Page 1

Issue 62 August/September 2017

KEEP CALM AND CAST ON We unravel the latest knitting yarns and trends

Make it merry! Seasonal product launches

Fright night Cash in on the scariest night of the year

CORK Pick u

p one of on hottes the t trend s

FOLLOW THE SCRIPT Why handwriting is mightier than the keyboard

August/September 2017 issue 62

Chief Sub Editor Louise Prance


Marketing Manager Michael Richards +44 (0) 1376 538 481



editor’s letter 5 An overview of what to expect in this issue

show news 23 Keep up-to-date with what’s happening in your industry

Editor Julie Bonnar +44 (0)1376 514 000

Sales Manager Sarah Mclean +44 (0) 1376 538 490 Account Manager Tracy Voice +44 (0)1376 535 618 Production Manager Scott Brothwell Senior Graphic Designers Stephanie Hodder, Vicky O’Connor Graphic Designers Amy Smith, Chloe Edey +44 (0)1376 535 616 Production Assistant Charlotte Potter Web Development Manager Stuart Weatherley Subscriptions Beth Varney +44 (0)1376 514 000 KD Media Publishing Limited Pantile House, Newlands Drive Witham, Essex, CM8 2AP, UK

industry news 7 What’s happening within the hobby and craft market brand spanking new A look at the latest product launches



bookstand 69 The newest craft-related book releases ask the expert


Leading experts in the industry help with retailing and crafting dilemmas project 88 Erin Hung shows how to make watercolour wrapping paper


Front cover image: Courtesy of Efco Creative distributed by Sinotex UK


ISSN 1758-0900

keep calm and cast on Craft Focus is solely owned, published and designed by KD Media Publishing Limited. Whilst every effort was made to ensure the information in this magazine was correct at the time of going to press, the publishers cannot accept legal responsibility for any errors or omissions, nor can they accept responsibility of the standing of advertisers nor by the editorial contributions. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher. Craft Focus is published six times a year. Subscription rates for overseas readers are £75 per annum (incl. p+p), Cheques should be made out to KD Media Publishing Limited and sent to Craft Focus, Pantile House, Newlands Drive, Witham, Essex, CM8 2AP, United Kingdom.

Craft Focus magazine is proud to be associated with and supporters of:


we unravel the latest knitting yarns and trends fright night 44 How craft retailers can cash in on halloween sales


stylish sewing 47 The latest trends for fashion-forward sewists following the script 49 How calligraphy has made a comeback make it merry! 57 A look at the first festive products to be launched for this season sell like hot cakes 73 What’s selling in the world of cake decorating and sugarcrafts pep up your papercraft 99 The latest innovative products to liven up your papercraft offering craftfocus 3

88 focus on magical mystery tour 40 Tracey Dutton from Lavinia Stamps talks about her passion for designing mystical stamps for the love of beads 80 Laura Ells, Co-owner and Manager of Creative Beadcraft, shares her enthusiasm for the business and beads editors’ picks Four ideas for a new generation of colouring


what’s trending 91 Cork products that pick up on one of the hottest trends in it to win it 92 We caught up with two winners from this year’s CHSI Stitches pre-register draw facing criticism 94 Nicola Russill-Roy, PR Director at Propose PR, reveals how to handle unhappy customers like a pro tried and tested 113 We put Sugru’s Create & Craft kit through its paces craft intelligence 114 Julie Bonnar reports back from the recent presentation of Immediate Media’s biennial craft intelligence research

business advice open for business 42 Michael O’Connor from Grey Sergeant, shares how to sell your product and brand to the independent craft retailer good descriptions clinch sales 54 David Fairhurst from Intelligent Retail explains how your web product pages are your virtual salespeople compelling content 77 Steve Barton, digital marketing consultant shares five practical tips for delivering content marketing diversifying your product range 96 Sara Davies discusses how to introduce new products to your product mix IP savvy 104 Acid’s CEO, Dids Macdonald discusses how to protect your intellectual property when starting up a business insuring your craft business Alison Bellamy from Craft Cover, talks insurance that’s designed for your craft business 4 craftfocus


Looking for a UK Distributor!

Editor’s pick: Love the buttercream flowers mould enabling cake decorators to create stunning flowers in no time. Available from Karen Davies Cakes,

Abide by the seasons When it comes to retail, the August/September issue of Craft Focus is always about being prepared for the next and final quarter of the year. And yes, our thoughts turn to Christmas, and there’s no denying, it’s one of the most lucrative times for any retailer. This time we’ve spoken to suppliers and take a look at the first festive products to be launched to give you a head start. We also focus on calligraphy, and how handwriting has made a welcome comeback amongst crafters. Although cake decorating has taken a bit of a downturn, we investigate what’s selling and what are the latest trends. Although it’s a one-day event, we find out how craft retailers can cash in on Halloween sales. Where do I start with our selection of businesses features this time? We’ve so many for you! To mention just two — Michael O’Connor discusses how suppliers can sell their brand and products to the independent craft retailer and Craft Cover talks insurance that’s designed for your craft business. I’m also delighted to share with you 10 insights from Immediate Media’s biennial Craft Intelligence research for 2017 – it’s well worth a read! Enjoy the issue!

Julie Bonnar Editor

Visit us on: @craftfocus craftfocus 5

WE ARE RECRUITING! Do you have great sales skills and a passion for papercraft? An opportunity has arisen for a new Regional Account Manager, covering the North of England, to join the Creative Expressions Team. We are looking for a candidate that has a great record in sales plus a real passion for craft products. This knowledge will help you develop relationships with our key retail customers and promote the fantastic range of innovative and high-quality craft products across your area. The successful candidate will receive a good basic salary, sales commission plus a fully expensed car. To be considered for this amazing opportunity, please send a copy of your CV to

industry news

industry news A round-up of news from the crafting industry NEW MOBILE AND TABLET FRIENDLY SITE Craft Creations has just released a major update to its website to give it a fresh new look and also making it mobile and tablet friendly so retailers can order and check out products on the go. To find out more visit

Celtic Platter, Wydon Crafts

PYROGRAPHY UPDATE “Last issue, Julie Bonnar put Antex Crafts Fire Writer pyrography tool through its paces in the Tried & Tested feature. Many types of wood can be used, BLUEGEM ACQUIRES SIRDAR hard white woods such BlueGem Capital Partners, the London-based mid-market private as sycamore, lime and equity manager, has acquired 100 per cent of the company Sirdar, a beech being preferred. UK market leader in hand knitting yarns, establishing themselves as a Woods to be avoided global leader in needlecraft. Sirdar will sit alongside the complementary needlecraft brands DMC are oak, ash and pine, which have grain that and Wool And the Gang, which were previously acquired by BlueGem alternate between back in August last year. Together the three companies form the newly launched DMC Group, hard and soft, making formerly known as Crafts Group Holding, which intends to be the global even lines or delicate shading almost impossible. Ready-shaped items such as wooden spoons and spatulas, available from kitchenware consolidator of the needlecraft space, aiming at synergizing together shops can be used, and specially made items for pyrography are also the best companies operating worldwide in the category. available from specialist suppliers. Even good-quality plywood can be The growing trend of craft DIY and customising clothing and used, especially if the item is to be framed. All these need to be sanded accessories has led to a resurgence of embroidery and needlework. silky smooth before you start. Leather and paper are also popular These are global trends, which are happening in cities right across the media, offering different ranges of colour and texture. But above all world. Now a leading platform for customers has been created, and since the acquisitions in 2016, Wool and The Gang has reinforced DMC’s avoid MDF, as it gives off deadly toxic fumes when burned. A beginner can quickly pick up the basics of wood burning and produce footprint in knitting and transformed its digital platform, while Wool decorative items in a surprisingly short space of time, but there’s a and the Gang has leveraged off the synergies of DMC and benefitted wealth of techniques to explore for the more dedicated pyrographer. from its product offering and distribution channels and networks globally. DMC and Sirdar have a phenomenal history and heritage, and There are various resources available including several great these brands are more than 270 and 137 years old respectively, offering pyrography and woodburning groups on Facebook,” says Lesey Wyatt from Wydon Crafts. some of the highest quality products in their industries. craftfocus 7

industry news

LIBERTY LONDON LAUNCHES ITS MAKERY DEPARTMENT Since 1875 when Arthur Liberty opened his shop on Regents Street selling coloured silks and objet d’art from the East, Liberty London has been synonymous with fabrics and dressmaking. In 1904, Arthur Liberty brought a printing mill and begun to produce his own Liberty art fabrics, which became world famous and are still on sale in the emporium to this day. 2017 sees a new chapter in the history of the renowned Liberty London dress fabric department. The much-loved department has been re-launched with a new look, a new vision, and a new identity – The Makery. The Makery has been redesigned and expanded by 25 per cent, allowing the craft offer to be enhanced and the introduction of 24 new brands such Studio Carta, VV Rouleaux, Cluny Lace and Moda Fabrics. Liberty London will be launching 30 new autumn/winter dress fabrics, and there’ll be more than 600 new options introduced across The Makery for Liberty London’s loyal crafting customers. Senior Buying Manager, Julie Hassan, has also decided to present the works of highly skilled artisanal craft artists including Susan Horth, who makes original animal sculptures; Fine Cell Works, a social enterprise working with prisoners teaching them how to do needlepoint and to create handmade needlepoint cushion. The department will also stock framed artworks from Margo Selby that are individually woven by hand in her Whitstable studio. The Makery offer will include macramé, origami, illustrative embroidery and will open with a series of events and demonstrations such as botanical needlepoint from Sew and Saunders; contemporary cross-stitch classes with Emily Peacock, and a denim day with Petra Boase and Rosie Wonders, helping brighten up old jeans with colourful patches. To find out more visit

PENCIL PARTNERSHIP WITH JOHN LEWIS Crafter’s Companion has agreed a deal with John Lewis to supply papercraft and art products to the retail giant’s haberdashery department at its flagship store on Oxford Street and online. The fast-growing craft supplies business could also see its awardwinning Gemini machine, Signature Collection by Sara Davies and the Spectrum Noir Colorista range listed in the rest of the popular department store’s outlets across the UK this autumn. The buyer at JLP said: “We’re delighted to welcome the Crafter’s Companion products to our offering at John Lewis. The craft market has really grown over the last few years, and we increasingly have people coming into our stores looking for craft tools and products. We’re sure the products will be well-received among our customers.” Sara Davies from Crafter’s Companion said: “We’re so excited to see so many of our brands and products going onto the shelves at such a well-respected retail brand like John Lewis. The typical John Lewis customer is increasingly interested in crafts, so it’s worth the investment to understand what she wants from the haberdashery departments in terms of wider crafts like sewing, papercraft and art. This partnership will give John Lewis great insight into what its people want to see in store and will help them to meet the evolving needs of its customers. This type of partnership allows us to extend our retail presence beyond our own stores and the thousands of retail partners that stock our products. All going well, we hope our products will attract thousands of new consumers into craft, which is great for the industry.” For more information about the company, click on

MAKE THE MOST OF MINDFULNESS Immediate Media, the special interest, content and platform company, has just launched a new monthly print magazine titled In The Moment, dedicated to helping women make the most of every day with mindfulness, creativity and wellbeing. The publication went on sale at the end of June and the 116-page magazine embraced every aspect ct of women’s lives – friends, family, self, work, rest and play. Each issue contains positive features and stories to inspire, the latest creative trends with craft projects to match, plus health and fitness tips and nd a range of mindful activity ideas, such as walking, gardening and travel. With a sometimes light-hearted ed approach, readers will be encouraged to take time for themselves and enjoy the moment. Each issue includes Take a Moment, an eight-page handbag sized mini-magazine, including a soothing drink recipe, short story and puzzle. The first issue also includes a choice of positive prints, ready to be framed and displayed to help keep you motivated and inspired, and card template sheetss to create pocket sized greeting boxes. Publishing Director, Cath Potter says, “We’re hugely excited to launch this magazine. Interest in mindfulness has grown enormously in the last five years, and our society is crying out for ways to slow down and tune out, even if just for a few minutes. We want to find space within our busy lives to notice things and remember to enjoy them. In The Moment recognises that being more mindful doesn’t need to be heavy-going, and that it needs to fit within your lifestyle.” Retailers wishing to stock should contact Helen Seymour at or +44 (0)117 314 8844. Visit the magazine’s website

8 craftfocus

industry news

POPULAR AND NOW POP-UP Hawthorn Handmade has added an original and innovative pop-up loom for those who love yarn crafts and the popular weaving trend, which has take off over the last year or so. Inspired by vintage looms as well as a love for all things fibre, the loom is made from high quality lasercut birch plywood, and comes as a flat piece. Just snap the sections apart and follow the simple instructions to build your loom. Each loom comes with a link to

BRAND EXTENSION FOR FMM FMM Sugarcraft is a well known and trusted UK brand established for nearly 70 years, and more than 99 per cent of its products are manufactured in the UK. The company has built its name in the sugarcraft marketplace where the tools and equipment are renowned for quality, innovation and durability. “Many crafters are already using our tools and equipment for projects, so we decided to develop a new brand FMM FunCraft to target this specific market with items ideally suited to the craft market,” says Siobhan Lees, Head of Sales and Marketing. She continues “We’ve a great range of cutters for flowers and leaves, designs and shapes, tools and equipment, all perfect for use with air-drying clay, and ideal for home décor projects, art and design, card making and flower craft. We decided that the time was

10 craftfocus

the company’s ‘introduction to weaving’ guide. Choose yarns, threads and wool from your stash or add one or more of the supply packs available to create the ultimate beginner weaving kit. The flat packed loom measures 19cm x 30cm and the completed woven piece approximately 19cm x 21cm depending on the warp of the loom. The kit retails at £14.95. To find out more visit the Hawthorn Handmade website, 

right to extend the FMM brand to the craft industry carrying forward our heritage to the new FunCraft identity.” The cutters have smooth but sharp cutting edges that won’t drag or fray the clay, and each component can be used to create one project, or components can be used separately on various projects, giving the cutters a wide appeal. Many of the products are tool kit essentials such as the modelling tools, dab-a-dust and firm foam former pad, which can be used time and time again for craft projects. A selection of the new range was recently launched on HOCHANDA, and was hugely successful – the company now will continue to grow and evolve the range. For more information and to stock call +44 (0)1442 292970 or visit

01394 788008









TRIMCRAFT IMPLEMENTS NEW WMS SYSTEM Nottingham-based Arts and Craft supplier Trimcraft has recently implemented a new automated system at its Nottingham warehouse. The iPod scanner system is a brand new Warehouse Management solution, which fully integrates into Trimcraft’s SAP business software. It provides up to the minute live data and has revolutionised the way the warehouse functions. The new WMS system has streamlined the picking and packing process and has changed the way the company’s growing orders are handled. The biggest challenge faced by the Trimcraft distribution team before the scanners were introduced was stock control, as the lack of live data on stock quantities and locations led to poor order fulfilment. Now each staff member has full stock visibility from the live data feed. Order completion rates have risen to 85 per cent plus and the team is focused on improving this further over the course of 2017 to 95 per cent. Trimcraft’s investment in this new technology has led to a 30 per cent increase in productivity meaning customers receive their orders faster and with minimum errors. For more information about the company visit the website

THE MAKERY PARTNER WITH SUCCESSFUL PAPERCRAFT COMPANY Market leading craft brand, The Makery has partnered with Crafter’s Companion to extend its product offering following huge customer demand. Crafter’s Companion will take over the manufacturing and distribution of The Makery’s already successful range of products, as well as support with future product development. Over the next few months, the two teams will be working together to create exciting new fabric ranges, accessories and additional crafting kits, which will be available in 2018. The Makery’s current product ranges will be available for purchase through Crafter’s Companion from October 2017. Kate Smith, owner of The Makery said, “We were very keen to partner with a craft-focused licensee and Crafter’s Companion is the perfect business for us to be collaborating with. We’ve closely followed its achievements and success and hope this partnership will help take The Makery to the next level. We’re very excited about our future together.” The Makery, headquartered in Bath, offers a variety of specialist crafting kits, merchandise and books, which are distributed worldwide. The company also runs creative events for hen parties, children’s parties and teambuilding days for companies such as W Hotels, Soho House, Warner Brothers, Anthropologie and Stylist. For more information visit or craftfocus 13

industry news

ENCOURAGING MINI MASTERPEICES The Articulate Gallery has a multi-award winning range of slot sided frames that crafters in every family home will need. The innovation instantly frames 2D and 3D creations allowing children’s artwork to be proudly presented for all to see. Suitable for children of all ages and adults, this clever concept takes pictures off the fridge door and kitchen cupboards and puts them in their rightful place in a frame on the wall. It’s a wonderful way for children to gain a sense of achievement when they see their artwork properly showcased, and helps build confidence. The adaptable designed frame can be hung either landscape or portrait, and there are six different styles and sizes to choose from. They make a perfect gift and are available from


Our range of products: Easels: Studio Easels, Table Top Easels, Field Sketching Easels, palettes and many many more Canvases: Cotton Canvases, Linen Canvases, Transparcent Linen Canvases, Canvas Boards Stretchers Bars All our products are made in EU and are made from special selected and prepared Pine or Beech Wood RȨFH#TXDQWXPDUWHX__:HVW5RDG%XLOGLQJ+DUORZ&0%4

brand spanking new

brand spanking new An exclusive round-up of the newest product offerings

Home digital Hunkydory Crafts’ first USB did incredibly well and sold out quickly, so crafters are sure to love the second instalment. Hunkydory@Home gives crafters a one-of-a-kind opportunity to keep Hunkydory kits in their stash to use time and time again. The stylish pink key USB design includes a mouse mat and 433 digital files with a wide selection of styles and artwork for many different occasions and celebrations. Stored on the stick is all crafters need to make beautiful cards including toppers, sentiments, inserts, concept cards, card blanks and more, with the potential to make hundreds of cards. It also features popular past collections with exclusive artwork drawn by the company’s own product designer. The collections include Decadent Days, Golden Oldies and Floral Enchantment. Retailing at £19.99 makes it exceptionally good value for cardmakers.

Crazy cross-stitch On Holiday with Crazy Cat Lady is the latest design from Peter Underhill. This humorous cross-stitch pictorial features her sitting outside her beach hut surrounded with her cats – some are sleeping and some getting into mischief. The detail and colour in this design makes it fascinating to stitch, measures 18cm x 30.5cm (7in x 12in), and retails at £35. 

Hunkydory Crafts +44 (0)1772 556 301

Heritage Crafts +44 (0)1889 575 328

Classic wedding Preserve those special happy ever after memories with the new Classic Wedding collection by Heartfelt Creations. The collection is filled with romantic imagery of stately church bells, classic roses and fanciful doves and this softly hued paper collection is sure to add to the nostalgia and romance, while showcasing memories of such a special day. With soft peaches, pinks, greens and blue tones, which lend to a timeless and elegant backdrop of graceful swirls, lace-like elements and romantic script! Commemorate the special occasion with dreamily illustrated cling stamp sets depicting heartshaped rose wreaths, elegant bells, beautiful wedding rings and a delicate image of a bride and groom, complete with coordinating dies perfect for embellishing bridal shower, wedding or anniversary creations. Heartfelt Creations is distributed by Jones Crafts +44 (0)115 975 1263

Fun for felters Hawthorn Handmade has just released new kits for felting fanatics. The new felting kits include a grizzly bear and a sweet little mouse brooch. Both kits contain everything you need to make and use 100 per cent British felting wool, and have step- by-step photo instructions. The finished bear measures approximately 8cm tall and will take a beginner approximately five to seven hours to complete and retails at £17.45. The sweet mouse brooch measures 5cm long, and takes just two to three hours to make – retailing at £9.95. Hawthorn Handmade +44 (0)1258 880 691 

craftfocus 15

brand spanking new

Mini me Based on the adult Bondi Top pattern from Sew to Grow, sewers can now dress up their children in the same top and dress. Designed to be quick, simple and an ideal make for first time seamstresses. The versatile pattern features a contrast back yoke, box pleat, and a curved high and low hemline. Add a casing and tie to the dress option to create shape and added flare. Pattern sizing starts at 12 months to size 10. Fabrics suitable include voile, rayon, medium-weight quilting cotton, and other lightweight materials. Hantex +44 (0)1754 820 800 Colour coordinated shades Dannells has added another groundbreaking product to its Needcraft kit range, and the new Make & Paint Lampshade kits do exactly what they say on the box. The kit allows you to make a professional flame retardant lampshade that you’ve painted the pre-laminated textile panel (included in the kit) with your own design or colour. Make a pendant (ceiling) shade or table lamp and use dragging, rag rolling, dabbing, sponging, flicking, dry-brush, washing, stamps, block-printing and foam shapes, these are some of the techniques you can use to create beautiful decorative effects when lit. The kits are available as trade and workshop packs for easy stocking for retail and workshops. To complement this kit, Dannells is now stocking a competitively priced range of acrylic paint in 23 striking and fashionable colours. Dannells’ Needcraft +44 (0)1992 700 311 16 craftfocus

Pins on show How about making a stunning yet useful gift for someone with this Poppy Biscornu (stuffed ornamental pincushion) kit brand new from RIOLIS? The full kit includes 18-count beige Zweigart aida fabric, anchor cottons, glass beads and toy filling, along with needle and a clear chart and instruction sheet. All you need is a quiet corner to sit and make! The finished design is 8cm x 8cm, and would make a beautiful pincushion to brighten up a sewing room, and retails at £17.99. RIOLIS is distributed by SoloCrafts +44 (0)161 464 7313 Rhinestone works of art Diamond painting is a brand new hobby, which involves completing a picture with acrylic rhinestones. It originally came from the East, but its popularity is growing in the UK, and in other parts of Europe. Artibalta’s diamond painting kits contain all the required materials to complete the design including the canvas with adhesive layer and printed chart, acrylic rhinestones, tweezer or stylus, plastic container for rhinestones and instruction. The process is very simple and can be completed by children and adults. It’s very addictive and time can go quickly. The diamond painting kit is a creative gift for needlecraft and lovers of handmade items. Artibalta diamond painting range is the biggest on the market containing more than 600 designs with partial and full completion of the picture. The kits have been created to make beautiful designs that can be framed once completed. Artibalta +370 6843 8867


We manufacture any size, shape or quantity of boxes (plain, printed or die cut)

Moving house or boxes for storage or shipping?

