Craft Focus - April/May 2022 (Issue 90)

WWW.CRAFTFOCUS.COM OFFICIAL MEDIA PARTNER FOR CRAFT HOBBY + STITCH INTERNATIONAL AND PROUD SPONSOR OF TRENDING NOW STATIONERY SHOWCASE Wedding fever PLUS! The LSS lowdown Summer’s coming! Father’s Day finds Time to treat Dad! Bright, cheerful crafts Craft their day perfect! Needlecraft projects Creative stationery Trade show news

3 CONTENTS In this issue... REGULARS 9 Industry news What’s happening within the craft and hobby market 15 Brand spanking new Brand spanking new products 74 Bookstand The latest book releases 77 Tried & tested Craft Focus Editor, Rachel Westall gets felting with The Craft Kit Company’s Floral Fawn in a Hoop Needle Felt Kit FEATURES 43 Creative stationery There’s no reason why day-to-day essentials can’t bring you so much joy! 55 Father’s Day Delightful designs for Dad! 63 Summer product showcase Get creative this summer with these bright ideas! 71 Trend file: Wedding fever! Here are some wonderful products to either gift or to help the couple handmake their big day! 79 Needlecraft Let customers get busy with these beautiful needlecraft options. There’s something for everyone! 32 April/May 2022 71 79  52

4 FOCUS ON 28 LetiStitch Ltd Anastasia Luca-Brasoveanu, designer and company manager at LetiStitch Ltd has been part of the cross-stitch world since she was a child. Here, she shares some of her expertise... 49 Sinclairs Gemma Bassett, Head of Marketing at Sinclairs discusses the company’s exciting new ranges for 2022 52 Leather revolution Alícia Gabarró from the Export Department at Eugenio Gabarro S.L. talks to Craft Focus exclusively about their quality leather products 86 David & Charles Ame Verso, Publishing Director at David & Charles talks to Craft Focus about all the new titles in store for 2022 BUSINESS 88 What your pen says about you! We asked the Head of Marketing at Ryman, to delve into what the colour pen we opt for, as well as the style, says about us… 95 Intellectual property ACID has campaigned for a government review on design IP, Dids Macdonald, CEO of Anti Copying in Design (ACID) tells us more… 98 Get noticed! Sara Davies gives us tips on how to make your business stand out amongst the rest SHOWS 23 Shows, news & events Stay up-to-date with what’s happening in your industry 32 Stitches review Optimism and strong turnout for Stitches 2022 in its first post-pandemic show 37 London Stationery Show preview All the latest in the lead up to the Londonbased event 43 63 55

7 EDITOR’S LETTER On the cover The cover image features two new papier mâché shapes (a tropical leaf tray and plant box) from ExaClair’s bestselling Décopatch brand. It also showcases two new Décopatch papers, which feature vivid floral themes. Décopatch is an easy craft to learn and enjoy. Simply tear or cut the paper into small pieces, glue the paper on the shape and hey presto…your very own masterpiece! You can let your imagination run free with a full range of more than 200 paper designs and numerous creatures and shapes available in various sizes, including some up to six feet tall! ExaClair is the UK supplier of Décopatch, as well as other iconic stationery and crafting brands such as Clairefontaine®, Rhodia® and Herbin®. For more information, visit: Stationery, summer and show vibes! Show season kicked off with Spring Fair followed by CHSI Stitches in February and even though doubt was cast from the Omicron Covid-19 variant, visitors, buyers and exhibitors safely visited the NEC and orders were made in a face-to-face fashion once again. Myself and Tracy loved seeing so many lovely clients and readers alike at our stand at Stitches. It was great to hand out copies of Craft Focus, connect with people new to the sector and advise and chit chat like it was 2019 again! We’re really looking forward to the London Stationery Show in May where we will also have copies of the magazine distributed. In this issue, we have an exclusive interview with Show Event Director, Alex Butler who gives you all you need to know about the upcoming show. Alongside this we have a creative stationery product feature and an interview with Sinclairs Stationers; these stalwarts have been championing the sector since 1837! You can read what Gemma Bassett, Head of Marketing has to say on page 49. As always, we have many more up-and-coming products dotted throughout to make your store offering tip top for the months ahead; whether you’re stocking up for Father’s Day, the summer months or just want some new needlework kits keep customer’s coming back for more. Please do enjoy the issue and be inspired! Rachel Westall Editor EDITOR Rachel Westall +44 (0)1376 514 000 PRODUCTION MANAGER Scott Brothwell SALES MANAGER Sarah Mclean +44 (0)1376 538 490 ACCOUNT MANAGER Tracy Voice +44 (0)1376 538 555 GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Sarah Hill, Stephanie Hodder, Vicky O’Connor +44 (0)1376 535 616 PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Lorna Butcher WEB DEVELOPMENT MANAGER Stuart Weatherley DIGITAL MARKETING COORDINATOR Katie Laley +44 (0)1376 514 000 KD Media Publishing, Pantile House, Newlands Drive, Witham, Essex CM8 2AP Craft Focus is solely owned, published and designed by KD Media Publishing. 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. ISSN 1758-0900 @craftfocus @craftfocusmag @craftfocus MEDIA PUBLISHING Craft Focus is proud to be associated with and supporters of:

