Craft Focus - October/November 2023 (Issue 99)


3 CONTENTS In this issue... REGULARS 9 Brand spanking new Brand spanking new products 17 Industry news What’s happening within the craft and hobby market 87 Tried & tested Craft Focus Editor, Rachel Westall, tried her hand at Hawthorn Handmade’s Christmas baubles needle felting kit 78 Bookstand The latest book releases October/ November 2023 64 75 57 FEATURES 31 Trend file: cats! Cats never seem to go out of fashion. Customers just keep coming back for more cute designs! 37 Sewing & stitching Sewing and stitching kits and essentials to keep customers busy well into 2024 45 Crafty kits Start a new hobby with a craft kit – everything you need is in the box! 51 Patchwork & quilting Create a keepsake to pass on down the generations 57 Art materials It’s never a bad time to top up your art supplies 62 Glues & adhesives Craft cupboard essentials 67 Feeling festive Part two of our Christmas special 72 All wrapped up Making sure your gift looks as good on the outside as it does inside! 75 Embroidery & tapestry Traditional and modern designs to suit any taste 67

4 FOCUS ON 28 CraftCover is the first fullyautomated insurance provider, designed especially for the Craft industry by a Craft hobbyist. We take a look into what the company offers... 42 acufactum Meike Menze-Stöter from Ute Menze, talks to Craft Focus about the company’s stunning designs 54 Paint with a story Adel de Winnaar, Manager and Distributor of Tjhoko Paint Ireland talks to Craft Focus about their ever-expanding paint range 64 edding Jihane Nefli, Marketing Executive at edding talks to Craft Focus about their huge array of creative markers and writing tools BUSINESS 80 Winning back lapsed subscribers Sherwen Studios commissioned research data and analytics group YouGov to survey more than 2,000 UK adults about their thoughts and opinions relating to subscription commerce. Here’s some of their findings... 82 Festive success Bis Henderson Space Managing Director, Steve Purvis, shares an in-depth look at the Golden Quarter and how to properly prepare your supply chain for success 84 Computer generated Artificial Intelligence – should you embrace it or fear it? Dids Macdonald, CEO of Anti Copying in Design (ACID) tells us more… SHOWS 23 Shows, news & events Stay up to date with what’s happening in your industry 9 37 31

@curiousuniverseuk @CUL_UK @curiousuniverseuk Calling all curious crafters If we’ve sparked your curiosity, visit our website: 3-in-1 Landscape Single

7 EDITOR’S LETTER On the cover Cunning is the latest counted cross stitch kit by Bothy Threads, inspired by artist Rachel Froud. Part of The Menagerie Collection, the range is based on brightly coloured animal closeups and also includes sea turtles, elephants, lions and more. Worked on 14 count full colour printed Zweigart Aida with pre-sorted stranded cottons this design uses cross stitch and back stitch. The finished design size measures: 26cm x 26cm and has an RRP £28.49. Visit: The Golden Quarter It’s time to welcome in Q4 - the lucrative golden quarter. You’ll have planned your stock from way back at Stitches, Creativeworld and LSS and topped up at Autumn Fair and now it’s time to get that stock moving! If you’ve still space on your shelves we do have part two of our Christmas special. I always include an email address or telephone number so if there’s something you think will be a bestseller just give them a call. We’re a friendly bunch, us crafty folk! What’s more, I’ve rounded up some fabulous gift wraps. As we get equally creative with how the present looks on the outside as it is inside, these delightfully printed paper rolls are the perfect impulse purchase for placement at the till point! Talking bestsellers, we have a focus on cats! Myself included, we just can’t get enough of those fabulous felines! We have oh so cute cross stitches and stationery aplenty! Other product features include: artist supplies, craft kits and patchwork & quilting! As always, do get in touch if you have a new product or there’s any extra information you may need! Happy reading, Louise Prance Editor R e DESIGN +44 (0)1376 535 616 ACCOUNTS +44 (0)1376 535 616 MANAGING DIRECTOR Sarah Ellis +44 (0)1376 535 602 Craft Focus is solely owned, published and designed by KD Events & Publishing Ltd. 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 Craft Focus is proud to be associated with and supporters of: ADVERTISING Account Manager Tracy Voice +44 (0)1376 538 555 EDITORIAL Editor Rachel Westall +44 (0)1376 514 000 Tjhoko Paint Ireland p.54 Giftwrap galore p.72 Trend file - cats! p.31

Discus UK Made Pottery Wheels CRAFTSMAN Electric Potter's Wheel • Designed & made in UK • Lifetime support • Lightweight, portable & easy to store Pottery Products Ltd. E: • 5 year warranty • Powerful, 16kg of clay • Ideal for beginner and professional use Tel: 01730 300762 01423 815700

9 BRAND SPANKING NEW  Brand spanking new Check out some new and exciting products in the current market AW AROMATICS Indulge in the enchanting essence of the holiday season with AW Aromatic’s White Christmas, Warm Gingerbread, Festive morning scented whipped cream soaps (120g) from the White Label collection. These luxurious soaps bring a touch of winter magic to your skincare routine, featuring a lusciously whipped texture that cleanses and pampers your skin. Immerse yourself in the soft, creamy lather and let the nostalgic scent of the holidays embrace your senses, leaving your skin cleansed, moisturized, and ready to glow throughout the festive season. KNITTING FEVER Big Merino by Juniper Moon Farm is available in 14 colours. Made from 100 per cent Merino Wool, it’s harvested from a peaceful flock grazing in the hills of the Andes mountains. The sheep are organically and sustainably raised. This GOTS certified merino wool wraps you in a pillow of plush fibers. It’s a super bulky yarn that knits fast, and is supported by a swath of designs. From quick knit comfy hats, cowls and scarves - to big bulky fun sweaters for autumn - the possibilities are endless! KNITTING FEVER Artesano by Jody Long is available in 10 colours. A tweedie blend of Corriedale Wool, Alpaca and Silk is hand painted by Peruvian Artisans, creating a union of the artisanal and the luxurious. Its texture can only be described as pillowy soft, and perfect for summer and fall knits alike; while being fun and engaging to knit as the colours unfold across your needles.

