PCG News June 2016

1 www.procraftersguild.com PCG The Professional Crafters Guild


We are back with another issue of our evolving publication which features articles and news from some of our Guild members. Join us at the Guild www.procraftersguild.com

Transcript of PCG News June 2016

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The Professional Crafters Guild

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Show the world that you mean Business!

● Do you run your own Craft Business?● Are you taken seriously or do people think it is your hobby?● Would you like some support and recognition for your business?● Would you like a widely recognised badge for your website?● Would you like to receive online discounts?● Our members also have the opportunity to become involved with running the Guild?

Join our Guild and find your place in the world of professional crafting.

● We know how hard your work.● We know how many hours you put in.● We know that most things you try probably don’t work at first.● We know that you often work alone for long periods of time or in noisy places with

children/family around which make it hard.● We know that you just need a bit of help, support and recognition for your business.

Join us today and become a valuable member of the PCG Community.


“I have always been proud to say that I am a member ofthe PCG. Being a member of the Professional Crafters Guildsuddenly gave me prestige and credibility. “

“I don’t always get it right, but I know where to gonow when I DON’T know something (or when I get ittotally wrong). The webinars, information sheets,advice, associate member deals and just having accessto social media and marketing experts to run thingsby before making a colossal error has really changedhow I do business.I would absolutely recommend it to anyone trying tostart a business from their crafting hobby.”

700+Small Craft Businesses


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Grab a coffee, put your feet upand have a browse through the


Well here we are again!As well as a nice selection of articles written by some of our Guild members I also have some newswith regard to our publication. The PCG will be 5 years old next month and to celebrate this we areundergoing a transformation. We will be renovating not only our website but also our membershipsand resources. Exciting Stuff!

With this in mind we will be changing the format of our magazine from a published ‘issue’ to moreof a regular Blogzine. Members will be able to send in their work for publication at a timeconvenient to them and it will be much more accessible and shareable across the web.

There will also be opportunities to promote your news, new products, sales etc.

So this will be our last ‘issue’ for a while in this format but I hope you visit us on the Guild websitewhere we will be coming to you live and regularly.

Regards from the Founder of the PCG

Are you a member of our Guild and would like to submit an article?Email us at [email protected]

Cover image - Arctophilia

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Cash is King - A Simple Cash Flow ForecastBy Helen Gould BA (Hons) CIMA Dip MA

The Bean Counter

In this article, I will be guiding you through the concept of 'Cash is King' in the form of Cash Flow management for your craftbusiness. Looking from the angle the day to day running of a small craft venture, whereby the majority of cash is handled bykeeping a Petty Cash tin system and a Paypal business account has worked up until now (accounting term of Ready Money).What happens when you plan to expand and take your cottage craft industry up to the next level? You will be quick todiscover that cash management is critical to maintain a healthy business. Poor cash management is possibly the largestreason as to why a business fails and yet with a little knowhow, it doesn't have to be that way.

As you are reading this article, you may be thinking I'm not an accountant, I just want to do what I do best and enjoy it. WellI am going to put you at ease because you do not have to;

● Be amazing at Maths.● An accountant to use and understand a simple Cash Flow Statement.● Ask your accountant to do it for you.

So before we go in to the mechanics of how to manage your Cash Flow, I need to explain as to why it is such a critical issueto creating a successful craft business and that putting your head in the sand is not the way forward, when it comes to cashmanagement.

Basically, it is cash in less cash out = net cash positionof the business in a given month. From a craft stall holder perspective, it isthe cash sales made from events in the month less stall fees and other costslike raw materials paid for in the same month. It is used for providinginformation of not only gross receipts and gross payments (of cash) that isreceived/paid in the month, but also to so future expectations of cash inagainst known payments to be made.

Why should you bother with a Cash Flow? It's a valuable tool that can warnyou if you are going to have a squeeze on your 'Ready Cash' albeit from a

down turn in Sales, the need to invest in new fixtures/equipment or an increase on the day to day running costs. It alsodemonstrates to a small business lender that you can control your business finances and plan for at least a year ahead.

So let's look at how a Cash Flow works by using an example to explain the mechanics behind this powerful businessmanagement tool. Gillian runs a small craft business making and selling jar candles through weekly craft fairs and heraverage sales takings are £300 a week. She has been building her cash reserve up and has £6,000 of Ready Cash to use. Shehas decided that it's time to expand her business and has seen an excellent opportunity of renting a shop for one quarter ofa year, in a busy High Street. She decides that before signing a contract, she wants to plan out what her finances would looklike over this three month period.

Gillian has researched what she believes her expenses will be for taking on a retail space for one quarter; Rent £4,500, Rates£800, Electricity £400, Water £100, Telephone/Internet (for a card machine) £300 and Waste Disposal £200. The next step isto lay out a simple Cash Flow and the best way to do this is to use Excel, as it's far easier to update as your situationchanges. To guide you through this process, I have put the Excel row numbers and column letters in the illustrations so thatyou can follow the example for yourself when setting up your own Excel Cash Flow template. See fig.1

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Let's look at the Revenue section first as we know that Gillian has an average of £300 of sales per week. So £300 x 4 weekswill give a total of £1,200 per month. We can now put this information in to the Cash Flow as per Fig 2.



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Now for the last section of the Cash Flow, this is a little trickier at first, until you get a hang of the template. We know thatGillian has £6,000 in ready cash to start with and this will be her opening balance in cell D18. The movement figure (cellD19) relates to the cash in and out in the month and to work this out, we take the Total Revenue of £1,200 minus TotalExpenses of £5,100 = -£3,900 see Fig 4.


The Closing Balance is worked out by taking the Opening Balance of £6,000 plus the movement figure of -£3,900 to givea Closing Balance figure of £2,100. See Fig 5.

The next stage is to put in the expenses for the quarter. The shop rental is a payment that must be made in the first monthand the remaining costs can be split over the three months. See Fig 3.

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The last part of this Cash Flow is to now calculate the opening, movement and closing for the remaining two months. Thetrick is to remember that your previous month's Closing Balance becomes the Opening Balance in the following month,see Fig 6.


