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Articles

Here is a selection of features from Craft Focus magazine.

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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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Quality & tradition

The Frank Edmunds Company is based in Chicago, USA and was incorporated in 1950. The company was founded by Frank Edmunds. Dennis Clegg, President of Frank A. Edmunds Co. joined the company in 1985 after graduating college and working for four years at the National Association of Realtors while attending night school. He talks exclusively to Craft Focus magazine about the company's wide variety of needlework and stitching supplies including frames, hoops, stretcher bars and more...

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The American dream

Checker Distributors was founded in 1948 by Bob Krieger and Jerry Van Walbeck to promptly supply zippers, threads, yarns and ribbon to J.C. Penney, Woolworth and Kresge stores in Northwest Ohio, USA. The company is family owned and just real people helping independent shop owners to be successful. Brad Krieger, the President of Checker Distributors talks to Craft Focus exclusively about their vast craft and quilting offering and their reputation for great customer service - worldwide.

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Evolution of a classic brand

The World of Peter Rabbit brand refresh is being launched ahead of the classic character's 120th birthday campaign in 2022. The progressive brand identity has been rolled out across social channels and digital platforms, and will appear on publishing and licensed product packaging from autumn this year in the UK. The global launch will begin in parallel with the 120th birthday celebrations next year. The World of Peter Rabbit is managed by the Owned Brands Team within Penguin Random House Children's who are responsible for initiating and managing the brand refresh.

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Rex London celebrates turning 40 years old!

August 2021 sees Rex London celebrate its 40th anniversary. With humble beginnings on a market stall in Portobello Road in 1981, the giftware company has since gone on to become a hugely successful, international online retailer and wholesaler, creating Gifts of Random Kindness at affordable prices.

The company began with items that it had simply stumbled upon on their travels around the world. Before long these were on the shelves of high street institutions like Habitat and The Body Shop.

For the next two decades, Rex London continued to discover and deliver these Gifts of Random Kindness, until the company decided it was time not only to choose products it liked but also to design them. From floral patterns to adorable animals, Rex has loved creating colourful and playful prints that stand out and bring joy.

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Modern hoop embroidery

During lockdown, many people had time on their hands, stuck in their homes, looking for things to do. This included the young and old and all genders. One craft that became hugely popular during this time was hand embroidery. Many new to the craft didn't have stitchery or embroidery frames so they found embroidery hoops a cheaper, easy and portable way to stitch their designs. They could take it from their armchair to the sunbed easily. Being new to the craft they were without set ideas on what 'the norm' with embroidery is. This allowed some great new ideas to appear. Richard Wood, Commercial Director of Whitecroft Essentials talks to Craft Focus about these exciting developments.

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Eco-friendly embroidery

With sustainability and social responsibility at the core of her modern embroidery business, Sammy Bishop, Owner & Founder of Paraffle, is proudly flying the flag for Scotland! The company is based in a studio in Edinburgh – it's a building run by an arts charity, full of artists, small businesses and charities – a fantastic environment to be located in. The company started in 2017, as a small Etsy shop, before expanding. Sammy tells us more...

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The paper professionals

Hahnemühle UK was established in 1985 when Hahnemühle – the oldest artist paper manufacturer in Germany – started its global sales and distribution channel. FineArt Paper and Digital FineArt papers from the renowned brand are now available in more than 130 countries. Hahnemühle also has subsidiaries in France, The US, Singapore and China. Nuala Henry, UK marketing manager at Hahnemühle UK, guides us through the history of this impressive artist paper manufacturer.

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