Check out our website on QBoxes made to measure, saving time and money on unnecessary void fill Q No minimum quantity – we will supply one box if you want it! Q We supply plain, printed and coloured bespoke conventional style boxes, as well as die cut boxes QFast delivery QCheck out our prices on the box calculator or speak to one of our experts QTapes QVoid fill QBubble wrap and tissue QStretch wrap QComplete range of packaging materials and ancillary items

Our offices are open 08.30 - 16.00 Monday through Friday

Call us on 01476 576090 or visit us on-line at Vale Pack Ltd, Unit 5 Dysart Rd Industrial Estate, Grantham, NG31 7EJ.

brand spanking new

Memory maker A personal journal is a great way of writing down ongoing thoughts, feelings and observations to look back over at a later date, and according to Peak Dale Products is a trend that’s sweeping the craft nation right now. Decorating the journal is essential to the individual look of the book to give it a personal feel. The new Embossing Studio range from Peak Dale Products includes four different pewter kit designs, which are aimed at gardeners, walkers, needlecrafters and dreamers. The kit contains everything you need to start personalising your own journal including an A6, perfect bound, hard-backed notebook, a piece of pewter for your design, an embossing tool, designs and instructions, and is packed in a pretty little Kraft gift bag.

Animal friends Cinnamon Joe’s newest collection for Camelot Fabrics will delight with sweet illustrations of lions, crocodiles, giraffes and other darling creatures. The Wild One’s fabric collection is light, whimsical and contemporary, and a playful collection of jungle animal prints and coordinates that will bring a soft and cheerful look to the nursery. The range has been designed by Andrea Turk from Cinnamon Joe for Camelot Fabrics, and features the calm colour trends of dusty pink and blue hues. The fabrics are 100 per cent cotton and are sold by the metre, case pack, pre-cuts and two kits (Elevation Pillow and Box Trot Quilt). There are also some free projects on the Camelot Fabrics’ website. The range will be ready for delivery in September 2017. UK retailers can order Camelot Fabrics through its distributors: Behrens (, Visage Textiles (craftcotton. com) and Patchwork Promotions (

Peak Dale Products +44 (0)129 878 447

Camelot Fabrics +1 514 382 2400

Christmas for Wrendale Bothy Threads new autumn collection showcases another four wonderful Wrendale designs kits, two new William Morris designs, four new Blackwork flower designs and five new Christmas releases including these two beautiful festive designs. Glad Tidings by Wrendale Designs is a joyful addition to the ever-popular collection with these playful cubs looking ready for some festive mischief. The design uses full cross-stitch on top quality aida printed with Hannah Dale’s signature ‘speckles’. Scandi Heart takes the company’s cross-stitch kits into the increasingly popular Scandinavian Christmas theme. The effective use of berry red beads and silver sequin stars on the finished piece enhances the festive feel and symmetry characteristic of the Scandinavian style using full cross-stitch and some backstitch.

Embroidery transfers For anyone looking to embrace the embroidery trend, then look no further than the fabulous transfer sheets from the Threaders collection by Crafters Companions. Available in a range of beautiful designs including vintage sewing, florals, nature and vintage tea party themes, each set consists of six sheets of reusable designs featuring borders, sentiments, embellishments and alphabets in both lowercase and uppercase letters, making them ideal for creating personalised projects. Beginners will find the embroidery guide enclosed with each set a perfect starting point, and experienced stitchers will love to add their creative flair to these designs to create original and personal touches to their projects. Embroidery has never been so easy!

Bothy Threads +44 (0)1900 828 844

Crafters Companion +44 (0)1388 660 930

18 craftfocus

brand spanking new The pull of printables Magnum Magnetics has just introduced a popular retail line called ProMAG Products to the UK market. The newest products include at-home printable magnets that enable you to use your desktop printer to create your own magnet postcards, precut magnetic puzzles, and more. The wide variety of retail-packaged magnetic merchandise is ideal for crafting, school and office. The company has more than 20 years of experience working with some of the world’s largest retailers, and support its products with outstanding customer service and flexibility that’s hard for other manufacturers to match. The high-quality crafting magnets are all made in the US in accordance with strict international standards for child safety and heavy metals content.

Sew sparkle Beads Direct has launched a brand new range of embroidery and crystal embellishment kits. The kits will encourage crafters to try their hand at other crafts such as sewing and adding shimmering glass pearls, crystals or seed beads to decorate items like hair bands and make-up bags that are perfect for special occasions and giving as a gift. Follow the detailed instructions in every kit, and get everything you need to sew, glue and embellish your own sparkling accessories. Choose from gorgeous tonal combinations including exclusive purse kits full of sparkling Swarovski flat-back crystals and shapes for you to secure and wear in no time at all! Beads Direct has more brand new kits for autumn 2017 on the horizon so make sure you keep an eye on the website.

Magnum Magnetics +1 877 460 8375  

Beads Direct +44 (0)1509 218 028

Wonderful wedding Design Works Crafts has released a beautiful new rustic wedding sampler. The design features a chair each for the bride and groom, with Mr and Mrs hearts, floral touches and bunting giving this a modern look that any newlyweds would be delighted with. The kit has 14-count white aida fabric, cotton threads, a chart including full alphabet for personalising, sewing needle and instructions. The finished piece measures 9in x 12in and retails for £26.99.

Light refractors The latest addition to the very popular two-hole DiamonDuos is the Prismatic collection of nine colours where a vacuum chemical coating on the back of the bead allows a brilliant array of hues to shine through the top of the bead, creating a dynamic prism effect with great colour and depth. The best-selling DiamonDuos measure 5mm x 8mm x 3.5mm and have a lovely facetted top. The shape means they nestle beautifully together to create textured mosaic patterns and the versatile diamond shape works well with other two-hole beads and seed beads. Creative Beadcraft stocks 80 DiamonDuo colours and has a great selection of free downloadable projects as well as lots of design ideas. These beads are competitively priced, and are available loose, in hanging tubes and as starter selections.

Design Works is distributed by SoloCrafts +44 (0)161 464 7313

Creative Beadcraft +44 (0)1494 786 924

20 craftfocus


Unit 3, Zone A Chelmsford Road Industrial Estate, Great Dunmow, Essex, CM6 1HD Tel: 01371 238 013

shows and events

shows, news and events We update you on what’s happening with a round-up of the shows DIARY DATES Autumn Fair When: 3rd - 6th September, 2017 Where: NEC, Birmingham Who: Ascential Web: Scottish Autumn Trade Fair When: 17th - 18th September, 2017 Where: SECC, Glasgow Who: Springboard Events Web: Manchester Stationery Show When: 31st October - 1st November, 2017 Where: Victoria Warehouse, Manchester Who: Ocean Media Web:

FANTASTIC LINE UP OF EXHIBITORS With Scottish tourism figures just released for 2016 and showing a six per cent surge in overseas visitors, gift retailers around Scotland are hoping for another great year for visitors with a high spend on account of the low pound. Against this backdrop Scotland’s Trade Fair Autumn has a fantastic line up of exhibitors. Christmas seems to come earlier each year but as a retailer it’s good to be organised, and with 130 exhibitors that have signed up to exhibit so far, it’s one of the last opportunities to order before the Christmas selling season. Bookings are up on last year and a successful tourist season predicted it’s hoped the show will be at full capacity this year. Retailers love Scotland’s Autumn Show as it’s more intimate than many others, and always has a wide selection of friendly exhibitors and interesting products that will meet the needs of the 1500 buyers that attend. A central feature of the show is the Launch Gallery for young, original companies under two years old. Repeat ordering is a big pull of the autumn show, and there are certain established companies that form the backbone of the event. To find our more visit

NEW MANCHESTER LINE-UP TAKES SHAPE The new Manchester Stationery Show will run at the end of October. The show is already developing its own ‘industrial chic’ style with exhibitors, speakers and show features coming together nicely, confirmed Event Manager, Hazel Fieldwick, of organisers Ocean Media Group. The show takes place in the heart of Manchester at the Cotton Sheds, part of the Victoria Warehouse venue in Old Trafford, and the venue complements the show’s styling. The backdrop of exposed brickwork and beams with plenty of twinkling lights and colourful product will create a welcoming environment for visitors. The new trade show is sister to the already established and successful London Stationery Show. Like London, the Manchester show runs for two days specialising in writing and paper products, focused on design-led and fashion-forward product. It will include a New Product Display Showcase, a hands-on Creative Hub area, a LaunchPad area for new stationery suppliers and designers and a full speaker programme. Confirmed exhibitors so far include Go Stationery, Manuscript Pen, Leuchtturm 1917, Silk Hat Greetings, Dear Prudence, Tallon International, Pomegranate Europe, Castelli, Stabilo, All Sorted, Charfleet Book Bindery, Portico Designs, Premier Stationery, Durable UK, ExaClair and Toscana Carte. “The Manchester show offers the stationery industry a second touch point in the year to come together, and is the perfect time to see the latest products on offer for spring/summer 2018, and pick up some great last-minute Christmas deals and catch up on design trends and developments in retail generally. The new show launch was decided upon data revealed a clear pattern of attracting a southern biased audience for the London show

with just over 65 per cent of all visitors travelling to the show from the capital and the southeast, and reflected by national high street data, which shows a 60/40 split in stationery and gift retailers based south and north of the Midlands. The choice of venue is based on its links to the north of England and Midlands, and easily accessible from the south, making it well placed to become a stationery magnet for the region. Stationery is on trend and in fashion, and Ocean Media aims to attract more than 50 exhibitors showcasing around 150 brands. “Research* has shown that growth will come from the trend of purchasing stationery as a gift, partly driven by increased personalisation, increased product ranges and design-led products and innovation. We want to share that message across the UK and support the growth of the stationery industry,” comments Hazel. For more information visit craftfocus 23

WHAT TO EXPECT AT CREATIVATION The Association For Creative Industries (AFCI) has started to invite creative businesses to Creativation, an award-winning conference and trade show taking place between 18th and 22nd January in Phoenix, Arizona in 2018. Badge registration is now open and registration for education and events opens on 12th September, 2017. Introduced as AFCI’s new trade event this year, Creativation is the destination where craft professionals go to learn, connect and discover. Here’s what you can expect from attending next year: Edible Arts spotlight – The show will spotlight edible arts and feature suppliers of edible arts and crossover products. Visitors will see product and technique demonstrations on the trade show floor, as well as be able to take workshops offered in the university education program. Quality education - Creativation University will provide high-quality education, industry insights, consumer trends and advice through seminars and workshops available for all creative professions and experience levels. Growing product segments - Vendors of popular crafts such as painting, drawing, sewing and fabric, will exhibit and showcase demonstrations that will capture the consumer’s attention as well as take orders to jumpstart sales for 2018. A list of exhibiting companies

is available on the website. Product innovation - The Innovations Center will showcase 25 original products and ideas from entrepreneurs seeking to spur industry growth. Five selected participations will pitch their idea during The Ultimate Pitch for a chance to win a cash prize and be crowned as Top Creative Innovation of 2018. Global focus – The show will enhance the experience for international companies by offering translatable travel assistance, early access to onsite services in several languages, and education on how to conduct business in the US. There’ll also be education for companies wishing to do business in Germany, Japan and the UK.  AFCI members receive complimentary badge access to Creativation and discounts on workshops and seminars. Non-members have the option to join AFCI during the online event registration process. Companies interested in exhibiting should contact Donna Cennimo at +1 201 835 1217 or email For more information and to register visit

TRENDS FOR THE 2017/18 HOBBY AND CRAFT SEASON Creativeworld predicted that colouring, hand lettering and all sorts and kinds of modelling clay were hot topics in the DIY sector with soft pastel shades dominating this year’s colour palette. Creativeworld brought together the national and international hobby, art and craft supplies sector at the end of January in Frankfurt am Main. This year saw 344 exhibitors showcased the latest products and trends. Particularly in demand were items for relaxing and restorative activities. It’s much more about the fun that can be had from one’s own creativity, and the pleasure in the end result. The bora.herke. palmisano Trend Bureau demonstrated and the team of designers had been commissioned by Messe Frankfurt to identify the creative trends in advance of the trade fair and to adapt the latest currents in interior design, fashion, architecture and art to the products and themes that are to be found in the hobby, art and craft supplies sector. Check patterns are also experiencing a comeback and are increasingly being used in creative work. Naive geometrical shapes and traditional folk patterns, such as the Scottish Argyle pattern are a major trend. 2017 signals showed the rediscovery of well-established techniques such as stamping, knotting, braiding and weaving used with a variety of different materials. The next Creativeworld will take place from 27th to 30th January, 2018 in Halls 4.1 and 4.2, at the Frankfurt Fair and Exhibition Centre. For more information visit 24 craftfocus

Agata Nowak

HIGHLIGHTING HANDMADE The resurgence of interest in beautiful handmade pieces is celebrated in Craft, making its return at the autumn/winter 2017 edition of Top Drawer. Find covetable objects of desire from a beautiful selection of the very finest makers of original products with provenance across ceramic and glass, jewellery, fashion and textiles, and mixed media. Colour is the inspiration for Helen Chatterton’s work, often colours not usually put together. Everything is made from start to finish by Helen and her aim is that whoever buys has a one-off, handcrafted, well-made item, which will give pleasure for years to come. As well as being beautiful to look at they’re immensely practical and hardwearing. A popular collection is the ‘City on Cloth’ design, which offers a combination of sartorial elegance and historical interest and consist of digitally printed fabrics, featuring old maps, which are transformed into scarves and smaller items. Having previously successfully collaborated with the British Museum using one of the maps of London from their collection, the result was a scarf backed with Harris Tweed. Helen is launching a new London design in a red and green silk and twill combination at Top Drawer AW17. Jo Cranston Textiles produces luxury accessories made in England, combining innovative design and traditional British craftsmanship. Jo’s range of products includes merino wool scarves, wraps, mittens, fingerless gloves for men and women and a capsule collection of soft furnishings with a strong focus on creating durable textiles with a luxuriously soft handle and drape. To find about about more exhibitors, visit

REFLECTING ON ONE BIG SHOW We’ve just come back from a fantastic weekend at The One Big Show held at the Ricoh Arena Coventry in June. The One Big Show is in its fourth year, and this year the line up of industry speakers, creative businesses and services as well as workshops was very impressive – and all in the pursuit of helping craft businesses succeed. It was an amazing two days of learning, connecting and discovering. Inspirational speakers included David (Rhino) Hyner on the support and accountability you need, Warren Knight explained how to win new business using social media. Bert & Gert talked about the highs and lows of running a micro business, and Andy Skinner and Tracy Wenizapel discussed the art of collaboration. Stacy Caron, founder of Spellbinders flew in from the US especially to tell her story and help retailers make it the creative world. Other businesses to see, play and buy from included Atlenew, Debbi Moore, Image Create Design, Sarah Hurley, Spellbinders, Tonic Studio and Uab Artibalta. Attendees also had the opportunity to engage with designers, demonstrators and teachers such as Cassie Brown, Crafty K, Designed-by-me-printed, Florartisary, Glitter Angel, Lacymay, Polly Allsorts and Wildspider. If you were seeking business advice, you could chat to Briffa Law, Craft Cover Insurance, CHSI, Dixon Financial Solutions, Ew-Accountancy and of course, come and chat with us at Craft Focus. If you had an idea for a new product (and nerves of steel) you could pitch it to a team of Creative Dragons. The event was a great place for making new friends in the craft industry. To find out how the AFCI.UK can help your business visit

CONSUMER SHOW NEWS What’s happening this season: SCIENCE AND CRAFT COLLIDE Science and craft collides this summer at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, with the museum’s family-friendly celebration of making, MakeFest. The two-day event takes place on 19th and 20th August and will feature everything from soldering and stitching to coding and engineering. The festival of making is one of the most established events in the Manchester family calendar. Antonio Benitez, from the Museum of Science and Industry, said: “I’m very pleased to announce that MakeFest will return to the museum this year for a two-day making spectacular where children can try everything from crafting to coding. MakeFest is where craft and science collide in fantastic fashion, and above all it provides a really fun opportunity for children to try their hand at making during the holiday.” Further information can be found on the museum website, 26 craftfocus

shows, news and events CRAFTS FOR CHRISTMAS AND STITCHING, SEWING & HOBBYCRAFTS 26th - 29th October, 2017 SECC, Glasgow SIMPLY CHRISTMAS, STITCHING, SEWING & HOBBYCRAFTS, ART MATERIALS LIVE AND CAKE INTERNATIONAL 2nd - 5th November, 2017 NEC, Birmingham FESTIVELY INSPIRED It’s set to be a very creative festive season with the two planned Christmas shows from ICHF Events. Stitching, Sewing and Hobbycrafts offers inspiration in abundance with fantastic instillations and demonstrations, catering for every craft genre. Learn something new with the daily demonstrations and workshops, and get those creative juices flowing in time for the festive season. With hundreds of exhibitor stalls selling supplies you can also shop till you drop – it’s a real shopping mecca. To buy tickets for either of the shows or find out more information visit

MORE THAN 200 MAKERS AND GALLERIES Following the storming success since its launch in 2015, Handmade in Britain returns to Kew Gardens for the third edition of Handmade at Kew in October 2017. The four-day international contemporary craft event offers visitors the opportunity to meet and buy directly from more than 200 extraordinary designer-makers working across all disciplines including ceramics, jewellery, fashion and textiles, glass, paper, furniture, metalwork, sculpture and interior accessories. It’s a really special chance to invest in beautiful, one-ofa-kind products at a show where you can buy, browse and commission directly from the maker. Uncover the stories, inspirations and processes behind the exceptional work of some of the world’s most talented craftspeople. Most of the work on show can’t be found on the high street, so it really is a one-off opportunity to shop for original products and gifts in a picturesque setting. The event is housed in an elegant pavilion next to Kew Palace and tickets to the event include entry to both the event and Kew Gardens, allowing you to enjoy both the gardens and crafts to the full. To buy tickets and find out more about the event visit 28 craftfocus

MADE LONDON – THE DESIGN AND CRAFT FAIR One Marylebone, London, NW1 4AQ 19th - 22nd October, 2017 One Marylebone, London NW1 4AQ Sponsored by CRAFTS, the magazine for contemporary crafts, every year a range of work from makers across all media including ceramics, glass, wood, precious metals, textiles, and more is selected for this show. The organisers insist on exceptional work and choose designers already established in their field, as well as new and emerging talent.  MADE LONDON enables the makers to meet the public to discuss inspirations, design processes and future projects, and encouraging a maker/consumer relationship. Work can be bought at the event or commissions taken. The Design and Craft Fair is one of the top-selling events for designer craftsmen and women in Europe. The fair showcases the very best and most original handmade work from this country and beyond with makers themselves selling their highest quality contemporary craft and design direct to the public and it has a lovely laid-back atmosphere. To find out more details and view the full list of exhibitors visit


PAPERCRAFT SHOWS Taunton, Somerset - Sunday 13th August Leigh, Lancashire - Saturday 19th August Thetford, Norfolk - Sunday 10th September Newark, Nottinghamshire - Sunday 8th October Portsmouth, Hampshire - Sunday 22nd October Hatfield, Hertfordshire - Sunday 29th October Maidstone, Kent - Sunday 26th November If you are interested in exhibiting at any of our shows, please contact Graham on 01634 686823





Want to get your products in front of more customers? We list the best UK-based consumer craft shows in the forthcoming months: Craft4crafters ( 21st - 24th Oct: Bath & West Showground, Shepton Mallet Craft in Focus ( 25th - 28th Aug: RHS Garden, Hyde Hall, Essex 20th - 22nd Oct: Sevenoaks School, Sevenoaks 27th - 29th Oct: Wellington College, Duke’s Ride Crafting Live ( 30th Sept - 1st Oct: Stoneleigh Park, Coventry 11th -12th Nov: Peterborough Festival of Thrift ( 23rd - 24th Sept: Kirkleatham, Redcar

ART IN THE PEN Each year, Art in the Pen transform auction mart cattle pens into miniature galleries from which artists and craft makers sell their original pieces. The result is a sprawling event, brimming with incredible work, all set out in a very friendly, relaxed and informal atmosphere. Art in the Pen is always well received and well known within Yorkshire. Art in the Pen was established in 2005, and this year, there are more than 120 exhibitors at the Thirsk and almost 200 at the Skipton event. Every year, there are an increasing number of applications, not all are successful but it helps to ensure that the work on show is of the highest quality. For more information about the events visit MAKIT LACEMAKING, QUILTING & NEEDLECRAFT FAIR DOUBLES UP FOR TWO-DAY EVENT IN 2018 Exciting times are ahead for Makit Fairs as they turn their signature LQ&N (Lacemaking, Quilting & Needlecraft) Fair, held in Peterborough each May into a two-day crafting event from 2018. The LQ&N Fairs always attract crafters and exhibitors from across the quilting, lacemaking, beading, knitting and needlework communities. Visitors’ interests extend across the range of textile crafts, so people love the opportunity to stock up on supplies, get face-to-face advice, and find inspiration for their next project, all under one roof. By running the event over two days, the organizers will be able to offer more professional demonstrations and generally delve deeper into what’s happening within the LQ&N communities. The Makit 2018 LQ&N Fair will be held at the newly refurbished East of England Arena. It presents a highly affordable two-day trading opportunity for suppliers of quilting fabrics, accessories and tools, yarns, threads, knitting, beading, crochet and all needlecraft supplies. If you’re interested in exhibiting, g visit

Grosvenor patchwork & quilting shows ( 1st - 3rd Sept: Great Northern Quilt Show, Harrogate 20th - 22nd Oct: Autumn Quilt Festival, Three Counties Showground, Malvern 10th - 11th Nov: Autumn Quilt Festival, Kent Showground, Maidstone Handmade at KEW ( kew/about/) 12th - 15th Oct: Kew Gardens ICHF Events ( 25th - 28th Aug: Henley Handmade Fair, Henley-on-Thames 7th - 9th Sept: Stitching Sewing & Hobbycrafts show, Manchester 8th - 10th Sept: Weald of Kent Fair, Tonbridge 21st - 24th Sept: Stitching Sewing & Hobbycrafts show and Crafts for Christmas, Exeter 26th - 29th Oct: Crafts for Christmas, Birmingham 2nd - 5th Nov: Art Materials, Simply Christmas and Stitching Sewing & Hobbycrafts show, Birmingham 3rd - 5th Nov: Cake Internaitonal, Birmingham Sincerely Yours, papercraft shows ( 2nd Jul: The Wirral 13th Aug: Taunton 19th Aug: Leigh 10th Sept: Thetford The Handmade Fair ( 15th - 17th Sept: The Green, Hampton Court Palace Upper Street Events ( 10 - 13th Aug: The Festival of Quilts, NEC 21st - 24th Sept: The Great British Sewing Bee Live, ExCel, London 11th - 15th Oct: The Knitting and Stitching Show, Alexandra Palace craftfocus 31

shows and events


Order online at 01274 743374

FOR ALL YOUR KNITTING YARN SUPPLIES Looking for a new yarn supplier? “Mix & Match” your order across any of these Brands.

