During the lockdown, a number of people undertook various creative projects to cope with the crisis. Arts and crafts helped people around the world keep their anxiety at bay and channel their creativity into something positive and beautiful. According to a report by The Guardian, Hobbycraft, which is a leading art and craft retailer in the UK, reported a 200 per cent boom in online sales since the Covid-19 pandemic began.
In a recent development, London-based online community for crafters, Lovecrafts, has raised an additional $22m (approx €18.2M) of funding from its existing investors including Scottish Equity Partners (SEP), Balderton Capital, and Highland Europe, alongside Silicon Valley-based debt providers TriplePoint Capital.
It has also acquired Massachusetts-based WEBS, the online knitting, crochet and weaving business.
According to the company, “the further investment also allows for expansion into new craft categories and new geographies to increase LoveCraft’s share of a global market worth over $100B (nearly €82.7B)
The company acquiring WEBS is a a pivotal moment for the LoveCrafts Group as it becomes the market leader in North America in needlecraft, it claims. “The integration of WEBS into LoveCrafts is another key landmark for our business as we focus on reinventing traditional crafts for a digital age and becoming the end to end destination for crafting enthusiasts across the globe,” says Sir Peter Bazalgette, chair of the board of LoveCrafts.
The love affair with arts and crafts
LoveCrafts was founded by Edward Griffith, Cherry Freeman, Nigel Whiteoak, back in 2012. The trio came up with this idea, after seeing the makers in their lives struggle to find all their craft inspiration and materials in one place. They, therefore, built a website for makers; and that’s how LoveCrafts was born.
“First came LoveKnitting. It was our first, by no means only, love. The following year, we had a UK warehouse, some brave suppliers and a few more dreamers. By 2014, we had a US warehouse, customers in 97 countries, a designer patterns marketplace with 33k patterns, a new London office, and 50 people. Fast forward to 2015, LoveCrafts had launched in Germany and ventured into new craft territory with LoveCrochet, and after that, we opened a 50 person office in Ukraine, and a satellite office in New York,” says the company in its website.
Finally, In the summer of 2019, the team combined crafts, LoveKnitting and LoveCrochet as a single platform – LoveCrafts.
According to the company, it has over 1m customers in 200 countries; 140 staff in London, Kyiv and New York.