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Buttons and bows

Fantastic Ribbons has over a decade of experience in ribbon and exhibits at all the major craft exhibitions. Craft Focus talks to Keith Edwards, Co-Founder of the business

Fantastic Ribbons has over a decade of experience in ribbon and exhibits at all the major craft exhibitions. Craft Focus talks to Keith Edwards, Co-Founder of the business

How did the business come about?
We were originally a supplier of florist sundries about 15 years ago but fell into the ribbon trade by accident when we started selling more and more ribbon for non-florist customers. It was then that we decided to expand into our first craft range focusing solely on the retail roll. This went from strength to strength with our warehouses now stocking over 600.000 rolls.

Although your name suggests you sell ribbons, Fantastic Ribbons has a much wider product range than this, doesn't it?
Yes, it does. We're very focused and our core products are both ribbons and buttons. We concentrate on packs of buttons and can supply either in 75g bags or 1kgs (which is less than 1p a button). The boom in value buttons has been rapid with the advent of the sewing bee and more people designing their own home décor projects, as well as embellishing textiles. We've recently added two new colours to this button range, a mono collection of black and whites and a collection of simply reds, which are selling really well.

What would you say are your key product lines?
Fantastic Ribbons key products vary depending on what's trending at the time, but our essential ranges of satins are best sellers for us. These can be used for sewing and many other crafting projects, and are extensively used for cake decorating and gift-wrapping and weddings. We have a lovely selection of polka dot satin ribbons in rich colours including fuchsia, iris, chocolate and cobalt, which are washable too. Also very popular at the moment is our homespun range that consists of printed twill tapes for that folksy, shabby chic and vintage look that is so in style with decorative stitching.

Are there any particular brands you stock?
Fantatstic Ribbons essentially stocks its own brand/label called Three Kings but we do stock Offray ribbons from the USA.

What changes have you seen within the industry and what do you consider to be the hottest trends right now?
Changes are always rapid in this industry and the way consumers shop today has helped craft businesses to grow. Fantastic Ribbons is focused on offering the best service and quality of products with keen value for money that our trade customers require to ensure good margins are obtained. The hot trends are still floral and anything vintage. We have a gorgeous selection of lace ribbon/trimming on the roll that is attracting good sales for our retailers.

What is your target audience?
We supply small retail shops, garden centres and the craft industry in general for crafters who knit and stitch to papercrafters, scrapbookers, and for home décor, cake decorating and as gift wrap. As we only ask for pack size ordering of three rolls and total minimum order of just £125 our customers don't have to hold vast amounts of stock. Many retailers tend to order more regularly, keeping cash flow and stocks fresh.

Have you got any plans that you can share with us about what the future holds for Fantastic Ribbons?
Fantastic Ribbons Trade will continue to expand further to gain increased market share of this exciting growth craft sector. We're excited to be exhibiting at the new autumn Craft, Hobby + Stitch show at Excel in London on 21st September along with our long established stand at the spring show in February 2015. We have and always will be committed to keeping prices for the consumer rolls at the lowest price that retailers will find. We achieve this by importing all of our ranges and not supplying to national UK wholesalers - so that extra margin is passed as great savings to our customers. To register for a trade account and password, please contact us using the details below.

Fantastic Ribbons
T: +44 (0)844 800 9120
E: sales@fantasticribbonstrade.com
W: www.fantasticribbonstrade.com

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