10 COLOP UK LTD The Little NIO, Christmas theme, from Colop is ideal for crafting over the festive period. Available in different themes: wedding, new baby, handmade, Christmas, journalling, love, and kitchen. Each set comes with a selfinking stamp fitted with a fancy grey (dark grey) ink pad, 10 interchangeable rubber stamp images, and tweezers to help keep hands clean. These are basically 10-in-1 stamps. Perfect for printing onto card and paper, creating your own cards, tags, giftwrap, decorative notes, and more +44 (0)121 622 8900 HERITAGE CRAFTS Peaceful Retreat (MSPR1708) by Mel Rodicq measures 20.5cm sq and has an RRP £34.99. Kits contain: Zweigart fabric, DMC Stranded cottons sorted on to numbered cards, a needle, and clear charts and instructions. CYGNET YARNS Yeti is a super soft and easy to work with fluffy, faux fur yarn perfect for creating snuggly toys, cuddly blankets, cosy accessories and garments. The fluffy texture means there is no need for fancy stitchwork, making it ideal for beginners. Available in a selection of vibrant colours and soft pastel shades, this chunky yarn is a fur-tastic addition to any stash! The RRP is £5.15 – 5.25 per 100g ball in 100 per cent supersoft polyester.

Perfect Product Partnership for Haberdashery & Craft Retailers Dannells manufacture the NeedCraft® range of craft kits that you can use with your fabrics, textiles and papers to make creative products around the home, and also Stick-IT® the most popular range of self-adhesive lampshade materials. We supply for retailers, wholesalers, distributors, workshops, manufacturers and educational establishments. Kit prices start from only £2.91+vat free delivery. Lampshades - Table Lamps - Floor Lamps Lanterns - Clocks - Bins WWW.DANNELLS.COM 01992 700311 @needcraft_ The Wholesaler UK is open 24/7/365 for retailers looking for suppliers. 01608 662 298 Trade shows are back, but we never closed! Visit our website or contact us to find out how to book your “virtual” stand and take advantage of our trial listings. 1000s of product photos Detailed at-a-glance information on suppliers. Save your favourite suppliers for future visits The directory is still free to use - no registration. All listings are thoroughly vetted. We only list UK-based wholesalers What’s New? What’s Not New?

12 JAKAR INTERNATIONAL LTD This sketchboard for drawing and sketching is made of MDF ecological material, with a magnetic clip, three holes to hold different size brushes, an elastic loop to hold two pencils and elastic holder to keep paper in place, with a convenient carrying handle. The product is individually shrink wrapped and available in A4, RRP £9.99, A3 RRP £14.99 & A2 RRP £19.99. +44 (0)20 8381 7000 TINY BOX COMPANY Tiny Box Company has launched its festive range in brand new on-trend colours for 2023/24. For the more traditional, there’s an updated design in classic red and green. From flat packed advent calendars to easy-assembly cracker boxes you’ll be bright for choosing Tiny Box for your festive packaging needs. With shopping season upon us Tiny Box has you covered with everything from functional postal boxes and paper bags to Black Friday-friendly hanging jewellery display cards and Christmas-ready luxury magnetic snap shut boxes, and so much more. Brand or personalise almost every product with digital or foil printing and find the perfect fit using the company’s bespoke sizing options. +44 (0)1825 723 832 SINCLAIRS With a kraft cover and kraft inner card pages – this is perfect for home craft projects! Each of these new kraft paper sketchbooks contains 30 sheets of premium 170gsm all media kraft card with a medium/string surface. With the signature chunky Artgecko twin wire this book is ideal for craft projects and scrapbooking as the wire allows the book to expand with cutting and sticking. Made with card in the Yorkshire factory from FSC® certified materials it helps support responsible forestry. It’s available in A4 size only. +44 (0)1943 461 144

