lovely children - Melissa & Rodney.  
Days were spent ideally taking care of my home and family and knitting and sewing all clothes for myself and the children.  However, as the children reached their teenage years, they wanted to wear "designer label" clothes and so my hands once again returned to needlework, mainly counted thread work - cross stitch pieces or pieces incorporating decorative stitches with cross stitch. 


Me  -  January 2000

After 17 years of being a stay-at-home mum, I opened a little shop (naming it Expressions) selling special greeting cards and gifts and after a few months, in a corner of the shop, I set up a needlework area and began teaching classes.  I can still vividly remember the day I read a magazine article on the very first Spirit of Cross Stitch Festival that was to be held in the U.S.A. and saying to my husband, Keith, "I'd love to go to that", and in March 1993 my dream became a reality as I attended the Spirit of Cross Stitch in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  I had the most wonderful experience and met so many amazing teachers, designers and needlewomen.  On returning to New Zealand, and after owning it for 5 years, I sold my shop, as from my overseas experience and from my needlework having become a passion, I knew my life would never be the same.  The following year I attended my first needlework trade show in Charlotte, North Carolina and began importing and selling prestigious needlework supplies and designs from my home and by mail order and supplying exclusive New Zealand needlework retailers.

Since that first trip I have attended needlework trade shows in the State almost every year as a retailer. .

 Also since that first trip I have been privileged to have attended the Spirit of Cross Stitch Festivals at Des Moines, Iowa and Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, also Danish American Days at Lichfield, South Carolina (as the guest of Pat Carson of Designs by Gloria & Pat, Inc.) and spent time there with Ginnie & Ken Thompson and their daughter, Meg Shinall.  Jyette Horbesgaard was the tutor at Danish American Days and since that time, she and her husband have become really special friends.   We had a very special time together one Easter weekend when Jytte & Neils were here in New Zealand a few of years ago.

C.A. Wells   of  CA's Eclectic Collection

I have also had the pleasure
of designer and tutor,
C.A. Wells 
 of  CA's Eclectic Collection,
Pat Carson
of  Designs by Gloria & Pat, Inc.
Ellen Chester
of  With My Needle
staying at our home
and their conducting special needlework classes.

 The ladies who attended these classes were
treated to an unforgettable experience.


Latterly my needlework passion has been touched by the desire to design and publish needlework designs
by myself and other gifted New Zealand needlewomen.
The beginnings of this dream was realised with the establishment of
Barberry Row.

In 2010, in addition to attending the needlework trade show as a retailer,
I  attended as a designer and began selling my own needlework designs to retailers in the States.
Subsequently I have exhibited and sold my designs to students and customers
attending the
Celebration of Needlework show, classes and seminars


At the moment we are in the process of restoring a 118 year old villa.  This lovely old home we had moved (in 3 pieces) from the city of Hastings on to a neglected apple orchard located at Pakowhai - in the country between the cities of Hastings & Napier in the beautiful Hawkes Bay area of New Zealand.  We have had a major project on our hands as we have endeavoured to restore the house to its former glory and the orchard into full production and landscape the property with trees and gardens.  Still not completed, but "getting" there.

An addition to the house has begun - this area to be a needlework showroom and product display area, but until the new building has been completed, the Needlework Gallery ~ Heirlooms ~ is situated in one of the rooms in the house, plus there are many finished pieces on display throughout the house.  Visitors are welcome to wander through the house at their leisure.

Location Map


To view progress of the house restoration


Six weeks prior to Christmas, most rooms in the house are decorated with wonderful Christmas products
to purchase and with Christmas needlework pieces to inspire you to stitch some pieces for your own home
or to give as a gift to someone special.

If it is possible for you to visit, you would be most welcome and I would be pleased to meet you and spend some time with you.
A friend or two would also be most welcome.

Gallery Hours:  Fridays  ~  10am - 4pm  (or  By Appointment)

Groups are specially catered for by arrangement.
Morning     :     Afternoon     :     Evening

I am blessed and surrounded with friends and a wonderful family -
husband, children & their marriage partners, and six lovely grandchildren.
For being able to follow my heart and my passion for needlework,
I am thankful to my Heavenly Father and to those who love me and support me,
especially my exceptional husband, Keith, and my daughter, Melissa,
who is an accomplished needlewoman
and has stitched many of the pieces of needlework that are on display in the Gallery.

I sincerely thank you for spending time with me.      Sherelyn




Keith and I

March 2014



Barberry Row  ~  Designs by various NZ designers

Barberry Row With Love  ~  Designs by Sherelyn Whiteman

Heirlooms  ~  Needlework Gallery & purveyor of fine needlework supplies


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