9 INDUSTRY NEWS  Industry news Latest news from the craf industry Painting competition for the Hahnemühle calendar 2022 The Hahnemühle calendar painting competition 2023 is open! This year’s theme is: Colours of the Earth. Be inspired by the beauty of the earth in its breathtaking blaze of colours whether this is the orange glowing deserts, the bright red protruding Uluru Rock, the Canadian Indian Summer, or the ocean with its numerous shades of blue. Every country, every region has an immense wealth of colours. Show Hahnemühle your colours of the earth and be in the chance of winning! The contest is open for works of art in all painting, drawing and traditional etching techniques as well as mixed media that have been created on a Hahnemühle or Lana paper. Each image must be suitable for reproduction for the calendar in at least 40cm (W) x 30cm (H) in landscape format. By participating in the competition, each participant assures that they’re the sole author of the images submitted to the competition, that they’re free to dispose of the work and the rights of use and confirms that the works are free from third-party rights. A jury of experts will select the 12 best motifs from all of the permitted image submissions submitted in good time. The jury can request the originals from the participant for the final selection. The costs for sending in the originals are borne by the participant. Hahnemühle will return the originals after the end of the competition and will bear the costs for the return. The judgment of the jury is not contestable. The 12 best motifs selected by the jury will be published in the 2023 Hahnemühle calendar! The winners will be notified in writing by December 31, 2022 and announced on the website Each of the 12 winners receive an exclusive creative package worth a total of 350 as well as 10 copies of the 2023 calendar. Five entries are allowed per person. Entries can be submitted until May, 31st 2022 exclusively via the upload portal on the website Please do read the full Ts & Cs for further information. Good luck! Gemporia Partnership launches Gemporia Partnership is set to expand with the launch of HobbyMaker. The brand new live broadcast channel and website will showcase the very best of paper craft creativity as well as a range of other crafts and mediums. Viewers will be able to tune into presenters and skilled guests as they inspire their next crafting projects across online, Freeview and Sky channels. Steve Bennett, Chairman and Founder of the Partnership is thrilled to be launching the new channel, “We launched our first craftbased business JewelleryMaker in 2010, since then we’ve seen the craft sector grow and grow. We’re blown away everyday by the creativity of our team, our partners and our customers so we’re delighted to add paper craft to jewellery making and sewing.” “Our business became a majority employee-owned partnership in 2018. We build businesses and brands for the long term. I know our team will do a fantastic job showcasing the inspiring world of paper craft and more”, says Colin Wagstaffe Managing Director of the Partnership. HobbyMaker is keen to hear from vendors and individuals to discuss collaboration ahead of the launch. If you’re interested in working with the company email:

10 New papercraft expert joins Crafter’s TV Papercraft expert, Corrine Robinson is joining live crafting channel, Crafter’s TV. Corrine is the latest craft expert to become part of the digital channel dedicated to crafting and run by Crafter’s Companion. She will demonstrate craft techniques and inspiring makes live on air alongside the existing Crafter’s TV team including Sara Davies and Leann Chivers. With over 20 years of crafting experience under her belt, Corrine comes to the channel after six years with the Tattered Lace brand. A dedicated papercrafter she has been crafting since 2001 and specialises in cardmaking. Corrine, who lives near Nottingham with her husband, said: “I tried a craft class and from the first moment I was hooked! I’m a papercrafter through and through, I love making foam flowers and am looking forward to developing my art and colouring skills. Some of the first dies I ever worked with were from Crafter’s Companion - I love Crafter’s products and can’t wait to learn more about all of the new products they have coming up. But most of all I’m looking forward to being part of the team here – they’re so inclusive and welcoming!” Crafter’s TV is an interactive platform where crafters can find inspiration, education and shop while they watch. Crafter’s TV currently broadcasts more than 40 hours of live shows each week, shining the spotlight on new and innovative crafting products with live tutorials and demonstrations. It is the only digital channel to offer 100 per cent audience engagement with live and constant chat throughout every show. Jeni Santillo, Head of Broadcast Operations, said, “We’re so thrilled to welcome Corrine to the Crafter’s TV team. Her experience, crafting skill and sense of fun will make her a real asset and we can’t wait for everyone to get to know her live on air!” With love from Lithuania The SoloCrafts team have been able to work closely with their Lithuanian friends at Riolis and were delighted to be given the opportunity to bring their beautiful needlecraft into the UK all those years ago. Their attention to detail means great quality kits and stunning designs, some of their latest are pictured here. The full Riolis collection includes designs for cross stitch, embroidery and diamond painting, and covers just about every style and theme from abstract to traditional, wildlife to cottage scenes. All three of these lovely cross stitch kits feature the special Riolis wool/acrylic thread, which allows true to life colours and great fill on the Zweigart aida fabrics used in all their kits. Riolis also use Anchor stranded cottons for some of their designs and the threads used will always be the best for the individual design, to ensure the final piece is something you’ll be proud to hang on your wall. SoloCrafts continue to look forward to bringing their latest releases to the UK market, and these can be found at or contact us for more information or a catalogue: +44 (0)161 464 7313 or Staedtler announces enhanced partnership with Artstat Staedtler is pleased to announce that from January 2022, the company has entered an enhanced partnership with Artstat, the specialist distributor of creative materials. Artstat provide an excellent service to independent retailers, having previously stocked a limited selection of Staedtler products, the company will now be offering a much wider range of Staedtler’s best-selling products, both stationery and craft ranges. The partnership with Artstat will be of particular benefit to smaller independents. All retailers are still able to purchase direct from Staedtler. Philip Wesolowski, Managing Director of Staedtler (UK) Ltd comments, “The Artstat partnership provides an excellent opportunity for some of our smaller customers to access a wide range of Staedtler products, benefiting from low minimum order values (currently £50 to qualify for free delivery) and the option of a next day delivery service.” Sharon Stokes, Sales Manager of Artstat adds, “We’re delighted to be working more closely with Staedtler. We love the heritage, quality and value and we are proud to have added hundreds of bestselling lines to our range which will be available to purchase in multiples of pack sizes, or in singles. To view our catalogue simply click the image on the home page of our website. Trade customers who are interested in finding out more about Artstat can contact: Sharon Stokes by email: To register for an account please follow the link from the homepage