available at get krafty! with our new kraft card sketchbook scan here

14 SHIDA PRESERVED FLOWERS Designed with Shida’s signature contemporary styling these longlasting blooms make the perfect home accessory, to fill a favourite vase and add some natural beauty to elevate interiors. A beautiful combination of fresh-look preserved and on-trend dried flowers and foliage, stylishly gift wrapped in letterbox packaging. Stems are meticulously hand prepared by our florists to make arranging at home an easy and fun, creative experience. This wreath kit is perfect for a winter craft! +44 (0)20 7438 2010 EXACLAIR LTD With Christmas quickly approaching, Décopatch has launched some new additions to its ever-popular range of papier mâché shapes and papers for the festive celebrations. Lawrence Savage, Marketing Manager at ExaClair Limited, the UK distributor for Décopatch says these new additions offer further choice when it comes to creating festive decorations: “Offering a wide variety of papier mâché shapes and papers for Christmas enables users to unleash their creativity. The process is simple and fun for all ages, so even young children can get involved in creating unique decorations.” +44 (0)1553 696 600 STUDIO PENS Introducing the Esterbrook Model J - a timeless masterpiece that gracefully blends vintage charm with modern ingenuity. Crafted with exquisite ebonite from Germany, this pen showcases a seamless fusion of tradition and innovation. Its iconic design, inspired by the beloved ’50s vintage model, pays homage to Esterbrook’s rich heritage. Equipped with a Jowo size six gold plated nib, available in various sizes, including custom options, this pen promises an exceptional writing performance. Delight in the subtle yet distinctive barrel engraving, adorned with the R.Esterbrook signature logo, while the grip section ensures extended writing comfort. Encased in slide premium packaging, complete with a vintage-inspired sleeve adorned with Esterbrook factory imagery, the Esterbrook Model J is a timeless treasure waiting to grace your collection.

Introducing our Christmas Collection. A selection of bold and timeless crafted paperware. Add a touch of fabulous flair for the new season.

Aquarellable pens and pencils STABILOaquacolor® This is an exceptional aquarelle colouring pencil that allows you to experiment with lines, colours, shading, and watercolour effects. You can use it either dry or wet on dry or damp paper to achieve breathtaking results. You can also apply the colour with a brush directly from the pencil lead. STABILO® Pen 68 A premium felt-tip pen that comes in 65 vibrant colours. Its water-based ink enables you to explore your creativity further by allowing you to produce beautiful watercolour effects with just a little water. STABILO® Pen 68 brush This is a high-quality pen that has a flexible brush tip. It comes in 30 different colours and uses water-based ink. When you add a bit of water, you can easily create beautiful watercolour and blending effects on paper. For more information please get in touch with the team on: 01628 769170

17 INDUSTRY NEWS  Industry news Latest news from the craft industry Curious Universe reveals new licensed Squishmallows Dedicated to sourcing sustainable alternatives to traditional methods of production, design and packaging, Curious Universe announces a new line of licensed Squishmallows Arts & Crafts products for 2023. With multiple industry accolades under its belt, including Toy of The Year 2022, Squishmallows continues to be an incredible success story that is now set to take the world of Arts & Crafts by storm. Incorporating a host of cute, colourful Squishmallows styles the new collection from Curious Universe will include a Crystal Creations Carry Case, Crystal Creations Folder and a Colour and Carry Activity Kit, alongside multiple new designs within the Kaleidoscope branded collection. With sales of over 1.8 million to date, the company’s bestselling Kaleidoscope Colouring Kit has been reimagined for 2023 with a new sustainable and eco-friendly format. Experience the world of Squishmallows with on-theme activity content and puffy, tactile stickers, all encased within a perforated card packet – there’s no single use plastic! The clean, modern pack design includes a die-cut colouring pad and the recyclable packaging emblazoned with an environmental logo helps parents and gift givers to make informed purchasing decisions. This logo will run across many of the new Curious Universe products for 2023, in line with the company’s ongoing commitment to developing sustainable products. Another best-selling format in Curious Universe’s portfolio to incorporate the loveable Squishmallows Squad is the Colour and Carry Activity Kit. This format has been creatively reimagined to address the demand for eco-friendly solutions. The plastic insert tray that usually holds the internal components has been replaced with a cardboard alternative. These small changes, once introduced to a whole range, can make a huge difference to our eco-footprint. Additional Squishmallows licensed products within the Kaleidoscope range include Kaleidoscope Sticker Bomb containing over 500 stickers and finely-detailed Squishmallows Etch Art Creations. Tourism brings cheer to the British Economy As we enter autumn and the start of a new school year, tourist resorts around the UK are counting the profits after another booming staycation season. Chief amongst these chosen destinations for holiday makers was the South-West* of England, home to the most important regional event of the trade show calendar, Giving & Living (14th to 16th January, Westpoint, Exeter). Hospitality tech provider Zonal and CGA by NielsenIQ found in a survey of more than 2,000 UK consumers that 81 per cent of respondents intended to holiday in a UK hotel this year. 44 per cent avoided overseas trips due to cost-of-living increases, whilst 39 per cent are staycationing because they prefer to travel within the UK, up 12 per cent from 2022. Some 28 per cent said they’d stay in a UK hotel more than once in this year. Extremes of heat overseas have also made the more temperate British climate more appealing. It isn’t just Brits who are enjoying the treasures our native shores have to offer. VisitBritain/VisitEngland, reported that last year the UK welcomed 31.2m inbound visitors who spent £26.5bn. Spend per visit in 2022 was well up on 2019, partly due to a longer than average length of stay for visitors, especially in the first quarter of the year. The overall tourism forecast for 2023 is 37.5 million visitors, who are predicted to spend £30.9 billion, according to sources. This is an upgrade on earlier forecasts due to strong end of year results for 2022. VisitBritain CEO Patricia Yates said: “Our upgraded forecast is on the back of the stronger recovery we’re seeing, led by the USA with spending by American visitors up 42 per cent to a record £6 billion last year alone. Spending by visitors from our major European markets including France and Spain is also coming back strongly.” Looking ahead to next year, the forecast is very positive, with visitor numbers expected to have fully recovered to their pre-Covid volumes by the end of 2024. Giving & Living organiser, Mike Anderson of Hale Events said: “The British tourist trade is undoubtedly benefitting from the rise of staycations and continued enthusiasm for holidays closer to home. The restoration of visitor numbers from overseas is very positive news that bodes extremely well for the 2024 season”. For more information about Giving & Living call 01934 733433, email:, or visit the website:

