Craft Focus - October/November 2022 (Issue 93)

72 WORLDWIDE SUCCESS John Styring, CEO of Curious Universe chats to Craft Focus about the company’s goals, values and epic success Tell us a little bit about the company. Where are you based? When did the company start? Curious Universe is based in the creative quarter of beautiful Bath. We pride ourselves on creating innovative and exciting products in the Arts and Crafts, Books, Stationery and Toys areas. We first began our journey in 2017 and have rapidly grown to a team of almost 80 passionate and driven team members. Our talented team works together to design, produce, and sell over 20 million products every year in 38 languages throughout 77 different countries. We have creative studios in the UK and Australia. This venture, bringing together a wealth of experience and creativity from the opposite sides of the globe, produces exceptional, innovative, and affordable products for everyone to enjoy. Who founded the company and why? My wife Briony and I established Curious Universe in 2017, having learnt what it takes to build a successful business the first time round with the sale of our previous venture IglooBooks. Taking our passion for creating exciting, fun and innovative crafting products to ages eight to 80 across the world and creating a business that is centred and harmonious, drives us to continue in our early success. How has the company evolved? More than half the team joined the business through lockdown to support the ongoing growth of the business and a growing reputation with our customers and consumers alike. It has taken dedication and passion from all the team to bring this group of talented people together to support each other and achieve the company goals. The Curious Universe journey has just started, and we look forward to the future. What do you specialise in? Our E.P.I.C. company ethos of Explore (books), Play (toys), Imagine (stationery) and Create (arts and crafts) is at the heart of what we do. Creating quality and innovative products that inspire creativity and most importantly fun! Talk us through the current products you’re particularly excited about. Do you have a favourite? The product range is quite large and really diverse across the different divisions. We’re creating more than 250 new crafting products this year and I’m particularly excited to see how the forthcoming Craftmaker, Art Maker, Paper Quilling Art and Cross Stitch brands sell. Do your products suit all levels of crafters? We love to see all age ranges and levels of crafters use and enjoy our products. From step by step ‘beginner ranges’ to ‘more detailed and challenging skilful’ collaborations, working with talented and recognised experts in their field, there is something for everyone! Overall, we want everyone to enjoy our products!