Meet the Maker: Crafters Companion Founder Papercrafter Sara Davies
Seeing as I’m going about the different Hobbycraft stores this weekend I thought it would be nice if I shared a little about myself, so you can get to know me and how I started out in the craft industry. So hi, I’m Sara and I’m the founder of Crafter’s Companion!
Like many other crafters, I was surrounded with different crafts from a young age. My Mum (or Mam as we say in the North-East!) did sugarcraft and flower arranging, my Nana sewed, my Gran knitted and crocheted, so crafting was definitely in the genes. I only became aware of cardmaking though when I started work experience whilst at university at a craft company. It intrigued me, so I gave it a go, loved it and got completely hooked!
It was during this time at the craft company that I had my lightbulb moment. I could see lots of cardmakers making absolutely beautiful cards, but then they were having to put them into plain envelopes… I thought that if there was a way to be able to make bespoke envelopes with pretty papers to match the cards that were being made that maybe people would like this, and it would help fill that gap in the market. I worked with my Dad (who’s an engineer) to develop a board that would allow crafters to make different sized envelopes really easily.
The Enveloper… and Crafter’s Companion was born! This was almost 10 years ago now. I remember pitching the idea to a shopping TV channel, asking whether I could go onto a cardmaking show and make an envelope to match the size of the card that the person was creating. It was an instant hit and the poor carpenter (a friend of my Dad’s from our village who had agreed to manufacture the boards for me) was having to work around the clock to keep up with demand. When it got too much for him to cope with we changed the board from MDF to plastic.
Those early days were crazy times. I was still at university, so I converted a corner of my bedroom into an office. I used to send the orders over to my Mam and sister (who was still at school at the time) and then they used to pack the orders and get them out for me. My best friend’s Mam then came on board and helped to pack the orders when it got busier. I enlisted the help of some of my uni friends too… paying them with booze and takeaways early on as I was just a poor student!
Fast forward a couple of years and my then boyfriend became my husband, and he eventually took over the running of the business from me… so technically you could say that he’s now my boss! He leaves me to come up with the ideas (reining me in when I get carried away!) and ensures everything runs smoothly.
Almost two years ago our family of two became a family of three when Oliver arrived. Becoming a Mam has given me a completely different outlook on life and I’ve been in the very fortunate position where I can choose to work when I want.
As a complete workaholic and also someone who likes to feel like they’re in full control I was pleasantly surprised at how easily I stepped away from various areas of the business. Not wanting to sound really cheesy, but that’s largely thanks to my amazing team. I feel completely safe knowing that when I’m spending quality time with Oliver I don’t need to worry about what’s going on in the office as they’ll all have a complete handle on things.
Earlier this year I was approached by the folks at Hobbycraft who asked me to develop a range of my personal taste that they could put in store. I’ve spent months working on this, getting input from Leann (our Creative Development Manager) and our product development team, and I have to say I’m thrilled with the result!
I’m launching with two different collections, not just the one… Butterfly Lullaby and Festive Wonder. Each collection contains paper pads, embossing folders, metal dies, stamps and 3D toppers, so whether you want to create a really quick card that will take you just a few minutes or spend an evening working on an elaborate creation there’ll be something for everyone across the range.
When I first started working on the range I asked myself what I used the most… and also what I enjoyed the most when making my own cards, so I used this information to build my core product range. I then looked at different styles and came up with what I thought were timeless designs that wouldn’t date, so that you could use them time and time again – a crafter’s got to get the most out of their stash after all!
It’s these two collections that I’ve launched this week and is the whole reason why I’m visiting four Hobbycraft stores this weekend, so I can’t wait to see what you all think of the range.
If you can’t make any of the demos that are happening this weekend (there are eight in total!) then you can still see crafty makes in video format as I’ve created a number of tutorials. I have shared four different ones here on the Hobbycraft blog and you can find them here, here, here and then one more tomorrow!
I’d love to hear what you think and also see some of your crafty makes, so be sure to comment below or find me on Facebook!