20 ‘Liberty’ for sublimation users! TheMagicTouch in Dunstable, under their DyeSubMagic brand, offers some real transfer innovation for all sublimation ink transfer users. Historically the sublimation transfer process has been restricted to applications onto garments and promotional items that required a high polyester content or special polyester coating and had to be either white or pastel in colour. However, this has now changed. The ‘Liberty SubliPrint’ printable sublimation transfer media enables vibrant full colour imaging onto a host of garments and fabrics including all types of cotton, mixed fibres and nylon regardless of colour. All products are certified to Oekotex Standard 100 Class 1. The transfer media is eco-friendly, water-based, solvent and PVC free and vegan friendly. This one-step printable media available in both A4 and A3 format is printed directly using a traditional sublimation printer. The thin coated product offers a soft touch with good stretch properties. The printed media can be manually trimmed, or profile cut using a plotter/cutter with an optical eye function for precise and complex designs. No mirror image required. Designs involving free form text can be applied easily using traditional application tape if needed. Available now in both A4 & A3 format with 10 & 50 sheet packs. For further information contact or call +44 (0)1582 671 444. Kite Packaging launches hamper-sized ecommerce box Leading online packaging supplier, Kite Packaging, has added a new, hamper-sized ecommerce box to their range due to growing demand. Designed with a crash lock base and adhesive peel-&-seal strip, this ecommerce-ready packaging facilitates quick assembly to support efficient pack and dispatch. It also comes with a tear strip for effortless unboxing to enhance end customer satisfaction. This new size is larger than the standard market offering, offering versatility, and provides ample space to accommodate both small and bulky items – particularly beneficial for businesses with a large product profile. It also grants the opportunity to bundle multiple products together or to create attractive product displays and memorable unboxing experiences. The box is comprised of double-wall, heavyduty corrugation to provide suitable protection to all product types during handling and shipping. The cardboard itself comes from sustainably managed resources with the box widely kerbside recyclable once disposed. Ecommerce boxes are available from Kite at market-leading prices with further discounts available when purchasing wholesale quantities. For more information about Kite Packaging, please visit finest art & enchanting worlds / on fabrics, ri ons more & or contact us via e-mail: Alan Provisor ONLINE Fabulous range of braids tassels and cords in amazing colours. Check out the website or call me 01204 465233 | Mobile Printer for every Lifestyle The e-mark@ go is one of the most compact and easy to use mobile printers on the market. Design your own personalised imprint in the free app and print your artwork in full colour directly onto almost all absorbent surfaces, such as paper, cardboard, wood, textile and many more. Print your own ribbons, labels, tags or card in no time. learn more at Create the perfect Christmas with the help of the Little NIO Christmas rubber stamp set. 10 stamp designs in 1 makes creating your own cards, gi tags and more, a piece of cake! Find out more at

WWW.AW-AROMATICS.COM SALES@AW-AROMATICS.COM | 01143 830 344 WHITE LABEL COSMETICS: Hand & Body Washes Hand & Body Lotions Sugar Body Scrubs Facial Serums - Toner Mists Body Butters - Massage Oils Floral Waters - Bath Salts Soaps - Bath Fizzes Save the date! Showcasing thousands of exhibitors, Spring Fair gifts you the opportunity to find your next best-seller. Scan here to find out more

23 SHOWS & EVENTS  This season’s most unmissable events Shows, news & events Diary dates Harrogate Christmas & Gift 14th-17th January, 2024 Harrogate Convention Centre Giving & Living 14th – 16th January, 2024 Westpoint, Exeter Toy Fair 23rd – 25th January, 2024 Olympia, London Creativeworld 27th – 30th January, 2024 Messe Frankfurt https://creativeworld. CHSI Stitches 25th-26th February, 2024 Birmingham NEC h+h cologne March 22nd -24th March, 2024 Cologne, Germany h+h americas 1st – 3rd May, 2024 Rosemont, USA Start Planning for h+h americas 2024 Save the date! Since the dates for h+h americas 2024 have been bumped to earlier in the year, you actually have a little less time than usual to plan to attend. h+h americas has become the US home for the creative arts. The team set new records in 2023, with 34 per cent more exhibitors and attendance from more than 2,500 creative arts professionals from 22 countries around the world. Mark your calendar for 1st to 3rd May, 2024, to meet again in Rosemont, IL! For further information about the show, visit: Toy Fair 2024 sells out The British Toy & Hobby Association (BTHA) is delighted to announce that Toy Fair 2024 has sold out five months ahead of the show opening and will expand into the Upper West Hall to accommodate the growing demand for space. The UK’s largest toy, game and hobby trade show, which will be celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2024, will take place at Olympia London from the 23rd to 25th January 2024. More than 200 exhibiting companies will be occupying the Grand and National halls on both levels - and now also part of the Upper West Hall. One of the stands to occupy the Upper West Hall will be TOMY who are returning to the show in 2024. The BTHA’s Director of Toy Fair, Majen Immink said: “We’re delighted to welcome back TOMY especially in their 100th year. To be able to expand into the Upper West Hall to accommodate the growing demand for space on top of an extremely high returnee rate speaks volumes for the strength of the show and the importance and value the industry places on it. It’s a fantastic achievement to have sold out of space with five months still to go. We’ve now opened up a waiting list and will endeavour to fulfil requests where possible. We very much look forward to supporting all our exhibitors over the coming months and preparing for another jam packed three days of successful business.” Other names joining the ranks for Toy Fair 2024 include Hasbro, Moose Toys, LEGO, Dolu, Funko, Kidicraft, Rubies Masquerade, Rainbow Designs Ltd, Mood Bears, Zimpli Kids, PLAYMOBIL, Magformers, Playmonster UK, Reydon Sports PLC, movies inc, John Adams Leisure Limited, among many others. Any companies interested in joining the waiting list are encouraged to get in touch with Rebecca@btha. Visitor registration opened on 26th September at with the full floor plans and exhibitor list available.

