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Here is a selection of features from Craft Focus magazine.

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Worldwide success for Curious Universe

Curious Universe is based in the creative quarter of beautiful Bath. It prides itself on creating innovative and exciting products in the Arts and Crafts, Books, Stationery and Toys areas. The company first began its journey in 2017 and has rapidly grown to a team of almost 80 passionate and driven team members. John Styring, CEO of Curious Universe chats to Craft Focus about the company's goals, values and epic success. Here's what he had to say...

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Perfectly personalised

For more than 25 years, Trotec has supplied market-leading laser machines and sheet materials to industries far and wide, from craft businesses to schools, industrial manufacturing and beyond.The UK subsidiary opened in 2007 and continues to provide market-leading support and services to clients across the UK and Ireland, from its UK HQ in Tyne and Wear across five additional regional showrooms. James Hutton, Marketing Executive at Trotec Laser talks to Craft Focus about the personalisation trend that's going nowhere and how to get your company creating items individually designed for your customers...

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The home of happy stitching

Bothy Threads was established in 1993 by Kate Golby. Kate found that she had run out of cross stitch designs she wanted to stitch, so decided to start creating her own! Originally located in Reading, Kate set up the first 'Bothy' in her parents' back garden. The company grew and grew and when Kate, and her husband John, decided to follow their dream to move to the Lake District, Bothy Threads came too. Chrissie Rayment, Managing Director at Bothy Threads discusses their first ever embroidery range launching this September ...

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Contemporary crochet

Pineapple Fibre Art is based in Devon and has grown slowly over the last five years as owner, Emma Manson worked out what her strengths were, how to sell and what sold well.

Here, Emma discusses her crochet business and her plans for the future...

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Knit the rainbow with Cygnet Yarns

Katie Stephenson Company Director at Cygnet Yarns Ltd talks to Craft Focus about all things knitting as she talks us through the company's vast ranges.

Formed in 2004, Cygnet Yarns is still regarded as a relatively new brand on the hand knitting scene. The fledgling company has battled hard to become a recognised name in an industry that is dominated by large, well established brands.

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Stylish & sustainable

Carly and Greg Murray, the husband and wife team behind Cascayde, talk to Craft Focus about their on-trend ranges of plastic-free products.

The dynamic couple started the business together in 2019 with the goal of offering plastic free and eco-friendly alternatives to everyday products to as many people as possible.

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Get noticed in business!

Sara Davies gives us tips on how to make your business stand out amongst the rest.

She says: In the business world, first impressions count and standing out in the right way can really pay off. There are so many ways to present your business in the best way so it can shine brighter than the rest.

Firstly, get creative with your ideas!

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They’ll have you in stitches!

A lockdown trend that's certainly here to stay, here's a roundup of sewing projects customers will love to get working on. The Letistitch kit L 8012 New York, part of the Cities range, has been very successful since its release. It's a counted cross stitch kit, including 100 per cent cotton Anchor threads. Furthermore, from Hawthorn Handmade, there are four brand new kits joining this best-selling collection, celebrating baking, hiking, painting and reading. Featuring simple stitches and a fresh bright colour palette, each kit will give you hours of relaxation and enjoyment. The Wonderful Women embroidery kits have an RRP £21.95 and are sure to be hit with customers.

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Northern delights: Ancient Wisdom

David Hardy, Founder of Ancient Wisdom talks to Craft Focus about the array of products available and how the company has overcome challenges over the past few years. "Sheffield is the hometown of Ancient Wisdom (AW). Officially, the company was born in 1995 on a street market. It was a wet cold Thursday morning a long time before Google and Facebook, and as I laid out my market stall with aromatherapy and home fragrance products on a Sheffield street, I was more than apprehensive about what people would think. A few months earlier, I'd been reading a book called Ancient Wisdom now out of print. The book highlighted many things that seem out of place in history the pyramids, Stonehenge etc...

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A family affair at And Sew On Fabrics

Celebrating 30 years of business, Natalie Walker, Owner of And Sew On Fabrics talks to Craft Focus about the pandemic, favourite kits and what's trending in craft! And Sew On Fabrics was started by my mother Cathy in 1991 as a business to run alongside her other work which was making costumes for dance groups and tracksuits for rugby clubs and ice hockey teams. At the time, she purely sold dressmaking fabrics until she started getting requests for quilting fabrics and eventually expanded her selection.

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A splash of colour at Pearlywinks Craft Supplies

Simon Kendall-Stokes Co-Owner of Pearlywinks Craft Supplies talks to Craft Focus about the company's plans to develop the trade side of the business! "Pearlywinks, owned by myself and my sister Donna, was opened as a company in April 2018. We manufacture all of our sprays and pastes ourselves and use a UK-based company to manufacture all of our stamps and stencils. Since July 2018 we've been on The Craft Store (formally Hochanda) at least once every month. When we first started, we only had four pearl sprays, three ink sprays and two designer pads. By the time our third birthday came around we had just over 100 and now we have more than 170 different colours across our ranges along with texture pastes in a variety of colours, pearly pastes, over 35 stamp sets, and stencils..."