01743 442907 Contact: Tel:


keep calm and cast on We unravel the latest knitting yarns and trends

Warmth without weight Cashmered is offering the highest quality yarn in the world’s most luxurious fibre, Cashmere. One of the company’s main selling points is the use of 100 per cent pure, grade A Cashmere, which is dyed and finished in Italy especially for the brand. The yarn is machine-washable and comes in 20 different colours, ranging from neutrals to vibrant. It comes in 25g balls of 160m (175yds) and is available in a fine weight 3-ply. There are also a collection of exclusive patterns, which have been designed to showcase the yarn and retail between £3.50 and £7. These offer retailers an additional revenue string. The company keeps its overheads as low as possible in order to offer the best value for money for both retailer and the customer. Cashmered +44 (0)1242 256 797 Start the day with a favourite sunrise The new Opal Sunrise 4-ply sock yarn is available in eight stunning colour combinations, which brings to mind the beauty and power of the rising sun. Made from 75 per cent superwashed wool and 25 per cent polyamide Opal sock yarn, it’s durable, hardwearing yet luxuriously comfortable on your feet, and is perfect for all your sock knitting and crochet projects. The yarn will be available from Viridian mid-August.

Be a rebel As well as remaining a wardrobe staple, denim is enjoying a real fashion renaissance, and Natura Denim from DMC brings the highest cotton quality to denim-like fashion yarns. Versatile, mid-weight, 100 per cent cotton, the yarn is a joy to crochet and, with its authentic stonewashed denim appearance, this extension to the Natura range will be a hit with any woman who loves her jeans. In a palette of indigo blues, of course, complemented by grey and aubergine shades, each in light, mid and dark denim washes – it’s perfect for women’s fashion and casual-wear. Don’t forget to stock up on DMC stylish crochet patterns too. New for autumn will be a fabulous biker jacket, inspired by the muchloved classic and re-interpreted in wearable crochet (at a fraction of the cost of the leather original) to bring a little edge to even the most conservative wardrobe. DMC Creative World +44 (0)116 275 4000 Blanket in a ball Babycakes is Cygnet Yarn’s new aran-weight variegated blanket yarn. Just one ball is enough to create a fabulous baby blanket, and the company has also included two free patterns on the inside of the ball band with more free patterns coming soon to the Cygnet website. The beautifully bouncy soft yarn is available in five scrumptious shades of angel cake, battenburg, cupcake, blueberry muffin and fondant fancy, and comes in a big bouncy ball of 300g. Cygnet Yarns +44 (0)1274 743 374

Viridian +44 (0)117 3005 244 craftfocus 33

keep calm and cast on

Beautiful bamboo Hoooked recycled yarns are super bulky and create great textures in a short timeframe. The company’s bamboo knitting needles have been popular for years, and are made from environmentally friendly bamboo, which hasn’t been treated with any chemical products. They’re strong, lightweight and very smooth to work with. For knitting an extra large project the plastic needles are perfect. They’re made in the EU from 100 per cent recycled plastic and all needles come in original Hoooked packaging, which will create a luxury display in your store. Hoooked + 31 703 833 614

Baby shades King Cole has just launched two brand new baby yarns. Baby Pure DK is a blend of premium acrylic and polyamide, which gives a super soft feel to the yarn. It’s available in six beautifully muted tonal baby shades and supported by six gorgeous baby patterns. All the King Cole patterns feature at least three projects so are great value for money. The other exciting is a new family of Baby 4-ply yarns – Big Value baby 4-ply print and Big Value Baby 4-ply spot. Both of the yarns coordinate perfectly with each other. All three new yarns provide a wonderful nursery of yarns and the four continental pattern designs produce beautiful 4-ply baby garments that all knitters will love to make. King Cole +44 (0)1756 703 670

Colour combos Sirdar love nothing more than exploring wonderful colour combinations to create the most breathtaking of yarns. If the new yarn Sirdar Colourwheel is anything go by – it’s wonderfully colourful, and creates colour effect yarn that creates gorgeous blocks of colour that appear as you knit or crochet – the effect it creates is incredible. Colourwheel comes in six glorious colour combinations and is a cake yarn so each of the amazing shades can be seen from the ball. There’s also eight patterns with designs for stylish one ball accessories but the ball band has a free pattern for a gorgeous scarf too. Sirdar +44 (0)1924 371 501

34 craftfocus

Cute kits Habico has been distributing the Go Handmade kits from Denmark with great success. The range include five knitting kits within the Lukas & friends collection, and contain everything you require to be able to knit the characters, including knitting needles and fibre filling. “It’s my great hope that knitters find our needlework kits something a bit special, and they surpass their wildest expectations,” says Hanne Tolberg, Managing Director from Go Handmade, Denmark. Go Handmade is distributed by Habico +44 (0)113 263 1500

Sock Yarn Specialist | tel: 0117 300 5244



Co-ordinate your yarns perfectly with NEW Big Value Baby 4ply Spot, Big Value Baby 4ply Print and new shades in Big Value Baby 4ply.



us at



at Gee


11th - 13th

3rd-6th Sept






2D40 - E41

17T58- U59

Contact us for your FREE digital catalogue. T: 01756 703670 E: W:


keep calm and cast on

Meet the jeans yarn Like your favourite pairs of jeans, Jeans Yarn is full of character and comfort. Believe it or not, this fantastically soft yarn is 100 per cent pure acrylic, and like a great pair of dungarees, will last generations. Jeans is available in seven colours that will delight even the most devout denim devotees including stonewash, vintage, faded, classic, stovepipe, brand new and topstitch. Lion Brand Yarn Company +1 800 661 7551 Boho spirit The exceptionally popular Boho Spirit was introduced nearly two years ago but has resulted in an unprecedented level of demand. The range was originally intended as a limited edition, but initially sold out in a matter of days, so Cygnet Yarns has made the decision to now make it a permanent fixture. Boho Spirit is a fabulously soft, variegated roving yarn, and is available in six incredible shades. The yarn falls somewhere between double knit and aranweight, and due to its loftiness, it’s incredibly soft, versatile and works well knitted or crocheted, resulting in a soft garment with a beautiful subtle sheen. Cygnet Yarns

36 craftfocus

Four reasons to get ahead of the colder seasons As the new season approaches and thoughts turn towards autumn and the nights draw in, take inspiration from a range of knitting magazine titles from Manor House Magazines to get your customer’s knitting projects off to a flying start: Beanies, Shawls and Scarves This magazine is perfect for the season’s ahead, and showcases a wonderful collection of creative projects. It’s full of ideas, tips and techniques. The magazine caters for all skill levels, and is presented with step-by-step instructions.    Creative Knitting This title features more than 20 designs in each issue, and is packed full with the latest fashions, homewares and accessories to make. Get tips on the hottest knitting trends as well as advice from top designers and profiles of inspirational knitters and crocheters. Australian Knitting This publication showcases the latest trends and ideas, and ranges in complexity with easy-to-follow instructions. With techniques, news, events, profiles, and suggestions from top designers, this is Australia´s number one selling knitting magazine and will appeal to novice and expert knitters alike. Yarn  This magazine is an inspiring collection of fabulous, functional, frivolous and funky ideas to knit, crochet, felt and spin. It contains wonderful patterns suitable for all skill levels, and readers will love the range of traditional and contemporary projects within.   If you’re a trade retailer and would like to know more about stocking or would like further information, call +44 (0)1672 514 288, quoting ‘trade’. Magazines can be purchased as a single issue or on subscription via the website. Manor House Magazines +44 (0)1672 514 288


For all stockist enquiries email Sarah and Sara at | 020 8525 1640

A selection of designs from the two boxes

Following on from the super success for Little Claire of their unique ‘Dinkie’ stamps, Little Claire Designs are excited to launch a new range of Dinkies for retailers. A fabulous assortment of 12 cute stamps all temptingly arranged within their own counter top box, these are sure to be a must-have for customers, giving retailers the ability to offer high quality, popular designs at an unbeatable price of just £2.50 each, rrp.

Each presentation box is made from heavy duty, double-skimmed, corrugated card, 12 slots in each box to showcase an irresistible array of stamps, ready to spark a pick 'n' mix frenzy! A pink box for general stamps and deep red for Christmas, you can order one or both (for maximum effect!) Each box comes complete with 12 each of the 12 stamp designs. The lovely general box contains stamps ranging from ÀS[IVWXSHEWGLYRHWIPITLERXWERHLIHKILSKWERHXLI Christmas box has the most cutest Christmas designs ever!

For more information and prices please contact or call: 0151 648 8777 |


Hats off Following the phenomenal success of Top This!, DMC has extended the range to include even more toasty fun for tots. Top This! is a clever, texture and shade shifting yarn, with a cute character topper, features a range of effects in a single ball, making it perfect for beginners and a fabulous quick stitch for more advanced knitters because it uses simple stitches with no need for yarn changes. This season, seven new designs join the range’s best sellers. There’s a soft and snuggly lamb for little ones, three metallics to add a little sparkle, including an on-trend goldfish, and three glow in the dark designs, perfect for keeping kids seen and safe as well as warm. What’s more customers can download a free pattern to transforms Top This! into matching scarf and mittens for even more yarn sales.

Hooked on crochet Crochet has been a big trend for a number of years now, now and it’s here to stay. stay Crochet is easy to learn and also a relaxing thing to do. “A finished crochet project is something to be proud of, and everybody can learn to crochet,” says Hoooked. Hoooked’s DIY crochet and knit kits come in a trendy package and are complete with a pattern and all necessary materials. The kits make great gifts especially the sweet crochet amigurumi friends. They’re easy to make and will take just a few hours or evenings of crochet fun. Hoooked has now introduced a new cotton filling, which is 100 per cent ecological cotton filling, which is made from textile waste from fashion industries. This voluminous cotton filling is produced in a sustainable way respecting nature and makes the crochet item super soft and fluffy. Hoooked + 31 703 833 614

DMC Creative World +44 (0)116 275 4000 Tool essential The Yarn Swift holds your hanks or skeins of yarn in place, and is an essential tool for any keen knitter or crocheter. It’s easy to use, and can be clamped to any table. Used with the KP ball winder, this beautiful natural swift makes the task of ball winding your yarn an absolute pleasure.

The art of amigurumi Amigurumi Globetrotters by IIaria Caliri is filled with super cute and fun travel companions. The book includes amigurumi patterns for designs such as a monkey taking selfies with his new camera, polar bear tanning on the beach, frog making a trip on his new bike, and kangaroo on a winter holiday. There are 15 easy to make and fully customisable crochet patterns that beginners and experienced crocheters will enjoy making. And for those just beginning their crochet journey, Amigurumi Globetrotters features a brief introduction to the various techniques and stitches. Amigurumi Globetrotters (ISBN: 978-94-91643-16-3) retails at £12.99.

Viridian +44 (0)117 3005 244

Published by Meteoor and distributed in the UK by Roundhouse +44 (0)1273 603 717 Cute kits to knit Buttonbag’s stripey sausage dog crochet kit is so cute stockists report that non-crocheters have even persuaded to start hooking. It retails at £12.95 and is packed in an eye-catching tube that reflects the pup’s elongated dimensions. The kit contains double knit yarn, acrylic toy stuffing and a sturdy metal hook. While the instructions include all the basic stitches, the product is aimed at more-experienced crafters. On the other hand, the Buttonbag learn how to crochet suitcase is packed in an attractive purple suitcase, and perfect for absolute beginners. It retails at £22, and carefully graded patterns take you though the fundamentals, including single chain bracelets, and working up to more complex projects such as a bag, hat and fun monsters. Buttonbag +44 (0)208 525 1640 craftfocus 39

Magical mystery tour Tracey Dutton, designer and founder of Lavinia Stamps, talks to Craft Focus magazine about her passion for designing one-of-a-kind stamps for the craft sector Tell us a bit about your background, and how you got into designing and producing stamps for the craft market? My background has always been art based, I studied Art Design and Business at Derby University, and went on to start a ceramics business in North Wales with my partner Kevin. I used stamps in various projects with clay, and decided that I wanted to produce my own range of stamps for my clay work. My customers loved the stamped images and asked if they could purchase them – this inspired me to do a whole collection of stamps for the craft industry. I’ve always had a passion for fairies and mythical animals since I was a child and started drawing at a very young age, so it was inevitable that was the direction I wanted to take.

40 craftfocus

What would you say is so special about Lavinia Stamp designs, and what makes them different from other stamp brands out there? At Lavinia Stamps, we pride ourselves on designing everything from start to finish. This can be can be quite a lengthy process as all the images are hand drawn, and each image can take weeks to complete but this is what gives them their uniqueness. I love what I do, wouldn’t change it for the world and feel incredibly privileged to be doing something I’m so passionate about. What things inspire you when designing new stamps? I don’t follow fashion or trends, I simply create whatever comes into my head, and most of the time, my head is always full of magical images and ideas. Sometimes a little too

much and I have a note pad by the side of my bed as I often dream in a mythical way, sometimes I can be sketching at two o’clock in the morning! The area which we live in is very inspiring, we’ve lots of woodland nearby, and we do like

company profile

to walk, and this certainty gets the creative juices flowing. How has the stamp sector changed over the years, and what do you think crafters are looking for these days? You need to have new ideas and ventures so you can bring different and original innovations to the market place. We’re constantly thinking of new concepts and try to be one step ahead to make things dynamic and interesting. Crafters can get bogged down with the same things, inspiration gets flat, it’s our job to re-invent and mix things up. Personally, I think its a fantastic challenge! Tell us about your product range, and who they will appeal to? Our aim is to take crafting to an artistic level, we’ve a passion and drive to inspire people, and produce products that have an achievable result, which appeal to all crafting capabilities. What are your latest products? We›ve recently branched out into the cutting file world, which has taken off incredibly well.

I had no idea what a big business cutting files were until we ventured into it. People make the most amazing things from them. We’ve also launched a range of images printed onto Lazertran (waterslide decal). This again opens up the door for endless projects and possibilites, and we’ve some great YouTube clips to inspire . Our latest range of stamps have definitely been a favourite among our customers. The Green Man is one of our best sellers and he’s exceeded all our expectations. People love him, which is wonderful, I had no idea how many people followed the Green man, it’s really quite inspiring. The website has lots of product ideas, videos and how to tutorials – tell us more about them? One of the most important thing is to continually teach people how to make their own creations unleashing their tallents and capabilities. There are some seriously talented people out there. Some people need a little help, guidence and encouragment, so by filming the YouTube clips, and creating online projects it helps people with their confidence and encourages them to have a go. What’s proving the most popular products for you at the moment? Our polymer stamps have always been the backbone of our business. We do sell other products to complement what we do but ultimately we’re a stamp company at heart, and that’s what our customers love. We offer something a bit different and a one-of-a-kind product range, something that no-one else does.

Where can retailers get to see Lavinia Stamps products? Over the last few years, we’ve grown and gone from strength-to-strength and now supply many shops. Since attending trade shows, we›re now reaching a much wider audience and able to now distribute our stamps worldwide. We also have a fantastic online shop, where you can purchase products and also explore our website for wonderful step-by-step projects, YouTube demonstrations and we›ve amazing galleries with examples of work. It’s been an incredible journey so far and we’re overwhelmed with the response we’ve had for the products we produce. I love designing, and I’m continually inspired to doing so, Lavinia Stamps is passionate about what we do and we hope customers are too. Lavinia Stamps +44 (0)1824 710 691 craftfocus 41

open for business Michael O’Connor, PR & Marketing expert from Grey Sergeant, discusses how to sell your product, and brand to the independent craft retailer

I recently attended a trade event, The One Big Show, which is organised by the Association For Creative Industries (AFCI.UK) and I had the pleasure of meeting quite a few independent craft retailers. As a marketer, I was really impressed with the way they built close relationships with their customers and how they worked with their communities. They have in-depth knowledge of what their customers want, a deep knowledge of their product range and often demonstrate and run workshops in their stores to really enhance the craft experience. As a supplier, these bricks and mortar retailers are a real opportunity to not only sell your products but also build your brand. With 69 per cent of British females having participated in at least one craft in the last 12 months and with the craft industry estimated to be worth £5.4 billion to the UK economy, it 42 craftfocus

makes sense to pitch your range to this retailspecific sector. But what do you need to do to whet their appetite? Remember that they’re customers too and will need to be sold your product and brand. With this in mind, here are seven tips to get your product onto their shelves. Focus on the margins If you’re trying to persuade a retailer to carry your brand and products, you need to consider their margins as much as your own. Your pricing strategy has to demonstrate an understanding of theirs, as well as their overheads. Suppliers will almost certainly have an online presence so their costs won’t only be the product itself but also the shipping costs, which are associated with them. As a supplier, you have to factor such added costs into your pricing equations.

Make your pitch in person Remember, you’re selling your brand as well as your product so it’s really important to visit the retailer, and have that one-on-one pitch. This is a great opportunity to build a relationship, discuss what they need, share tips about your product but also listen to their requirements, issues and problems they have in the market place. Samples of your product You can’t expect a retailer to make a buying decision without touching or using the product. The craft retailer will demonstrate your product to their customers so it’s important you do the same. Discuss the retailer’s competitive advantages The retailer may not be able to compete on costs with some of the big shops but they’ll

business advice

have an added advantage when it comes to customer relations. They understand their customer’s needs, their weaknesses, and if your product is a solution then the chances are you’re going to get stocked.

retailer you’re pitching to • Ordering information including leadtimes and other important dates • Customer and partner testimonials • Contact information

Create a sell sheet A sell sheet is a one-page brochure that you can leave with the retailer telling them everything they need to know about your product. It’s really worth investing the time to get this design properly.

Packaging Retailers want stocking and shelving to be fast and smooth. They also want to avoid long lines at the register. If the product comes pre-packaged in a small, neat, bar-coded package, everyone’s life will be easier. By contrast, if the product is unwieldy and requires detailed attention at checkout, it can become onerous for the retailer (all of which is another reason why it pays to bring samples when you visit the store).

The sell sheet should the following things: • Description and overview of the product • Product images and how it looks on a shelf • Pricing information, which is tailored to the

Demonstrate your marketing ability Showing the retailer how you’re marketing your product will go a long way in getting your product into their store. Explain to them what PR you’re currently doing, how you’re building a following on social media, and what support you’re getting from the trade magazines. They’ll see that your brand is getting recognised in the craft world and will want to be part of the action. As a craft supplier, it’s worth joining craft associations such as the Association For Creative Industries UK ( ). You’ll have the opportunity to network with retailers, showcase your product range and promote your business.

