Yarn Store of the Month continues visiting many of our favourite yarn stores across the world with the beautiful Craft House Magic in Norwich, UK. We spoke to Eleanor Jones-Cossey and discussed the inspiration behind the business, as well as the future of knitting in the UK.
What was the inspiration behind opening Craft House Magic?
I have been making things for quite a few years now. I enjoy sewing, especially making project bags. Back in 2015, I decided to open an Etsy shop and sell some of my creations to help fund my crafting habit. This was when I was working part time as a research scientist. I was inspired by other wonderfully creative, small businesses to increase the size of mine.
How popular is knitting/crochet in the UK?
I think knitting and crochet have really become very popular in the last few years. Online platforms such as Ravelry, Instagram and YouTube have allowed independent designers to flourish. It has allowed us to connect with like-minded people all over the world. It is not only a creative outlet but also a stress reliever and a way to connect with people on social media.
Since opening, how far has the business developed?
I started my shop on Etsy as it was a good platform for selling handmade items. Over time the size of my Etsy shop increased. Then I was able to give up my full time job as a research scientist and focus on my business. Last year, the Etsy shop was popular enough to start my own website and it has gone from there really. I started with project bags and stitch markers, then I began selling hand dyed yarn and knitting patterns, and more recently HiyaHiya products. So it has developed from a part time endeavour to a proper knitting shop.
What is the secret to your success?
When you have an online business, reaching out to customers is so important. I upload a weekly podcast telling people about what I have been making and what I will be selling in the shop. This helps me to connect with people and show my products to their full potential.
How has HiyaHiya helped your business to flourish?
Stocking HiyaHiya needles and accessories has really made my shop a good all-round knitting store as now you can get all the things you need for knitting projects. I am so excited to be able to sell my favourite needles that I have been using for years. I like to stock products in my shop that I love to use, that way I hope other people will love them too.
What do you love most about your line of work?
I find making things for my shop so therapeutic and designing new products is a wonderful creative outlet for me. It is also so rewarding to get lovely messages from customers who are pleased with their orders.
What trends do you see happening in the craft industry in the future?
I see knitting and crochet becoming even more popular in the UK. There are more and more people creating beautiful hand dyed yarns that are hard to resist!
What are your plans for Craft House Magic in the future?
I would like to keep my shop online, but expand it to include even more products, such as fabric and perhaps a haberdashery. I am looking to recruit my husband into the business, although I would like to keep the business small.