24 Record rebooking at Home & Gift Harrogate Home & Gift Harrogate concluded the highly anticipated 2023 edition on a resounding note of success. Held in both the Harrogate Convention Centre and the grounds of the prestigious DoubleTree By Hilton, the event brought industry professionals, exhibitors and buyers together from around the world for an immersive and inspiring experience. Over the show’s four days, exhibitors saw significantly increased footfall vs. 2022, with an overall growth of 14 per cent and a 9 per cent increase in the individual companies that attended. Notably, the show also benefited from a 15 per cent increase in buyers from garden centres, a 48 per cent increase in museum and gallery buyers, and a 63 per cent increase in those from department stores. These robust numbers indicate a strong Q3 and 4 ahead for the retail industry, and increased positivity for customer spending ahead of 2024. Over 500 exhibitors took part in Home & Gift 2023 - with more than 150 of them making their show debut. From the established industry favourites through to emerging new talent, Home & Gift’s exhibitors offered a wide array of product categories including homewares, gifts, fashion accessories and more - providing an unparalleled platform for suppliers and retailers to connect and forge exciting new business partnerships. The positivity felt by exhibitors across the show floor translated directly into bookings for the 2024 edition, with a record 66 per cent of next year’s plan having already been accounted for by the show end, and the likes of Designworks Collective, Enesco, Forever England, Fountasia, Jellycat, Joe Davies, London Ornaments, Miss Shorthair, Miss Sparrow, Peace of Mind, Räder, Richard Lang & Son, Roka London, The Art File and Zelly UK all returning for 2024. Join the industry in Harrogate on 21st to 24th July 2024, for the next edition of Home & Gift! CHSI Stitches developments Plans for CHSI Stitches, the UK’s trade show for the creative craft industry, are well underway for 25th to 26th February 2024 at the NEC, Birmingham. ICHF Events, have announced an extended partnership with Sarah Hurley from the Sarah Hurley Academy. The multi-year partnership brings creative business education to the CHSI Stitches programme of events through Sarah’s new ‘Sarah Hurley Academy,’ launched in 2022 Sarah and her team will be running the following features: · The Pitch - business owners can share their business or product idea with key players in the craft industry, including Sarah Hurley and Simon Burns. • The Academy – a programme of business speakers curated by Sarah Hurley. • The Pavilion – an area dedicated to start-up businesses coordinated by Sarah to give them an entry point to exhibiting and getting in front of buyers. • Networking event – taking place on Sunday 25th Feb after day one of the show, hosted by Sarah. The Sarah Hurley Academy draws from Sarah’s industry and business successes to help entrepreneurs and small businesses at all stages. The Academy provides education to small business, entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs via a comprehensive range of courses and resources. Sarah Hurley said: “The academy and the trade show are the perfect partners for new and established businesses to focus and thrive in the retail world, especially at this challenging time. I’m looking forward to meeting lots of businesses at the event, whatever stage they are at, and providing advice and guidance.” Key exhibitors already booked for the Feb 2024 event are Lewis & Irene, Empee Silk Fabrics, Visage Textiles, Oddies Textiles, Hawthorne Handmade, Creative Solutions, King Cole, Chatham Glyn Fabrics and Viridian Distribution. To discuss exhibiting options in 2024, contact Steve Mitchell on +44 (0)1425 460 811 or email