12 New Lego Stationery Manuscript Brands has been selected as the Exclusive UK Distributor of a new range of exciting Lego Stationery products – adding a global brand to a carefully selected existing product portfolio. Lego 2.0 is the new generation of Lego stationery that features everything you would expect from the iconic brand including its hallmark brick-based technology. With Lego’s universal appeal, Lego 2.0 has been cleverly branded without a specific theme, expanding its popularity to a wide variety of age groups. The extensive range of Lego 2.0 products includes notebooks, gel pens, coloured pencils and highlighters which easily stack and build offering creative and easy storage. The convertible ruler, mechanical pencil, hard pencil case and some gel pen sets and are packaged with a traditional Lego minifigure and showcase the revered clipping technology Lego has made famous worldwide. Charlie Stockbridge, Managing Director at Manuscript Pen Company, said: “We’re really excited to be the sole distributor for Lego stationery in the UK. Adding this revered brand to our current portfolio is a fantastic opportunity and great fit for us and we look forward to bringing these iconic products to market. We’ve been supplying stationery products to education for decades and we have a strong foothold with our Lionheart Range which is seeing a rapid rise in popularity. We believe the Lego 2.0 range will complement this market as well as attract a whole new legion of Lego fans.” A number of Lego accessories are also included as part of the range which introduce iconic characters such as Ninjago and the Star Wars theme. The portfolio also comprises Lego Dots products and bag tags with a host of iconic designs including Hot Dog as well as the classic brick design that has been popular for generations. For more information on the range visit Painting revealed as 2021’s leading hobby Painting has been unveiled as the UK’s favourite arts and crafts pastime, according to a new study from RopeSource, a supplier of quality ropes and twines. The study, which analysed Google search data from the past 12 months, found that the top five searches for ‘painting’ averaged at around 216,000 per month, significantly higher than ‘sketching’ (160,000 searches per month) and ‘sewing’ (135,000 searches per month), the second and third most popular arts and crafts hobby in 2021. However, it's the rise of macramé which is perhaps most significant, having enjoyed a 20 per cent rise in searches during 2021, and a staggering 446 per cent rise in searches over the past five years. It’s the largest rise of any hobby within arts and crafts, with the vast majority having suffered a decline over the past 12 months. In fact, over the last year, only ‘cross stitch’ (11% per cent), ‘knitting’ (7 per cent) and ‘crocheting’ (8 per cent) joined macrame in terms of an increase in search over 12 months, the latter certainly helped by Tom Daley’s love of the pastime. On the other hand, interest in ‘papier maché’ dropped by 38 per cent year-on-year, the highest drop of any hobby, as children return back to school. ‘Photography’ also saw a significant decrease in searches, with 16 per cent fewer searches compared to last year. When it comes to individual search terms, ‘quilling tool’ saw a 201 per cent increase in searches over the past year, with ‘quilling art’ welcoming 49 per cent more searches, offering a suggestion that quilling could well be the new macramé in a few years’ time. ‘Calligraphy letters’ saw the second highest percentage increase in searches (107 per cent), with ‘how to macrame’ enjoying the third biggest increase in searches at 66 per cent. At the other end of the spectrum, both ‘upcycling clothes’ and ‘paper maché ideas’ saw heavy decreases in search volume year-on-year, as the likes of retail, schooling and hospitality began to open up. You can view the full study at:

15 BRAND SPANKING NEW Brand spanking new Check out some new and exciting products in the current market  PARAFFLE Introducing Paraffle’s newest release: the Orca Embroidery Kit! Stitched in a distinctive paisley style on a vibrant teal background, the kit contains everything a beginner needs: full instructions (with detailed photos!), DMC thread on a thread organiser, 8in embroidery hoop, needle, and stitch guide. The fabric included is organic and ethically produced, and the pattern is pre-printed on adhesive, water-soluble fabric. The Orca was designed as a companion kit to Paraffle’s bestselling Blue Whale design, and is perfect for some bright spring and summer crafting. The RRP is £21.50 +44 (0)7468 535 475 HAWTHORN HANDMADE Head to the Himalayas with this stunning new Red Panda Needle Felting Kit from Hawthorn Handmade. Follow the detailed instructions and size and shape guide to make your very own red panda to treasure. The RRP is £21.95. +44 (0)1258 863 873 CYGNET YARNS Seriously Chunky Delights are a fabulous extension to Cygnet’s signature Seriously Chunky range. This colourful yarn comes in a gorgeous range of bright, bold shades with a marl print effect. This true super chunky yarn is easy-care and fun to work with for both knitters and crocheters. It’s a perfect, affordable quick knit yarn for bulky projects, homewares, oversized garments, and accessories. HERITAGE CRAFTS Just a Number (GYJN1612) is part of The Golden Years collection by Peter Underhill. The design measures 22cm x 18.5cm and has an RRP £26.20. They’re all stitched on 14ct aida and contain whole stitches only.