The final illustration Fig. 7 shows Gillian's completed Cash Flow forecast and you can see that she is not going to re-coupenough money in this initial quarter to get her back to her starting position of £6,000. More importantly, she would not beable to extent her shop lease for another quarter as she does not have enough money to cover the following rentalquarter.

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Gillian can now either to take the chance and sign the shop lease agreement or to carry on as she is on the basis of theCash Flow forecast. The key thing to remember is that nothing ever stays the same for long and situations change all thetime. In the example, Gillian has assumed a static Sales Revenue over the three months and as you well know from yourown craft business, this is never the case. But the whole point of this business management tool is that once you havetaken the time to set the template up, you can change the Revenue and Expenses as and when it happens, thus, givingyou a better financial control. After all, Cash is King, when it comes to planning out your business finances and by using aCash Flow forecast to guide you through, you will never need to put your head in the sand again!

In the next issue, I will be looking at a 'Start up Budget', a focus on producing a simple Budget as part of the businessplanning process to use when speaking to a small business lender.

Do you have any accounting questions? Email us at the Guild and we will pass them on to [email protected]

Helen is a member of the PCG and you can visit her here www.facebook.com/spacentralltd

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It’s a bit of an obvious title isn’t it but there is no point in hiding the fact, yes, I’m a crafter. Oh, you meant the other,the disabled bit, well yeah I’m that too and together they can make a very interesting life for me, and I hope to tell

you some of what goes on in my daily life and along the way introduce you to things that have helped or hindered mein the hope that you will find them useful.

Crafting became my work when ill health caused me to be medically retired at the age of forty. Now I was left notable to work in employment but with a brain still active, I’d like to say fully functioning but I doubt anyone wouldbelieve me. Well I needed to do something, and I have always crafted, so with encouragement what was a hobbymaking gifts for friends and family was launched to a wider audience.

Currently as I write this, I’m in a Hospital bed in a Specialist Unit in Salford where I have been for the last twelveweeks. In truth it’s quite an inconvenience as it has taken me away from my crafting, well almost …

I never expected to continue work whilst an inpatient, or for that matter have the hospital actually be good forbusiness. Now, had my hospital stay been a bit more of a ‘routine’ elective surgery type, where I would have comein, had my operation and then gone home a few days after, I know this experience would never have occurred.However there is some planning that I had done that could have been relevant for even a short stay.

Many Crafters use social media, and the Internet for business, be it complete sales or just advertising. Yet we aremainly a sole trader, we are the designer, maker, secretary, accountant, advertising executive, shall I go on? Sowhen we can’t work we may have no one in place to pick up the pieces, putting ourselves at risk of damaging ourbusiness. It may be as simple as not posting advertising as much and dropping off visibility, to not responding to apotential customer, losing a sale and perhaps your reputation you have worked hard to build. It can be hard to letpeople in and be part of your business but it makes sense, you may end up in a situation where you end up inhospital tomorrow. Myself, I have suffered from ill health for some time, after all it’s being disabled that got meinto a crafting business, so I have been in this situation from the outset. So what can you do? Well in my case Ihave few people around me that help me out all the time, but at times like this when I’m in hospital they havestepped up to do more. I have a good friend (who I actually met through social media), and she keeps an eye on myFacebook, Instagram and Etsy pages, she helps me out in general but has been there even more so all the time I’min hospital. We have a wonderful set of neighbours and one family have a spare key to the house and they take indeliveries. Then there is my husband, not comfortable with my pages but is a second on them in case my friendneeds to query anything. He has processed orders that could be done, also I have taught him remotely how tocomplete some of my crafts that needed finishing at home, He has been a great delivery man, bringing in crafts forme to make orders and then packaging them up and shipping them off. Without them I couldn’t have done theorders I have in the time I’ve been in hospital, in addition they help me maintain my business when at home too.

So as you hear despite being in hospital I am still working. Now don’t get mewrong there have been a couple of potential orders that would have required me tobe at home to make, and which were impossible to remotely train my hubby to doon my behalf. I found however, being honest with them and admitting I was inhospital meant that although I had to disappoint them I didn’t cause them to bedissatisfied in my service and therefore my business.One thing I didn’t expect from being in hospital was to actually grow sales. But asI sat in my hospital bed finishing the hand painting on my Fairy Tea LightLanterns and Jam Jars, Nurses and Patients would see what I was creating andthen ask me to do them some. From that they would ask me what else I did, and Icould direct them to my website or Facebook page, and sales started to grow.

By Sarah Spratt of Spratt’s Designs

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As items were finished and waited to be collected others would see them and ask me to do creations for them. Intruth I’ve never been so busy. Now this put challenges in my path to overcome, how to do the work, I started withtaking orders with the plan to do them when I got home and send them out.I got a weekend leave and completed a lot of orders, it was then I realised that I couldn’t let them build up, and as Ipassed my initial discharge deadline I couldn’t offer a date. So I sat down with Hubby and we worked out a way ofhim preparing some of my creations, and then the issue arose, how can I work on my designs on the PC I can hardlytake my computer in and then if I was able to work on them in the hospital how could hubby access them to putthem through the cutter?

Computers and access have come a long way in only a short time and storing and moving documents has becomemuch easier. It’s a great help to me that Hubby is an IT technician, but for those without that sort of access to handthere is great IT help in high street computer stores, but even the little local independent PC stores can have greatknowledge. Hubby dug out a laptop we inherited a while ago. The Laptop wasn’t the fastest or newest, but it wasmore than suitable for what I needed to do. He loaded on only the graphic programs that I would need. Also awhile back he had invested in a Terabyte (that’s big storage in my language) to run backup’s on a regular basis’smy PC.

Now let’s stop and talk about Backup’s, if you don’t do it, you should be doing it. Backing up your PC means ifyou were to lose the PC and you take it somewhere to be saved and they turn to you and say nothing can beretrieved, you then know that you can buy a new PC and pick up from where your last back up was recorded,without it you may just find yourself rocking and crying in a corner for all that work you have ever saved on yourPC, accounts, photos, designs, articles, price lists and more. Now these days hard drives have come right down inprice and it won’t take you long to learn how to back up and you could even run one weekly. OK Backupdiscussed. But how does backup help me? My PC hadn’t died. It helped because on a device really no bigger thanmy mobile phone sat a copy of all my work that was on my main PC, this meant that I could plug it into the laptoplike you would a USB or CD and access all my documents, awesome.

