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A little bit About Us
who we are
paper-and-string is a UK based online craft shop owned and run by Sarah & John.
Sarah (that's me!) I love to sew and enjoy creating new designs, combining all my favourite things: felt, fabric, ribbon and buttons. Day to day I will be processing your orders, answering your emails, ordering stock and (most importantly) picking & packing & making your orders.
John's creative and practical - skills he uses at work and at play (restoring classic cars) Day to day John cuts and prepares all our materials, packs our sewing kits and picks your orders.
A little bit of history
In 2006 I started a new day-job as a shop manager in a gentlemen's outfitters, the shop only opened 10am-4pm so I had a lot more spare time to sew....around the same time I discovered the amazing world of craft blogs and it prompted me to sell my fabric card toppers on eBay. I started making a range of felt card toppers and wanted to try a felt called wool felt, which I was reading about on US and Australian Blogs. It took me ages to find but it was worth it...I loved the felt! My blog readers wanted to try some too...and my felt website was born!
Our 1st & 2nd workshops
In 2009 paper-and-string was doing well...but our living room was more felt shop than living area so in June I moved to my 1st workshop....I suddenly had so much space and promptly started buying lots of new stock and designing new ranges to help fill it up! Eight months later (Feb 2010) I needed yet more room...and moved into workshop number 2.
Giving up the day job
September 2010 marked the day I did the scariest thing ever and gave up my much loved day-job. Goodbye world of inside leg measurements and tartan slippers and a BIG hello to the full time world of craft retailing!
Workshop number 3
Six months later (March 2011) I signed a lease for workshop number 3; it had three rooms, one for making, one for stock and one for packing orders. We quickly out-grew workshop number three when we got our first orders from John Lewis but we had signed a 3 year lease so we made the space work for us.
In February 2012 I re-launched both my wholesale and retail websites...the old sites had become too full to work with so I temporarily turned techy and created them myself (using a product called Mr Site Storefront) the new websites left a lot of room for growth but soon got filled with new products.
John is offically employed
A couple of months later John (my other half) joined the team officially. He quickly went from part-time helper to full-time indispensible employee.
In February 2013 John & I took paper-and-string to our first ever trade fair - it was hard work, but we met a lot of our buyers so it was fun!
April 1st 2013 was a BIG day in the history of paper-and-string :: we turned into a limited comany rather than being a sole trader enterprise!
We've constantly added more and more products to our stockroom, and workshop number 3 was full to the brim (buttons were kept in boxes on the stairs!) and we hired a storage unit for excess felt...we were bursting at the seams...but not for long...
March 2014 - our BIG move. Workshop number 3 proved too small for all our lovely stocks and we moved from Worthing to Dorset! Workshop number 4 is the Old Barn - a fabulously big space for John and I to work in together with room to store all our stock and to order lots more!
We added our vintage draw units in December 2014 (a fabulous eBay find) and they are perfect for us, they hold all our stock and keep it all clean and tidy - plus they look fabulous!
Pop Up Shop
We opened a pop-up shop in West Bay Easter 2015 - we stayed way longer than we thought and closed it in October 2016!
The website you're reading now was launched in March 2016 - we've moved away from Mr Site and now use Wix websites...building this new site took hours of hard work, but as the past 10 years show, hard work can help you build your dreams!
paper-and-string will continue to grow and evolve ... watch this space!
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We work in a gorgeous old barn on the Dorset Coast.
Our stock is housed in a mix of useful Ikea furniture and our much loved vintage units which were handmade in the 50's for a pharmacy in Germany. They are the perfect thing for all our buttons, ribbons and fabrics.
It's taken a lot of hard work to find the perfect workspace - this is our 4th premises and we know just how lucky we are to work here every day.
We are not open to the public at this time - sorry