Michael O’Connor Grey Sergeant craftfocus 43

fright night How craft retailers can avoiding missing a trick, and cash in on Halloween sales According to data from Verdict, Halloween spending rose 26.6 per cent in 2016 and it’s expected to increase this year. The most popular areas of sales were decorations with consumers spending more than £100 million on decorating the house for this one-day event. Boost your profits this October by stocking products that Halloweeners will want to buy. Revolt with ribbons Ribbons are a great way to make decorations for any season but Club Green has Halloween covered with a wide selection of themed ribbons for this one-day event. The wired-edge Halloween ribbons measures 60mm featuring spiders, white and black skeletons, pumpkins. Other ribbons include a white 16mm grosgrain with smiling pumpkin faces. Club Green +44 (0)1483 281 313 Craft the perfect party ExaClair has released a new Décopatch Halloween mini-kit with everything included in a smart, compact box, which is ideal for those looking for a ghoulish crafting project. The kit includes a ready-to-decorate papier maché bat figure, two sheets of Décopatch Halloween paper, a brush and glue. Also available for Halloween crafting eenthusiasts are maché pumpkins, cats and sspiders. Décopatch’s Halloween papers use quirky skulls, eyes, ghosts and black cats in q orange, purple and black tones perfect for spooky projects. “These products will encourage people to try something different this Halloween,” says Kevin Wharton, Marketing Manager at ExaClair. “Taking the DIY approach to conventional decorations has become extremely popular.” The Décopatch 2017 catalogue now includes 18 different mini-kits and kits, providing great year-round sales opportunities. The themed kits are popular with consumers of all ages, make for appealing impulse buys and the compact design doesn’t require large amounts of shelf space. ExaClair +44 (0)1553 767 235 44 craftfocus


Ghoulish glue Beacon’s costumer and mask glue is a must-have for designing masks and Halloween outfits. Halloween isn’t all about the children and adults are getting in on the fancy dress act! The glue easily attaches rhinestone crystals, feathers, sequins, glitter, beads, trimmings and buttons and requires just a small amount to bond any of these items. It dries clear and is permanent, water-based, non-toxic glue on so it’s safe for all the family to use. The gluee sets firmly firm in less than an hour. Creative Product Distribution +44 (0)208 953 2143

In the buff Buff card and papier maché shapes are perfect for decorating and making your own. Apply Decopatch papers, decoupage designs, acrylic and poster paints as well as other decorations or embellishments. Country Love Crafts has the widest selection of unpainted Halloween themed items including cats, masks, bats, pumpkins and skulls to name a few, and also all the materials to decorate. Decopatch is a very simple but effective way of decorating any items with any kind of surface (flat or uneven). It’s simple activity that can be enjoyed by all age groups and requires few materials. The finished result is brightly coloured items with a strong surface a smooth texture and a wonderful paint effect. Country Love Crafts +44 (0)1235 861 700

Creepy crochet Super Scary Halloween Crochet by Nikki Trench features 35 gruesome crochet patterns to sink your hook into. It’s published by CICO Books and retails at £9.99. The five chapters feature zombies, witches and aliens to patterns for essential Halloween accessories, including spider web bunting and a fearsome wolf scarf. The comprehensive techniques section covers all stitches required to bring all your deadly friends to life and get ready for fright night! CICO Books +44 (0)20 7025 2200 craftfocus 45

Unit F4, Northfleet Indst Est, Lower Road, Northfleet, Kent DA11 9SW

Tel: 01322 380480 Fax: 01322 380680 We offer a fast, reliable and friendly service on our continually increasing range (currently over 3,500 choices) of bridal fabrics, embroidered and beaded edgings, motifs and accessories. Our range of dress accessories now exceeds 1000+ articles including many brooches and buckles with crystals and pearls. The Bridal Roadshow Bristol, UK - 20th-21st August The Harrogate Bridal Show Harrogate, UK - 10th-12th September Textile Forum London, UK - 11th-12th October Baltic Fashion & Textile Vilnius, Lithuania - 19th-21st October Fast Textile Warsaw, Poland - 16th-18th November

Wholesale Haberdashery Suppliers Our huge range includes Beads, Trimmings, Lace, Buttons, Ribbon, Sequins, Diamantes, Motifs, Zips, Cords, Thread, Masks, Feathers, Flowers, Bridal, Lingerie Accessories, Haberdashery, and much, much more... We have clearance offers on buttons fringes, cords and lace, including stretch lace on the website, right now. Go to for our fantastic deals and to see our complete range of products and prices.

31 Commercial Road, Edmonton, London N18 1TP Tel: 0208 884 0999 Fax: 0208 884 4666 Email: /mcourtsltd


stylish sewing The latest trends for fashion-forward sewists

TREND-LED FABRICS Hantex is now distributing Modelo Fabrics. This company is known for its fashion-conscious fabrics, and has definitely picked up on the latest trends: Jerseys Modelo jerseys have a fantastic feel, coupled with great style. The fabrics are Oeko-tex certified so your customers know they’re better for you and better for the world! The jersey is made from 95 per cent cotton and five per cent Lycra, and comes in a range of colours including blends of chambray, heathered, maritime, speckled jerseys. These also include a wide selection of on-trend striped options including multi-coloured and monochromatic designs. Chambrays These are also superior and soft, and perfect for making shirts, dresses and more. Hantex now stocks an extensive collection of 100 per cent cotton chambray fabrics from Modelo Fabrics as well as Art Gallery Fabrics, which come in a range of classic colours. Pre-quilted fabrics Super easy to sew and already quilted, this is another great fabric from Modelo Fabrics for children’s wearables or adults who have a sense of fun. With a change in the seasons – think jackets, snow trousers, bags, and body warmers. Hantex +44 (0)1754 820 800

Mod elo fabric chamb ra s sho w he y re

CHIC AND COOL PATTERNS FOR MODERN ERN SEWISTS OTTOBRE design is an inspiring Scandinavian fashion and d pattern magazine for the whole family! Published since 2000, and now available in eight languages (including English), sold in 140 countries worldwide, OTTOBRE design magazine has become an international success. The magazine provides a wonderful experience for the reader, which is tempting, rewarding, and includes beautiful fashion photos of the designs as well as carefully written sewing instructions and reliable sewing patterns for the designs. Children and adults are equally beautiful, and in accordance they use ordinary women and children of all sizes and ages as models for its magazine and, of course, the sewing patterns are available in a wide range of sizes. All this combined this makes the magazine a wonderful tool for fabric and haberdashery shops. OTTOBRE is currently published seven times a year and retailers can benefit not only from the repeat custom that a regular publishing schedule encourages but also from parallel purchases of fabric and haberdashery. A dedicated 24/7 online ordering service in English allows retailers to place orders for both the current magazine and the extremely popular back issues. Browse the online catalogue of magazines on the website at or contact the company on the email below for further information about becoming an OTTOBRE design retailer. OTTOBRE Design craftfocus 47




Taylors Supplies Haberdashery wholesale, Augustus Street, off Empire Street, Cheethamhill, Manchester, Greater Manchester M3 1HZ

Taylors Supplies

Taylors Supplies

0161 834 0329Â

Taylors Supplies

Adhesives, glues, all essentials range, all sewing essentials, arts & crafts, beads & jewellery accessories, bias bindings, bits and bobs for crafting, bows and ribbon flowers, bridal, buttons, card craft, care and repair, clothing trimmings, dance accessories, crochet hooks and yarn, curtain tapes, dress making papers, dress shields, dylon dyes and accessories, elastics, ambroidery, tapestry, aida, eyelets, fabric marker pens and chalk, feathers, fabric, fasening clips, felt, fibre filling and wadding (toy fill), glitter, furnishing, hand sewing needles, hemming and fusible webs, hook fasteners, hook & loop (velcro), interfacing, knitting patterns, knitting pinks & accessories, kitting yarns, knitting yarn robin collection, lace & trimmings, lingerie accessories, machine bobbin (spools), machine embroider threads, machine needles, machine sewing accesories, packaging, patchwork & quilting, pins and safety pins, piping cords, ribbon & double satin, ribbons fancy, rotary cutters & matts, scissors, sequins spangles card embelishments, sewing aids, sewing threads, sewing travel kits, tapes webbings, tape measures & rules, thimbles, threaders & accesories, toys & accesories, zips...

& many more fantastic wholesale products!


following the script Is handwriting mightier than the keyboard? How calligraphy has made a comeback Paul Antonio Scribe Paul Antonio trained as a Calligrapher, Guilder and Heraldic Artist at Reigate School of Art and Design. He studied Letterform History at Reading and went on to Birkbeck to study English Palaeography from 600 – 1600, Archaeological Illustration and Ancient Egyptian Language. He has drawn hieroglyphs in Egypt for the MET Museum NYC’s Archives and currently works as a freelance hand-lettering artist and is one of the Crown Office Scribes. Why do you think calligraphy has become popular again? Calligraphy comes from the Greek works kali, and essentially means beautiful writing. In recent years, calligraphy has experienced a real resurgence in craft but also expanded the kinds of lettering the word can be applied to. But why the resurgence, what makes it so exciting to do, and also for others to enjoy looking at? I asked these questions to some of my students, and came up with a few answers. Firstly, people are tired of sitting typing behind a screen and pushing things around. They want to touch and affect something directly. Writing is generally the first thing we connect with, and we have greater access to play, learn, grow, and experiment. On another level writing can be seen as a form of meditation. This is why both the practitioner and the viewer can experience a sense of calm while engaging with calligraphy. But it’s not only the writing we can look at, but the action of the tool, how it moves, how

it swells, how the ink leaves the tool, and this too, gives a sense of pleasure as we peer into another world. Another shift we’re seeing is a yearning to want to go back to traditional and made by hand. So many more wedding invitations are now handwritten rather than printed. This yearning for the hand-rendered has lead to an increase in requests for calligraphy in the craft market for scrapbooking, rubber and foiling stamps, and manuals on how to learn and improve one’s hand – also referred to a script as font is not done by hand. I’m working on a manual on Copperplate Script that will be published by Speedball. My thoughts are pick a script and learn it, which also means learn the tool and how it works. I’m also working with Spellbinders on a range of stamps, not something I ever thought I would do, but the company’s love for the craft and wanting to produce stamps with sharper lettering made me realise that people want more. More accurate lettering, more beautiful forms, and where best to look first than through history. My hope with the stamps is that it’ll make people want to look at calligraphy in a different way, and want to pick up a pen to learn how that script works. I live in hope! To find out more about Paul Antonio’s work visit his website

We catch up with five companies to see how they’re putting their mark on this growing craft trend: Hand lettering leader The market leaders in calligraphy and hand lettering, Manuscript Pen Company has an extensive product range exploring every avenue of the art of beautiful writing. The new Modern Calligraphy Set is the perfect kit to explore the growing trend for creating beautiful scripts. It’s a great starter kit for beginners or a fantastic addition to a lettering artist’s collection. The set includes a stylish turquoise pen holder, three versatile calligraphy nibs, ideal for copperplate and modern calligraphy style lettering and a small bottle of black calligraphy ink and a practice sheet to help get you started. Following on from the success of the Callicreative 10-pack Duotip double-ended markers, Manuscript has introduced 10 new trendy colours in the launch of a much anticipated 20-pack. The versatile pack features a chisel tip and fineliner, and has gone on to win the highly coveted 2017 London Stationery Show Award for the Everyday Writing Instruments category. Completing the Duotips collection is the Twin Tip Markers, offering an assortment of 20 contemporary colours in a handy compact 10-pack wallet, perfect for travelling or on-the-go creations. From creating faux calligraphy to hand lettering doodling and adult colouring, the colourful Duotips collection is suitable for everyone! Manuscript Pen Company +44 (0)1746 861 236 craftfocus 49

following the script Calligraphy on the go Zebra Pen (UK) is an authentic Japanese company that provides high quality yet affordable writing instruments, and they are soon to enter into the world of crafting with an exciting range of Calligraphy pens and Japanese brush pens. The exclusive new range to Zebra will boost its writing instrument collection and place it in a new realm of arts and crafts. Zebra Pen understands the satisfaction obtained when creating the perfect formation of letters on a page, having them all so perfectly neat and consistent with a steady flow of wet ink leaving the pen and meeting the paper to create aesthetically pleasing shapes. With this in mind, Zebra has created a calligraphy pen to satisfy these needs, with three different available point sizes, there’s a size to suit your needs, be it for the handcrafted invitation or the name place setting. You can carry these calligraphy pens in your pocket or purse for the occasions when you need to craft-on-the-go as no refills or nibs

are necessary. The archival quality pigment ink is acid free, waterresistant, bleed-free, and quick drying. Another exciting addition to this new product category is the Japanese Brush Pen. Whether you’re doing traditional lettering, illustrations, or Manga, the pen offers deep rich black colour and varying line widths depending on applied pressure. The Brush Pen tip allows for thick and thin lines in one expressive tool, the permanent pigment ink is acid-free and archival quality for lasting impressions. It’s also water resistant and AP non-toxic. Zebra Pen (UK) +44 (0)20 8974 2202

Colouring craze and more STAEDTLER has been proactively involved with the adult colouring craze from the outset through its involvement with artist Johanna Basford who effectively pioneered the sector with her best-selling colouring books. Johanna is an international brand ambassador for STAEDTLER and the company produces special limited edition packs of key adult colouring products carrying Johanna’s endorsement. Although it’s true to say that the adult colouring phenomenon is now plateauing, it’s important to recognise that it has established a completely new market sector, which will definitely continue. The trend has attracted massive new interest in creativity and this in turn has led on to new techniques such as hand lettering and bullet journaling. Just as with adult colouring, STAEDTLER has the perfect product range in place to take advantage of both the existing colouring market and its new variants. To capitalise on the current interest in hand lettering, bullet journaling and calligraphy, the company has introduced special new packaging of key products and an eye-catching display, all featuring the strapline ‘Ideal for your notebook and hand-lettering’. The move is to ensure creative users can immediately recognise relevant products in-store. Key products include a set of 10 assorted triplus fineliners, perfect for drawing, writing and colouring, and a brand new set comprising three STAEDTLER pigment liners, indispensable for lettering, and two metallic markers in gold and silver for creating glittery highlights. Also contained in the display is a bonus pack of Noris Colour colouring pencils contains twelve assorted colours plus two Noris eco pencils for initial designs and sketches. In addition to the themed display is a boxed set of five STAEDTLER calligraphy markers for impressive lettering. With two tips of varying width, this marker complements the hand lettering assortment perfectly. For all those who appreciate the art of writing, STAEDTLER has put together some interesting tips and tricks online at Here, creative minds can find an introduction into the art of calligraphy, instructions for beautiful writing and an exciting handwriting analysis test. STAEDTLER +44 (0)1656 778 668

50 craftfocus

The UK’s leading magazine for the craft industry


To advertise here telephone Tracy Voice on +44 (0)1376 535 618



Craft OGraphics O







on ordVERY over ers main £50 land only)


0845 30

0 7750

ic s

Call 0845 300 7750 and quote CAT17


• G ra p h

For a copy of the NEW 2017/18 Artcoe catalogue and ‘Back To College’ Trade News


A rt • C ra ft

Uni-ball POSCA pens now in stock!

Crafters Companion +44 (0)1388 660 930

Making a statement U Studio has just launched the colourful rainbow proud pencils. The pencils are part of the Sharp & Blunt collection, which features 11 sets of six pencils each with a different theme, designed to get your imagination whirring. Each rainbow hued pencil comes with its own witticism including phrases such as, “I’m surprised this pencil is even straight, Come out, come out wherever you are, Equal Writes, Bursting with Pride and Gay is the new black.” The pencil sets retail at £5 U Studio Design +44 (0)117 944 5050


Spectrum Noir Artliner pens The ArtLiner pens from Spectrum Noir are perfect for anyone wanting to embrace the on-trend look of hand calligraphy. Released alongside a DVD full of tutorials hosted by Jennifer Tryon, the pens are perfect for achieving the popular brush lettering effect on your projects. Crafters can practise their own designs using the tutorials and co-ordinating alphabet stamps until they’re mastered the technique. And if you want to move on from this, ArtLiners are perfect for sketching, outline and adding fine details to your designs too. Whether you’re colouring a detailed image or adding depth and definition to coloured elements, these pens can do it all. Each pen contains a quality micro-pigment ink and is light-fast, waterproof and quick drying, making them ideal for combining with watercolour-based techniques and more.

3 BEAUTIFUL BOOKS TO HELP YOUR CUSTOMERS MASTER THE ART OF CALLIGRAPHY: 1. Draw Your Own Fonts: 30 Alphabets to Scribble, Sketch and Make Your Own By graphic designer, Tony Seddon  ISBN: 9781782404972 Price: £9.99 Published by Ivy Press, Hand drawn letters have never been more popular, and every home designer us getting in on creating funky fonts. This is a lively mix of inspiration and workbook, offering 30 complete alphabets, drawn in a variety of styles by a team of young designers and illustrators, with tips and demonstrations on how you can copy, adapt or personalise them to make them your own.  2. Modern Calligraphy A step-by-step guide to mastering the art of creativity By Lucy Edmonds of Quill London ISBN: 978-1-4091-7255-0 Price: £6.99 Published by Orion Books, Written by Lucy Edmonds, the founder of Quill London, this book will guide readers through the first steps of pointed pen calligraphy, encouraging you to spend an hour a week developing and practicing the new skill. Designed for complete beginners, the book offers tips, tricks and techniques on the materials required and how to use them properly, how to approach the modern calligraphy letterforms, and most importantly explores ways to develop our own modern calligraphy style. You’ll learn about inks and how to make your own, brush calligraphy, and what you can do with your new skill from envelope addressing and event stationery to beautiful dinner party menus and gift tags. 3. Modern Calligraphy Workshop: The Creative Art of Pen, Brush and Chalk Lettering Paperback  By Imogen Owen ISBN: 978-1-84949-907-1 Price: £15 Published by Quadrille, Modern Calligraphy is a sophisticated, interactive book full of exquisite sample alphabets, fun exercises, and simple step-by-step projects. From modern calligraphy in ink to hand lettering in chalk on blackboard and brush lettering in paint, you’ll discover a variety of ingenious ways to turn words and letters into projects that can be given as gifts, sent as snail mail, or used within your home decor. Learn to create eye-catching letterforms, embellish with swirls and flourishes, free-brush letters on canvas, and digitise your work for printing. With practical projects for all sorts of celebrations, from engagements and weddings to baby showers and even Halloween, this book will give you the inspiration as well as the skills to turn your everyday handwriting into artwork.

craftfocus 53

good descriptions clinch sales Intelligent Retail’s David Fairhurst explains how your product pages on your website are your virtual salespeople and help you rank higher on Google

I remember talking to a potential client many years ago who was terribly disappointed with the results from their new e-commerce website. This particular client had never traded online before, so went onto Google and did all of the required research. All of this research pointed to the fact that if you really want to make a business work in the retail sector then a fully functional e-commerce website should definitely be part of the armoury. So far, so good... What this retailer didn’t factor in was, the level of work required to really make an e-commerce website sell effectively. It was assumed that the website would just magically generate income without any promotional effort. This retailer obviously wasn’t thinking like a purchaser, which is what you have to do in

54 craftfocus

order to succeed as an e-commerce retailer. SAME BUT DIFFERENT In a way, an e-commerce website is very similar to a bricks-and-mortar store. Both have stock and in any logically laid out store would have some sort of categorisation. Both allow you to purchase items using a number of different payment methods. That however is where the similarity ends. In a bricks-and-mortar store, purchasers have direct contact with sales staff and can see, touch and feel products to make sure that they are buying the right thing. Sales staff can answer any questions about the products and help with purchasing decisions. With an e-commerce store, potential purchasers don’t have access to a sales person and have to rely on the information

that you present to them in your website. In this way, everything you present in your website can either help or hinder a sale. Product pages are especially important for clinching a sale, if the information you present isn’t right here then the chances of getting a sale are very slim indeed. GETTING THE PRODUCT LEVEL RIGHT Research has shown time and again that the lesser steps required to complete a purchase in an e-commerce store, the more chance of completing that purchase ( The same reasoning can be made before the customer adds a product to his/her basket. The pages you really want to appear in search engine results are therefore product pages, as this provides the shortest route for

business advice

a potential purchaser to that all-important product information, just when that potential purchaser is primed and looking for that product. Product pages should therefore be finely optimised for product level key phrases including brand, product type and product name. This optimisation gets purchasers into the page, but that’s not the main reason online retailers need to spend time optimising product pages. Once into a product page, a potential purchaser on your website needs to not only find what they’re looking for, but be persuaded to purchase that item from your store. This is where product level optimisation really comes in. VIRTUAL SALESPEOPLE Product pages are your virtual salespeople. Visitors to your website don’t have the luxury of talking to a member of your staff and with average attention spans dropping thanks to the massive amount of information we are all asked to assimilate every day (https://, online retailers need to

make sure that product pages aren’t only easy to navigate but laid out in an easily digestible form. Product page content therefore has two different roles. The first is to allow rankings in search engines, preferably in the first few results for a chosen product level key phrase, the second is to convince any visitors to that page to buy that particular product. It just so happens that adding a relevant, useful product title alongside well-written product description to a product page aids both rankings and conversions, so it makes sense to provide both of these for each and every product in your online store. ORIGINAL DESCRIPTIONS FOR CONVERSIONS Search engines love fresh, one-of-a-kind content. We all know that running an independent retail store is massively time consuming, so it’s understandable that most e-commerce retailers will take the quick and easy route, utilising their supplier’s product titles and descriptions. In 2017 and beyond, this is definitely not the way to get top search

engine rankings at the product level. Writing original descriptions for product pages can give an e-commerce site a major boost in search engine rankings for product titles, but the benefits don’t stop there. Google in many ways models its search engine behaviours on real, human users. The Google search engine dislikes seeing the same old text, images and layouts time and again, exactly the same can be said for any human visitors to your website. The fact is, if you spend time writing your own product titles and product descriptions, providing the very best information for your users on the products you’re offering in your e-commerce store, the more likely you are to sell those products. My team at Intelligent Retail have proven the concept – to sometimes disbelieving clients – that spending the time optimising the product level really can make the difference between a mediocre e-commerce outcome and a game-changing result that’ll put money in the bank.