Next was the to-and-fro of a design from me creating it to hubby thencutting it, so that he could bring it back for me to unpick, before hebrought in a prepped glass block for me to lay the vinyl on. This wasactually easy, I was already using an online storage system calledDropbox (there are others out there) to get designs to customers andprinters, so we would fling the design in Dropbox at the hospital, hubbywould pick it up at home and cut the vinyl, I could then archive thedocument off of Dropbox onto the hard drive so as not to use too muchstorage space on Dropbox.

OK so things are looking good but this meant one more thing I would need Internet access in the hospital. Wellhere in Salford I was lucky they had free Wi-Fi access for the patients, it did however get overused at peak timesand on occasion I needed something more. Hubby being technical had for a long time been renting (like you woulda mobile phone) a Mi-Fi system, this gave us roaming Wi-Fi data on a monthly contract. Now we’ve used this foryears, being able to use Facebook, email etc. when out and about, that in turn prevented us using our data up on ourphones. These Dongle devices (as they are called) have also come down in price, and in most places give goodconnection, so if you want to use a mobile credit card device or PayPal at a craft fair, a stronger connection canmake it so much easier. So I was sorted I now had a strong connection to pass my documents back and forth.

So there it was, from my hospital bed and with the help of others I not only didn’t have to put up the closed signwhile in hospital, and with still being in after 3 months it could have been fatal to the craft business and reputation Ihad built, but also I gained business from patients and nurses seeing me crafting from my Hospital Bed.

I’ll leave you with this idea, for those of you that are crafters that do craft fairs etc. Some hospitals have stalls intheir main atriums every month or so, I remember Liverpool Women’s Hospital having some in their MainEntrance when I used to Teach. Now if I can do business from my hospital bed, I can imagine that booking one ofthese regular stalls at your local hospital if they run such things could be good business.

I hope you have enjoyed my ramblings; I’ll catch up with you again in another issue.

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Hi my name is Lynn, I work full time and am a mother to two lovely sons aged 23 and 21. One inUniversity studying for a Maths masters and the other just received an apprenticeship to be a barber,doing all the latest styles, he is also a self-employed DJ on a Saturday. My husband also has his owncompany investigating carpet complaints.

As for myself, I have been crafting most of my adult life in one way or another. I started with knitting, thenmoved onto cross stitch whereby we have a number of new pictures now on our walls at home. From cross stitch I took upcardmaking, this became a small money making venture and I started to sell a few cards on line, take a few into work to selland a few friends asked for commissioned cards.Whilst showing off my cards on facebook I got interested in one site for card making called at the time Jems Designs( now

MajiK Grapics), They design CD's for card making and I enjoyed the cd's so much that Iposted a few of my makes on their facebook site. It was then that one do their admin teamasked if I would like to become a card designer for them, and as they are on Create andCraft, my cards would appear on there!! Well I jumped at the chance and worked for themfor a little while, when they changed names I decided I had done enough with them andwanted to try something else.After browsing on ebay I came across a jewellery kit, ordered and when I got it home, sat

looking at it wondering what to do with all the different beads, pieces of metal (as I thought then)and tools. So I looked around for a jewellery making class and found a lovely lady close by mewho was just setting up a new class. I went along for my first lesson, eager to learn and camehome with a bracelet made soley by my own little hands, I was hooked!!

After a few more classes I learnt how to make a range of jewellery and which tool was which andwhat for and what all the 'pieces of metal' were i.e. jump rings, etc. I decided to start gettingin some beads and having a play around with them, making a few pieces of jewellery. HenceLynns Gem Creations was born.

I opened up an etsy shop and started to fill it with a few of my makes to see what wouldhappen within a month I had my first sale. I then decided to give this a real go and see if Icould make a living from it.

I spent all my left over from bills money on buying stock and got hooked on Jewellery Makerfor my gemstones. I was making a few sales and after a few months and hubby decided it would be a good idea to make ita legit business and inform the tax office. That made my hobby into a business, out came my tax ledger, started saving allmy receipts and becoming professional. My lovely hubby decided as my jewellery making was taking over the house, he builtme a summer house in the garden complete with insulation, daylight lighting and heating, so I moved in.

Now two years on, I’m still working full time and building my business, I have two shops nowhttps://www.etsy.com/shop/LynnsGemCreations and https://www.etsy.com/shop/LynnsBridalCreationsI also have my own website which I am currently building:- http://lynnsgemcreations.co.uk.

My sales have doubled in the last two years and from the two shops in around a year or year and ahalf I am hoping to give up my full time job and make my jewellery business full time. It has been hardwork so far juggling a family life, a Jewellery business and a full time job. I tend to spend eveningsworking on my shop and getting orders out, Saturdays are for making jewellery and Sundays forphotographing, and some much needed me time.

Meet a member -Lynns Gem Creations

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I tried so hard to come up with a suitable title for this article and there were so many Ithought of – 'Crafting, my therapy', 'Crafting, my 'me' time', 'Crafting keeps me going','Crafting, my independence', you get the idea, then I realised that all these things wererelevant to me, so keeping it simple I went for 'Crafting and me'.

What about 'Me' you may be wondering....? Well, it's certainlynot the most original story, as I have met, online, so many

'crafters', who have found crafting as an outlet, an escapism if you like, from the challenges thatlife has thrown them, in this case illness, but it is my story. I make handmade cards, gifts andwedding stationery, as well as card/mixed media kits. I particularly enjoy experimenting with diecuts, colours and inks and am a huge fan of liquid pearls, loving pearls in all forms, especially myjewellery!!

My journey into paper-craft began as an aside to my passion for jewellery making and writing verses. I originally designedcards around earrings I made, selling them on a little market stall someyears ago, just to make the gift a little more special, and found Iabsolutely loved the card making just as much, if not more. So when Iwas at a loss in 2012, following ill health retirement from work due to anumber of conditions, including Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a rareconnective tissue disorder, I began card making. There are some limitsmind, as my joints dislocate very easily, so pressing on stamps or usinga manual die cutting/ embossing machine dislocates my shoulders andwrists and effects my heart. I even have to be careful with the weights of

the plates for the powered machines. Anyway, enough of that!