26 Scotland’s Trade Fair Autumn kickstarts busy trade show season Orders were plentiful, buyers were sourcing products and business was done at the revamped Scotland’s Trade Fair Autumn. Moved from its traditional late September date to 20th to 21st August, the Show proved to be a huge success attracting buyers from all over Scotland and overseas. With 115 exhibitors from gifts and homeware, to crafts and cards and jewellery to textiles, the new early date allowed retailers to source stock and place orders in advance of the English trade gift shows. Many retailers are running low in stock following a very busy summer tourist season with North American, Far Eastern and cruise ship visitors returning to Scotland in their droves. The new Craft Gallery proved a hit with a host of creative suppliers of jewellery, crafts and textiles, which is particularly popular with galleries, high end retailers and those looking for something a little different. The Launch Gallery for new young companies was full with some 17 exhibitors such as Muka Jewellery, The Ink Balm, LilyBee, Purple Sage Soap Company and Victoria Gordon Art, to mention just a few. Elsewhere buyers enjoyed seeing new exhibitors such as ENESCO, Academie, Lancaster & Gibbings, as well as connecting with Show favourites such as Glen Appin, Siabann, Maccessori, Artcuts and many more. Kirsty Gibson from ENESCO said: “This is our first time at Scotland’s Trade Fair and we’ve seen many new customers, especially ones that we’ve wanted to supply for years, so this allowed us to meet them face to face. The new timing is useful as we can show our Christmas stock and get ahead on sales for next year pre the January shows.” Mark Saunders said: “Confidence at Scotland’s Trade Fair Autumn 2023 leapt after a tough couple of years. The show saw an increase in exhibitors of 10 per cent and a huge increase of new exhibitors to the show. Products were of a very high quality and perfectly suited to gift shop buyers up and down Scotland and buyers responded with a vastly improved turnout on the last two years and placed orders confidently over the two days. Suppliers were delighted with the number of buyers they met at the show and the number and quality of orders they received. “The primary reasons for the increased market confidence was an earlier dateline for the show which moved from late September to August. This has meant buyers are able to place orders before the Autumn series of shows in England with more budget at their disposal. In addition, very strong overseas tourist numbers in Scotland have driven more people through gift shops. Finally, for overseas visitors the low pound means gift shop purchases are very good value. If these conditions continue through late summer and autumn, it bodes well for Scotland’s Trade Fair Spring in January.” That’s a wrap at Autumn Fair! Thousands of retailers including Sainsbury’s, Next, Dunelm, Boots, Ocado, Waterstone’s, Osprey London, Brand Alley, Tropic Skincare, Scribbler, Clintons, Oliver Bonas, Fenwick Ltd, Cardzone, Lakeland, M&S, Matalan, Pengethley Garden Centre, Aldi, Tesco, TJX Europe, Toys R Us, The Works, WHSMITH, and The Walt Disney Company, to name a few, converged at the NEC Birmingham from the 3rd to 6th September to shop the show for their next bestsellers across a huge breadth of product categories within Home, Gift and Fashion. Many enjoyed special features including the New Product Showcase and the Gift Of The Year Showcase which took centre stage in Hall 6 as well as an insightful and visual content programme on the Inspiring Retail Stage & Moda Catwalk. Daniel Mayhew, Event Director, Spring & Autumn Fair says, “Both the Gift Of The Year Showcase and New Product Showcase displayed some of the best products in show and buyers made a beeline for Hall 6 to discover the hottest designs for the season ahead. We really enjoyed creating a dedicated space to champion our Autumn Fair newcomers, and love to see how much our visitors enjoy these and the stimulating content we offer on the Inspiring Retail Stage & Moda Catwalk. Thank you to everyone who has attended and taken part in the show.” Naomi Pollard, Head of Publications at TrendBible offered vital insights into the Interior Lifestyle Trends for 2024 and an overview of four key Macro Trends that carry throughout the year, as well as 2024 Gifting and Celebration Trends offering visitors a head start on the key trends impacting consumers and the opportunities for celebration from Valentine’s Day through to Christmas. On Tuesday, circularity took centre stage. Helena MansellStopher, Founder of Products of Change, James George a Senior Strategist and Consultant in Circular Economy, and Mike Swain a Products of Change Ambassador for Packaging, opened with ‘Navigating the Future of Sustainability: Part 1’. The Products of Change team took the audience through significant changes to UK, Europe and Global legislation, from the UK’s new Packaging Tax, Europe’s Net-Zero pledge, the Digital Product Passport and 2024’s Extended Producer Responsibility (EDR). For further information visit . Spring Fair takes place on the 4th to 7th February 2024, visit the website: Tel: 01902 882280 Harrogate Christmas & Gift REGISTER TODAY! Visit the UK’s favourite trade show for festive goods and gifts. Seven halls of the Harrogate Convention Centre packed with everything from Christmas trees, decorations, lights, candles & ornaments, indoor & gardenware and gifts for EVERY occasion. Harrogate Convention Centre 14th - 17th January 2024

28 What types of insurance is there for craft businesses? is the first fully-automated insurance provider, designed especially for the Craft industry by a Craft hobbyist. Here’s a look into what the company offers... If you want to grow your craft business, you need to protect yourself with the right types of insurance. CraftCover provides businesses with bespoke, comprehensive craft insurance policies, no matter what craft you specialise in. Types of insurance for craft businesses Craft insurance can actually be tailored to your specific craft, including your equipment, end products and class (if you run a workshop). The different types of craft insurance include: • Public Liability Insurance and Product Liability Insurance • Craft Fair Insurance, or One-off Craft Fair Insurance • Craft Workshop Insurance Which types of insurance are important for craft businesses? Public Liability Insurance and Product Liability Insurance are typically the most important types of insurance for craftspecific businesses. You can even add on to these policies if you’re planning on heading to craft fairs or hosting workshops. Public and Product Liability Insurance Public Liability Insurance covers legal compensation costs that may arise due to a public injury as a result of your products or business operations. Product Liability Insurance protects you against the costs of compensation for personal injuries and loss or damage to a