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Online excellence: Optiseller

E-commerce experts Optiseller spotlights five new online trends that will affect all online sellers in 2022...

In the past two years, we have seen e-commerce change and grow to meet the demands of the new COVID-19 world. As we continue into 2022, it is vital for all online sellers to look ahead and plan for what is to come. According to e-commerce experts Optiseller, there are five new e-commerce trends that will affect all online sellers this year. Optiseller experts say it doesn't matter what platform or marketplace you sell on, these trends can and will affect every aspect of selling online in the year ahead.

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Spring fever: Spring and Easter crafts to entice customers

Use Spring and Easter crafts to entice customers at this beautiful time of year who are looking for items reflective of the season.

Help your customers create a colourful springtime with uni-ball pens and POSCA markers. Decorate eggs and gift boxes with beautiful spring motifs and enjoy some Easter crafting using POSCA paint makers. Whip up colourful, Easter-themed greetings with SIGNO gel pens, which work amazingly on paper and card.

Or for your more artistically inclined customers, why not use watercolour with uni-PIN pens to make exquisite illustrations of seasonal animals?

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Craft trends for 2022

Craft Focus speaks to movers and shakers in the world of craft and stationery to find out what's going to be big over the next 12 months.

Natasha Necati, of Crafty Arts, says, "2021 saw traditional crafts making an exciting comeback. Here are my top three crafts to watch out for in 2022: Needlework: The interest in needlework crafts with a contemporary twist, has opened this craft up to all ages. Now you will find lots of the designs out there that are both bright and bold. Look out for embroidery and cross-stitch especially as interest is growing rapidly...

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Pixel heaven with Pixelhobby UK

Pixelhobby UK is a small family-run based in the south west that launched in 2015 and is the official distributor for Pixelhobby products in the UK and Ireland.

Pixelhobby is an exciting new craft that uses sustainably produced pixels to build up pictures, ranging from small keyrings to large life-like photos. The company supplies a variety of Pixelhobby craft kits to craft stores across the country, as well as stocking individual Pixelhobby supplies, including 314 different pixel colours!

Adelphi Eden, Designer at Pixelhobby UK, discusses her world of pixels and the countless creative opportunities these little squares hold...

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How does 2022 look for ExaClair

Lawrence Savage, UK Marketing Manager at ExaClair gives us the lowdown of what to expect from the company in 2022. How was 2021 for ExaClair? Although there have been many obstacles during the past year, we've seen steady progress since the lockdown periods. Both the pandemic and Brexit have given us opportunities to review and enhance our operations as a whole. The business has become much more dynamic in relation to order processing and we developed a greater flexibility in our distribution logistics, which has helped us to accommodate the increasingly varied customer delivery requirements.

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Fragrance specialists

Based in Mexborough, south Yorkshire, Supplies for Candles was established in 2016 and is an online supplier of candle and soap making ingredients to a growing craft industry.

In April 2020, Supplies for Candles acquired the Devon-based Soap Kitchen, a £3.5m supplier of cosmetic soap ingredients which has established itself as one of the market leaders in the distribution of both candle and soap making supplies in the UK and Europe. It also recently acquired a third business, Glass Print Ltd, which was established in 2002 and prints on multiple glass products including glasses, perfume, and beer bottles.

Nicky Story, Director at Supplies for Candles Ltd discusses what they have in store for 2022...

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On point with Mitsubishi Pencil Co, UK

Rob Harradine, Head of Sales and Marketing of Mitsubishi Pencil Co, UK, chats to Craft Focus about the company's environmental responsibilities and the fabulous POSCA writing range!

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Designs from the heart

Lavinia Stamps is an established British company, founded in 2006. Our company is based in Ruthin, an idyllic market town in Denbighshire, north Wales. Tracey Lavinia Dutton, Artist and Designer at Lavinia Stamps talks creativity, fantasy and tells us more about the company's worldwide following...

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Seasonal planning

In retail, if you say peak season, it means Christmas. No other season comes to mind as strong as Christmas. Yes, Christmas is our biggest season but what else is out there? What other seasons could be beneficial to our business? Christmas will always be the top but there is nothing quite like the excitement of discovering a new peak that we can tap into. Opportunity is everywhere, you just need to know how to look for it, and once you've found it, nurturing it to become one of your best-selling seasons. Natasha Necati, Executive Director of Crafty Arts discusses how to make the most out of the seasonal calendar for optimum retail success!

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