I love it, I confess I am a craftaholic! I find it so relaxing and, being the one thing I can do onmy own without my carer helping, it gives me a purpose and some independence and thereis rarely a craft free day, not even Christmas! I think one of the main things for me is notknowing what I am going to make. Yes, if it's a commission someone will ask for a birthdaycard or anniversary card, but other than that it is an unknown. I just sit down and see whathappens and, to be honest, it surprises me that they work too, but people seem to like them.Phew! Thankfully one of my main principles is never making 2 of anything, except when thereis a wedding, in which case their design is the 'one off', so I don't have to remember a certaindesign or technique as my memory is shocking!!

I have also become a part of a whole new and welcoming community of crafters and met some amazing friends. Prior tocard making I never used any form of social media, my work colleagues were my friends and now,almost 3 years later, I am on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and have my own blog, infact I wonder how I fit any crafting in...!! Seriously though, not only have I met some amazingpeople, I have also learnt so much. I certainly wouldn't change a thing of my journey to this point,it is what has made me the crafter that I am today, that said, looking back on the cards I madewhen I first tried card making, I can see how much I had to learn. That's not to say I have learntit all, no way, I don't think anyone can ever know it all, that's a dangerous thing to claim, but Ihave learnt a great deal, so many new techniques, and I look forward to what I am going to learnin the future. There is so much yet to try and much much more to master and I wonder what Iwill feel about 'now' looking back in another 3 years! Who knows! One thing I am sure of, crafting

will always be my salvation, my way to express myself, my little bit of independence.

Written by Kelly Patricia Lawrence from Glitz & Grammar


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I love books, not the iPad or Kindle variety but proper books. Nothing better than starting anew book, diving into a world of twists and turns created from someone’s imagination. Now whathas this to do with craft I hear you say but bear with me. I consider writing of a good book a craft.

Over the years my reading has changed from Kathy Reichs with Temperance Brennan and gorymurders to Debbie Macomber and Cedar Cove, with more authors in between. Still love the AgathaChristie murders with Miss Marple or Tommy and Tuppence as these let's be honest are gentlemurders. Also the murder books by Joanne Sheen, the lovely lady who produces fantastic CD romsfor card making from Create and Craft.

My Latest read is The Teashop on The Corner by Milly Johnson

This book is about a teashop, yes on the corner, the lives of thepeople that meet up there but for me the most interesting part arethe gifts sold in the tea room, all literary based. A light bulb wenton for me and thought why not interpret into some fabric creationsand jewellery. A new notebook started and filling up with ideas andsketches. May take a few weeks to complete but my brain is workingovertime with ideas, let's hope I can pull it off to produce somethingthat is of interest to other lovers of books.

Funny the way things happen and I am a great believer they happenfor a reason, this book found it's way into my online basket alongwith others similar and just clicked. As you gathered this is my themefor May. The plan is also to think of a theme for June and startplanning and ordering for those as well. I work well with themes ascan focus my attention which does tend to be like a butterfly, flitting from one thing to the next.

How do you work best? Themes, let the flow take you, structured. I have to have a passion and befascinated in what I make and normally where possible to follow life or in my case the past as lovevintage from Victorian era to about the 50’s.This article is a bit about me but also how my creative brain works, can be a mess at times but funalong the way.

Written by Caroline Nash of Carolee Craftswww.caroleecrafts.com

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Jim’s Candle ClassesYou may have seen ready made candles on thesupermarket shelves or you have seen them at a craftfair you have attended and thought "I would love tohave a go at making those". Or maybe you have beenthinking about a new hobby and have decided orconsidering to have a go at making your own candles.

If so, you may be wondering where to start, especiallywith the huge amount of videos on youtube, onlinetutorials and the plethora of candle making kitsavailable both online and in hobby stores.

Some frequently asked questions I get asked are "Is there a really quick way to get started?", "Do Ineed to buy a lot of equipment?" and "If I buy a candle making kit, which one should I get?"

I will start with the "Is there a really quick way to get started?" and "Do I need to buy a lot ofequipment?" The simple answer is yes to the first question and not really to the second one. Theeasiest and quickest way to get started in candle making is to purchase a candle making kit. A goodcandle making kit should contain nearly all the bits to start making your very own candles. The onlyextra equipment that you will need is something you probably have already in your kitchen. Twosaucepans.

Yes you did read that correctly, two ordinary saucepans. One saucepan needs to fit in the other. Thetop saucepan will hold your wax for melting and the bottom one will contain your water.

Two saucepans is a very cheap double boiler so please use two old saucepans and not your newones. Never put your saucepan containing wax directly on your heat source. Always put the saucepancontaining wax into your saucepan containing water.

On the question of what kit to buy then that will dependon what skill level you are and how experienced a candlemaker you are. For a beginner I would recommend avery basic candle making kit that contains some wax,wicks, fragrance oil and some containers. While mostcandle making kits contain paraffin wax, it is thecheapest and easiest candle making wax to start out with.

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As you become more experienced with candle making, you can try moreadvanced kits and/or a different candle making wax. As you progress youcan try making different types of candles with different candle makingwaxes or you could try making gel candles.

The world of candle making is quite vast and can be highly enjoyable.There are a lot of videos on youtube about candle making and althoughthey make it look extremely easy there are aspects of candle making thatthey do not mention but please do not let that put you off experiencingthe wonderful world of candle making.

If you would like to know more about candle making or you have aquestion then please feel free to drop me an email to [email protected]

Author: Jim Laver who is the founder, owner and main craftsman at Sweet Aroma's in the UK.

Jim’s Candle Classes

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So, you've booked into your first Wedding Fair. Now, the question is, how do you make it a success? Here's a CompleteGuide to exhibiting at a Wedding Fair…

The first step to success is definitely being prepared. Make sure you have all thedetails of the event - location, set up times, opening times, directions - everythingyou could possibly need to know. Know how long it will take you to travel to theevent and don't forget to account for delays such as traffic, roadworks etc. Beingorganised and on time will make it much easier (and less stressful!) for you to arriveand focus on setting up without the panic of being behind schedule.

Another key to being prepared is obviously making sure you have everything you needpacked and ready for the big day. Personally, I am a great fan of the checklist. Listsare your friend!

