Love craft? Love sewing? Love vintage and retro inspired homewares? At Crabtree Lane we're as passionate about inspiring products as you are. Whether it's quirky craft supplies to tantalise your creative taste buds, beautiful haberdashery for your sewing box or carefully chosen vintage style home accessories - we only give shelf space to those products that make our hearts flutter.
Whether you're a home crafter, handmade craft business, artist, teacher, student, DIY bride, home decorator, event organiser or party planner you're sure to find something from our quality selection of craft materials, wedding & party supplies and home decor.
The story so far...
Crabtree Lane began life as a sewing hobby back in 2010, mainly as a way for me to justify my growing fabric addiction! I've always had a passion for quirky surface patterns and my background is in 3D design. I picked up a basic second hand sewing machine and began making accessories for my own home from these beautiful materials.
My (long suffering) partner suggested I had a go at selling a few things to see if there might be a market for what I was doing. I decided to take the plunge and set up my own website as well as taking part in local craft markets and gift fairs.
I cannot describe how exciting it was when I made my first sale! That gave me the confidence to start designing and making more products with my own twist. I concentrated on making the practical items that I wanted for my own home such as door stops and draught excluders - using fabrics, patterns and colour schemes that appealed to me. I began to take on bespoke commssions for friends, family and customers – and expanded the range of products to include personal accessories such as gadget covers, based on demand. I loved being able to respond to client requests and create or customise products that brought their ideas to life.
From hobby to business...
My product range and sales grew steadily and I was able to turn my hobby into my full-time ‘job’ in April 2011. The business moved from the spare bedroom into a fancy-pants 'shed' in the back garden. In addition to having my own website and online shop – I also started selling through a number of other carefully selected online channels, such as Etsy, Folksy, and Pets Pyjamas.
Milly joins the team....
Our golden Cocker Spaniel joined the team and settled into life underneath the cutting table quite happily! She is more of a 'sleeping partner' than an active team member.
Escaping from the back garden…
The shed started to burst at the seams pretty quickly, so the business moved out of the back garden and up the road into workshop premises at the Stoke Prior Canalside Craft Centre in August 2012 – quadrupling work space. And providing an endless of supply of latte and cake from the cafe on site - what a great move!
From hand-made to hand-picked...
Having more space got me thinking about what else I could be doing - and the answer seemed obvious - supplying fabulous sewing and craft materials and accessories to people just like me with a passion for making things.
A fabulous excuse to indulge my shopping habit presented itself and Crabtree Lane began stocking hand-picked items sourced from British or ethical producers (where possible). Everything from pins and needles to ric rac and ribbon are now available on the website. Plenty of things to tickle the creative taste buds!
A room with a loo...
Well, the business outgrew the space again. We moved 100 yards away to a bigger unit at the same Canalside Craft Centre (so the cake is still on tap) and expanded the range of craft materials, sewing boxes, sewing equipment, craft storage, decoration blanks, craft kits and gorgeous haberdashery available. Particularly exciting was the added convenience (literally) of having our own loo!
The workshop is now home to over 1,300 product lines plus all of the haberdashery, sewing supplies and equipment needed to fulfil the handmade orders we receive each week.
From sole trader to Limited Company...
In February 2014, Crabtree Lane became a proper grown up - and changed from sole trader status to company limited by guarantee. We were very excited to become company number 08887516.
Craft supplies take over...
For the first time, sales of Crabtree Lane craft supplies over took sales of Crabtree Lane handmade originals in July 2014. To meet the rising demand for our hand-picked collections of decoration blanks, mini craft items, craft basics, haberdashery supplies and wedding & party supplies - we had to close our bespoke order book.
Crabtree Lane became one of the top 250 UK sellers (based on number of sales) on Etsy in November 2015 - the world's most vibrant market place for hand-made. Our collection of craft supplies, craft tools, sewing accessories, decoration blanks, ribbons & trims and craft storage has really taken off and we're delighted to have reached this milestone in our growth. Watch out top 100 - we're coming for you! You can browse our Etsy store here.
In the news...
Crabtree Lane has had excellent product features and coverage in publications such as Vogue, Craft Seller, Sewing World, Simply Knitting and Frankly Magazine. This has included designing and authoring 'Make Your Own' projects which have been featured in Sewing World - all of our coverage can be seen in the News section.
Claire Mills - Director, craft addict & owner
Crabtree Lane Ltd
E. [email protected]