Craft Focus - April/May 2022 (Issue 90)

80 By the book Ame Verso, Publishing Director at David & Charles talks to Craft Focus about all the new titles in store for 2022 Tell us a little bit about the company. Where are you based? When did the company start? David and Charles (D&C) is an international publisher of illustrated nonfiction books. Alongside our publishing, we also partner with leading brands to offer online courses, including the Royal School of Needlework and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. The company was founded in 1960 by David St John Thomas and Charles Hadfield. Originally based in Newton Abbot, we’re now located in Exeter. What’s your background and why was the company started? D&C was initially founded as a publisher of special interest books, with a particular focus on railways and canals. As it grew through the next two decades, it rapidly expanded into other categories from gardening and pets to photography and crafts – in fact no category was off limits! By the late ’70s, it was operating the successful Reader’s Union book club business and trading internationally. How has the company evolved? In the ’90s, a period of changing ownership ultimately ended with the business being purchased by American company F+W Media, a business with book, magazine, event and other interests, and the rebranding of the UK business to F&W Media International. This coincided with a period of significant industry change, the launch of the Kindle and growth of social media, online video through YouTube, and the establishment of Amazon as the dominant global retailer of books. These market conditions forced the closure of the book club in 2008. The company went on to operate several direct-to-consumer e-commerce brands, including Hobby Warehouse, Stitch Craft Create and SewandSo. In July 2019, the current management team (with the support of external investors) purchased the books business from F+W Media and re-instated the original David and Charles name. What do you specialise in? Today we publish into two key categories: art and craft, and wellbeing. The intersection of these subjects is particularly topical, as we’re all seeking ways to unplug from our increasingly digital lives. Talk us through the current books you’re particularly excited about. Do you have a favourite? Our 2022 list is super exciting! Launching this spring/summer we have the debut book from embroidery superstar Emillie Ferris, Paint with Thread, a follow-up to the bestselling Knitted Animal Friends featuring a raft of new wild animals to knit, the third title from successful cross stitch designer Emma Congdon Cross Stitch for the Heart, an exciting book from TV sewing star Jenny Jackson English Paper Piecing Workshop, a cosmic collection of Crochet Zodiac Dolls from Carla Mitrani, and many more. The autumn/winter season is also packed with goodies including The Wind in the Willows Felt Friends, Creative Makeup, Textured Art, Making Murals, a new Luna