Hello, I hope you’re well. Today I’m bringing you another ‘A chat with…’ post and I’m delighting to be featuring the ladies behind The New Craft House. At the end of last year The New Craft House went from powerhouse bloggers to selling their own craft kits – all with the motto of ‘old crafts for a new generation’. I had a go at making their knicker kit at the end of February, with great success, and since then they’ve added two more kits to their range. Here, Hannah and Rosie talk about how they work together, working with big brands and their creative process.
I’m delighted to have Hannah and Rosie here on my blog today; so sit back, put your feet up and let’s have a chat with them about The New Craft House and how they run their creative business…
Hey Hannah and Rosie, it’s so great to have you here. Let’s kick things off by a little introduction to who you are…
Hi! We’re the two faces behind The New Craft House. We’ve been friends since school and it was on a trip to Berlin 3 years ago that we came up with the idea of a craft blog. We were crafting a lot and wanted somewhere to share what we were making with the world. We can’t believe how much our little blog has grown. We’re now working on it full time running workshops and selling our craft kits from our office on the canal by Kings Cross.
For anyone who hasn’t heard of The New Craft House, how would you describe the brand and products?
Our motto is ‘old crafts for the new generation’ and we really try and bring that idea into all of the projects we complete. Our brand and everything we do is focused on this idea, traditional crafting techniques used in more modern and stylish ways. Our craft kits are designed to help people try out new crafts and learn, while making something they actually want. We basically just want everyone to craft!
As a duo, how do you go about making a The New Craft House ‘work’? Do you always get on, how do you make decisions together? Can you share which skills you both bring and how they differ?
Our craft kits are designed to help people try out new crafts and learn, while making something they actually want.
We realised last week that we have been friends for 11 years now and we know each other so well, we’re quite in sync in making decisions. If we get to a point where we are like ‘arghhh’ at work, we play ping pong and have a cup of tea. Rosie worked in marketing for a couple of years while I was doing my MA, so she takes the lead with that. I sort out our accounts and most other things are split quite equally. When it comes to projects and making samples, we take on the ones in our best crafts. I’ll do the quilting projects and Rosie does the knitting. We’ve not strictly set out these divisions but they have naturally worked out. Perhaps in the future we will need to divide things more clearly but it is working well so far.
We’ve seen you work with some great brands (Bestival, Cath Kidston and Liberty to name but a few), how have you gone about building relationships with those names and do you have any upcoming collaborations you can share with us?
We’ve been really lucky and some of our favourite brands have approached us to collaborate. We’ve also pitched some ideas and this is something that we want to do more this year. It’s a lot of fun to work with a bigger brand with a bigger budget and we both love writing out workshop pitches. We’re hoping to return to some festivals this year and tie-dye up a storm.
You’ve just added a further two products to your range – can you share with us the creative process in deciding products and seeing them through from design to launch?
We brainstorm a lot of ideas and settle on something that gets both of us excited. This is the fun part and then we have to look into whether it is actually a practical kit to make. We look at costings and supplier availability, as we are trying to source as much as possible in the UK, this is a deciding factor for us too. Once we have all that sorted and we’ve decided to go ahead, we can return to some more of the creative bits – writing the tutorial, picking the fabric prints, working on the illustrations and packaging.
What’s the key to a happy life for you both?
We’re both so grateful that we’re able to do this full-time now. Both of us studied non-creative subjects at uni and couldn’t see ourselves getting back on to a creative path, so we’re so happy that we have forged out this little business. Basically, being creative is the key to a happy life for us!
To anyone reading this and thinking about starting a business this year, what’s the one piece of advice you’d offer them?
Speak to as many people as possible and test your idea before jumping right in. We’ve learnt a lot along the way and some things we think could have been avoided if we had planned a bit more ahead. Running your own business (especially at the start) is so much work and we’re super lucky that there are two of us to split everything up. Our top piece of advice is find a friend who has the same vision as you!
Running your own business (especially at the start) is so much work and we’re super lucky that there are two of us to split everything up. Our top piece of advice is find a friend who has the same vision as you!
You’re often at craft shows, blogging, instagramming etc; can you share some of your favourite blog reads and makers?
And finally, who would you both invite to your famous person dinner party (dead or alive)?
We’d sit at each end of our long table and invite William Morris, the mysterious Liberty designer who has initialled lots of prints but no one knows who they are, May Morris, Kaffe Fassett and a whole load of our fave bloggers.
A big thank you to Hannah and Rosie for their time today; I’ve learnt a lot – and may have had to Google May Morris and Kaffe Fassett! I’ve had a go at their knicker making kit and had great success, so I highly recommend their range.
The New Craft House have also offered a special discount to readers of This Little Space of Mine. Add the code LITTLESPACE when ordering one of their craft kits for free UK delivery – valid until the end of March 2016. Pop over to their shop.
If you fancy catching a previous ‘A chat with…’ here are a few links for you –
Next month I’ll be talking to someone who recently launched a brand new online shop, so watch this space. Don’t forget you can also follow me on Bloglovin’ so you never miss a post.
I hope your Monday is going well and thanks so much for popping over.