It goes without saying really that the main thing you will need in order to attend anevent are your stock or samples of your work - whether it be physical samples, photos,fabric swatches, you name it! The majority of visitors will not purchase on the day, buthaving a wide selection of display items and samples in varying colour schemes will beinvaluable in making sure your potential customers know what they can expect fromyou. Also, if you are able to show them items or samples in their colour scheme it willbe easier for them to imagine the finished products and remember you when it comesto ordering or booking services.

Aside from the obvious things, there are many smaller necessities that often getoverlooked! Here are my exhibition items: -

1. Marketing Materials - think business cards, brochures, leaflets, maybe even some goodies with your branding onto give out and make sure people remember you (we will come back to this later!)

2. A notebook or order book, order forms (or whatever method of recording customer details you use!), a calculatorand a pen. Or several pens… Just in case (although if you are anything like me a whole pencil case full would bemore appropriate!).

3. Refreshments! Personally, I HATE to leave my stall unattended at any point during an event - although it issometimes unavoidable, obviously! - but having plenty of water/snacks to keep you going throughout the dayis a very sensible idea!

4. CHANGE! If you are planning on selling physical items during the day or taking cash deposits it is ALWAYS usefulto have change (and lots of it!). As I mentioned earlier, the majority of couples in attendance will be browsing forideas rather than buying or booking but it is always worth considering. You may even want to consideralternative methods for taking deposits other than cash - a PayPal option or a card reader of some sort may bethe best option for this particular type of event.

Wedding Fairs - A guide to ExhibitingBy Kirsty Dimond K.D Jewellery

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5. Dress for Comfort! As much as we hate to admit it, appearance and first impressions ARE important to potentialcustomers but, believe it or not, it is indeed possible to look like a smart and professional business owner at anevent WHILST still being comfortable! Those fabulous heels - you know, the ones that scream 'I am ready to takeover the world with my small business' - may look amazing I guarantee you your feet will not thank you forwearing them one little bit…

When you exhibit at an event try and think of your exhibition space as your 'shop' for the day. Are you limited to justusing a table or are you able to use the 'area' however you wish? Can you use freestanding banners or hanging signs thatwill grab people's attention? Your space needs to represent you and your brand, as well as really 'showing off' your waresor services to potential customers. Really consider your display, plan ahead and even practice it at home!

● Using varying heights to display physical wares is usually a great way to catch peoples eye so perhaps think aboutusing boxes, stands or even shelving units to create different levels within your display. If your wares are moredifficult to display this way, wedding stationary or photography perhaps, then consider the use of display boardsto create height instead.

● Make sure you have the appropriate signage - a banner featuring your brand and business details is a great wayto let people know who you are right from the start.

● Clear pricing is a must! Even if your prices depending on the individual requirements of a client, at least have acomprehensive set of 'guide prices' as a starting point!

● Think pretty… A nice tablecloth or a fabric which matches your brand will look both smart and professional andadd to the overall look of your space.

In my earlier article, you may remember that I talked a lot about finding out HOW an event is being advertised in orderto gauge the potential footfall BUT don't feel that you have to rely solely on the organisers to get the word out - do ityourself! Once you've booked in to an event, self-promotion becomes a great tool. Use your own website, blog or socialmedia accounts to advertise both the event itself and the fact that you will be there with your wares. You may alsoconsider inviting your own current or perspective clients to the event personally (providing they are local of course!).Weddings are BIG events to organise, you may already be providing a service for someone but, in the grand scheme ofthings, it's just a small part of their day! There are so many things for future Brides and Grooms to consider, perhaps theywould appreciate one of their suppliers going that extra mile and putting them in touch with a whole range of othersuppliers that could then help with the other aspects of their planning? Now that's great customer service…

As I mentioned above, make sure you find out beforehand what time you areallowed to arrive to set up your exhibit. Try not to turn up earlier than youare supposed to (otherwise you risk being in the way of the organisers!) buttry and arrive as early as you are allowed to in order to give yourself plenty oftime. If you have been practising your display at home, then you should alsohave a rough idea of how long it takes you to set up. This will allow you toensure you have plenty of time to set up without getting flustered about howfast the time is going by and will, hopefully, allow you some extra time for lastminute adjustments or improvements.

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Attending events, believe it or not, is not just about sales. It's about taking your business out in to the world andconnecting with people, whether they be customers or other business owners. Use each event as an opportunity to getout into the local community and make friends! You can never have enough friends, especially when being self-employedis sometimes a lonely business. Get to know other suppliers in your area and start to build a business-relationship withthem - you can get feedback from others within the industry, support from people who understand exactly what you aregoing through as a small business owner and maybe even a recommendation or two!

Obviously, the main thing you will be doing at any event, be it a Wedding Fair or otherwise, is dealing with people. Thisis where a combination of presentation and communication is KEY. You could have the most gorgeous items in the wholeplace, displayed to perfection, at the most fantastic of prices BUT if you are hiding away being shy, or ignoring all thepotential business strolling past you, then no one - and I mean NO ONE - will give you the time of day. Communicationis a MUST! Here are some Top Tips for engaging with potential customers…

● Be approachable! Smile and greet the people walking by, make them want to stop and communicate with you.Some couples may be nervous, particularly if it's the first event they've attended, engage them in politeconversation or ask them questions about their plans or ideas for their big day - this may help them to feel morerelaxed.

● Be informative NOT 'salesy'. Don't go for the hard sell. This will more than likely come across as intimidatingand actually put people off of connecting with you and your business, especially if they are at the very beginningof their planning and are still considering their options. Instead, talk to them about their plans! Find out whattheir ideas are and, if you feel that you can cater to what they want, make (gentle) suggestions as to how youthink you could help. Whilst it is possible to offer ideas and advice without pushing for a sale, I would stillrecommend offering customers some of your all-important marketing materials at some point during theinteraction. Whether it be a business card, a leaflet or even a sample of some kind, they will have something tocarry around with them that will then remind them of you and your business! Which also leads me to my nextpoint…

● Be memorable! Depending on what your product or service is, perhaps you could engage couples in an activity,something short but fun that would make you stand out from the crowd. A game perhaps? Or a miniwedding-themed quiz maybe? Or even have some free samples, or special offers in place for the day?