29 PROFILE property caused by faulty products. Craft Fair Insurance Craft fair organisers will likely require you to have both of the above. CraftCover can cover you for an unlimited number of craft fairs over a yearly period, or the one-off craft fair insurance covers a three-day weekend if you’re only attending the one. Craft Workshop Insurance Craft workshop insurance will cover equipment and premises as a third party when you’re teaching classes to the public - this is because your duty of care in this scenario applies to third parties. Do I legally need craft insurance for my business? Craft insurance is not entirely a legal requirement, but it can be hugely important for the protection of your business. Some craft fairs will insist that you are insured before trading, and some event spaces won’t allow you to host a workshop if you aren’t insured. Not only this, but any issues that rise as a result of your products can cause significant financial issues to your craft business - not ideal when you want to grow! CRAFTCOVER +44 (0)345 463 3003 By Bachmann Premium Eco-Friendly Educational Crafts Origami Art Kit Dough Art Kit Sticker Puzzles Reusable Doodle Placemats Step by Step Drawing Books Velvet Colouring Cards Focus PepPlay advert feb23.indd 1 02/02/2023 11:36 How would you knit a king sized #us19 jumbo weight blanket? ONLYWITHMY TWO LADIES PATENTED KNITTING NEEDLE SYSTEM Our PATENTED Adjustable Knitting needle system available ONLY through My Two Ladies and approved vendors. THERAPEUTIC KNITTING REDUCING PAIN KNIT QUICKER AND LONGER GET BACK TO KNITTING WHEN YOU THOUGHT YOU HAD TO GIVE IT UP CREATE BETTER STITCH BETTER STITCH TENSION EFFORTLESSLY CREATE ANY YARN WEIGHT PROJECT WITH LOTS OF STITCHES Wholesalers, distributors, sales reps and small business accounts welcomed. Only available direct from our website or purchase direct from distributors and local yarn stores Contact Alexis on 001 516-570-3230 (USA) or email:

31 TREND Cats never seem to go out of fashion. Customers just keep coming back for more cute designs! PURRFECTLY CHIC  HAWTHORN HANDMADE Stretching Cat Large Needle Felting Kit

32 LETISTITCH Winter Kitties (L8813) +44 (0)7780 122 430 +44 (0)7469 364 150 THE CRAFTY KIT COMPANY 3 Felt Kitties Sewing Kit +44 (0)1620 860 907 CORINNE LAPIERRE Folk Embroidered Cat Felt Craft Mini Kit +44 (0)1132 460 403 CHLOE SAVAGE EMBROIDERY Geometric rainbow cat tapestry cushion kit HERITAGE CRAFTS Black Cat (CZBC1682) By Karen Carter

33 TREND HERITAGE CRAFTS Black and White Cat Tapestry (YKBW0009) By Karen Carter HAWTHORN HANDMADE Black Cat Felt Craft Brooch Kit THE CRAFTY KIT COMPANY Cute Kitties Needle Felting Kit +44 (0)1620 860 907 LAVINIA STAMPS Cat notebook +44 (0)1824 710 691 STORIGRAPHIC LTD Ernest Siamese Cat wooden pin badge LETISTITCH Cat’s Happiness (L8812) +44 (0)7780 122 430 +44 (0)7469 364 150 

34 CORINNE LAPIERRE Mrs Cat Loves Knitting Felt Craft Mini Kit +44 (0)1132 460 403 MOUSELOFT Cosy Woodburner DAVID & CHARLES Cross Stitch with Catittude By Emma Congdon +44 (0)1392 790 650 MOUSELOFT Cat and Goldfish THE ARTIST’S LAB Cat + log burner embroidery craft kit ANCIENT WISDOM Cat sock designs!

ISBN: 9781446310571 Features 20 brand new designs on the theme of ‘cats with attitude’ with sassy, snarky and irreverent cat sentiments in a bold graphic style. Contact: or visit £15.99

 A stitch in time Sewing and stitching products galore! MOUSELOFT Poinsetta RRP £4.48 EXACLAIR LTD Little Couz-IN’ kits, Noah the Penguin +44 (0)1553 696 600 HAWTHORN HANDMADE Sewing Machine Felt Craft Kit RRP £14.95 SEARCH PRESS Debbie Shore’s Sewing Journal RRP £15.99 +44 (0)1892 510 850 37 SEWING

THE CRAFTY KIT COMPANY Moomin troll reading cross stitch +44 (0)1620 860 907 HAWTHORN HANDMADE Autumn Leaves Needle Minder RRP £9.95 CORINNE LAPIERRE Embroidered Scissors Pouch & Mini Pincushion Felt Craft Kit RRP £12 +44 (0)113 2460 403 HERITAGE CRAFTS Buddy (SHBU1692) and Blossom (SHBL1693) By Valerie Pfeiffer RRP £10.90 each 38

Embroidery kits to delight & inspire Creativity in a box ! - tel: 0113 2460403 Find us on Faire for 60-day payment terms: CRAFT KITS FOR BEGINNERS & BEYONd! Choose from 4 crafts & over 160 kits To see our full range of craft kits & supplies visit: or email

 BOTHY THREADS I Love Sewing (XKG9) RRP £29.49 SOLOCRAFTS Riolis mystical kits Both designs measure 20cm x 20cm RRP £19.99 +44 (0)161 464 7310 LETISTITCH Getting ready for the Christmas (L8074) +44 (0)7780 122 430 +44 (0)7469 364 150 41 SEWING

