Popular sewing pattern and virtual events company, Rebecca Page, suddenly shut down this month. Customers, affiliates, instructors, and brand ambassadors were not notified.

The company’s website and social media accounts have been taken down, including a 65,000-member Facebook group for customers. According to the current owner, co-founder and investor Janine Manning, the company is in the process of permanently closing.

Founded in 2014 by Rebecca Page, a New Zealander living in the UK, the eponymous company offered over 1,000 digital sewing patterns for women’s and children’s clothing, accessories, and home décor. Rebecca Page was also known for hosting virtual summits for makers featuring pre-recorded videos by dozens of craft instructors. Most recently the company launched a membership community that granted sewists credits for patterns in the online library.

Page announced that she sold her shares in the company to Manning in May, announcing the sale in an Instagram post. The company briefly rebranded late last year to You.Make before shutting down earlier this month. Page declined to comment stating she no longer has insight into the company’s activity.

Rebecca Page founded the sewing pattern company after being chosen as an alternate on The Great British Sewing Bee.

The founding of a sewing pattern company

According to previously published interviews, Rebecca Page learned to sew at age 8 from her mother, aspiring as a child to sew her wedding dress. She continued to sew as a hobby for the next 30 years.

In 2014, just after having her second child, Page was selected to be a stand-by contestant for a season of the popular television show, The Great British Sewing Bee, creating each project alongside the contestants but behind the scenes. Although she didn’t make it onto the show, the experience was transformative and she decided not to return to her day job after maternity leave and instead launch a creative business.

“When I didn’t get to go on the TV show, I was like, I’m just going to publish one of these patterns I’ve made for my daughter. Somebody bought it the same week, and then they posted this picture of a little girl wearing this little dress,” she told Authority magazine. Page was hooked, and for four years she ran the fledgling business on her own.

Connecting with a co-founder

At the start of 2018, she signed up for the New Zealand Women’s Business Network, a 12-week mentorship program. Her cohort’s mentor was Janine Manning, a fellow New Zealander living in the UK. An accountant and angel investor, Manning was also a hobby sewist.

When the mentorship program ended in March, Manning invested in Rebecca Page and came on as a co-founder. Page maintained majority ownership of the company. “Janine has spent many hours helping create our financial models and teaching me the ins and outs of the investment world,” Page told Authority magazine in 2021. She said Manning was also a source of encouragement. “Janine sent me a card very early on in the business with the quote ‘She thought she could so she did.’ I saved it and still have it up on my wall today,” Page told iMensch.

“It really says it all to me. Anything is possible. The key is believing you can.”

Expansion and promotion

Manning brought in other investors and, in total, the company raised $1.5 million in funding. In a Zoom interview this week Manning said Rebecca Page was a lifestyle business when she first joined and was not making any money, but that she and her fellow investors could see that the total addressable market in sewing was vast. The goal was to go after it by reaching a global audience. In 2020, the company acquired Sly Fox, an ecommerce fabric shop founded by Katy Kemper in 2016, a step toward vertical integration.

Rebecca Page patterns were enthusiastically promoted by sewing and craft enthusiasts who signed on as affiliates, earning a cut of each pattern sold through their links. Over 300 people became brand ambassadors, promoting Rebecca Page patterns and Sly Fox fabrics in exchange for access to the library of digital files, or free fabric. Summit teachers also promoted the company. Beyond the $100 payment they received for teaching, they earned a 50% affiliate commission on each ticket they sold.

Rebecca Page offered over 1,000 sewing patterns and video classes.

Souring of a co-founder relationship

Leading up to Page’s exit, the relationship between Manning and Page began to sour. One longtime employee explained in a phone interview last week, “Janine is a brusque individual. She approached things with a mindset of getting things done as inexpensively as possible and right now.” Two former employees expressed that Manning was hard to work with.

In the Zoom interview, Manning said the company “never did well” and only broke even two months out of the five years she was involved. “It was really a people and performance issue,” she said, adding that she had been personally funding the company for a long time. “I’m pretty sure there has also been misappropriation,” Manning said regarding what she says was Page’s decision to hire an energy coach with company funds.

“The people in charge of running the company did not execute. I can sleep straight in my bed at night because I know I’ve always done the right thing,” Manning said.

Post-pandemic Manning said Page expressed that she no longer wanted to be in charge of a startup, but instead wished for Rebecca Page to return to its roots as a lifestyle business. Manning told her this wouldn’t be possible now that the company had investors.

When Page sold her shares, she requested that the company rebrand with a new name. Manning says previously Page had been comfortable using her name for the brand, approving spending over $100,000 on trademarks, but then expressed discomfort with it when she was ready to exit. Manning committed to rebranding the company within 12 months after Page’s departure. At the end of 2023, the company rebranded as You.Make.

When she left, Page closed down the company’s Facebook page, a move Manning said made it impossible to run social media ads, an integral part of her turnaround plan. Although Manning indicated this might have been sabotage on Page’s part, a former employee said Page just didn’t realize it was possible to transfer a personal Facebook account to a business.

Post departure

After Page’s departure, the WordPress website for Rebecca Page began to falter. According to Manning, the company paid a developer $20,000, but it wasn’t enough to fix the site. A former employee, though, said the developer Manning hired didn’t have the technical skills needed for the job and Manning was unwilling to pay what it would cost to hire someone with the skills required.

By December, the CEO Manning appointed after Page exited also resigned. When Manning offered the position to another employee without additional compensation, that employee declined the offer and quit. Manning let the remaining contractors go and shut down internal company communications, including Slack and email, and then paused the company’s Facebook group after deleting a series of critical comments from customers. She then took the website offline.

Manning said the email service provider the company used, Klaviyo, was costing $4,000 per month and she’d suspended it. “I’m not technical and not hands-on in the business on a daily basis. I am trying to help customers as much as I can, however I don’t have the technical knowledge on the processes used.” She says she had instructed employees to alert customers of the company’s impending shutdown before they quit or were let go, but the never did.

“We thought she was paying us so poorly because she wanted to sell the company off for as big of a profit as she could,” said one former employee. “We were honestly surprised she completely shut the company down.”

What now?

You.Make still has an active Etsy shop and Manning is now exclusively communicating with customers via Etsy messages. “Most customers buy a downloadable pattern and download it. I can’t see how it’s our responsibility to store it,” she said. “When you buy a pattern at a store, you don’t go back there to get a copy if you lose it.” She says very few customers have reached out so far and only one was angry. “She must have been drunk,” Manning said, “because she was talking about coconspirators and a class action lawsuit.”

There are ongoing discussions about selling the assets of Rebecca Page/You.Make, including two potentially interested parties in the UK and one in the US, according to Manning, but plans have not been finalized.

Abby Glassenberg

Abby Glassenberg


Abby co-founded Craft Industry Alliance and now serves as its president. She’s a sewing pattern designer, teacher, and journalist. She’s dedicated to creating an outstanding trade association for the crafts industry. Abby lives in Wellesley, Massachusetts.