by Janice Limbaugh
Create and Craft, a 24-hour crafts TV channel based in the United Kingdom, is expanding its presence into the U.S. craft shopping and education market with a new office at Calder Plaza Center and new daily broadcast options.
Create and Craft will begin broadcasting nationally into approximately 40 million homes in the United States on December 29,offering a variety of products and established brands specializing in craft, sewing, quilting, knitting, and niche creative arts. Programming can be found on Direct TV channels 85 and 222, along with dish Network channel 221 and online at www.createandcraft.com.
A company spokesperson says that the craft market in the U.S. is the largest in the world! Grand Rapids is a natural fit for thecompany because of the annual AQS Quilt Week convention that attracts an estimated 10,000 people. The entrepreneurial West Michigan economy is another deciding factor to be based here.
“We’re excited to be based in Grand Rapids, with its strong business culture, talented workforce, vibrant arts community, and convenient travel location from the home offices,” says Clive Briscoe, Create and Craft’s U.S. project leader.
The company also recently announced a partnership with Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores, which will allow it to integrate its market presence in the U.S. “This partnership with Create and Craft provides an incredible opportunity to deliver exclusive product, projects and promotions to crafters and makers across the United States, says Riddi Kline, executive vice president, marketing and merchandising at Jo-Ann.
Create and Craft, whose mission statement heralds “Togetherness, Inspiration and Creativity,” has already hired six local people to staff its Grand Rapids office at 250 Monroe Ave NW and plans to hire at least double that number over the coming months. Create and Craft boasts an interactive website with project tutorials, promotions, and programs, most of which are currently filmed in the U.K, but which will be partially filmed in Grand Rapids in the future. A custom app is expected to be released in early 2015.
Craft Retail Group Managing Director Tony Sheridan says, “I’m delighted to announce Create and Craft’s groundbreaking partnership with Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores and our launch into the U.S. market. This exciting venture will introduce U.S. craft consumers to a truly unique retail experience.”