At Craft Focus HQ we want to champion small businesses by making our stories all about you! Here we chat to needlecraft experts DoodleCraft Design
In the beginning
DoodleCraft Design was launched in 2016 by Debbie and Gavin Harding. Debbie had just been made redundant and at the same time told by her GP that she was no longer well enough to go out to work, Debbie suffers from Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS) which is a genetic connective tissue disorder. Debbie remembered that she had once been told that if you're going to start a business then you should do so in something you are passionate about; she had always loved drawing and painting but EDS has left her with chronic osteoarthritis which affects her hands and she can no longer hold a pencil or paintbrush for any length of time, cross stitch was her next passion and so she started using a software package to create some cross stitch designs. Then she found blackwork and started including this into the designs and now DoodleCraft creates designs using cross stitch, both cross stitch and blackwork and blackwork. One of the first designs that came about was after a visit to an antique market where Gavin found an old table with a tapestry chess board under the glass, it sparked an idea and the range of 'Stitch-your-Own' Games Boards that DoodleCraft is known for was born.
The aim of the business is to produce contemporary and classic designs where the finished article can be used such as the games boards, clocks, coasters and much more. Of course, there is also the more traditional picture designs too."The reponse has been great, I'm not going to lie," says Debbie. "It has taken time and hard work to get where we are, but we have enjoyed the journey! Customer feedback is that we are innovative, the designs are fun and whilst sometimes challenging are engaging and fun to stitch. The games board especially give you a sense of completion as you finish each square giving you the tangible progress which is so often difficult to judge in cross stitch."
"About 30% of our business comes from commissions, our service is called ‘Photo-2-Needle’. We can take one photo and create a chart or multiple photos (as long as the perspective is the same) and create one image with parts from each photo. We can also add or delete backgrounds and borders. Photos are not the only thing we work from, we can convert any image – just as long as there is no copyright however, if you have the artists permission to use an image we can then work on it."
For more information on anything you have read here visit: doodlecraftdesign.co.uk
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