● Don't expect too much! Don't be disheartened if you don't get any sales or bookings during the event itself. AsI said earlier, many of the people attending these events are there to browse and get ideas. Others may attendwith friends and so will need to discuss options with their partners after the event before committing to anybookings or purchases. Think of these events as a marketingopportunity - a chance to get your services 'out there' as anoption - and any bookings that come after the event will be abonus.

● Special Offers. These are great BUT instead of trying to forcesales with a harsh 'Today Only' special offer why not try anextended special offer. Perhaps the offer could apply to thosewho book within 48 hours of the event rather than right thereand then? Potential customers will appreciate the opportunityto fully consider their options before having to commit to aservice. Their appreciation may even be what draws themback to your business when it comes to booking…

● The last tip I'd like to give is actually quite an important one so,I think it deserves its own heading…

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In researching for this article, I asked a number of Brides to share with me their experiences, good and bad, of fairs andevents they had attended. I was incredibly shocked at one of the negative points that was raised and even more surprisedat the amount of ladies that all had this negative point in common! Unfortunately, it would seem that some brides hadthe rather unpleasant experience of being made to feel like they were unable to afford some of the services on offerdepending on their current plans, or even on their appearance. One lady I spoke to, after heading to the fair straightfrom work, felt like she was 'looked up and down' before being told that the seller didn't have anything suitable for herprice range!! Can you even believe it?! And, rather disturbingly, this was not the only time I received this feedback duringmy research! So please, please, PLEASE don't judge! Do NOT presume to 'know' your customer before they evenapproach you and definitely don't rely on a first impression to determine what YOU think would be a reasonablesuggestion or offer for a customer. Instead, let THEM tell YOU their ideas and their plans, and even their budget beforeyou decide what you have to offer them. You may miss out on a diamond of a customer if you don't…

So, we've covered everything so far from promotion and preparation to setting up and engaging with all those lovelypeople… What else?

Firstly, breathe! Attending events is always great for business but, as fun as they are, they are also tiring, hectic andsometimes a little bit stressful! So yes, definitely take a breather! After this however there are several things you need todo to 'finish up'!

● Contact any clients who were kind enough to share their information with you. Perhaps they wanted somefurther info on your products or a quote confirmed in writing? Maybe you offered couples to sign up for yourmailing list during the event? Whatever the reason, make contact within a reasonable time frame (I'd say 48 hoursat the most) and maintain that friendly and helpful persona that they met at the fair!

● Connect with any other local businesses/suppliers etc. that you met at the event. Personally, I like to do this byfinding and following them on social media or by checking out their websites and blogs. Like I said, it's alwaysgood to have friends! And finally;

● Determine whether or not this was a good event for you. This, of course, will not just be based on sales. Youneed to consider how well your marketing ideas were received, whether your displays worked in bringing peopleto your stall and whether there was anything you feel you could change/improve for next time.

Like anything in business, there is a learning curve. The more you build your business and the more events you attendthe better you will understand your clients and how best to sell to them. Keep at it! Never stop learning and give up.

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From Charms by Joanna who has wonThe 2016 Wedding Industry Expert Awards


http://artiecraftie.co.uk/our-blog.htmlRead all about it on the Artie Craftie Blog

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Lynn from Posh Bird Creations has won 2nd Place in

the UK Gift Basket Awards.

“This cheeky little chap achieved a 2nd place for me inthe UKGBA monthly awards for unusual basket...…although in our industry we use the term 'basket' theactual container can be anything you feel works for theoccasion or theme. I love to create unusual gift 'baskets'and I always love a challenge”


from Paperama has a display at Linlithgow

Burgh Halls, West Lothian until the end of June


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Loopy's Place has a newonline class now available

,combining embroidery andpatchwork.Suitable for beginners



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Moroccan Style Chickpea and Squash Stew (Gluten and Dairy Free)

Oil for frying100g (4oz) onion, finely chopped2 tsp ground cumin1 tsp ground cinnamon340g (12oz) butternut squash, diced30g (1oz) chestnut mushroom, diced300ml (10.5fl oz) vegetable stock¼ tsp chilli powder1 tbsp ground coriander210g (7.5oz) tinned chickpeas,drained (reserve liquid - see notes)1 tbsp parsley4 tbsp lemon juice2 tsp cornflour mixed to a paste with3 tsp waterSalt and pepper

1. Fry the onion and mushrooms until softened.2. Add the cumin, cinnamon, chilli, parsley, lemon

and coriander. Fry stirring for one minute.3. Add the chickpeas and stock and simmer, covered

for five minutes.4. Add the squash and simmer, covered for 25 - 30

minutes until the chickpeas and squash are tender.5. Add the cornflour pasta and stir until thickened.

Serve with rice or flatbreads such as pitta, chapattis or naan.

Chickpeas are a healthy low GI and high fibre food. They are rich in both soluble and insoluble fibreand can aid weight loss as this helps to keep you feeling fuller for longer. Chickpeas are also knownas garbanzo beans and are commonly made in the popular dip, hummus. They can also be groundto create gram flour, a common ingredient in Indian, Pakistani, Nepali and Bangladeshi cooking.Chickpeas are a good non - animal source of protein and iron as well as being low in saturated fats.This common legume contains saponins, which may help to lower the risk of developing breastcancer and osteoporosis.

As well as being delicious and nutritious, tinned chickpeas have another surprising use, the liquidfrom the tins can be saved and used as a replacement for eggs in cooking. This liquid, known asaquafaba can be used in all types of dishes including baking and can even be whipped to createegg free meringues. Roughly 3tbsps of aquafaba equals one egg and it will last for several days ifstored covered in the fridge, or can be frozen for longer storage. Freezing the aquafaba in 1 tbspportions using ice cube trays makes it easy to only defrost what you need later. The liquid found intinned beans can also be used in the same way. For more information regarding aquafaba visitwww.aquafaba.com.

By Claire PearcyElderberry Artswww.facebook.com/Elderberryarts

Look our for more delicious recipes from Claire in future issues

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The CRAFTfest Best of British Event for UK residentstaking place in June is also booking NOW

MummaMakesElegantly SweetHandmade by KikiJTurnescfaeries

Send in your:Events, Achievements, News, Fabulous customer reviews, product imagesfor our March Issue!