16 THE CRAFTY KIT COMPANY This beautiful Poppies in a Hoop Needle Felting Kit is the latest addition to The Crafty Kit Company’s 2D needle felting collection, and contains everything needed to complete a 2D felted picture − just like ‘painting with wool’! Clear photographic instructions guide crafters through every step of the project, allowing them to create their own stunning scene of bright summer poppies in a cornfield. The RRP is £18.95. +44 (0)1620 860 907 ARTCUTS Be a busy bee and create this delightful wooden Beehive Bunting for your home! Capturing the essence of spring, the craft kit includes a beehive, bees and sunflowers made from Artcuts’ signature birch wood. Designed for all levels of makers, this kit focusses on simple crafting techniques from stamping to inking and creating effective honeycomb patterns in a rich sunflower yellow. With great gifting appeal, this kit is neatly packaged and includes all the crafting components as well as a guided video tutorial. It’s made from sustainable FSC certified Scandinavian birch wood, which is smoothly sanded for quality results. Each one of Artcuts’ craft kits is designed and manufactured from the company’s studio and workshops in the Surrey Hills. The RRP is £19.95. +44 (0)1342 843 843 SOLOCRAFTS SoloCrafts is delighted to announce its new partnership with Miadolla, who produce stunning doll and toy making kits for every ability. The brand is well known in toy making circles and since 2014 has stood for quality and great design across its range, SoloCrafts now has the pleasure of distributing its products here in the UK enabling easy access to this brand domestically. Miadolla’s range includes simple felt toys for beginners, cute and cuddly soft toys and detailed doll figures with outfits and accessories all included. One of our favourites is Shaun the Elephant, all materials are included to make the figure and his clothes. The kit also includes weighted filling to ensure the doll can stand alone once completed. Miadolla’s packaging is attractive and clearly lists the contents in English among other languages, and uses a simple one to three hearts as a difficulty scale. Retail prices range from £6.99 to £41.99, with an option for every budget. +44 (0)161 464 7313 EUGENIO GABARRÓ, S.L. Nanbag is a new project for Eugenio Gabarró that specialises in leather accessories. With more than 50 years of experience in artisanal leather work, Eugenio Gabarró presents a new brand the company says will shake up the leather goods sector. Nanbag is the new brand of leather handles that opens up an infinite range of possibilities in the creation of DIY bags. Nanbag leather handles have been specially designed to create fabric bags through the ancient technique of Furoshiki. As Product Manager, Toni Gabarró, explains, “With the combination of fabrics and leather, we wanted to join two materials that represent two traditions and two cultures, creating one-of-a-kind pieces that combine elegance, sophistication and glamour.” +34 938 033 852

18 BACHMANN EUROPE PLC Headlining its first ever MCC Announcements, Bachmann Europe Plc unveiled a range of ThunderbirdsTM plastic kits produced under its Adventures in Plastic (AiP) brand. Comprising 11 different kits across a number of scales, modellers can construct detailed models of the vehicles from the original Thunderbirds TV series including all five Thunderbird crafts plus Fireflash, The Mole and Lady Penelope’s iconic car – FAB 1. Debuting in the UK in 1965, the programme has subsequently been watched by viewers around the world and even now is aired on Britbox to the delight of adoring fans both new and old. +44 (0)7739 200 153 UNI-BALL The new PIN Extra Fine brush is a real game changer when it comes to brush lettering and drawing. It’s both an elegant fine art pen and delicate brush script instrument. It’s made from professional quality filaments as seen in cosmetics rather than a conventional fibre tip and is therefore super fine and the nearest thing to working with a classic small artist brush. Because this innovative new pen works like a brush with the control of a pen, you can use it for drawing, filling and brush script. Just like with other uni-PIN pens, you can work the extra fine brush with watercolour. This is because uni-PIN pigment ink is water resistant, so the pens can be used with watercolour as the ink will not smudge when wet. This beautiful brush pen set is presented in a fully biodegradable plastic-free pack that was manufactured in the UK using vegetable inks and sustainable printing processes. The pack showcases original artwork from Modern Brush Lettering by Becki Clark. +44 (0)1908 328 833 THE CRAFT COTTON COMPANY The Craft Cotton Company has released a beautiful collection of seasonal ranges for 2022, available to pre-order now on the company website. Alongside the traditional favourite Holly and Poinsettia designs, there are fun designs featuring The Grinch, Snoopy and Peter Rabbit and a digitally printed organic quilt collection by Victoria Louise. The ranges are sold as fabric by the metre, fun panels and can also be purchased as fat quarter packs and will deliver in July. +44 (0)1618 322 213 KNITTING FEVER Eisaku Noro’s ‘World of nature’ introduces three fantastic new products for SS22. Asaginu combines the finest linen from France with traditional Japanese ‘art paper’ from the Mino area of Japan called Washi. French linen is widely known as the ‘king of linen’ for its softness, ability to create a vapor barrier (e.g. hygroscopic), and durability. Uchiwa is a dk weight summer tweed blend of cotton, silk, and viscose which is put up in a beautiful dragon egg ball yielding 547 yards. Last but not least, Yukata is a lace weight blend of half silk blended with wool and nylon, with Noro’s typical selfstriping colourful nature.