Intelligent Retail +44 (0)845 680 0126

craftfocus 55

New from The Nutmeg Company

Bothy Threads - 2017 Autumn Collection

Victorian Fan Christmas Card

The Home of Happy Stitching!


£2.59 PER PACK OF 3 (20.5CM)



All prices exclude delivery and VAT




Make it merry! Christmas is one of the most lucrative times for retailers. We take a look at the first festive products to be launched for this season

Club Green, craftfocus 57

Make it merry! LAP OF LUXURY Christmas is all about splashing out and Club Green has everything needed for your customers to decorate their homes in style this season, including luxury sprays of golden pine cones and silvery hessian poinsettias on stems. Both come in packs of 12, as well as organza ribbons with a wired edge and sequins that’s perfect for some opulent wrapping. Visit the website and search on Christmas for festive projects. Club Green +44 (0)1483 281 313 SEASONAL STORYTELLING The clever people at Design Works have turned the Christmas Nativity story into a stunning sampler, with brightly coloured images illustrating key bible verses. Once finished this beautiful piece can be cherished for years to come, definitely worth the hours of stitching! Star sequins and beads are used to give this a touch of sparkle. The kit contains 14-count white adia fabric, stranded cotton threads, sequins, beads, needles, cross-stitch chart and instructions. The design measures 16in x 20in and retails for £47.99.

WINTER STITCHING A favourite winter stitching project is the making of a Christmas stocking and Janlynn has a beauty to tempt your customers. The new Silent Night stocking kit features a background of musical notes with an inset wintery scene, and contains all you need to complete it. With 14 count aida and stranded cotton threads to stitch, plus felt fabric to back the finished piece, a chart and instructions as well as a full alphabet, there’s everything needed to personalised the finishing touches. The stocking measures 10.5in x 15in when completed, and retails for £29.99.

Design Works is distributed by SoloCrafts +44 (0)161 464 7313

Janlynn is distributed by SoloCrafts +44 (0)161 464 7313 NORDIC NUANCES For those crafters who like to be organised and get a head-start on their Christmas crafting, then look no further than the latest addition to Sara’s Signature ranges for Crafter’s Companion. Scandinavian Christmas captures Nordic-inspired designs to achieve that on-trend folksy feel to your festive makes. The collection includes a range of stamp sets, decorative and sentiment dies, brads, background and border embossing folders and ribbon and baker’s twine for adding that perfect finishing touch to your gifts. Crafters Companion +44 (0)1388 660 930

58 craftfocus

Make it merry!

CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS Letters to Santa is just one of the new seasonal papercraft collections that Kaisercrafts is releasing this year. The collection is nostalgic and features deep greens, rich reds and wood grain textures that have been teamed up with classic Christmas imagery of St Nicholas and poinsettia to make this collection a delightfully traditional affair. Kaisercrafts will be introducing three more new seasonal paper collections including Christmas Jewel, Christmas Edition and Mint Wishes. Kaisercrafts is distributed by Jones & Co +44 (0)115 978 1263 PANTOMIME PERFECTION Grafitec has created a whole host of new designs with 80 new tapestry canvases to choose from. The highlights include the Pierrot measuring 50cm x 40cm. All of the Grafitec canvas range is screenprinted with each including a DMC thread list with wool and cotton options. Canvases are provided to shops with a header card and hook for easy display on request. The Pierrot design retails at £20.99. Grafitec is distributed by SoloCrafts +44 (0)161 464 7313 60 craftfocus

GET GIFTY Create your own shrinkable designs to give away as gifts with Grafix Shrink Film. It’s as easy as design, cut out and bake. Your creations will shrink to half their original size and become nine times thicker. The film is great for making ornaments, personalised jewellery, card embellishments and papercrafts. Shrink Film is a fun and creative medium to use for all ages and would make for an exciting gift. It’s available in six styles – clear, matte, white, black, inkjet clear and inkjet white. Use your favourite permanent markers and paint pens. Even use coloured pencils on the already sanded Shrink Film. Crafters can also print photos, clip art and text onto the Inkjet Shrink film, which is available in 8.5in x 11in sheets in packs of six and 50 complete with easy to follow instructions. Grafix +1 216 581 9050 DARK AND MYSTERIOUS Mixology Luxe by Camelot Design Studio is a luxurious mélange of metallic printing, and timeless unite of black and white, and sumptuous digital rendering. The perfect accent for holiday décor and table settings, the collection adds a lustrous luxury sparkle to the room. Mixology Luxe showcases modern yet timeless geometrics that will also pair with any collection including the showstopping realistic Marbled print (not shown). This blender basic from Camelot Fabrics is 100 per cent cotton and sold by the metre, in case packs and there are pre-cuts available. The range is also supported by free projects on the company’s website. Camelot Fabrics +1 514 382 2400

 56> 05 2 :;6*

Club Green has a fantastic mix of products to make your customerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s celebrations truly handmade including a wonderful selection of items for the current DIY wedding trend. In addition, the company also has an assortment of items for Valentineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day, Easter, Christmas and Halloween, as well as for special occasions including parties, and baby showers. From big and bold, pastels and neutrals, there are innovative products for everyone including ribbons, gift tags, cake boxes, buntings garlands, trimmings and more. Tel: +44(0)1483 281 313 Email:

Make it merry!

DIE-CUTTING FOR CHRISTMAS These fun dies from Crafter’s Companion are essential for all festive projects. The versatile snowglobe and bauble set is a must-have for making tree decorations and bunting. It also co-ordinates perfectly with other sets in the range such as the woodland scene, gingerbread house and penguin sets, and will make whimsical winter wonderland designs with ease. Use them to create quick and easy appliqué projects, and dig through those scraps you’ve been saving as these robust dies can cut through cotton fabric, felt, denim, leather in just one go. Crafters Companion +44 (0)1388 660 930

STOCKING FILLER DELIGHT FOR CROSS-STITCHERS Mouseloft take pride in achieving low prices, but without compromising quality, and has added to its delightful range of counted cross-stitch kits for Christmas. There are now more than 40 kits in the ‘Stitchlets for Christmas’ range, which retail at just £2.39. Alternatively, the same designs are available with a card and envelope and retail at £2.99. New designs include a dapper fox and a friendly snowman. Both complement other designs in the range such as a teddy in a stocking, a lovable penguin all wrapped up against the cold and a Christmas Donkey. There’s also a camper van bringing home the Christmas tree.  All the designs in the ‘Stitchlets for Christmas’ range fit into threefold aperture cards or a 2½in wood grain flexi-hoop, both stocked by Mouseloft. Point of Sale displays are also available. Mouseloft +44 (0)1477 533 566

64 craftfocus

COUNTING ON CHRISTMAS Father Christmas, a fluffy robin and an angel decorating the tree is the latest fun Christmas cross-stitch designs from Luca-S. The kits contain 16-count aida fabric in white or rustic, Anchor stranded cottons on bobbin cards, needle and instructions. Left to right they retail and measure: £26.99 (19cm x 28cm), £21.99 (17cm x 22cm) and £19.99 (15cm x 22cm). The use of bright and bold colours will keep the winter blues away as these great kits decorate the house for years to come. There’s something for everyone here. Luca-S is distributed by SoloCrafts +44 (0)161 464 7313

Make it merry!

CHRISTMAS CARD KITS Heritage Crafts has two new yuletide card kits with lovely designs from Karen Carter. ’Tis the season and Happy Christmas kits include white card (195mm x 195mm), an envelope, 14-count lurex opalescent fabric, DMC stranded cottons, a needle and instructions. The retail price for each kit is £9.99 making them good value.  Heritage Crafts +44 (0)1889 575 526

‘TIS THE SEASON FOR SPRAY PAINT There are so many ideas for Christmas decorations, the only limit is your customer’s imagination. A bowl full of fruit, nuts and fir cones can be sprayed with PlastiKote Fast Dry Enamel in gold leaf to take on a glorious lustre. For a simple table gift, spray the lid of an old, clean jar with Fast Dry Enamel silver or chrome, spray a dried seed head the same colour and hot glue to the lid for added interest, and fill with sweet treats for your guests. Thinking of ringing the changes with a new colour scheme this Christmas? Use spray paint to recycle your existing old decorations. By using Fast Dry Enamel in silver, crafters can bring doilies and angel wings to life. You can also use on platters, frames and figurines to create a new look for a Christmas table. As with all spray paint projects, make sure the surface you’re spraying is clean and dry and follow the instructions on the can carefully. Visit the website or for information, ideas and inspiration. If you’re spraying bare wood, use PlastiKote Twist & Spray Primer first. PlastiKote Fast Dry Enamel retail at £3.99 for a 100ml can PlastiKote +44 (0)844 736 2235 66 craftfocus

A CARDMAKER’S CHRISTMAS Craft Stacks are becoming phenomenally popular with cardmakers and with four very different Christmas themes, it’s no wonder Hunkydory’s latest collection of Craft Stacks sold out when they first launched on TV. The compact but jam-packed 8in x 8in Craft Stacks are collectable, and each encompass foiled and die-cut toppers, card inserts, foiled papers, double-sided papers along with speciality sheets such as Acetate or Parchment that differ in each Stack. The four latest Christmas themed Craft Stacks include brand new artwork in Santa Paws 2 and Primrose Lane at Christmas and an update to the artwork within Twas the Night Before Christmas and An Art Deco Christmas. All four designs are proving as popular as each other. Trade customers can take advantage of a 20 per cent saving when selecting any 12 or more Craft Stacks (retailing at £19.99). Call Claire or Christine or visit the website. Hunkydory Crafts +44 (0)1772 272 575

Whatever the celebration our crackers will always delight - adding sparkle, a surprise and a bang!

Fold paper and card the smart way...

·Fold-Ease is a brand new, patented, paper and card folding tool which ƉƌĞǀĞŶƚƐĨƌŝĐƟŽŶ burns and paper cuts, speeds up folding and creates a neat crisp creaseline when hand folding paper and card. ·Fold-Ease can be used by anyone who folds paper and card by hand. For example, sectors include ƉĂƉĞƌĐƌĂŌŝŶŐĂŶĚŽƌŝŐĂŵŝ͕Žĸ ĐĞƐƚĂī͕ĞŶŐŝŶĞĞƌƐͬ ĂƌĐŚŝƚĞĐƚƐ͕ƉƌŝŶƟŶŐĂŶĚƉŽƐƚĂůƐĞƌǀŝĐĞƐ͕ĂŶĚ householders. ͼ&ŽůĚͲĂƐĞĐŽŵĞƐĂƐĂŵƵůƟͲƐŝnjĞƚǁŝŶƉĂĐŬƌĞƚĂŝůŝŶŐ at £3.99. ·Fold-Ease is selling globally and over 2500 units have been sold since its launch in April 2014 to trade and consumers through trade shows and www.fold-ease.comǁĞďƐŝƚĞͬŵĂnjŽŶͬďĂLJ͘

UK and global distributor wanted! 07896 328220 ͗ƌƵƉĞƌƚΛĨŽůĚͲĞĂƐĞ͘ĐŽ͘ƵŬ W: >ĂǀĞŶĚĞƌ,ŽƵƐĞ͕ϭϵ^ƚŶĚƌĞǁƐǀĞŶƵĞ͕dŚŽƌƉĞ^ƚŶĚƌĞǁ͕EŽƌǁŝĐŚ͕EŽƌĨŽůŬ͕EZϳϬZ'

ͼh<WĂƚĞŶƚ͕hĞƐŝŐŶZĞŐŝƐƚƌĂƟŽŶ͕dƌĂĚĞŵĂƌŬĞĚŝŶ UK, USA and China. ·Nominated for Hot Product Award at CHA Mega Show in 2015. ·Appeared on BBC’s Dragon’s Den in August 2016.

book reviews

bookstand Make additional sales by stocking contemporary craft books alongside your other product offerings. We review the latest editions to hit the shelves PAPERCRAFTS PAPER PARTIES – OVER 50 PAPER PROJECTS FOR THE PERFECT PARTY By Erin Hung Price: £12.99 RRP ISBN: 978-1911216254 Publisher: Pavilion Books


Designer-maker and author, Erin Hung is the founder of bespoke paper goods company BerinMade, and Paper Parties was born out of her love affair with paper as a medium and her passion for fun celebrations. Combining inspirational styling with practical step-by-step tutorials, this book is bursting with ideas for making a party look stunning, whether you’re looking for a small handmade touch, or want to go big with a whole made out of paper theme. Paper Parties features more than 50 paper projects for birthday dinners to weddings, children’s parties and seasonal celebrations. Erin’s work has been featured in many magazines and also on TV, and is stocked in Liberty, Selfridges, Oliver Bonas and Urban Outfitters, so she knows how to make a party dazzle, using only a few handmade paper decorations. Projects include place cards, invitations, backdrops, crackers, gift-wrap and boxes, garlands, table decorations, and a flower bomb piñata, to name a few. We say: “With projects to create for every occasion, this book can be used to dip in and out of for creative inspiration.”

SEWING COMPLETE DRESSMAKING – ESSENTIAL SKILLS AND TECHNIQUES FOR BEGINNERS By Jules Fallon Price: £20 RRP ISBN: 978-0-85762-167-2 Publisher: Quarto Press Complete Dressmaking has been written by Jules Fallon, who is the business owner of Sew Me Something and well-known name in the dressmaking and sewing community. It’s a wonderful book for any sewer that loves dressmaking, and those wanting to familarise themselves with the terminology that’s associated with making your own clothes including learning

about sewing patterns, understanding fabrics to sewing techniques such as inserting zips, creating the perfect pocket and decorative ideas such as bias binding and topstitching. The book is perfect for visual learners as each technique is explored with carefully curated stepby-step photographs and illustrated artworks. Jules addresses the most common problems that beginner dressmakers encounter and advises on how to tackle them in special ‘Help!’ panels throughout the book. We say: “We really like this book and it’s wellwritten and well-laid out. It’s bound to become a firm favourite as a dressmaker’s handbook.”

OUT NOW craftfocus 69

JEWELLERY MAKING WEDDING JEWELRY By Sian Hamilton Price: £14.99 RRP ISBN: 9781784943301 Publisher: GMC Publications



This fabulous new book from the editor of Making Jewellery magazine is the ideal resource for jewellery makers keen to learn the intricacies of creating wedding jewellery. From elegant earrings to eye-catching headpieces and necklaces, bracelets and brooches and more, there are plenty of imaginative and stylish pieces to complement any bride’s outfit. The book is divided into five collections in a range of captivating styles including Classic, Vintage, Lace, Nature and Floral, with six pieces of jewellery in each category. Each chapter features at least one special technique, which is one-of-a-kind to that particular collection. Some jewellery-making knowledge is assumed, but all the basic techniques are covered within the book. There’s also a discussion on tools and materials required, so the book is suitable for all jewellery skill levels. Every bride should feel like a princess on her big day, and with Sian Hamilton’s gorgeous jewellery she’ll look like one, too. We say: “Although written for the US market, the book is full of wonderful ideas for creating original jewellery pieces to wear on the big day.” HOW TO MAKE RESIN JEWELLERY By Sara Naumann Price: £9.99 RRP ISBN: 9781782213376 Publisher: Search Press Sara Naumann is an American mixed-media artist, writer and workshop instructor. She has a passion for stamping and mixed media, and shares this through her teaching, writing and designing. Her aim is to take the mystery out of things that can seem intimidating or unfamiliar, leaving you free to enjoy the creative process. How to Make Resin Jewellery is Sara Naumann’s latest book and explains how to make beautiful, bespoke resin jewellery that is stylish and timeless using minimal tools and materials. Resin jewellery first started in the US around six years ago and has now become one of the fastest-growing trends in jewellery making. The technique is very simple and all you need to do is mix the twopart resin together and pour into a bezel or pendant. Rings, pendants, brooches, cufflinks, hairpins and bracelets are all easy to make and look incredibly professional when done. Sara Naumann shows you just how easy and quick resin jewellery is to make, using minimal equipment and readily available products, and provides over 50 fabulous projects for you to try. We say: “This book includes stylish pieces of resin jewellery that can be made in next to no time all and requires no specialist tools so all crafters can have a go.” 70 craftfocus

PERFECTLY MINDFUL ORIGAMI: THE ART AND CRAFT OF GEOMETRIC ORIGAMI ISBN: 978-1-911127-11-6 and THE ORIGAMI GARDEN ISBN: 978-1-911127-10-9 By Mark Bolitho Price: £14.99 RRP each Publisher: Jacqui Small, and an imprint of The Quarto Group


Both of these books are part of the Perfectly Mindful Origami series of books. Author Mark Bolitho has been involved with origami for approximately 35 years, and is a former Chairman of the British Origami Society. Each book includes 25 inventive paper projects that have beautifully photographed and illustrated with clear step-by-step instructions so crafters know exactly how to fold and follow the creative designs. The Art and Craft of Geometric Origami features every shape you can imagine from a simple cube to a geo ball and shows how to create modular shapes with every twist and turn. If your customer is looking for a more fun approach The Origami Garden includes lots of plants and wildlife from the garden such as an iconic rose, mushroom and beautiful palm leaves. There’s no need to worry about paper as the book comes with a series of patterned papers that have been specifically designed for each of the projects. We say: “Whether you’re an origami beginner or looking for a more complex challenge, these books will exercise and de-clutter your mind, as well as creating beautiful papercrafts!”

Book contacts GMC Group, Jacqui Small, Pavilion Crafts, Search Press, The Quarto Group,



0845 644 3617




sell like hot cakes We look at what’s selling in the world of cake decorating and sugarcrafts

Christine and Phil Jensen from Peboryon

The world’s biggest and best-loved cake decorating show, Cake International, returns to Birmingham’s NEC in November, with an amazing display of sugarcraft and cake decorating talent. The organisers talked to regular exhibitors, Christine and Phil Jensen of Peboryon about their thoughts on the very latest cake decorating and baking trends: Flavour is king “We’re seeing an increase in awareness of flavours and bakes, and have been spending more time in development of family favourites and heritage flavours for couples and their guests to enjoy. It’s also now unusual to supply only one flavour for a multi-tiered cake.”   Austerity’s influence. “Couples tend to one of two opposing responses. Minimalism is a popular choice with everything arctic white, and with a single feature detail. This sounds like the simple and less expensive choice, but has to be handled by experts to pull it off with style, as the finish has to be flawless. There is nowhere to hide. Or Opulence, hands-down, the prettiest of all rebellions! Intricate detail, stylish excess, metallics, flourishes, hand painting, sculptural elements, and sugar flowers. All to say, “this day is worth celebrating regardless, now bring my dancing shoes!” Fondant fancies Buttercream flowers are everywhere at the moment. A plain white cake with a beautiful wreath of hand piped flowers, what’s not to love? The time and skill that goes into making these stunning cakes is admirable. With this in mind, Karen Davies Sugarcraft has designed a mould giving you 11 beautiful flowers, leaves and buds, allowing you to create the amazing effect of buttercream flowers in sugarpaste or fondant. The buttercream flowers mould is quick and easy to use, enabling you the cake decorator to make stunning flowers in no time. Sugarpaste is less temperamental than buttercream, allowing you to transport your cakes easily and to work in various temperatures. It also allows you to make your flowers in advance, and store away until ready to use. Karen Davies Sugarcraft arcraft also sells their own brand of sugarpaste, which has been designed signed specifically to work with moulds, allowing you to achieve the bestt possible results. The mould retails at £17.99. Karen Davies Cakes +44 00 151 643 0055

Everything greener “Pantone’s colour of the year has hit the spot with couples in deep green ways. It’s a call to wild romance, and to nature untamed. We’ve never made so many sugar leaves and we love it! The organic call of wild is strong and beautiful, and works as well when designed for a wedding in a country house, or a tipi by the lake.”   Bucking the trends “Probably the strongest trend is that towards personalisation. The desire to not have the Pinterest cake that everyone else has had, but to create something really unique and tailored to the couple themselves. This takes design skill and craftsmanship, but for those who want to recognise the cake across the room as ‘theirs’, it’s absolutely worth the effort!”   To find out more about the show visit To find out more about Peboryon visit Novelty sculpted cakes Sculpted or shaped cakes have been around for a while now but they show no signs losing popularity. “Having just come back from an exhibition in New York where this corset cake caused quite a stir, I can tell the trend is global,” says Susan Balfour, Managing Director for Katy Sue Designs. They’re all sorts of shapes and sizes, handbags, shoes, Beauty and the Beast, football shirts to name a few. This type of cake remains popular, as they’re often requested by customers looking for novelty celebration cakes. Professional cake decorators and the home baker alike keep up with all the trends on the expanding cake network on social media. Regardless of their shape, all novelty cakes need detail somewhere and that’s where Katy Sue silicone moulds come in. Whether it’s a texture for a background or a faux royal iced look there’s a Katy Sue mould to give the perfect result regardless of skill level. The Katy Sue Facebook page ( KatySueDesignsCakeDecorating) is a great place to see the latest trends and hundreds of cakes made using their moulds. Katy Sue Designs +44 (0)191 427 4571

Cakes created by Les Gâteaux de Gilles craftfocus 73

sell like hot cakes

A cake of many colours Rainbow Dust ProGel is a professional food colour, which is the standard for food colouration. Highly concentrated, only the smallest amount of ProGel is required to give a deep rich colour to your cake creations, meaning that the tubes last a long time. ProGel® is highly concentrated and each tube offers the opportunity to create an infinite amount of shades. Using the easy dispensing tubes, just add the smallest amount and watch it transform fondant, frosting, buttercream, marzipan into your desired colour as it’s mixed in. There’s no more messy spots of colour, and no more wasted time trying to identify a specific colour, as the printed tube makes this a thing the of the past. To achieve darker shades, simply add more to the mix, it’s that simple! ProGel® was a finalist Cake Masters Best Product Award last year and is certified Kosher and is suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Rainbow Dust Colours +44(0) 1772 322 335 Mastering chocolate Mark Tilling is one of the chocolate industry’s biggest stars. Having worked in the trade for over 25 years, he has developed a sophisticated style, which has won him respect from chocolatiers the world over. Twice UK Chocolate Master and recent champion of the first series of BBC2’s Bake Off: Crème de la Crème, he now reveals his showstopper recipes in this modern, creative and comprehensive guide. UK Chocolate Ambassador and Head Tutor at Squires Kitchen International School, Mark covers the chocolate story from bean to bar, as well as everything you need to get started, from essential equipment to successful tempering. Accompanied by step-by-step photos, the 20 tried-and-tested recipes are easy enough to tempt beginners while having the perfect range and creativity for professional chefs. Sweet treats range from simple items such as like hot chocolate and whisky truffles and triple chocolate berry tart to the show-stopping chocolate splatter croquembouche and chocolate lover’s wedding cake – there’s really something for everyone. Mark’s expert tips and techniques will help you melt, temper and mould your way to show-stopping chocolate success. Mastering Chocolate (ISBN: 978-905113-56-9) is published by B Dutton Publishing and retails at £20. To stock this book get in touch with Squires Kitchen.

