It’s been a whirlwind journey for Crafter’s Companion owner Sara Davies. Sara has developed her business from her university dorm in 2005 into the inspirational County Durham start up success story is has become today with a turnover of £15m and undoubtedly one of Europe's leading manufacturers and suppliers of crafting products.
The family based business employs over 90 staff, its head offices are based in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham but they also have offices in California, USA, from where the American side of the business is conducted.
Prior to their move to Newton Aycliffe into the former Holiways building, the company sold online, through TV channels across the world and independent retailers from an office above Sara’s parents shop in Coundon, a small village in County Durham . The new premises give an opportunity for the company to have a physical presence and provide an opportunity to develop a destination shopping experience focussing on inspiration, enjoyment providing a more engaging customer experience for their clients. The site has themed shopping sections, dedicated demonstration areas and a central hub for workshops and group sessions.
Business Durham supported the business through the planning process during their move to their new headquarters at Aycliffe Business Park and helped them facilitate access to other Durham County Council services such as Digital Durham when issues with broadband arose as well as connecting them to Visit County Durham to assist with promotion of their events. As a newcomer to Aycliffe Business Park, Business Durham also helped the company engage with the Aycliffe Business Park Community forum and network with other businesses and business support organisations firmly embedding them into the community on the park.
John Parnell, Business Durham Business Development Manager (South) said: “Crafters Companion’s move to Aycliffe was part of their plans to take the business to the next level and has already created a number of new jobs. They are a great example of what can be achieved and an inspiration to other start-up businesses.”
Crafter’s Companion founder Sara Davies added: “Whilst I was sad when the business had to leave our first premises in Coundon, the move to Aycliffe Business Park has enabled us to deliver our ambitious plans for growth. We have been made to feel very welcome and Business Durham and the Aycliffe Business Park Community have helped the company develop local links and build relationships with our neighbours.”
Crafter's Companion now export to over 28 European countries, the USA Australia and South Africa worldwide and now generate over £10 million from sales overseas. A fantastic example of how a business can thrive through export.
Find out more about Crafter's Companion here