20 LAVINIA STAMPS Lavinia Stamps is an established British company offering a wide range of distinctive and inspirational art and crafting products. The company is excited to be launching its new January collection of highly detailed polymer stamps to kick start 2022. Lavinia Stamps prides itself on designing everything from start to finish. The images are all hand drawn which give them their one-of-a-kind quality, offering something different every time. +44 (0)1824 710 691 S&S HOME SUPPLIES LTD. T/A OLFA UK OLFA’s CK-1 and CK-2 Wood Carving Knives follow the form of a traditional Kiridashi knife. Though they were designed for wood crafting, they’re also suitable for cutting through many other materials. The name ‘Kiridashi’ means ‘to carve out’ in Japanese, and they both do just that. The CK-1 is ideal for lighter work, and the CK-2 is for more heavy-duty projects. The CK-1’s lightweight, all-metal construction houses an 18mm wide, 1mm thick blade that is double-sided. When one side has finally lost its edge, it’s easy to take the blade out, flip it around, and put it back in with the fresh, sharp side on display. One CKB-1 blade is the equivalent of using two individual blades, so they’re outstanding value. The CK-2 is made of stainless steel and comes with a 20mm wide, 1.2mm thick blade. Both types of blades are double-honed to give you superior initial sharpness and edge retention. As with all OLFA tools, user safety was highly considered when developing these cutters. The screw-and-nut lock mechanism holds each blade firmly in place, preventing even the slightest unwanted movement. This prevents accidents while also increasing cutting accuracy and blade control. The blades can be retracted and stored away securely when not in use. They can also be attached to a lanyard or hanging loop and are suitable for left- or right-handed use. +44 (0)20 8204 1422 DAVID & CHARLES From straightening out your kitchen drawers and maximising closet space to keeping your home clean and tidy, the tips, tricks, and hacks in NIFTYTM: Clean & Organized will take your space to the next level in no time. From the popular BuzzFeed lifestyle destination NIFTYTM, this home organisation guide is perfect for anyone who wants to bring a little order to whatever space they call home. It includes helpful advice on how to clean and organise every room in the house, making life easier, more organised, and less stressful than ever before. With money-saving tips, fun DIYs, and inventive ideas for maximising space, this book is the ultimate cleaning resource. Whether it’s tackling the chaos of the bedroom closet or making the most out of the limited space in your tiny bathroom, this title makes tidying up and staying organised easier than ever. +44 (0)1392 790 650

23 SHOWS & EVENTS This season’s most unmissable events  Spring Fair comes back with a bang Spring Fair, the UK trade show for home, gift and fashion, generated millions of pounds worth of business kick-starting and refuelling the retail industry. A return in buyer confidence and the buzz, enthusiasm and energy throughout the show was backed up by reports of huge volumes of orders and the average order values going up. Buyers including John Lewis, Next, Morleys, Wayfair, Oliver Bonas, Fortnum & Mason, Fenwick, National Trust, V&A, Merlin Entertainment, Tesco, Sainsbury, Argos, B&Q, Paperchase, Scribbler, Funky Pigeon, Waterstones, Hobbycraft, Matalan, as well as garden centres such as Squires, Notcutts, Dobbies, Blue Diamond, British Garden Centres, and Barton Grange attended. Charlotte Overend, Buyer from La Redoute said: “We’ve been to the Spring Fair a few times now and it’s better than before, so happy with meeting all our suppliers and new ones too, placed a few orders and its definitely the show to be at. Will be back for Autumn Fair.” Julie Driscoll, Divisional Managing Director, Spring Fair & Moda, said: “It’s been a truly extraordinary four days at Spring Fair, we’re so pleased to be able to report on such overwhelming success stories and hear the brilliant feedback from our visitors and exhibitors. “Backed up by our 72-year heritage and experience, Spring Fair continues to look forward, to listen to and understand the marketplace, to evolve and innovate, to strive to deliver the ultimate buying experience and the best return on investment for our exhibitors. Despite the two-year break, the team haven’t stood still. We’ve invested in our people and in new products such as Curated Meetings to ensure we not only have our finger on the pulse of what our customers and the retail industry needs, but also to continually think ahead to the future to create new ways of doing business. We look forward to putting on another retail spectacle at Autumn Fair and look forward to welcoming you all back.” Curated Meetings continued to offer the wow factor with its super-charged and game-changing way of doing business. Hundreds of focused face-to-face meetings took place leading to new partnerships and connections. Maritia Osipova, Buyer, Wallaces Homevalue & Garden Centre, Ireland said: “Curated Meetings are great, short, oneto-one meetings, and you have the full attention to your potential customer or new supplier. It’s a quick and easy way to communicate. It’s a brilliant opportunity and everybody should try it. I’ve met with nine companies all in one day. It’s great, really energizing. I’ll definitely be placing orders with some of them when I get home. I would 100 per cent join Curated Meetings again.” For further information about the show, visit the website: Shows, news & events Diary dates Crafterama 12th-23th March, 2022 Alexandra Palace, London BCTF 10th-12th April, 2022 Yorkshire Event Centre, Harrogate Giving & Living Online 9th-11th May, 2022 London Stationery Show 17th-18th May, 2022 London Design Centre, London