Also, for budding writers we are now accepting craft and business relatedarticles.

Email us at: [email protected]

Full Guild Membership means that you are featured forFREE in our directory listings.

Sponsored byThe Professional Crafters Guild

Helenka White JewelleryGlass TideNCFelt SuppliesEspecially Stitches 4U

All Things Blankets & More

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Jewellery Designers

A.R.P JewelleryA.R.P Jewellery is a local company based in Devon who sells and makesjewellery from Stirling Silver, Gold and Palladium. We use many differenttypes of jewels such as Cubic Zirconia and Swarovski Crystal.


Adien CraftsHand made Jewellery featuring Semi Precious Gemstones


Anne Pearson DesignsKnotwork jewellery.


Artisan Designs UKHandcrafted jewellery and gifts creating using mostly kiln fused glass andother quality materials. Award winning designer who works closely with thefashion and animals rescue worlds.


Bernadine's CreationsGorgeous beaded jewellery, watches and gifts. Exclusively designed andcreated by experienced jewellery maker.


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Jewellery Designers

Crystal Lady Designs(Mystic Earth Healing Jewellery)Healing gemstone jewellery to help you through life.


Elegance by SueHandmade, bespoke jewellery.


Fire-drakeHand made silver, gold filled and gold jewellery.


Fire Faerie DesignsMixed media jewellery designer maker. I use the mediums of clay and glassto make exclusive pieces of jewellery art.


Glass TideIndividually Designed Hand Made Sea Glass jewellery

Handmade by Kiki JI make ooak jewellery and accessories with a wide variety of supplies andteqniques and use a lot of artisan beads in my designs. I also make and sellmy own supplies including beads headpins clasps.


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Jewellery Designers

Handmade With Love DesignsHandstamped personalised jewellery and gifts


Helenka White DesignI design one-of-a-kind jewellery with various materials including semi-precious stones and polymer clay. I also create animal sculptures.


Jewellery My DesignSterling silver, copper, niobium and gold-filled chainmaille jewellery.


K.D JewelleryHandmade Macrame Jewellery and Accessories.


Lucy Bradshaw JewelleryDesign & make handmade sterling silver jewellery with a twist of colour.


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Jewellery Designers

Lynns Gem CreationsLynnsGemCreations is UK based and specialises in Gemstones andVenetian Murano jewellery. It incorporates LynnsBridalCreations whichcaters solely for wedding jewellery.


Moshi BeadsHand Crafted Jewellery


Sally Davies SilverTraditionally handcrafted sterling silver jewellery.


Semi Precious JensHandmade semi precious gemstone jewellery & accessories.


Silver SensationsHigh quality affordable handmade unique & limited edition designerjewellery using genuine Sterling Silver, Semi Precious Gemstones, Pearls &Swarovski Crystals.


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Polymer Craft Designers

Ace CharactersPersonalised cake toppers for any celebration. As individual as you are.


Cotswold CharactersUnique, high quality hand sculpted models made in polymer clay.


Tiny Treasures KeepsakesHand stamped silver keepsake jewellery.


Vicky Hibberd SilversmithHandcrafted Silver jewellery


Jewellery Designers

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Creative MemoriesFramed prints, jewellery.


Paperama100% Hand-Cut Paper Art Keepsakes.


Super CanvasBespoke Canvas and Framed Prints.


Word Art DesignsI personally design pictures into word art.


Model Makers

TUUSCreate & produce miniature models of Cathedrals,churches

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Mixed Craft Designers

Alfie Moon DesignsAlfie Moon Designs - Design and make character led, themed and craftbased gifts - bags, t-shirts, mugs, miniatures, clocks, badges, wall art andmore. All gifts can be customised and personalised.


All Things Blankets & MoreWe design and individually hand make a range of cat beds, crates and toysand cat themed gifts.


And Sew It SeemsSewing and embroidered gifts.


AnjiKraftsCrochet, fabrics, bead & paper crafting.


Art of FunDifferent types of crafts from painting to badge making, to knitting tolooming and a lot more made by arthritic hands, 10% of all items sold goesto arthritis research uk


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Mixed Craft Designers

Charms by JoannaFavours and Gifts.


cherishthememory.co.ukUnique Gifts & Cards for all occasions.


ColaCreationsHand crafted gifts and homeware.


EspeciallyStitched4UBespoke Embroidery of messages, patterns or even drawings that yourchild has made can be scanned onto machine to be converted to anembroidery design, which will be stitched onto most fabrics.


Feel Good CraftsMarket place helping and supporting people with chronic conditions sellhandmade craft products


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Mixed Craft Designers

Handmade by KarenKeyrings, bag charms, brooches, decorations and wall hangings made fromquality felt, tweed, tartan and other fabrics all by hand.


iCandy BouquetsUnique confectionery creations, including chocolate and sweet bouquetsand edible gifts.


Immortal CraftsDecorated candles, plaques and wood items using mixed media, pencilportraiture.


Loz's Crafty CornerPersonalised keyrings and jewellery.


Ooh! I Like ThatIndividual items made from linens & cotton fabric and wool.


Material GirlFabric bags, cushions, home decor plus

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Mixed Craft Designers

Posh Bird CreationsUnique Quality Gift Baskets.


SewdivinedesignsSpecialising in personalised cushions and bags, newbie at CE certified softtoys and dolls.


Simply Little SoapsSoy Wax Jar Candles/Melts/Clay Jar Toppers/ Soap/ Photography.


SJA CraftyCakesHand created gifts: nappy & towel cakes; book art; cards; bags & purses;children's knitwear etc.


Spa-Central LtdSoy Wax Jar Candles/Melts/Clay Jar Toppers/ Soap/ Photography.


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Mixed Craft Designers

Spratt's Prints & CraftsSpratt's Prints & Crafts lovingly design and create a range of personalised prints (making ittotally unique to them), a selection of artwork and a range of hand-created gifts. Sarahcan also be asked to work on something you have in mind.


T2KreationsBespoke gifts, personalised products and homeware.


TurnescfaeriesFlower faerie doll, doors, gardens, wreaths, etc

Uniquely Your DesignsCrocheted Accessories for Person and Home & Patterns, Needle felted Gifts,Word Art,Felted Soaps, Handmade Journal/notebooks.


