In Hornchurch, Essex in 1991 a little shop opened called Crafty Arts, supplying discounted art supplies and craft materials for all ages by a husband and wife duo. He was very business minded, she was very creative and so grew Crafty Arts.
The shop provided a wide range of products to a diverse customer base from professional artists to enthusiastic amateurs.
Crafty Arts then moved from Ardleigh Green, Hornchurch to Lakeside Shopping Centre and had a stall in what was called the Pavilion. The Pavilion was known for it's out of the ordinary stores so Crafty Arts fitted right in with its sort after creative products. At that point Crafty Arts was best known in Lakeside for it's range of 3D Decoupage.
Years later Crafty Arts was searching for a more local store, which had a larger premises for a new bespoke on-site framing service for it's customers. They stumbled upon a nice store in the heart of Brentwood, Essex and it had all they required to expand their range.
Over the years as the shop grew the products grew with a larger range of craft supplies from card making and jigsaw puzzles, to mount cutters and sequin art, to sculptors' clay and much, much more.
Crafty Arts Brentwood
A few years after moving to Brentwood there was news of a new shopping centre opening which was being hailed as one of the largest in Europe. It was to be opening in Dartford, Kent and called Bluewater. The centre was looking for luxury and unique stores so Crafty Arts put in an offer not expecting to get very far, but to their surprise Bluewater loved their store and its concept and had previously visited the Lakeside Premises. The offer was accepted! Crafty Arts moved from their Pavilion stall and opened its largest store to date!
While all this was happening, in the background the owners son had grown up and become a proficient website designer. He started the website in 2000 from home on the weekends and due to the sites quick success, moved to the Brentwood stores office full time. Crafty Arts began to grow rapidly and before long craftyarts.co.uk was born.
Crafty Arts Bluewater
In the early days Crafty Arts operated as a multi-site retail premises, but as the online business grew so quickly the need for more storage space became urgent. In October 2009, craftyarts.co.uk moved to it's own premises; a 18,000 square foot warehouse - this became the Crafty Arts Head Office. Over the next year the pragmatic decision was made to close the Brentwood shop and migrate the staff to the expansive warehouse in Romford.
Sadly in 2013 the Bluewater store came to the end of its lease, making Crafty Arts online only. But with the edition of Click & Collect to it's Head Office in Romford, this ensured that customers could collect their orders if they chose to.
Crafty Arts Brooklands Approach
Now over 22 years old, Crafty Arts has grown from strength to strength and E-Commerce Manager Jay has said "My parents have built Crafty Arts from scratch and have built a good reputation. I intend to carry on the development of this service, as all of our customers are important to us.
In the shops we have been fortunate to build relationships with our customers. We want to do the same online so customers can talk to us by phone, email and online chat. We are also happy to take orders online or over the telephone. The great thing about having an online service is that we are able to deliver world wide".
Father and Son
And so the Crafty Arts journey continues!