24 Optimism at Stitches CHSI Stitches 2022 saw a strong turnout, innovative new products from leading brands and high-profile speakers at its first post-pandemic show at the NEC in February. The show, the first since February 2020, drew leading creative craft brands, showcasing new ranges, many of which were being displayed for the first time in person since the pandemic started. Steve Mitchell, Show Director said: “While video meetings became the norm in the last two years, the enthusiasm for this year’s show reinforces the fact that nothing beats face to face when it comes to creative craft. The way products feel to work with is key to any retailer and end customer, and the show allows visitors to really understand the products they are ordering. This year we invested heavily in our speaker programme, welcoming industry heavyweights from across the marketing and retail spectrum. We’ve had a great turnout to the sessions.” CHSI Stitches 2023 takes place from 19th-20th February at the NEC, Birmingham, UK. For more information visit the website To discuss exhibiting options in 2023, contact Steve Mitchell on +44 (0)1425 460 811 or email: Top form at Olympia Top Drawer returned to Olympia London for another successful edition of the show. With buyers from Selfridges, John Lewis, Anthropologie and many more top retail brands in attendance the organisers received positive feedback regarding the show but more importantly the high-end collection of brands on offer. Among the mix of brands were long-standing favourites like Jellycat and Caverswall plus emerging brands breaking on to the scene in the brand-new Launchpad area. Launchpad hosted a selection of innovative new brands, featuring Concrete & Wax, Afropop Socks, Frankk Studio and many more. These brands brought an exciting array of products from candles, contemporary jewellery, bold prints and striking homeware. Brands in Launchpad received a lot of interest from retailers with their section of the Grand Hall buzzing with conversation and enquiries across the whole three days of the show. This year’s Top Drawer also saw the introduction of Top Drawer’s Meet the Maker initiative which put a spotlight on the creative designers and makers exhibiting at the show. With ceramics heavyweight Keith Brymer Jones sessions drawing large crowds, buyers were able to learn more about his relationship with clay from day one to now and what goes into the creation of his products. Plus, there were sessions from sustainability brand Beeswax Wrap, new candle brand Olor, ceramicist Sue Ure and many more. The interactivity of these sessions was beneficial as buyers were able to learn more about the brands and their process from design to creation. For future shows, organisers hope to build on these interactive sessions and give more brands the opportunity to tell their stories straight to the retailers. For further information, visit Still time to register! Registration is now live, as London Stationery Show returns to its time-honoured spring deadline. With exhibitors ready and raring to go, thousands of products are set to be showcased from the biggest, boldest, and best brands, all under one roof. Keeping up to date with the latest industry trends is vital for any business, and London Stationery Show doesn’t disappoint with brand new designs and innovative concepts from independent start-ups to top market leaders. Visitors to this year’s event will have the opportunity to browse over 150 amazing brands and discover their next hero product. Exhibitors range from large scale international manufacturers to home grown independent creators, and so much more. Big brands already confirmed for the spring event include Caran D’Ache, Edding, Exacompta, Frisk, Jaques Herbin, Kaweco, Leuchtturm1917, Moleskine, Pentel, Silvine, Staedtler, Tombow, Uniball, West Design, Zebra Pens, amongst many others. Event Director, Alex Butler says: “First and foremost, as the UK’s only trade event dedicated to stationery, we understand how important it is for industry professionals to discover first-class paper and writing products from a diverse range of brands. We handpick each exhibitor, so whether you’re an independent boutique or department store, luxury or mass market, you’ll find something to suit your business needs.” To register scan the QR code or visit

