Kate, Founder of Forget-Me-Not
This time last year Forget-Me-Not was simply an idea. Actually, it was just the seed of an idea, a dream of a new life, a focus during a very sad time. There were 3 things I knew:
Kate and Den
  1. I wanted to help people
  2. I wanted to change my day-to-day
  3. I wanted to honour my Dad.

I started (attempting) to write a “business plan”, not because I knew what I was doing, in fact very far from it, but basically because it’s what I thought I should do!

I spent some time recently looking back at my original plan …. to create a space where mums and children could explore crafting and relax. Toddler and baby groups during term time were at the core of it all. I can’t quite believe the many directions in which the business has gone!

The Craft Den came about mostly because I needed to try and find something to pay the rent during the Summer Holidays. Since we opened in July, more than 300 children have been in and created amazing things! Watching the children explore their creativity truly feels like a privilege and seeing their pride in their creations is indescribable. Birthday Parties have become the norm at weekends and seeing the groups of friends, boys and girls, enjoying simple crafts, party games and time together has been wonderful!

Adult Craft was another gap filler to be truthful. I am blessed with having an incredibly crafty mother-in-law and mum. They are both retired (well, they were until I put them to work with me!) and had set up with friends a crafting group. I have always enjoyed trying new crafts and Anne and my mum were thankfully more than happy to pass on their expertise. We spent many hours over cups of tea, and the occasional cake or lunch, talking about how we should run the classes, what we should teach and how. The idea of taster sessions was born and since then we have run many sessions of macrame, rag wreaths, wool weaving, quilling, knitting, embroidery and needle felting.

It was during some of these taster sessions that the Guest Crafting began to take shape. I have learnt that in a community of crafters it is inevitable that there will be a crossover. Guest Crafting started when Charlotte came to a Taster Session wearing an amazing crocheted cardigan that she had made herself! I booked her that night and we have gone on to have some fantastic crochet sessions, which has led to 6-week courses – never in the plan – but, as I write this Charlotte is in the shop with our latest group of lovely ladies halfway through their 6-week course of getting to grips with a crochet hook and the sound of their laughter floats up the stairs, intermitted by long periods of peace and calm as they crochet away. Just wonderful. Fiona also came to some taster sessions and mentioned that she did paper cutting. She showed us some of her cuts and I knew with such skill she would be a wonderful teacher – I was right! Following a great evening session, we have just done our first Saturday Paper Cutting class and the results were incredible.

Ali, our glass painter, came along to make a rag wreath at Christmas. The conversation turned to other crafts as we mindfully knotted the rags and she told us about the amazing glass painting she had done. We had our first Glass Painting session in January and have had many more since, creating stunning light jars and sun catchers.

Over the last year, I have been lucky enough to meet and befriend some wonderful crafters, Tracy from BoHo Avenue with her beautiful jewellery, Becky from Cake Rack with such skill in Cake Decorating, and Sarah from Quirky HQ who can create gorgeous stamped cards and so much more.

As well as that I have very exciting plans in the very near future with the lovely Clare from Little Oak Play Therapy …. Watch this space for more info!

So back to my aims. I truly feel that so many of our crafters have left the sessions feeling pride in themselves and their achievements. I have definitely changed my day-to-day and I know without a doubt that my dad would be so proud of what I have created.

As we speed towards Forget-Me-Not’s first birthday, while I feel so lucky that I discarded the business plan and went with my heart, there’s lots more to come in the future – I might even go back to the original plan!