Interview: Kings of their craft

Craft Buddy co-founder and Director Gary Wadhwani tells TNP.MEDIA about the company’s engaging Crystal Art craft lines, and the successes from exhibiting at four trade shows in as many weeks in the opening months of 2019

Written by Rhys Thomas

Posted 08.02.2019 | Products

Interview: Kings of their craft thumbnail

Crystal Art is a very well-known brand with art and craft suppliers and the hobby industry, but perhaps not a household name for some in the toy trade. For the few uninitiated, what is it that makes your products unique?

Crystal Art was a massive trend in 2018 and crafting exploded into the mainstream attention. With the help of Facebook and YouTube, we have furthered our reach and awareness of the brand and products.

The unique art styles and formats of Crystal Art encourages consumers to reawaken their creativity and produce unique products. Coming in a variety of formats, including greeting cards, wall art, sticker form and LED wall canvases, this brand caters for all. Using the pick-pencil provided, lift the flat-backed crystals and place them onto the adhesive card for instant stick. The results are sparkly, beautiful designs.

Craft Buddy co-founder and Director Gary Wadhwani at Spring Fair 2019

Retailers are increasingly looking for products that appeal to kids in the older age brackets, when their interest in toys generally begins to tail off. Are craft products like Crystal Art Kids able to bridge that gap between young kids and ranges aimed at teens?

Crystal Art Kits are universally popular and suitable for adults and children aged eight-plus . Crafting can bring families together as they work together to complete a masterpiece of art and the therapeutic benefits of Crystal Art are proven, with its ability to lower stress levels, increase attention span and develop cognitive skills.

This is an activity for the whole family and due to the array of designs, we believe that there is something for everyone.

We all know how important online reviews are, with more parents and gift buyers turning to their virtual peer for recommendations. The ‘make and do’ community seem to love your products. How do you keep your audiences engaged?

Over the last year our social media engagement has increased, especially on platforms such as YouTube and Facebook. As a visual platform, YouTube works really well for our brand because people are able to fully immerse themselves within the products before purchasing them. We have nearly 10 thousand subscribers on YouTube and are eager to explore more on this platform. We also actively engage with influencers and blogger review program, especially around national holidays like Valentine’s Day.

At Craft Buddy we spend time talking to our consumers via online surveys and the multitude of events we do to inform our product development ensuring we are spot on with designs and pricing.

The Craft Buddy team have exhibited at four trade shows in as many weeks already in 2019!

You have some great international footprints set up and plans to open new markets, what has been the secret behind your successes to date?

You have to be passionate about what you are doing and actively put yourself out there. We have kick-started the year with a trade show focus in 2019, in the space of four weeks we are exhibiting in four different shows: Creativeworld in Frankfurt, Nuremburg Toy Fair, Spring Fair and Stitches. Being active in overseas trade shows is really important to us because we want to make everyone aware of our products. Thanks to Crystal Art we have entered countries such as, Poland, Hungary, Latvia and Australia.

We have also recently entered new industries, such as the toy and gift industries, and we are excited to establish our brand within them.

Speaking of overseas shows, you've just returned from your first Nuremburg Toy Fair. How was the experience?

Nuremberg was terrific – a first for us and a chance to get our products in front of a global toy industry audience. We were humbled by the response, and now have the chance to make a splash with our products in a number of new international markets. We’re excited about 2019!

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