I have always been an avid maker of crafts. At an early age my mother thought I should be a Blue Peter presenter (before the days when they were expected to bungee jump and skydive!) I am also a mum of two beautiful girls, Charlie and Hannah and I had a huge amount of fun during their childhood making all sorts of craft things with them, and for them.
My day job, which I love, is being a writer and designer of non-fiction books for children. Over the past few years I have thoroughly enjoyed writing books about subjects varying from dance to fishing – and almost everything in between. I absolutely love my work. In the last few years I have been lucky enough to combine my passion for creating crafts with my career as a designer and writer. In 2012 I had six children’s craft books published by Franklin Watts (Have fun with art and crafts), a further six were published in 2014 (I Love Craft) and a new series called Outdoor Crafts in 2015.
Whilst writing these books I noticed that many of the children I come into contact with are really keen to learn to knit and sew but their parents don’t always have the skills to help them. Hand knitting and sewing are right ‘on trend’ at the moment but it is hard to learn if you are coming from a standing start. So when a friend of mine suggested that I should make craft kits I thought I would try to fill the skills gap – and our very first craft kits ‘Pocket Pets’ were born! My girls, Charlie and Hannah, have been so supportive of my idea that when we decided to find a new name for the brand it seemed logical to call it charlie & hannah. We want our brand to represent our values and by calling it that we will always be reminded to keep true to our ideals.
I have been so lucky to have their expertise in social media marketing and web design to help me realise the brand and we have had some great fun along the way.
The Cotswolds were once famous for their superb wool. As a small tribute to the history of the area we have sourced local, high quality wool to use in our ‘Little woolly lamb’ kit. The wool we are using in this knitting kit comes from the beautiful flock of rare breed Portland Sheep kept at Armscote Manor on the edge of the Cotswolds.
Our mum has always had fantastic ideas but not always had the time to put them into practice. When we were younger we loved creating things together and with mum’s background as a designer and craft book writer we always knew she could create some fantastic kits. So when she played with the idea of starting charlie & hannah we jumped straight on board.
One of the nicest things about charlie & hannah is that it is truly collaborative and as a family we all bring different skills to the table. Mum has designed and meticulously developed these fantastic craft kits, so we wanted to make sure that the world would get to see them. We quickly got on to developing the website, learning all about search engine optimization and social media (scary stuff) as well as helping with the day to day manufacturing. We’ve really enjoyed working with each other and we have learnt a lot in the process.
Charlie & Hannah x
Can I say something too?
Being the charlie & hannah dog is bonkers but great fun. The modeling can be soooooooo exhausting though.