Soft Sculpture Designers

ArctophiliaArtist and designer of award winning collectable mohair bears...


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Candle Designers

Made By SuziI specialise in making scented candles in vintage teacups and coffee cups.


Sweet Aroma'sCustomisable Handmade Soy Wax candles and other aromatic products.


Paper Crafts Designers

Card TherapyHandmade-cards and papercraft art.


Glitz and GrammarCreating handmade cards & gifts including clocks, canvasses & photo frames,amongst others. Every item is unique - no 2 the same. Specialising in bespokeitems. Handmade with you in mind!


Handmade By HelenHandmade cards and paper craft items.


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Card Designers

Pig Corner CardsHandmade cards, pictures and gifts in cross stitch which can bepersonalised to you individual requirements.


Pink FountainHandmade Greeting Cards


The Crafty ArtisanBespoke hand crafted greetings cards for all occasions


Soap Designers

Daisy Chain GiftsGift shop featuring handmade soaps, bath products, floral arrangements,greeting cards, knitwear and homewares.


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Gifts & Accessories Designers

Arabella's AtticArabella's Attic design and hand craft vintage inspired accessories and gifts such as bags,purses, hair accessories, kilt pins and pocket mirrors.


Enchanted Elegance by SueHandmade, bespoke jewellery.


Gert Lush DesignsWirework & Fused Glass Jewellery, Bags, Fabric Creations & Artwork.


Handmade by KarenKeyrings, bag charms, brooches, decorations and wall hangings made fromquality felt, tweed, tartan and other fabrics all by hand.


Silver SensationsHigh quality affordable handmade unique & limited edition designer jewellery usinggenuine Sterling Silver, Semi Precious Gemstones, Pearls & Swarovski Crystals.


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ArctophiliaArtist and designer of award winning collectable mohair bears...


Beadie Eyed EdieTextile Artist & Designer Maker


Brig's CraftsFabric hand-made goods for the home and giftware.


Carolee CraftsVintage style gifts and cards.


Textiles Designers

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Textiles Designers

Gingham GloryHandmade cushions and other items using vintage embroidery and fabrics


Honey B'sFamily run business manufacturing our own products here in the UK Ouritems are British Made.


Its the FoxesHandcrafted products for home and family.


Loopy's PlaceTraditional Handicrafts, making gifts for home and family.


Mumma MakesI make bags and purses and can embroider onto them.


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Textiles Designers

Natalie Tiltman Textile ArtHand stitched cards, art and gifts.


Rag Rug TextilesRag rugging: designer, commissions & Kits, embroidery:designer, teacher &stockist.


The Old ButtonPatchwork, applique, sewing.


Tweedie BeastiesHarris Tweed animal doorstops.


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Paper Crafts Designers

Pig Corner CardsHandmade cards, pictures and gifts in cross stitch which can bepersonalised to you individual requirements.


ScrapbookerryScrapbooking, Paper Crafts, Wedding Stationery.


Scrumptious DesignHandmade cards, stationery and gifts.


Simply UniqueAltered art, memory albums, and home décor items.


The Codicote CrafterCards, Keepsake Boxes, Wall Hangings and do much more!


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Paper Crafts Designers

The ScrapbookerProfessional digital and paper scrapbooker, paper artist and photographer.


Tmd-craftsHandmade cards, invitations, place cards & all Wedding Stationery ItemsHandmade knitted clothing, goods & photography props.


Wood Crafts Designers

Blackberry Wedding DesignsPersonalised wooden wedding horseshoes,hearts, spoons, rolling pins etc.


Fran's CraftsHand Decorated Clocks, Decorated Wooden Shapes and Handmade Cards.


The Rustic CarpenterPersonalised handmade wooden crates & signs.


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Millinery Designers

Custom Hair AccessoriesOne-off design millinery, bridal hair accessories and jewellery. All ourcollection are totally handmade including hat blocking.


Lojango DesignStunning, practical, affordable hats along with unusual hair accessories andbrooches. Lojango Design combines eye catching designs with superbcraftsmanship resulting in wearable items you will treasure for ever.


Decor Designers

From The Heart CreationsHand made creations of Garlands, Wreaths, Candle Jars, Bunting & more!


Gifts UniqueFrames and plaques to hang in your home.


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Needle Felting Designers

SheepyCreationsMemories in Felt!! Ooak felt products including pet portraits, pictures, bagscushions, scarves, etc.


The Happy EweNeedle felted items, animals, decorations and more.


Online Marketplaces

Feel Good CraftsMarket place helping and supporting people with chronic conditions sellhandmade craft products


NCFeltSuppliesSupplier of die cut felt shapes and felt craft products.


WowThankYouWowThankYou is well established online marketplace supporting creativemakers and designers based in UK.


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Crochet & Knitting Designers

JellyPoppyBunnies 'n' Blankets, Hats 'n' slippers, shawls, throws, gloves.


Pitter Patter Tiny Feet Knitting EmporiumSpecialised, bespoke and designer knits for babies and children.


Tmd-craftsHandmade cards, invitations, place cards & all Wedding Stationery ItemsHandmade knitted clothing, goods & photography props.


Watercolours and LaceHand painted designer yarns in luxury natural fibres, knitting and crochetdesigns and kits, threads for embroidery and lacemaking, project bags,beaded stitch markers.


Wrapped In ColourHand-knitted shawls, scarves, cowls, hats and gloves.


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Beading Supplies

Somerset BeadsUK based bead suppliers, we supply a wide range of jewellery makingsupplies and beads for jewellery making, crafting and other bead projects,including semi precious gemstone beads, glass beads


Paper Craft Suppliers

Teri B Fantasy CraftsInaddition to stocking mainstream crafting supplies, Teri B Fantasy Crafts'focus is around the themes of Gothic, Steampunk and Fantasy. We arealways looking for ideas for 'different' types of crafting products, for ourunique customers.www.fantasycrafts.co.ukhttp://www.facebook.com/TeriBFantasyCraftshttps://twitter.com/TeriBcrafts

Food Crafts

Elegantly SweetMakers of bespoke sweet favours and gifts.


Glass & Lampwork Designers

GlasspirationsCreating Bespoke Fused Glass Items for the Home and as Unique Gifts.


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