Craft Focus - April/May 2023 (Issue 96)

48 Crafting WITH CORINNE Corinne Lapierre, Creative Director of Corinne Lapierre Ltd talks to Craft Focus about expanding her ranges and her eco-friendly credentials Tell us a little bit about the company. Where are you based? When did the company start? Based in Yorkshire, the business started in 2009. We create felt embroidery kits for adults, using only the highest quality materials. We’ve become well known for our original distinctive designs and our soft wool mix felt. I’ve also published five books with Search Press, all about wool felt embroidery and I’ve been demonstrating on Create and Craft TV for the past 10 years. Who founded the company and why? I started the company back in 2009, from my spare room following a break in my career as a fashion designer. I knew I wanted to become self-employed and be more flexible with my time because of my young family. With my love of crafts and textiles, there were many possibilities, but I quickly spotted a gap in the market for adult craft kits. There really wasn’t much at the time and people always assumed craft kits were for children. I decided to try a few kits at a trade show, and it was an instant success. The business was born. How has the company evolved? What’s new? The growth was very organic but rapid and I had to constantly adapt and learn. It has been an amazing journey and I can’t quite believe how far we’ve come in the past 10 years. The craft market is constantly expanding, and we have seen our exports grow significantly in the past few years. It now represents over 50 per cent of our trade sales with a large part in the US, Australia, and France. 2023 will be a year of change for us as we’re in the process of outsourcing part of our production, keeping it all in the UK, and all our distribution. This will give us much more flexibility and freedom to grow rather than moving to new premises. What do you specialise in? We specialise in embroidery and wool felt. Our kits are designed for adults and make the perfect gift as they’re packaged in cute little boxes and contain everything needed to complete the project. Talk us through the current designs you’re particularly excited about. Do you have a favourite? As times goes by, my designs are featuring more and more embroidery, which is something I’m becoming increasingly passionate about. It’s very difficult to choose a favourite design, but I think it would have to be the Spring Garden Linen Lavender bags. There’s something truly special about using embroidery on felt and linen. Craft has boomed over the last year! Have you noticed any new trends? Yes, we’ve noticed a huge revival of sewing and embroidery and we think the trend is here to stay for a long time. Many people who have never picked up a needle before are wanting to learn those traditional skills and kits are ideal for this. We have three difficulty levels with our kits so that we can always advise people according to their current abilities. How often do you launch new ranges? I launch new designs every month on Create and Craft TV and we usually make them available to trade within a couple