Fun with flowers FMM Sugarcraft was established nearly 70 years ago, this British brand prides itself on designing and manufacturing over 99 per cent of its product range in the UK. Towards the end of last year, FMM Sugarcraft launched its ‘Easiest Ever Rose’ cutter, which makes it so simple for cake decorators to create beautiful sugar roses. The success of the ‘easiest’ concept for making roses has proven to be something of a break-though in the cake decorating world, with many people now confident enough to decorate their cakes and cupcakes with sugar roses. Prior to the invention of the ‘Easiest Rose Ever’ making roses was a very skilled task that involved making a bud with paste, wiring it and then attaching individual petals to create the rose. To make a large numbers of sugar roses to decorate a cake requires time and expertise. The Easiest Rose method doesn’t require wiring, and as the rose is made in one piece of paste it’s a quick and effective way to make beautiful roses in a selection of sizes all from one cutter. Extending the type of flowers that can be made this way was a clear choice, FMM Sugarcraft now has in the range, cutters to make wonderful frilly carnations, fluffy peonies and has recently added the stunning layered ranunculus flower. Not only are the cutters great for people new to sugarcraft, but also great time saving tools for professional cake decorators where time is money!

Squires Kitchen +44 (0)1252 260 260

FMM Sugarcraft +44 (0)1442 292 970

74 craftfocus

Nutscene CandyTwist Twine: The Ideal Crafting Twine! 01307 468589 Find us on

Steve Barton, Digital Marketing Consultant shares five practical tips for delivering content marketing

If you don’t have six figures of budget to buy in consultants and software to help you develop your content marketing programme, or need a solution faster – there are smart, quick, alternative solutions. The following are some tips born from practical, boots on the ground experience from developing content marketing programmes in the UK and around the globe:


Become a detective on Google It’s very important to understand what your target audience is interested in, where they go for content, and how they ‘consume’ it – rather than what you want them to engage with as its their user journey that you'll work with if you’re going to succeed.

Be a detective on Google. Drill down into the words and phrases that your customers use to express questions about your products and services. If you have an idea of the most popular search words and phrases for your category, that’s a good place to start. Then, follow your searches to see what content comes up in natural search findings and paid advertising. Keep an eye on the search results # at the top of the page, “About 364,000,000 results (0.38 seconds)”. Click and follow findings. Repeat and repeat again. After a while, you’ll get a picture of what your audience engages with most often and where they’re finding that content. An offline technique that’s worth considering is to call 10 customers and ask them the following questions: • Where they go for information both online

and offline? • What do they find most engaging? • Who do they turn to for advice on the topic? • Would they recommend two or three people whose opinions they value that I could call? (This is the most important final question). Repeat your telephone interview with the 20 plus recommended people. By the second or third generation of this exercise, you'll learn fascinating things about where your customers go for their content needs. Remain open-minded as you go.


Hang around the ‘watering holes’ There’s an important difference between two types of content: • That which is posted frequently and generates little engagement (such as digital press release by a company about a

craftfocus 77

business advice

compelling content

compelling content

new product) • And that which is posted less often and generates high levels of engagement (such as a post by a customer about product experience). Both are good. They serve different roles in terms of awareness and engagement. Spend some time at the ‘watering holes’ that you will find as a result of step one. These are places that people gravitate to in order to find information about products and services, away from the cacophony of branded content such as moneysavingexpert. com and Follow the forum discussions, read the reviews and engage in some discussions. Very quickly, you’ll get a sense for what your customers are interested in connecting with more deeply, and you may also get some valuable directional insight into what they think about your brand.


Hidden content After you’ve completed this low-cost detective work, you’ll have a good idea of what content you need to use. The next key step is to find valuable, relevant content assets. A top tip is to give your own corporate files (electronic and paper) a good search or audit before you produce new content or buy

in content from a third party. Companies, especially Fortune 500 businesses, generate an enormous amount of excellent content on a regular basis for events, press announcements, analyst sessions, etc. Auditing content in a methodical fashion across organisation silos results in a surprising find of valuable content. Everyone is so busy doing tasks that valuable content is often treated as by-product that gets stored and forgotten. It’s there somewhere, buried five pages deep in the corporate website, sitting unwatched on YouTube. Viewing this through the lens of customer need frees you up to see and use this content in new ways.


The draw of video content It’s in the numbers. People spend two and half times more time watching short, relevant video. Watching a video increases conversion rates by 40 per cent to 300 per cent. SEO performance lifts by 50 per cent to 500 per cent when using video content. When you think about it, it makes sense. You don’t want to feel stupid asking the same question about ‘how a pension works’ for the fifth time but you don’t have any problem watching the video over and over again. Plus,

Steve Barton Barton Consulting +44 (0)20 3286 4145

78 craftfocus

a video is more engaging than words on a screen and, when a person is included in the video, a good proxy for the preferred method of communication; face-to-face. The key thing is to view video content as an opportunity to replace words on an email, copy on a website, a brief to a journalist on key points. It’s no longer just about producing one, seven-minute case history with Hollywood production values per year at a cost of £100,000. You should be thinking about producing and distributing 20 videos per month with lengths of 30 to 60 minutes for around £100 per video.


Shared content in the spotlight We naturally turn to our friends and colleagues for information about new products and services about five times more often than advertising. Around 80 per cent of advocacy is transferred face-to-face. So, the most likely scenario is that your content will be discovered online by a relatively small audience and then discussed face-to-face among a wider audience. To be clear, this doesn’t devalue the role of online content or social media sharing. Quite the opposite, as it underlines the value of viewing online content as a springboard for offline conversations. One of the most important questions that you need to ask when planning your content strategy is, “what is the information that I need to distribute online in order to generate a conversation where my brand will be mentioned, and hopefully endorsed - offline?” We don’t tend to repeat product announcements in our everyday conversations. In fact, one of the scenarios where people advocate product and services most often is in a cynical advice based story. For example, “you’re travelling to France for the term break… great news… be careful about taking cash out of machines in France because you get charged large fees on your credit card. My credit card is xyz and I use it because they don’t charge me for these transactions.” Think about the content that will get talked about and find a way to insert these content assets in the places where your customers discover nuggets to share with their friends.


& eLitE eLLitE miNiatUreS miNiatUreS

Everything you need to decorate eggs We have now branched out into the miniature scene and have attended Miniatura and The City of London Dolls House Festival. All our miniatures are resin and are made by ourselves. They can be purchased white to paint yourselves or we offer a service where we can supply them painted. Everything is offered at affordable prices for everyone. Check out our website or contact us on 01903 725593 or email if you have any questions.

For the love of beads Laura Ells, co-owner and manager of Creative Beadcraft, shares her enthusiasm for the business and beads How years has Creative Beadcraft been trading? Creative Beadcraft was established in 1920, and originally traded as Ells and Farrier. At first, the shop in London provided a service to trade customers, as did the later mail order business. A full service to retail as well as trade customers was set up in Buckinghamshire in the ’70s. It still remains a family business and Colin, my husband, is the grandson of one of the founders. The company is a major importer of quality beads and jewellery findings. Tell us a bit about some of the brands you currently stock? Creative Beadcraft has supplied Czech glass beads since ’20s and has developed strong contacts with a number of suppliers over the years. We’re the leading UK distributor for Preciosa Ornela and, in addition to its very popular seed beads, and we also supply a variety of its more specialised beads such as the pip beads, chilli and candy beads. Our company also supply a large range of the Czech Matubo seed beads including the bestselling superduos. Matubo’s large 6/0 and 8/0 seed beads come in a fabulous selection

80 craftfocus

of colours and finishes, and are popular for embroidery, knitting and crochet as well as jewellery making. We now supply the Japanese Toho seed beads. These very regular beads are ideal for beadweaving, and come in some beautiful colours including distinctive metallics. We stock the new demi-rounds as well as the traditional round seed beads. The Japanese Miyuki delicas are another very popular seed bead brand, providing an extremely regular bead for dedicated beaders. Other major brands include the CzechMates beading system, featuring multi-hole beads, which are designed to work together and create a multitude of design opportunities. We’ve a huge range including all colours in the latest two-hole cabochons and beams.

latest trends. The bestselling bead is the versatile XILION bicone while the hot-fix flatbacks are widely used to embellish fabrics, clothing and accessories.

You’re an authorised retailer of the prestigious Swarovski crystals. Tell us why their beads and hot fix stones are so sought after? Swarovski has great brand recognition and their products are renowned for quality and a huge range of shapes and colours. They’re highly innovative, and bring out new shapes and colours regularly in keeping with the

Many in the craft industry would say that the jewellery making sector has slumped over the last few years – what would be your reply? It has certainly changed and the beads we stock reflect this. We try to keep abreast of trends and change our products to reflect this. We’ve substantially developed our seed beads ranges and, in particular, expanded the

company profile

Czech glass beads, which are now available in many more shapes and colours. Bead weaving with seed beads and multi-hole beads is very popular now, and we’ve been able to use our expertise and contacts to develop this side of the business. You have a new blog on the Creative Beadcraft website – is this a good way of keeping up with jewellery making news? A blog is a great way to provide information on some of the newest beads and latest trends, and it’s very user-friendly. With so many new and unusual beads now available it enables us to give more detailed information about how these can be used and show off large images of some of the beautiful jewellery that can be created with them. The website has a lot of resources that retailers can use such as project downloads – tell us more about them? Again, these resources are a good way of showing just what you can do with some of the shapes, particularly the newer and more unusual ones. The project downloads are very popular with our trade customers as they can print them off to shown their own customers, or use them to make up jewellery samples. Suppliers now regularly provide projects. For

example, Bead Master has some great ones for the best-selling two-hole DiamonDuos, while Matubo has a range for the new twohole nib-bits. The Starman paper patterns are also very good and are available free with customer orders. Retailers should also take a look at the image galleries that show off jewellery design ideas by our suppliers well as our Creative Beadcraft. What are jewellery makers looking for and what’s proving the most popular products for you? We’ve a great variety of trade customers with some selling online, some with general craft shops and others with specialist bead shops so their requirements can vary considerably. In general, jewellery makers are always looking for versatile and interesting products at a competitive price and good customer service. It’s important not to forget the everyday staples so we make sure we provide a good range of all the essentials such as findings, tools and beads that are good allrounders. Beads such as Czech fire-polished beads are always in demand as they’re so versatile and the huge range of coatings and effects now available has made them very popular. Is jewellery making only for skilled beaders and jewellery making enthusiasts? Not at all! Although many of our customers are very skilled, others just want to be able to make an easy but pretty piece of jewellery, and have the satisfaction of creating something original, and we have lots of projects to show them how to do this.

What advice would you give to retailers that want to start stocking jewellery making items? Creative Beadcraft is always happy to talk to retailers to see what might best suit their particular requirements depending on factors such as space, budget, and experience. In general, we’d advise them to take a range of ‘essentials’ and versatile beads as well as findings and then build it up. In addition to loose, retail-ready beads and findings, we can also supply Starter Selections. These include the strongest-selling items in that range, and because of this are extremely popular. We also have a huge variety for our retail-ready strings, tubes and packs. How can retailers start doing business with Creative Beadcraft? For more information about our trade website get in touch with us.

Creative Beadcraft +44 (0)1494 778 818 craftfocus 81

New generation of colouring Keep your customers interested in colouring-in. Here are four ideas that take the colouring craze into new crafting areas

1. Professional colour Fibralo and Fancolor fibre-tipped pens from Caran D’Ache come in an amazing selection of colours and have been designed for those serious about colour. The water-soluable Fibralo pens create beautiful watercolour effects, and come in 30 colours. The strokes fuse and act like coloured inks. Fabcolour pens are food-based colours, and deliver the typical felt tip characteristics. For colouring in, just apply the colour onto a non-absorbent surface, and paint with a damp paintbrush to realise a watercolour effect.The fibre-tipped pens are available in packs of 10, 15, 24, 30 and also metallics. Caran d’Ache is distributed by Jakar International, 2. Party time! Get creative with these colour-in fancy dress costumes from Eggnogg. There are six designs to choose from including fairy, super hero, princess, pirate, mermaid and knight. The pack contains paper tabards, masks and hats/crowns, and is the perfect DIY fancy dress solution for any budding little super hero. With their favourite colouring pens, pencils or crayons, children can decorate and embellish their own costumes. Just use the Velcro dots to attach it to their clothes. It’s the perfect gift idea and ideal for children’s parties. The fancy dress pack retails at £7.95. Eggnogg, 3. Colour with thread RIOLIS has taken the concept of creative mindfulness one step further for needlecrafters. Based on the Zen sketches from Ekaterina Arkhipova, embroiderers can apply their skills in a new direction. The new needlework kits, Embroidery Therapy, gives those new to the craft the freedom of creativity in simple designs or those who want to relax with embroidery. The needlework kit contains all the necessary materials to make the design or make the kit your own and use up beads, rhinestones, buttons and threads from the remnants of other RIOLIS kits to create your own original design. RIOLIS is distributed by SoloCrafts, 4. Educate and colour Eat, Sleep, Doodle’s world map tablecloth is educational and makes mealtimes fun. The 100 per cent cotton tablecloth comes with a set of 10 washout markers for endless creativity, and can be coloured in while the children discover all about the places and icons. It’s perfect for keeping them busy and happy at the table during family or celebration meals. After the fun is over, just pop it on a warm machine-wash, and the ink comes out completely, ready for the next grand tour. It measures 50in x 33in, and is a handy table size, or can be used as a wall hanging too. Eat, Sleep, Doodle, 82 craftfocus





Published six times per year, each of our trade publications provide retailers with the latest news, views and products from across their respective industry sectors. Boasting exceptional print and digital platforms, Craft Focus, Gift Focus, Attire Bridal and Attire Accessories have become market leaders in their respective fields – trailblazing the industry with inspiring, engaging and empowering content designed to drive your business forward. With crucial media partnerships now signed with some of the major trade shows in the UK and beyond, KD Media Publishing’s portfolio of trade titles are a collective powerhouse of knowledge and connections which benefit from exceptional and targeted distribution, further bolstered by official media partner status at these key events.

& INTRODUCING THE An interactive directory listing for the trade, the iProfile is the brainchild of KD Media Publishing and brings a new marketing experience to trade retailers across the country. The iProfile was born in response to demand for a digital-savvy and flexible solution that allows clients’ multimedia to be incorporated into an enhanced listing. Simultaneously, clients may take advantage of the benefits provided by our own popular trade websites. A year-long listing, with tangible, measurable results, the iProfile is already taking the industry by storm. For further information, contact Marketing Manager, Michael Richards on

ATTIRE ATTIRE @CraftFocus 84 craftfocus @gift_focus

Bridal @attirebridal

Accessories @AttireAccMag

Patchwork and Quilting fabrics designed in the UK Printed on Best quality 100% quilting cotton





Contact details: 01274 414887 |

ask the experts

Leading experts in the industry help with retailing and crafting dilemmas CRAIG DE SOUZA AFCI.UK, Craig has been working within the creative, craft and hobby industry for 15 years; 11 years in the advertising and now as the Executive Director of AFCI. UK (formally CHA-UK). “AFCI.UK members employ me to help them succeed. I’m the conduit for members to call on if they require help, information or advice regarding their craft business. This support and help ranges from finding cheap paperclips, clips, s helping hellpi pin ing ng with wit ith h business contacts to finding inexpensive suppliers and getting free tickets to trade shows,” he says. “How can I drive footfall to my store without reducing my prices?” No longer can you ‘build it and they’ll come’ – times have changed on how consumers are accessing information and making purchases. Businesses are becoming price comparison sites competing on price, products and brands. Purchasing decisions are made on price point but we also buy into acquiring knowledge and information. The creative craft and hobby industry is huge with 18.3 million females aged 16-65* crafting in the UK right now, so there’s enough business for all. How do you attract more consumers without slashing prices ? It’s about understanding your customer, but also importantly knowing who you are, what your skill is, and what knowledge you have to share too. Knowing your customer is imperative; what do they buy and what are their interests? You could be excluding a host of other crafters by not offering what they need. I’m not suggesting stocking everything, but understanding your customer demographic is important. AFCI.UK age demographic breakdown can help you with this. My father told me that information is power. Big corporations employ people to find out information including the latest trends and products. As individuals, most businesses aren’t as fortunate, so how do you find this out for yourself? Make time to explore and acquire information by reading trade publications like Craft Focus, visiting events such as CHSI Stitches, Creativation, Creativeworld, h+h and the One Big Show. Attending events is also about networking and connecting with peers and likeminded people, and sharing information. Follow some of the advice above and give yourself a massive advantage, which in turn will give you a better football.

RAMAN SEHGAL, RAMAN PR Raman is the founder of Newcastlebased ramarketing, an award-winning creative, digital and PR agency that’s in the business of helping ambitious brands get noticed. Working with clients across the UK, US and Europe, Raman and his team specialise in helping organisations raise profile, manage reputation, enhance market presence, generate sales and leads. “I run a small craft business and have to spread myself very thin. How could PR help my business get noticed?” I’m no stranger to the demands of running a business, and although I’m a marketing man by trade, I’ve worked with craft businesses for years on consumer, business and trade PR campaigns. If you’re already spread thin you might be wondering if PR really is worth the hassle. For me, investing time, money and resource in PR is a no brainer because it can really help you get noticed (and that’s why get noticed is the strapline for my own business). Here’s how… Raise awareness – If your potential customers don’t know about you, they won’t buy from you. PR can help you get your business in front of the eyes of potential customers. Figuring out what they read, watch or listen to is the hard bit, but once you know, you can build a media relations campaign and start securing coverage. Build relationships with your customers – A big part of PR is nurturing relationships with journalists, but this extends to building relationships with customers too. PR can help you create a positive public image, which resonates and engages with your target audience, reinforces credibility and builds trust – priceless when it comes to generating sales. Outshine the competition – Have you noticed those pesky competitors popping up left, right and centre? You might know that the products or services you provide are better, but they might just be better at shouting about themselves. PR is a great way to gain a share of voice in your market to stand out from your competition. So, there you have it, just a few ways PR can help your business get noticed.

*AFCI.UK has access to research and crafters demographics.

craftfocus 87

watercolour wrap Erin Hung shows how to make your own watercolour wrapping paper. It’s the ideal project for a quick workshop or pretty window display It’s not only cards you can make with paper. In Erin’s new book she shows you how to use paper to make boundless decorations and other projects for parties.

MATERIALS NEEDED To make one sheet you’ll need: • White oil pastel • Blue and green watercolour paints • Paint dish

• White cartridge paper (no lighter than 120gsm) • Old newspaper or plastic • Flat paintbrush

“This project uses a neat little trick that was a favourite of mine as a child. We called it magic painting, where you use oil pastel to scribble an invisible message onto white paper. The recipient then painted over the paper with watercolour to reveal the secret message. The oil pastel acts as a barrier between the watercolour and paper, so that the paper remains clear of paint where the oil pastel has been applied. Clever, huh?” says Erin Hung.

Steps to make Step 1

Step 4

Line your work area with old newspaper or plastic.

