Sudbury arts and crafts business Duck in Boots set to expand into larger premises due to growing demand
Arts and crafts are captivating people’s interest – and now a business, which started in Sudbury 18 months ago, is expanding to cope with demand.
Sarah-Marie Underhay runs the Duck in Boots shop and craft centre in King Street, and is planning a move to bigger premises in Sudbury in the summer.
She sells a wide range of homewares, soft furnishings and toys and gifts made by local craftspeople, and she runs a diverse and varied selection of craft classes from glass painting to Italian cookery and cake artistry.
Sarah said: “We’ve managed to create a unique environment here where people come in to buy the range of locally-made handicrafts we sell, but can also learn how to do them – for example, crocheting and wreath making. People get inspired by their ability to create.
“We’ve just run a cookery workshop and we have diverse classes such as Victorian photography, where we use old cameras to create original photographs.
“There is a lot of interest in crafts and I knew when we set up here that we were going to outgrow the space quite quickly. I’m very proud of the crafters and our team.”
Her shop was opened shortly after the birth of her second child, Rose, with whom she was heavily pregnant when setting up the business, fitting out the shop and the craft area.
An artist by training, Sarah also runs another venture, Sunflower Artistry, creating bespoke hand-painted wooden toy boxes and ducks.
“A lot of people have approached us about running classes here, and that’s how the business has expanded,” she said.
“A chef from Italy actually approached us about running the cookery classes and they are really popular.
“We’ve been successful with our children’s birthday craft classes, as people like an alternative venue to soft play areas.”
As well as looking for larger premises, Sarah hopes to replicate her business in other towns.
And she has started offering craft classes to people in their own homes, as a way of diversifying her business.
Sarah is also using a click-and-collect service where customers can order online via the shop’s website (www.duckinboots.co.uk) and pick up in store.