Thanks to an injection of funding from their bank, West Norfolk-based BJ Crafts has plans to expand and create new business.
Established in 2007 by husband-and-wife team, Bob and Jean Hendon, BJ Crafts specialises in rubber stamping techniques for card making and scrapbooking. Offering a wide range of products, the company is also the exclusive supplier of Imagination Crafts in the Norfolk area and at specialist papercraft shows nationwide and also holds regular craft workshops and demonstrations.
Previously Bob and Jean were using personal credit cards for business purchases. When they approached NatWest’s Maria Plumb for support with business development she worked with the couple to create a more sustainable funding solution for them.
Maria was able to secure a small business loan which has been used to invest in more stock, to ensure the company is always able to meet customers’ needs, and to attend larger papercraft shows.
“This funding will, most importantly, provide us with peace of mind – we’ll be more aware of our monthly outgoings and be able to plan for the future. Not only that but we’ll be able to go to bigger, more expensive, craft specialist shows such as the one at NEC and so grow our customer base.”
Thanks to this latest development, Bob and Jean also hope to recruit their first employee to help run their shop at Antioch Farm, Tilney St Lawrence, as it currently has to close when the couple are not available. BJ Crafts also now expects its turnover to increase by 40 per cent over the next year.
Maria said: “We’re working hard to support local businesses develop and BJ Crafts is a prime example. It’s been lovely working with Bob and Jean. I’ve had the pleasure to attend one of their workshops and found the whole thing very enjoyable – they might have even found themselves another dedicated customer!”