Paint the entire paper, alternating sections of blue and green.

Step 2

Step 5

Using white oil pastel, scribble a pattern on the paper. I’ve used stripes and figures of eight.

Step 3

Make a blue wash and green wash in the paint dish. The best way to do this is to start with a small blob of paint, then add water, mix and test on a scrap piece of paper. Repeat until you’re satisfied with the depth of the colour. 88 craftfocus

Experiment with adding areas of more diluted or more concentrated paint for movement in the colour.

Step 6

Allow it to dry thoroughly overnight, and you’re ready to use to wrap.

Thanks to Pavilion Books for this book extract from Paper Parties (ISBN: 978-1911216254) by Erin Hung, Photographs by Charlotte Tolhurst and Lana Louw. Paper Parties features more than 50 paper projects for birthday dinners to weddings, children’s parties and seasonal celebrations. Erin’s work has been featured in many magazines and also on TV, and is stocked in Liberty, Selfridges, Oliver Bonas and Urban Outfitters, so she knows how to make a party dazzle, using only a few handmade paper decorations. To stock the book visit the publisher’s website,

Sticky Roll is a super-sized, super thin, double sided adhesive on a roll! This must-have product has fast become an essential in every crafters stash, bringing users a new level of creativity to their paper crafting. The materials have been specially selected for use with die-cutting and cutting machines and helps to solve the problem of messy and time-consuming gluing associated with intricate shapes, giving a professional finish. Sticky Roll is not only fabulous for adhering those hard to glue die-cuts and shapes to a wide range of surfaces, but can also be used for glitter, flock, foiling, gilding flakes, embossing powder, ultra-thick embossing powder and mica powders. Sticky Roll is permanent and acid free, 210mm in width and 10 metres in length. Sticky Roll, less time gluing, more time crafting! Made in the UK Our beautiful glitter is available in nine colours, is ultra-fine and leaves a gorgeous finish when used with Sticky Roll. Tel: +44(0)7902204267

trend file

it’s a corker

Craft customers are asking for cork products more and more. We pick up on one of the hottest trends We first saw the innovative cork products at Creativeworld 18 months ago and are now just seeing it pick up pace within the craft sector. Cork is a natural and sustainable product grown in hot countries and the bark is harvested every 10 years, and it can be made into a variety of materials for crafting.

Do you think this wine is corked? These words combined with the introduction of synthetic stoppers and screw tops seemed to seal the fate of a centuries old industry. Fortunately cork producers – like the cork oak they harvest – are a tough and resilient bunch and have reinvented cork for creatives. Cork veneer is bonded onto a variety of different substrates to give a comfortable, elegant textile that’s a natural and sustainable alternative to materials such as suede and leather. Cork fabric can be easily sewn by hand or on a domestic sewing machine. It can be over-painted, glued and decorated with most normal craft paints and adhesives. A wonderful new medium for the crafter to explore! efco creative offer cork fabrics in a variety of different finishes and colours bonded onto three different backings including paper, leather – a synthetic suede like finish and a medium weight fabric, and tissue – a cork, which is bonded onto a canvas backing and gives a very robust, durable material that is perfect for making bags, laptop cases, even garments. The Efco Creative cork range also includes cork strapping, which is an innovative alternative to traditional leather jewellery bands and watch straps, beads, granules and yes, of course corks!

Super for sewing Cork fabric, also known as cork leather, is a surprisingly versatile product and you’d be amazed how customers ask for it time and time again once they’ve started using it. It’s available in six different finishes (two are shown here), and is perfect for making bags and espadrilles as well as for die cutting and appliqué. The natural cork on a fabric backing sews beautifully too. Hantex +44 (0)1754 820 800

Efco Creative products are distributed by Sinotex UK +44 (0)1737 245 450

Cork for mixed media Peak Dale Products has designed, developed and produced an exclusive cork product for the crafty market. The new cork giant jigsaw pieces are cut from 6mm thick sheets, which are thick enough to connect ect and hold together and measure 17cm squared. Piece together the jigsaw pieces and stick to a wooden en board to make an original cork notice board for the home, stick and transfer photographs of loved oness onto the jigsaw pieces or create a beautiful picture frame or mirror surround. To decorate, crafters can use acrylic paint, permanent markers, stamping inks, mosaics, decopatch, patch, image transfer, mixed media or simply leave blank. The cork jigsaw pieces come in packs of four and nine pieces and as a bulk bag of 25 pieces.  Smaller 42mm x 42mm jigsaw pieces are also available in birch wood or super shiny acrylic mirror. The small pieces also fit together perfectly and are great for card making, mixed media and other craft projects. Peak Dale Products +44 (0)129 878 447

craftfocus 91

in it to win it CHSI Stitches is fast approaching, with pre-registration open at the end of September. Each year, three lucky retailers that pre-register for CHSI Stitches win £1000 in vouchers to spend at the show. We caught up with two winners from this year to find out a little more about their business and how they spent their vouchers MANDY SPRINGETT, CHERRY TREE FABRICS LTD, BOURNEMOUTH Mandy and Steve Springett have created Cherry Tree Fabrics, a quilting and patchwork haven with a loyal and regular customer base, from a few rooms in their house in Bournemouth. Tell us about your business? Running Cherry Tree Fabrics from our house is the realisation of a dream of mine to own a fabric shop ever since I started quilting about 22 years ago. We decided to take the plunge and open the shop about 12 years ago, and have enjoyed every minute of it. We stock patchwork and quilting fabrics, a large range of batik fabric and haberdashery. We run a twice weekly ‘Stitch and Chat’ workshop from here as well as a regular quilting one in aid of Project Linus, a charity that creates patchwork quilts for sick children in hospital. What did you spend your vouchers on at CHSI Stitches? We were thrilled that we’d won the retailer prize draw. We decided to expand our range of haberdashery and spent all of our vouchers with Groves of Thame on carry bags for small sewing machines, sewing boxes and threads. Winning the draw was a fantastic chance for

us to try some new haberdashery ranges, and customers have reacted positively, the sewing machine bags sold out very quickly, and we’ve had to re-order the sewing boxes too.

fabrics and patterns, which have a unique style that my customers really like as well as Moda fabrics, which are also popular for their soft, muted colours and high quality.

What are the latest additions to your business (e.g. products or classes)? We’ve just started stocking Lynette Anderson

Why do you visit CHSI Stitches and how many years have you been visiting? We’ve visited Stitches many times before and go each year to find out what’s new in the industry – it’s a great way to keep up-to-date with the latest trends. What makes your company stand out? We always try to make people feel welcome, and our customers tell us that this is a very friendly shop. We get a lot of customers by word of mouth, and so customer service is so important to us. We also have a big range of fabrics with lots of variety and customers keep coming back to see our latest stock and the different fabrics on offer. For more information about Cherry Tree Fabrics visit

92 craftfocus

focus on

WOOL N STUFF LTD, WAKEFIELD, WEST YORKSHIRE Describing the business as a ‘proper’ yarn shop, Wool N Stuff in Wakefield city centre is owned and run by enthusiastic knitting expert, Vickie Cole. Tell us about your business? We’ve been in business for seven years, selling mostly yarn and fabric, as well as accessories and we’re pleased to say that the shop is very successful. We ran an online store for a couple of years before opening a shop and realised that there was a huge demand was for a yarn shop in the area. We moved to bigger premises in our first five years to keep up with the demand for more ranges and wider variety of stock. What did you spend your vouchers on at CHSI Stitches? I spent the vouchers there and then! I was actually on the Rooster Yarn stand when the organisers announced my name on the tannoy, so I went straight back and treated myself (and my customers) to some of their really special, Manos del Uruguay yarn range, made with care by artisans in Uruguay. The yarns are high quality and hand-dyed and have flown out of the shop. I also got Caron yarn cakes, my customers love the stripes and

how many different projects you can make with one cake. What are the latest additions to your business (e.g. products or classes)? We already run knitting workshops in store and are now starting to offer children’s craft sessions over the summer holidays this year. We’re hoping to spark an enthusiasm for crafts from a young age and possibly make lifelong customers.

What are the latest trends you are seeing? My customers like anything new and different. It’s always worth us investing in new products and ranges, as they like anything they’ve not seen before. Why do you visit CHSI Stitches and how many years have you been visiting? 2017 was my first visit to Stitches, so I was so lucky to win the retailer prize draw! I had known about the show for many years but we’re hoping to expand to a bigger store again, and I needed to visit to find new suppliers. I thoroughly enjoyed the show and found so many products, which I had never seen or heard of before. What makes your company stand out? We have a very big range in our shop and excellent customer service. Our staff is friendly, helpful and knowledgeable and always willing to help. We host Knit and Natter four times a week, and workshops in store for beginners as well as advanced knitters so it keeps customers coming back. For more information on Wool N Stuff, visit

To pre-register for CHSI Stitches 2018 (18th-20th February) and be in with a chance of winning the vouchers to spend next year visit: craftfocus 93

facing criticism Nicola Russill-Roy, PR Director at Propose PR, reveals how to handle unhappy customers like a pro Happy customers are the key to any successful retail business, but unfortunately, despite working hard to provide the best of the best customer service, sometimes the consumer is let down for one reason or another and it’s your job to fix the problem. These sticky situations aren’t nice to think about, but it’s good to have a strategy in mind for when they do crop up (hopefully not very often!). FACING THE PROBLEM First things first, you have to recognise that there is a significant issue. If someone has submitted a formal complaint or even just expressed dissatisfaction with something, it’s your responsibility to address the problem. It’s essential that you tackle the issue head on and as swiftly as possible. Leaving the client to fester will only enhance the issue – whereas dealing with it in a fast and efficient manner will help you to win back their trust. WHAT IF IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT? Addressing a complaint when it’s regarding something that’s beyond your control, or completely not your fault, can be tricky. You’ll want to stand your ground and state your case, but it’s too easy to jump to your own defense and this may come across stand-offish. Take a deep breath and try to understand the situation from the bride’s perspective by listening to their problem. Letting your customer have their say and explain the situation in full will be the first step to building bridges with them. If you can be 100% sure it’s not your fault, when you respond, be firm when stating that you’re not directly to blame for the issue, but address them with compassion and ask them what they would like from you to make up for the inconvenience. WHAT IF IT IS YOUR FAULT? Honesty is always the best policy. There 94 craftfocus

PR and marketing powerful tool also has its pitfalls. Social sites such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are huge platforms with a wide reach, making them a prime arena for customer complaints. The problem with this is that other people (including potential customers) are now enlightened to the issues being broadcast across your page. If you do encounter a negative comment or complaint on one of your channels, reply to it promptly and sincerely – other users will see your response and respect your fast-acting customer service skills. It’s best to ask the user to email you directly with more details of their issue or complaint, as you do not want these finer details aired out in public.

will be times when you are in the wrong – something may have been overlooked, or there could be a promise that you now can’t deliver on – these things happen, but it’s not the end of the world. It’s important that you swallow your pride and ’fess up with an apology straight away as hiding from the critique and just hoping it will disappear is not the answer. With a direct ‘I’m sorry’ your client will appreciate your honesty and willingness to address the situation. Then, once you’ve admitted liability, you need to do everything in your power to correct the issue – which means helping the customer at no extra cost or stress to them. COMMUNICATION IS KEY When addressing critiques/complaints one of the most crucial things is the way you communicate your information. As I previously mentioned, you should always respond promptly to show that you’re taking the comments seriously. You’ll also need to stay in touch with the client while you try to resolve the issue – keeping them in the loop will prevent them from getting more irate. As well as communicating frequently, the way in which you converse with them is so, so important. Being polite, understanding and considerate at all times will give you the best chance of a hassle-free reconciliation. Try to

use a sympathetic tone in order to let your client know that you fully understand their needs and reassure them that you are going to do your upmost to resolve the issue in hand. When engaging in any correspondence, always have your brand vision in the back of your mind so that you act in a way that you would want your brand to be seen to others. PEACE OFFERING Once the problem has been resolved, it’s easy to think ‘phew’ and just forget about the whole situation, but it’s quite possible that your customer is still unhappy. Reach out to them to ask if they are satisfied by the way the error was dealt with and what’s been done to resolve it. Also, I think it’s a lovely gesture to offer a token of apology to make up for any stress caused. This can be something like a discount on the original order, a bunch of flowers or even a hand-written ‘I’m so sorry’ card. Going all out for that one customer may seem a little indulgent, however this is the best way to minimise the damage to your brand, as the last thing you want is them bad-mouthing you or posting negative reviews online. SOCIAL SHARING As you know, social media is a great way of promoting your brand, but unfortunately, this

PREVENT AND PRE-EMPT Now that you’ve encountered the problem, you can put systems in place to stop it from happening again. Make sure that you’re crystal clear with your terms, your booking procedures, and your payment options at that first point of contact to manage expectations from the very start. MOVING ON This is where the term ‘constructive criticism’ comes in – yes, it’s not very nice when someone’s unhappy with your service, but you need to think about the positives. The fact that a problem like this has been brought to your attention now, means that it’s less likely to happen again in the future – and even if it does, you’ll know exactly how to handle it. By addressing critiques and complaints properly you are helping your business to grow and prosper in the long run. If obstacles are put in your way and you’re seen to be leaping over them with ease by going that extra mile for your customers, then you’ll soon become a reputable brand within in the craft sector.

CONTACT Propose PR +44 (0)20 3286 5992

craftfocus 95

diversifying your product range Sara Davies discusses how to introduce new products to your product mix The craft industry has become more and more crowded in recent years and extra competition means it’s so important to make sure your business is continuously moving forward, adapting to market trends and meeting customer demand. As the saying goes “if you always do what you’ve done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”

You have a captive segment of the market in your customers so utilise it. Ask them what they love, what they’d like to see more of, what they’re struggling to get hold of elsewhere and then use that feedback to inform your buying strategy.

Picking new products This is where diversifying your product range can really come into its own. If you do it right, regularly updating and differentiating your offering from your competitors can really help your craft business to flourish. That being said, it’s important to ensure product expansions are carried out strategically and not using a scattergun approach. There’s no sense in randomly picking products until you find one that hits the mark.

Cater for demand The most important thing here is that you cater for demand, so I can’t reiterate how crucial customer feedback can be. Your average crafter participates in three different crafts, so just because you know your customers comes to you for a particular product doesn’t mean they wouldn’t be interested in something else. So, ask the question, whether you do it on an ad-hoc basis as they shop or in a more structured way through focus groups or surveys, the information you get will be invaluable.

Market research So how can you identify the right products for your company? The best piece of advice I can give you is to do your market research. Have a look at what the trade magazines are shouting about, what’s on the craft shopping channels and what do your customers keep asking you for?

Work with your suppliers Don’t be afraid to ask your suppliers to help you select some of their bestsellers if you’re venturing into a new area of craft. This will make the buying process easier for you, because after all, who knows what’s in highest demand better than the person who sells stock every day. Dedicate a budget It’s important to have an accurate budget before you start shopping around. We can all fall victim to overspending when it comes to buying products we love, so be strict with yourself. Know what resources you’ve got to dedicate to diversifying your product range and then stick to it. Buy smart Test the water with new products. There’s no sense putting all your eggs in one basket, so to speak, so introduce products gradually, buy small at first and if you sell out great, next time buy a bit more. The last thing you want is

96 craftfocus

a lot of stock that you can’t get rid of. So buy smart! Don’t neglect your core business Buying new products and extending your offering is exciting, but don’t neglect your core business. Make sure you know what you’re good at, find out why your repeat customers come back to you and then preserve that part of your business. Buying is about making your offering better for your customers, not replacing what they love about you. Be realistic Don’t spread yourself too thin. Diluting your offering by trying to be all things to everyone can seriously backfire. So stick to what you’re good at, or if you’re going to branch out into a new area of crafting, whether that’s sewing, paper crafting or quilting, then do it slowly and sensibly. A little bit of everything is no substitute for a comprehensive and quality offering for a specific hobby. Reputation is everything And finally, use your existing reputation to promote any new products you introduce. You’ve worked hard to build your business so don’t be afraid of letting your customers know you’ve got some exciting new products coming their way. After all if you’ve done your homework the news will be well received. So, there you have it. My top tips to help you diversify your product range. Remember, do you research, know your customers and, above all, buy smart. Happy shopping!

Sara Davies is a Durham-born craft entrepreneur and the founder of Crafter’s Companion,

Embsay Mills, Embsay, Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD23 6QF T: 01756 793908


Leading Craft and Papercraft Supplier Global Delivery Service


* 30,000+ products * 70+ brands * Card Making * Journaling * Scrapbooking *Papercrafting * Planners * General Crafts * Decoupage * Merchandising Display Stands

Personal Impressions (Part of the EM Richford Group), Curzon Road, Chilton Industrial Estate, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 2XW. Tele: +44 1787 375241


pep up your papercraft The latest innovative products to liven up your papercraft offering

KATY SUE DESIGNS RETURNS TO PAPERCRAFT Katy Sue Designs returns to the world of papercraft with the launch of three new Christmas themed papercraft pads. One of the pads is designed to work with the popular polar white flower soft product and display globes making the classic snowglobe cards. The other two pads were developed to work with crafters existing dies and die cutting machines. Each of these two pads contains 120 beautiful card toppers – hand drawn by Teresa Goodridge. The images have been laid out to ensure card makers have enough space to use their favourite die-cutting products or templates to create a bespoke shape around the card toppers, and contain a great mixture of card topper sizes and verses making it a versatile set. All are printed in the UK on high quality 170gsm paper, with each A4-sized pad having its own hang sell tab, and set on a wire bind so each page is easy to remove. Katy Sue Designs +44 (0)191 4274571 BLOG BASED BRAND The John Next Door brand is based on the name of the popular blog and designed exclusively by John Lockwood. John has been a professional crafter for three years working with Creative Expressions to design his own stamp range. Each release will be different, and will lead the trend of crafters to becoming makers. Over the last year, papercrafters have moved into more areas of craft from fabric and soft crafts to home décor, gift making and baking.  The John Next Door brand will launch new products and ideas every month encouraging consumers to try something different.  The choice to collaborate with Crafts Too was an easy one as the company design, manufacture and deliver both innovation and quality into all areas of the craft market.  The company’s extensive range of craft products both for own, as well as well- known brands deliver excellent value to retailers and the consumer. Crafts Too +44 (0)1252 330 024

QUICK AND EASY FESTIVE FUN Craft Creations has everything that paper crafters need for the festive period, including die cut decoupage, which is ready to press out and layer up. The precision die-cut découpage designs make the perfect centerpiece for any card design; while the die cut card panels with foiled edges supply a quick and easy topper sheet for the busy Christmas crafting season. Made to complement the main designs, the pretty creative paper and card sheets will create the ideal backgrounds for all sorts of craft projects. The creative papers are available as 12in x 12in creative paper and the creative card designs as A4. Craft Creations +44 (0)1992 781 900 3D PAPERCRAFTING Paper Pups, the original smash hit of the PaperMade book series, is back as an adult colouring book and featuring dog designs that you colour, and assemble into adorable 3D characters. Each of the 20 pup templates are pre-cut and pre-scored so they simply punch out and fold into shape. The book deftly combines paper craft with advanced paper engineering and there’s no glue, tape or tools needed. Paper Pups 3D Coloring Book includes Diesel the Bulldog, Oliver the Welsh Terrier, Ginger nger the Pug, Daisy the Golden Retriever, and d Baker the Komondor with his cool coat.. PaperMade books and products make ke paper craft easy, and transform simple, flat paper pages into fun and functionall 3D toys and accessories. Paper Pups 3D Coloring Book (ISBN: 978-1-57687-8545) is published by powerHouse Books. powerHouse Books +1  718-666-3049 craftfocus 99

pep up your papercraft MAKE FOLDING EASY Anyone who regularly folds paper and card will benefit from using this neat little tool. Fold-Ease is a paper- and card-folding tool, which prevents friction burns, paper cuts, speeds up the folding process, and creates a neat crease line. In 2015, the product was nominated at the Craft and Hobby Association (now known as AFCI) Mega Show in the US for a Hot Product Award, and last year, its inventor made it through the gruelling trials of the BBC’s Dragon’s Den to showcase the product on air. Fold-Ease is admirably ably simple, and comprises of a lightweight eight thimble with two rollers to do the folding and a gap at the end for long fingernails. gernails. It retails in a pack of two o sizes for just £3.99, making it exceptionally good value and perfect for stocking alongside your other papercraft products.   Manwise Products +44 (0)7896 328 220

BUTTERFLY ENVELOPES These new envelopes are a perfect choice if you’re looking for wedding envelopes. The luxurious envelopes come in 11 colours and four sizes. They’re two-sided giving an option of a slightly pearlised textured or plain finish, fully recyclable with a butterfly closure. It’s a modern take on the traditional pouchette, and ideal for hand delivery, and gives an elegant yet simple presentation to your invitation or announcement. Envelopes Ltd has one of the largest postal packaging product ranges with the facility to manufacture bespoke and overprinted products. So, whether you require wedding invitation envelopes, eye-catching, colourful envelopes for advertising campaigns or high volumes of stock for retail, the company will have products, expertise and resources to deliver. Envelopes Ltd +44 (0)1628 810 000 100 craftfocus

A LOT OF LITTLE BOOKS Hunkydory Crafts has introduced four festive additions to the popular Little Books range, as well as two coordinating Moonstone die sets. The Little Books give crafters an easy way of creating cards, as they’re perfect for use as toppers or for decoupage. With 144 sheets in the pads, they cover a wide variety of artwork and styles. The Little Book of Christmas Cuties contains a wonderful variety of adorable festive artwork, and the Littlee Book of Christmas Wishes contains designs based around heart-warming yuletide greetings and phrases. While the Little Book of Christmas Trees  features a beautiful selection of Christmas trees, and the Little Book of Festive Flurry contains some lovely snowy scenery. The books are great value, and retail at £9.99, and available for tradee for just £4.17 each. Trade customerss can also take advantage of 20 per cent off when they buy any 12 or more Little Books. The Festive Foliage and Stunning Snowflakes dies, which are also in the launch, have been designed to frame and embellish the Little Books imagery. They give a fantastic crisp, clean finish, and so far, have proven extremely popular with crafters.   Hunkydory Crafts +44 (0)1772 272 575 STAMPS BY DONNA RATCLIFF Crafter’s Companion has developed a new range of stamps featuring the artwork of a range of designers. Donna Ratcliff’s artwork is guaranteed to be a hit, especially with fans of Sheena, with delicious tea party inspired designs that caters for a range of occasions and recipients. The delightful designs include teapots and teacups, macaroons and strawberry cupcakes, so crafters can create the sweetest cards and projects. Crafters Companion +44 (0)1388 660 930

Stencils of Distinction and Quality Sweet Poppy Stencils 2017 New Designs now available 44 (0)1775 527442 â&#x20AC;˘

next issue

NEXT ISSUE… Don’t miss the October/November 2017 edition of Craft Focus

VALENTINE’S DAY Show this special day some love and bring customers into your store Patchwork & quilting Discover what’s popular for this craft sector Don’t forget to pick up your copy….