26 Giving & Living goes online Giving & Living Online will take place from 9th-11th May. Giving & Living being online has opened the event up to a far wider audience, able to attract exhibitors and visitors from all over the world! This online event show is a tool for exhibitors who would prefer not to attend a physical show, but are looking for an opportunity to touch base with trade customers and prospects, show off new products, chat to buyers, and network with colleagues in our hangout chat room. It’s a very cost-effective way to tap into new markets, with a virtual stand costing only £250. At the Show’s 2021 event, it welcomed buyers who had never attended the physical show, from as far afield as Japan, Spain, France, South Georgia, and even The Falkland Islands! If you have any queries about the event, you can call a member of the team on +44 (0)1934 733 456 or email For further information, visit Gift of the Year Awards judging complete! As part of its ongoing partnership with the Giftware Association, Spring Fair hosted the live judging of the prestigious Gift of the Year Awards 2022 on the final day of the show. Beautiful displays of all the shortlisted products took centre stage in Hall 4 with categories including Branded Gift, Cards & Wrap, Contemporary Gift, Design & Craft, Ethical & Sustainable Gift, and the overall Judges’ Choice winner, who receives a free exhibition stand at Autumn Fair 2022. Judges included Helena Stopher from Products of Change, Lex Clarke from FY!, Maxine Lister form Natural History Museum, Samantha Gibbs from independent gift shop Nest, Peter Allinson from independent toy retailer Whirligig Toys Limited, Mairita Osipova from Wallaces Homevalue & Garden Centre and Alice Brook from National Gallery Company, to name a few. A selection of shortlisted brands include Wanderflower, Yes Studio, Marmalade of London, Beefayre, Puckator, Gift Republic, Crafty You Crafty Me, The Beeswax Wrap Co, Willsow, Puzzle Post, St. Eval, Clockwork Soldier and The Bottle Baking Co. Spotlight was shown onto new, exciting and innovative products including Beevive Ltd’s Bamboo Bee Revival Kit, a dual use keyring for sowing seeds, planting trees and saving bees; FYG’s Memories Candle Collection; Willsow’s world’s first ever plantable children’s book and Sass & Belle’s Cottage Garden. Sarah Ward, CEO, Gift Association said; “Although our virtual judging for the 2022 Gift of The Year Awards has worked over the past two years, there’s nothing like seeing and touching the products in person.” We can’t wait to hear the results of the winners in May! For further information please visit New consumer-facing event in Harrogate The owners of the British Craft Trade Fair, Kerrison Exhibitions, have partnered with Handmade in Britain to launch a premium and contemporary British craft and design fair in Harrogate. With highly regarded Handmade in Britain events already established in Chelsea, Oxford and Kew Gardens, the Yorkshire location offers discerning shoppers in the region a new opportunity to discover exceptional and inspiring British handmade products for their home, garden and as gifts this Christmas. The British Craft Trade Fair – known as BCTF – is a leading B2B event in this specialist sector, having run in Harrogate for 45 years. Piyush Suri, the Founder and Creative Director of Handmade in Britain said, “Between our two organisations we’ve a very well-established and valued stake in the sector. We’ll combine our knowledge, expertise and strong relationships to stage a premium show that the public in and around Harrogate love attending. We share values which focus on producing sustainable exhibitions that add genuine value to the market each and every time they run.” Kane Thomas, the event’s Show Director said, “We know our designer-makers want more opportunities to sell to the public and our research shows there’s high public demand for their products across the many well-off towns and villages in Yorkshire and the northeast. From exquisite hand-wrought jewellery and spectacular works of fine art; to the best of British-made ceramics, woodwork, metalwork, stationery, cards, textiles and more, we’re proud to fly the flag for British artisans this November.” For more information about the show visit

28 All things cross stitch! Anastasia Luca-Brasoveanu, designer and company manager at LetiStitch Ltd has been part of the cross stitch world since she was a child. Here, she shares some of her expertise... Tell us a little bit about the company. Where are you based? When did the company start? LetiStitch is a new cross stitch brand company, established in the United Kingdom. Founded in 2019, this project is a wholesale business. We’re working in collaboration with Luca-S Company from the Republic of Moldova, our kits are manufactured at the Luca-S factory and provide the highest quality. What’s your background and why did you start the company? I’ve been involved in the world of cross stitch since I was a child. I was designing small patterns, cross stitching with my mom and helping to manufacture the kits. Basically, I was always around my parent’s business. I’ve created a collection of greeting cards, pillow cases, Christmas stockings, bags, rugs and more. Then after moving with my family to England, I decided to launch my own brand LetiStitch. How has the company evolved? I’m the founder of the LetiStitch brand, but I have an entire team helping me. We were working with a few select customers, but after one year we’ve extended the number of clients. We export our kits in more than 50 countries and we try to introduce our articles on new sales markets. We’ve also launched our online shop: What do you specialise in? We specialise in counted cross stitch kits, which contain all the necessary materials in order to finish an embroidery. A kit contains instructions and symbol key, white and black charts or partially coloured charts. It includes several cardboards with different threads (Anchor, Madeira, DMC), needles, a piece of fabric Aida of 14, 16, or 18 count (Zweigart), it may contain beads and embellishments, and other instructions depending on the product. We offer our customers a wide variety of topics to explore, such as floral designs, classic landscapes, nature, seaside, animals and birds, fairies, fantasy. We’ve created some collections dedicated to ballerinas, cities, Christmas stockings, toys kits made on plastic canvas, Halloween kits and dreamcatchers.

29 PROFILE Talk us through the current products you’re particularly excited about. Do you have a favourite? I love all my kits, they’re part of me and I’d like to have passionate and devoted customers, stitch lovers that share the same views, in terms of art. For example, all of the landscape pictures are more like a fantasy rather than real life, the places where I’d like to be in my imaginary world. It’s hard to pick from all the kits the most popular ones. However, I’d like to present to you one of our latest kits: L8019 − Christmas hugs. It’s exciting, because it became very popular in a very short period of time. It’s a cute picture, representing the friendship of a girl and a puppy. It contains 50 colours, measures: 27cm x 23cm and contains: Anchor threads, canvas Zweigart Aida 16 count on white. We’ve also launched the biggest kit from our collection, which we are proud of. It’s a Christmas scene entitled Holiday at Seaside (L8007). The size of this kit is astonishing 93cm x 31cm, containing 73 colours, canvas Zweigart Aida of 16 count, Anchor threads, DMC metallic and beads. Do your products suit all levels of crafters? We offer kits of various difficulty levels for any taste and budget, from the beginners to professional stitchers. Craft has boomed over the last year! Have you noticed any new trends? The pandemic made people look for new hobbies and one of them is stitching. We’ve noticed that sales have increased a lot during this period. People want to start new and interesting projects and we always do our upmost to meet the craft market’s requirements. How often do you launch new ranges? At the beginning, our aim was to launch at least one new kit per month and as time went on the collection became larger. We’ve released about 130 kits, and are