42 Dream designs Meike Menze-Stöter from acufactum Ute Menze, talks to Craft Focus about their stunning designs Tell us a little bit about the company. Where are you based? When did the company start? acufactum is a trade and publishing company located in Iserlohn, North RhineWestphalia, in the west of Germany. The company was founded in 1989 and has been a family business ever since. Who founded the company and why? The company was initially founded by my mother, Ute Menze, as a retail business. Her hobby was cross stitch. Since she couldn’t source the materials close to home, she opened a needlework shop with a focus on embroidery How has the company evolved? The demand quickly increased and the premises had to be expanded. Ute Menze combined exclusive arts and craft with fine handicrafts and quickly became known beyond the city limits. In response to many requests, the retail business developed into a wholesale business. When I, her daughter, joined the company in the mid-nineties, the first books were published. Fine woven ribbons with their own designs were added to the embroidery ranges. Over the years, cross stitch became more and more associated with sewing and patchwork. The company’s own fabric collections with renowned illustrators have been popular worldwide for years now. What do you specialise in? Our main focus is on creating loving collections, which can be found in atmospheric needlework books, on fabrics, ribbons, patches, machine embroidery and cross stitch patterns Talk us through the current products you’re particularly excited about. Do you have a favourite? Michèle Brunnmeier Silke Schneider-Windt

43 PROFILE At the moment, we’re full of excitement about our new Christmas fabric collection. Every motif is put together with love and so we can hardly decide on a special favourite Hobby & crafts have boomed over the last two years! Have you noticed any new trends? Our design is not subject to any direct trend. The hand-drawn illustrations on which our products are based are timeless and transport us into fairytale worlds. How would you advise a retailer who is interested in stocking your products? We advise retailers to place our products in a loving environment. Just a few of our fabrics can create a new little world in the shop. As our motif fabrics often love a solo appearance, they can be combined well with the basic fabrics available in the shop in plain, striped, chequered or spotted. Our books with their lovely and expressive photographs give a direct example of use for the customers. What sets you apart from your competitors? Our small company size allows us to be very personal, flexible and spontaneous. This leaves us a lot of room for surprises. Do you visit any trade shows? Do you plan to visit any soon? Our most important trade show is h+h Cologne. We have a large stand there every year. What are you looking forward to most over the next year? We look forward most to the many fulfilling encounters in our beautiful handicraft world. It’s the people we meet through whom our everyday life is enriched and who give meaning to our work. We are grateful for the loyalty of our customers and the many positive feedbacks from you. We hope that we can continue our work in the coming year and that we can put our love into our products. What new products can we expect from you in the future? We’re currently working on the spring and summer collection. We won’t tell you anymore, but we’re already in love… ACUFACTUM Viktoria Egert Viktoria Egert Michèle Brunnmeier


 BOX SETS With all you need in the box, starting a new hobby has never been easier! PEAK DALE PRODUCTS Peak Dale Products’ Intro Into range is a collection of 12 beginner-friendly craft kits designed to help you discover your creativity. Each kit contains all the materials you need to make your own creations, including a brand-new Felted Gonk Kit that lets you make an adorable, felted Gonk. At a budget-friendly price of less than £15 per kit, Intro Into is an affordable way to get started with crafting. These kits are also letterbox-friendly, so they can be delivered directly to your door without any hassle. +44 (0)1298 78447 DANNELLS Dannells’ Needcraft kit, the DIY Table and Floor Lamp Base Making Kits is perfect if you’re wanting to spruce up your home. You can now make bespoke lamp bases to go with your original lampshades! Available in three sizes, the table lamp base kit is 35cm high and floor lamp bases come in two sizes over one metre high. +44 (0)1992 700 311 45 CRAFT KITS

HAWTHORN HANDMADE Teach yourself the Roarsome craft of cross stitch with this complete cross stitch kit. The modern dinosaur pattern is created with just one simple stitch (no fiddly quarter stitches or backstitch) so is ideal for beginners. The RRP is £22.95. THE CRAFTY KIT COMPANY The Mrs Tiggy-Winkle Ironing Needle Felting Kit is new for autumn/winter 2023. Included is: 100 per cent Corriedale felting wool, quality German felting needles, wool mix felt fabric, glass eyes, recycled foam pad and instructions. +44 (0)1620 860 907 LETISTITCH The kit L8076 - Winter townhouse measures 21cm x 30cm. It contains 61 colours (Anchor, DMC, Madeira), Aida 16ct canvas 100 white. Full instructions are enclosed as well as a needle and pattern. +44 (0)7780 122 430 +44 (0)7469 364 150 SOLOCRAFTS Design Works Crafts has released a selection of applique felt craft kits, including Deer Scene and Winters Garden, shown here. Traditionally, Design Works has used felt applique in their extremely popular stocking and ornament kits, but these pictures make a simple quick project for those starting out or wanting to craft with children. Each kit comes with felt pieces, wooden hoop, paper template, beads, cotton thread and needle. The finished size is 15cm x 15cm and each one retails for £13.99. +44 (0)161 464 7310 46

LETISTITCH LTD - is a new cross stitch brand company, established in the United Kingdom. This project is intended as a wholesale business, founded by the designer Anastasia LucaBrasoveanu in 2019. Our kits are manufactured in association with Luca-S Company. Our aim is to offer customers pleasant stitching experiences and establish new collaborations and partnerships. WWW.LETISTITCH.COM | +44 7780122430 | +44 7469364150 new! A cracking selection of Christmas crafts at Peak Dale Products Phone: 01298 78447 Email: Coming soon Scan me for Christmas crafts New colouring books from Batsford is distributed by Abrams & Chronicle Books View our latest catalogue: Over 9 million Millie Marotta books sold Decorative letters from the popular Maggie Magoo design house