Festive cheer We look at more products to add a sparkle to the Christmas countdown PEARLS OF WISDOM What’s trending for jewellery makers STATE OF THE ART How to bring art materials to the craft masses

Craft Focus is packed full of the newest product launches, industry news and business advice from leading experts in the fields of retail, e-commerce and business management.

October/November 2017 (issue 63) Editorial deadline: 4th September, 2017 Advertising deadline: 13th September, 2017 Published: 4th October, 2017

craftfocus 103

IP savvy ACIDs CEO Dids Macdonald, answers a few common queries on how to protect your intellectual property when starting up a business

Starting out on your own? As a start-up business designing and making your own product ranges and creating all the marketing material to open the doors on day one can have its challenges, but it’s also very exciting. While there’s a lot to remember, don’t forget to take care of one of your most important and valuable assets, your intellectual property! Your IP includes your confidential information, trade secrets, new designs, your website, and your marketing material – essentially, your all-important intellectual capital. So, it’s time to get ‘IP savvy’ by understanding the various laws that protect designers. Put quite simply, IP is the collective term used to describe copyright e.g. your website marketing material, photography,

104 craftfocus

registered and unregistered trademarks – in other words, the name under which you are going to trade, patents for inventions, registered and unregistered design rights (created when you design something which is new, has distinctive character and hasn’t been copied from another). Just like your own physical property, it’s up to you to decide who can use your intellectual property. Creating a proactive IP strategy isn't rocket science and here I'll share a few simple tips: How do I protect my ideas? Pure ideas can be difficult to protect unless they are patentable inventions so make sure you have signed confidentiality agreements in place if you enter into discussions with third parties. Never leave prototypes or

idea proposals with third parties without an acknowledgement of your intellectual property rights ownership. How can I protect my designs? Always sign, date and keep all design drawings, including any initial sketches and at key points during the design process. If you have to, rely on unregistered UK or Community design rights. Design proof is essential, so provide a sound design audit trail with signed and dated evidence. Independent evidence of the date of creation of all your designs helps. For example, ACID has a Design Databank, which now accepts copyright work and holds about 350,000 duplicates of members’ original designs. Very useful third party evidence should it ever be required.

business advice

Don’t do a cut-and-paste of terms and conditions of business, take a little time to get the best advice on the terms which will safeguard your business and ensure you retain the ownership of all the legal rights in your designs. Consider registering your designs either with the UK Intellectual Property Office ( or with the EU Intellectual Property Office. Post Post-Brexit you’ll have to apply once in the UK and also in the EU to cover the remaining 27 member states so think about this now and register with one application. What is a registered community design? A registered Community design (RCD) gives an exclusive right over the appearance of a product (or part of it) resulting from its features such as lines, contours, colour shape, texture and ornamentation. Logos, motifs and typefaces can also be registered. Currently this offers protection in 28 member states. Can I still rely on unregistered design rights post-Brexit? You’ll only be able to rely on UK unregistered rights post-Brexit, unless the UK Government brings in a law, which mirrors EU unregistered designs and negotiates some sort of agreement with the remaining 27 member states. ACID is currently making representations to government to ensure this happens. Until we exit the EU, you can rely on unregistered EU and UK design rights so if you can budget for registration so much the better. If this is something that concerns you, please show your support by emailing

distinguishing the goods and services of one trader from those of another and is one of your most important assets. The more you build up a reputation in the name by which you’re known, the more you build up brand equity. Consider registering your business name as a trademark so that others can’t use it. If you’re relying on unregistered rights in your company name, you can add the TM sign to the name. If you’ve obtained a registered UK or Community trademark, you can add the Registered sign. You don’t have to register your trademark but, as a precaution, registering means that you have an automatic case for infringement if someone else decides to use it without your permission. How can I deter copyists? If you don’t want people to copy you, say so! To deter copyists, consider including the appropriate ‘copyright’ notice on your products, website and marketing material as follows: © [company name] [year(s) of design] Design Right [company name] [year(s) of design]. You can also say, “All copyright, design rights and any other intellectual property rights existing in our designs and products and in the images, text and design of this [website/marketing material] are and will remain the property of [your business name]. Any infringement of these rights will be pursued seriously.” Most ACID members use the powerful ACID logo on their websites, designs, packaging, labelling etc as a deterrent. It says what it does on the tin: ‘I’m a member of Anti Copying In Design’ and you can hyperlink it to the website

How can I protect myself as well my designs? Consider setting up in business as a limited company, rather than as a sole trader or a partnership. This should ensure that if you run into any financial problems, your own personal assets aren’t at risk. I used to be employed by a company, can I use the designs I created for them? Generally, unless stated otherwise, you’ll be prevented from using any designs created while in employment where you were paid a salary as a designer. This will be explicitly mentioned in your terms and conditions of employment. You must also be careful about showing work or portfolios created under any previous employment to third parties; you should seek the permission from your original employers before doing this. What can I do about online infringement when I put my products on my website? The time, expense and debilitating affect that blatant online infringement has on micro and SME businesses is increasingly becoming an everyday challenge, especially for design-led organisations within the giftware sector. Online platforms are improving their take down procedures but it's still sometimes difficult to navigate. Keep watch, act decisively and if you cannot pursue the infringers ACID has come to the rescue by partnering up with Scottish micro- and SME online specialist Snapdragon to launch a new brand protection service (ABES). This provides ACID Members with an online removal service at a specially negotiated cost and time effective removal of products which infringe your intellectual property (IP) from online marketplaces, leaving designers free to do what they do best, create the next and best designs for this fantastic sector.

Contact Anti Copying in Design (ACID)

Wye register my trademark? A trademark is a badge of origin craftfocus 105 Keep up-to-date with what happens in the craft industry in between each of our bi-monthly issues. contains up-to-the-minute news, details of the latest events, as well as helpful business articles, information about brand spanking new products and details of companies that can help your business to thrive Envelopes Ltd,

Comprehensive directory? Looking for new companies to do business with or searching for original products to stock, then check out our trade suppliers directory, it’s jam-packed with wholesale suppliers waiting to work with you.


Lion Brands, lio

iProfile The iProfile pages allow wholesale businesses to display video content, galleries of images, web links, descriptive text and social media links in user-friendly format. It’s more than just a directory listing, and acts as an extension of your own website. The iProfile boasts the significant advantage whereby you can access an exceptional and targeted audience, thereby boosting your potential to tap into new business opportunities. Visitors to our site are actively seeking to connect with businesses like yours, and via the iProfile, they can learn about your services and products, explore all you have to offer, make informed decisions, and connect with you directly - all from one click.

Missed an issue? Download back issues more than 10 issues to read when it’s convenient to you.

“The Craft Focus website is updated regularly with the latest information to help you advance your business.”

Showcase your products? Want to advertise with us, and share your products with 6,500 craft industry retailers? Download a copy of our comprehensive media pack for everything you need to know about advertising with us or if you prefer to talk, give Tracy Voice, our Account Manager, a call on +44 (0)1376 535 618 where she’ll be happy to talk to you.

Log onto to find out more! 106 craftfocus

Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s New?

1000s of product photos Detailed at-a-glance information on suppliers. Save your favourite suppliers for future visits

Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Not New?

The directory is still free to use - no registration. All listings are thoroughly vetted. We only list UK-based wholesalers

tips for insuring your craft business Alison Bellamy ACI, Project Director for Walmsley Commercial Insurance Brokers, talks insurance that’s designed for your craft business

As craftspeople, we put a tremendous amount of effort into developing our skills and making beautiful things to display and sell. We try to hone our business skills, thinking carefully about distribution, merchant services, stall design and taxes, but there’s one little detail that’s often overlooked – insurance. Some people believe that craft businesses don’t need insurance, naively thinking that their household insurance policy will cover it. Others are tempted to keep business costs down by not including insurance, and there are always a few doubters saying they won’t pay my claim anyway. However, insurance is hugely important in helping to keep your craft business thriving and successful, and the jargon used can be very confusing, so why not grab a cup of coffee, and I’ll bust a few insurance myths and

108 craftfocus

try and help with a few tips: “I can rely on my household insurance policy, can't I?” No you can’t! Your home policy covers your home and its contents. It’s not set up to cover your business, even if you work from home. You may be able to arrange for your policy to be extended to include cover for your business, but the cover provided will be limited and not specific enough for your craft business. A bit like trying to put a square peg into a round hole – it doesn’t fit. It’s always better to get a policy that provides exactly the right cover for you. CONSULT THE EXPERTS Rather than buying a generic off-the-shelf small business policy that covers anyone from

a plumber to a yoga teacher, I’d definitely recommend a provider who speaks your language. There are a few bespoke schemes that have been produced specifically for craft businesses and, consequently understand what you do. These should provide you with the right cover at the right price. All insurance policies are not the same and you should always check the small print The word ‘insurance’ is not a blanket term covering every eventuality. Each policy is different and will include terms, conditions and exclusions that may limit the cover provided. What about if you sell your products overseas, is it covered? What happens if you provide demonstrations and workshops, can your policy be extended to include cover for these? Are there any limits on how many fairs

business advice

you can attend or how much you can sell on-line? Always read the small print and ask questions to make sure you're really getting the cover you need. WHAT COVER SHOULD I HAVE? There are a couple of insurances that are compulsory by law: Motor insurance If you use your car for business, you’ll need to let your insurer know, as there may be use restrictions on a normal private car policy. If you use a van you’ll need to make sure that you’ve got full business use to cover your craft business. Employers Liability insurance If you employ anyone to help you, you'll need EL insurance to protect you against any claims from employees who have been injured or become unwell as a result of their work. You can usually include this as an optional section under a package type policy for the rest of your business. However, if your employees are family members and you’re not a limited company, you may be exempt from this requirement. Take a look here for more information hse. The other covers available are optional but I think some are essential. The level of cover that you decide on will probably depend on the size of your business, and if you’re just

starting out, you may wish to limit your cover to begin with, but make sure that you can add more cover as your business grows. Public liability This covers you against claims from members of the public for injury or property damage caused in connection with your business. Someone could trip and fall over your stall or at your premises, your stall could blow over and damage someone’s car or someone attending a workshop may be injured. Products liability insurance This is usually available alongside Public Liability and covers claims for injury or damage caused by your products. Even if it’s not your fault, the defence costs alone can reach eye-watering levels and, without insurance cover, you would need to pay these and any compensation award out of your own pocket. These are a ‘must have’ for all businesses and most craft fairs won’t allow you to attend if you can’t provide evidence that you’ve got Public Liability cover in place. Do I really need it? For other types of cover, ask yourself a series of ‘What If’ questions to decide whether you need it or can manage without it. You can include cover for damage to your tools and equipment, stock and computers, including while in transit to and from a fair or one of your distributors, loss of money, business

interruption insurance covering your loss of profit if you are unable to trade (although you must have property cover in place as well if you opt for this) and even personal accident and sickness cover to help pay the mortgage and other bills if you’re unable to work. Insurance to suit your business Finally, make sure that your policy suits your business. If you sell products to customers in the US, make sure that your policy is extended to include this (most standard policies will exclude exports to USA and Canada). If you offer demonstrations and tuition, include specific cover for this as well. IT’S ALL TOO COMPLICATED! So is crafting to someone who doesn’t do it for their day job or as a hobby. Yes, insurance is complicated but with a little help from someone who knows your business, it really can be as easy as 1,2,3. Let the experts guide you to help tailor your policy to fit your needs and take out cover that isn’t relevant. The good news is that craft insurance isn’t terribly expensive – premiums can start from as little as £60 annually, not bad for the peace of mind that should something unthinkable happen, you’re not alone.

Walmsley Commercial Insurance Brokers Trading as CraftCover +44 (0)345 463 3003

craftfocus 109

want to subscribe? m

Fill in the form below to receive a regular copy and return it to: Craft Focus, KD Media Publishing Ltd, Pantile House, Newlands Drive, Witham, Essex CM8 2AP or visit and click on subscribe.

ber 2017 Issue 62 August/Septem

Craft Focus magazine is the leading trade publication for the craft and hobby industry and is available FREE of charge to our registered readers. Published six times a year, Craft Focus contains all the recent product launches, latest news, and details about all the major craft events.

CAST ONds LM AND yarn KEEP CA s and tren the latest knitting We unravel

Make it merry! Seasonal product

Subscription form

ght Frightin onni the scariest Cash

Do you work in the craft industry?



night of the year



Pick up on one of the hottest tre nd


Name Job title Company name Address

SCRIPT keyboard FOLLOW THisEmig htier than the Why handwriting



Please tick one or more of the boxes below which best describe your business. Independent art and craft shop

Wool shop

Art and craft multiple

Model shop

Department store

Toy shop

Needlecraft retailer

Wholesaler/Cash & Carry



Mail order


ww w.c raf m



17/07/2017 16:47

Issue 61 June/July




Inspiration for outd

oor celebrations

On the cheap Spotlight on products for under £15

Term time

Make the new scho ol year count for your business

Child’s play

Other (please specify)

Inno va for th tive idea s e sum break mer

Stationery style

Must-have ideas for stationery love rs


Number of Employees

101 - 300

301 - 1,000

1,001 +

£0 - £25,000

£25,001 - £50,000

£50,001 - £100,000

£100,001 - £250,000

£250,001 - £1,000,000

£1,000,001 - £5,000,000

£5,000,001 - £10,000,000

£10,000,001 - £50,000,000 KD MEDIA PUBLIS

£50,000,001 +

No Date

A slice of summer


Do you wish to receive a free copy of Craft Focus Magazine?



of crafts male-orientated side store How to tap into the Father’s Day in your Making the most of

Annual Turnover


51 - 100

Issue 60 April/May

31 - 50

Issue 60

16 - 30

ftf us

6 - 15





E EXPERTetsS FROMandTH HEAR break into other mark a wider audience protocol Reach ce in web security Google’s latest advannew company pension legislation Complying with the

16/03/2017 09:49

0 i dd 1

110 craftfocus

Inspiration to keep crafting all day long

textile foils by the metre

A4 & A5 textile foils

textile foil craft packs

mini textile foil packs

Quality foils for transfer on to textiles, acrylic, wood, paper, glass and more...


craft packs

textile foils


decoupage Č´QLVK

Visit for inspiration and ideas great results from quality products


Use with a heat press, foil glue, appliglue, double sided tape, and glue dots amongst others

tried & tested

mould and make Julie Bonnar puts Sugru’s Create & Craft kit through its paces

THE PRODUCT Sugru is an extraordinary mouldable gluelike material, which has been designed originally for repairing things. It boasts to be the only glue that sticks to almost anything, moulds like play-dough and cures overnight into a durable silicone rubber. Once it’s cured, Sugru has some pretty amazing properties. Its one-of-a-kind, patented formula has earned it dozens of awards and global scientific recognition, and it’s used by loads of clever people from engineers in international space programmes to Himalayan explorers. It’s now available in the new Crate & Craft kit form, and comes in a neat little tin including four colours of sugru including classic red, silver grey, snow white and pitch black, a rubber thimble grip, small texturing brush, and a booklet full of ideas to stamp, up-cycle, make and customise. The kit retails for £10.

“It’s very much like using polymer clay, but doesn’t require any conditioning to soften. It’s very easy to mould into different shapes, and what I love about it is that it can be used to make stamps with your own designs.” Julie Bonnar, Craft Focus editor. HOW TO USE IT


The Sugru material is soft to the touch, mouldable, flexible, durable, grips, and you can shape and stick it to lots of surfaces like ceramics, glass, metal, wood, and most plastics and fabrics. Just build, seal, fix, create and stick things together. You’ll have 30 minutes to get the job done, give it 24 hours, and it turns into a durable, flexible silicone rubber that stays stuck.

• Organise your crafty corner • Customise your tools to avoid repetitive strain or making a pigtail hook to control your knitting yarn • Personalise your favourite things such as adding a name to a mug or creating handles for furniture • Use it to hang inspiring items not just pictures • Design your own stylish cards, invitations etc by creating your own stamps • Create your own jewellery pieces • Use it to repair items around the house • Add texture or emboss directly on to the material Head over to the website for more product colours, information and project ideas. Sugru +44 (0)20 7998 0022

In a recent poll, 86 per cent of our readers told us they would find it beneficial to know about new products as they come to the market. Tried & Tested puts the latest products in the limelight so if you have a product to feature, get in contact with Julie Bonnar at

craftfocus 113

craft intelligence Julie Bonnar reports back from the recent presentation of Immediate Media’s biennial Craft Intelligence research Craft Intelligence is a biennial research programme of British female crafters, which launched in 2007 and was acquired by Immediate Media Co in 2014. Craft Intelligence celebrated the release of its 2017 findings with two launch events in London and Birmingham last month. The results revealed that the UK crafting market is now worth £5.4 billion each year. Per month this equates to £450 million and £25 per crafter, which is good news for craft retailers. Now in its 10th year, the research programme has surveyed more than 6,000 women, and seen craft participation increase from 13.1m to 18.1m, and notes that 6.3m UK women try a new craft each year on average, with knitting in the top three crafts over the whole of that time period. Findings show the instance of multi-crafting has increased by one million crafters since 2015, with more crafters multi-crafting than not. And the average crafter spends £25 per month on craft materials and equipment, with the under 35s spending the most in total each month.

The crafting market is worth £5.4 billion each year, and 68 per cent of British women have crafted in the last 12 months. The 2017 results reveal that 68 per cent of British women (18.1m of them) have crafted in the last 12 months. A third of women in the UK have tried a new craft in the last 12 months – driven by an uptake in craft from the younger generation. An interesting fact is that older crafters have started to bridge the gaps seen in 2015 when it comes to engaging with digital content – 73 per cent of the over 55s access the internet once a day compared to 40 per cent in the 2015 research. Andy Marshall, Group Managing Director at Immediate Media Co said, “This year marks a big step forward both for Craft Intelligence, and for the craft industry itself. We’ve invested in expanding the survey so that for the very first time we now have participation and 114 craftfocus

spend data from the same data set delivering the most robust survey of the UK market ever. The Craft Intelligence research has become an invaluable tool for any business operating in the UK craft market. The insights that this groundbreaking research provides into market trends, spend and sources of inspiration are critical to good business planning, and are simply not available anywhere else. This research is integral to our craft operations here at Immediate Media Co and has been a major factor in creating our fantastic, market-leading portfolio.” Immediate Media shared 10 insights into the craft market: Two thirds of UK women have crafted in the last year Craft participation among the younger generation has seen an increase in recent years Colouring is at number one in terms of participation and is the one most likely to be carried out alongside other crafts Crafting peaks arise when women have more time, such as retiring as well as triggered by key events such as having children and getting married

1 2 3 4


The average crafter spends £25 per month on craft materials and equipment, with the under 35s spending the most in total each month Those multi-crafting has increased by 1 million crafters since 2015, with more crafters choosing to multi-craft than not One in two women have a craft hobby, with likelihood increasing with age A third of women have tried a new craft in the last 12 months, driven by the younger generation Older crafters have started to bridge the gaps seen in 2015 when it comes to engaging with digital content Nearly half of crafters are influencers (meaning they talk about products, have knowledge or are extremely likely to convince others about crafts)

6 7 8 9 10

The full report with key findings is available and if you wish to purchase, you can contact Penny Stokes, Group Advertising Sales Manager, on +44 (0)1173 008 206 or email

Craft Focus Issue 62 - Aug/Sep 2017  

Craft Focus is the UK based trade magazine, which features most recent news in the craft & hobby industry. Artibalta together with our suppl...

Craft Focus Issue 62 - Aug/Sep 2017  

Craft Focus is the UK based trade magazine, which features most recent news in the craft & hobby industry. Artibalta together with our suppl...