30 working hard on releasing new items all the time. Now we’re launching about three to four new kits per month. How would you advise a retailer who is interested in stocking your products? Our aim is to offer customers good retail experiences and establish new collaborations and partnerships. We’re ready to discuss and negotiate the best conditions for a potential customer, offering full support. All the conditions are discussed individually, establishing selling plans and attractive deals. We want to make any new client, a loyal client. What sets you apart from your competitors? We’re always looking for the most interesting and inspiring images in order to transform them into little pieces of art. Our pictures are colourful, with a lot of detail, we try to make the size of each kit appropriate, in order to reduce the time of stitching, using half cross and backstitch. We’re trying to make our charts very easy to follow, providing patterns with and without backstitch, including bigger and smaller sizes charts in one kit, in order to meet all customers preferences. Our famous thread holders are very comfortable, as the stitchers can keep the threads in order, this idea of a thread holder belongs to my father, the owner of Luca-S company. It’s kind of our distinctive feature. Do you visit any trade shows? Do you plan to visit any soon? We participate in different exhibitions, which take place in different regions: h+h Cologne, Germany; CHSI Stitches, UK; and Handmade Exhibitions in Kiev, Ukraine. What are you looking forward to most over the next year? We try to enrich our compilation with favourite topics and colour variety. We’re looking forward to working with new artists and designers in order to develop our range of articles. What new products can we expect from you in the future? Our aim is to expand our collection with Christmas, Easter, Halloween toys kits, Christmas stockings kits, baby records, landscape, flowers, seaside designs and more! LETISTITCH +44 (0)7780 122 430 +44 (0)7469 364 150

CHSI STITCHES 2022 Optimism and strong turnout for Stitches 2022, its first post-pandemic show CHSI Stitches 2022 saw a strong turnout, innovative new products from leading brands and high-profile speakers at its first post-pandemic show at the NEC in February. The show, the first since February 2020, drew leading creative craft brands, showcasing new ranges, many of which were being displayed for the first time in person since the pandemic started. Steve Mitchell, Show Director said: “While video meetings became the norm in the last two years, the enthusiasm for this year’s show reinforces the fact that nothing beats face to face when it comes to creative craft. The way products feel to work with is key to any retailer and end customer, and the show allows visitors to really understand the products they are ordering. This year we invested heavily in our speaker programme, welcoming industry heavyweights from across the marketing and retail spectrum. We’ve had a great turnout to the sessions.” SUSTAINABILITY FOCUS Sustainability was a key theme of this year’s show. King Cole reported a very successful show. Jo Humberstone, UK Sales Manager said: “We’ve made a business decision to be more environmentally friendly and our 100 per cent recycled yarn is part of that. We also have solar panels on our warehouse so that during daylight hours we are using solar power. The recycled yarn is very popular. It’s a great balance of good colours and feel so ticks all the boxes. While being recycled is important to customers, the product still had to feel nice, and these yarns are incredibly soft. We’ve had a great show, we’ve been busy both days meeting new and existing customers. We’ve met new business owners and retailers who are expanding to include yarn in their shops.” Hawthorn Handmade has also been focussing on sustainability. Stephanie Carswell said: “We’re working hard to reduce plastics in all our kits. Where we do use plastic, for instance in our wool boxes which need to be transparent for 32

retailers, we use 100 per cent recycled and recyclable plastic. We are also reducing the air miles for our products sourcing everything possible from the UK. The sustainability of our products and packaging is becoming more relevant to our customers and they particularly like the fact that we make almost everything in the UK.” NEW RETAILERS The show saw new retailers attending the show for the first time, reflecting the growth in craft during the pandemic. Independent retailer from Warrington, Stitch Station, was launched by Diane Hughes five months ago after lockdown. She was one of the many new businesses to attend the trade show: “As a new craft business this is our first time at the show. The talks and insights sessions have been excellent and so helpful. It’s been so wonderful to see products in ‘real life’ and to meet directly with brands at the show. I was looking for lines to complement our gift range that had strong sustainability credentials and I discovered a great range of products.” 33 CHSI STITCHES REVIEW

Twitter @CHSIstitches Instagram @CHSIstitches. LinkedIn CHSI Stitches The industry-leading 2022 Craft Report was presented at the show by Linda Jones who unveiled valuable insights gathered from the extensive consumer research project. CRAFT REPORT RESULTS UNVEILED Linda said: “The Craft Report has become a key industry barometer in the five years since we have been delivering it. The research evolves each year, and this year’s was tailored to include insights into people’s habits post-pandemic which saw some interesting shifts and opportunities for the industry.” Key insights from the 2022 report: • The pandemic has resulted in a significant growth in the number of adults taking part in craft. It’s estimated that there are now just over 19.5 million crafters in the UK. • Almost 90 per cent of crafters have also done more craft since the start of Covid, resulting in an 11 per cent increase in spending over the period. • The younger crafter now accounts for one in three of the crafting audience, and represents a great opportunity for the industry, being high spenders, better connected in social media terms and more actively committed to the environment. • Almost half of the older established crafting audience are planning to make some income out of their activities in the future - an encouraging development given their higher level of spend. • Almost one in three of the total crafting audience have started to take action to craft more sustainably, and a further 10 per cent are on the cusp of doing so. Amongst the under 35’s, the number who are already crafting more sustainably is significantly higher at almost one in four. CHSI Stitches 2023 takes place from 19th-20th February at the NEC, Birmingham. For more information visit the website To discuss exhibiting options in 2023, please contact Steve Mitchell on +44 (0)1425 460 811 or email Pic 2 corrupt 34