Hi there

Thanks for popping in. Many of you may already have heard the announcement that The Craft Store TV channel (previously HOCHANDA) – the one we work with – has acquired Create & Craft – the one we used to work with! So. We have come full circle!

Let me fill you in….After many years on Create & Craft, we – Dave and I – moved our business to the smaller channel, HOCHANDA – Home of Crafts Hobbies and Art – primarily because it was a better arty-crafty fit for Clarity; I was desperate to demonstrate more and be artier. Hochanda gave me that opportunity. Six years on, I would have to say that we were right. It is a wonderful TV channel for Art & Craft, we have grown with them as a craft company, and have been there about 6 years now. In that time we’ve built a fabulous arty-crafty team and community. If you’re reading this blog, then you are probably part of that family. And you’ll know at Clarity we don‘t want to get bigger, we just want to get better. One day at a time.

Here we see Paul Wright and Val Kaye, who have just bought Create & Craft. I was there on Day 1, eating cake with them – and I still am – 100%. Working with Val and Paul – AND eating cake!! In fact, I’m on the Board now too, (non-exec), which is an honour and a privilege indeed.

There is much to do, much to plan and much to consider. I do think that it will be good to get together again. It will be great to see the two channels working together.

You see, there are friends and colleagues on both channels. In the offices, on the floor, among fellow art companies. So this merger is indeed welcome at many levels. It will be cool to be able to hang out with those mates in the Green Room again, to work with those people again.

We have one thing in common: we are crafters. Whether we present on Create & Craft or at The Craft Store, we are crafters. And most of us are grafters too. Work hard, play hard.

Nothing is going to change in our little company Clarity, that’s pretty certain. Well, as certain as anything can be nowadays. We will continue to design and manufacture our lovely Claritystamps and Groovi plates; we will keep crafting, teaching and demonstrating on telly, and we will do our own thing too, in the SHAC, with the Blogs and on Facebook LIVE. We shall stay in our lane, help where we can in the coming months, and continue to travel gently through 2022 – despite this very surprising turn of events in the first month! Never a dull moment, eh?!

Stay safe.

Love always,

Barb xxx

46 thoughts on “BIG NEWS. HUGE NEWS

  1. Thanks for the update. There will be a lot going on in the background that the majority of us will be totally unaware of over the coming months. As long as the Craft Store format continues with plenty of demo time for the guests that is all that matters to most of the viewers.
    Onwards into 2022 !!

    1. Good to have some insider info – thank you! I agree with the hopes expressed on FB posts: namely that we will still see lots of demonstrations – the hallmark of The Craft store – and not the enndless chitchat that has put many of us off the other channel. I look forward to seeing how it all goes

  2. Thankyou Barbara. Nice to know you are on The Board and hope you will guide the others in the future of the crafting channel so many of us love, what was called Hochanda, now the Craft Store. It has a great format and gives viewers a feeling of being part of a family. Create and Craft does not do that and watching Sheena Douglass trying to fit what she offers into 45minutes is crazy. I have been part of both channels over many years and have seen C& C gradually become unfriendly and unwatchable. Please help to keep the shows friendly and like you yourself have been part of.

  3. I can’t deny that I do have concerns about how the smaller, independent craft companies will get the same exposure they enjoy now on The Craft Store once some of the much larger ones migrate over from C&C. How will the presenters fare, especially those that worked on both channels, given there are only 24hrs in a day – who will have their hours chopped?
    I’m sure everything will find it’s level but I can’t help feeling a little apprehensive about this news. Whatever happens, however, I’m still a Shacker and that ain’t gonna change! I hope the transition runs as smoothly as is possible. x 💕
    Debbie Lee

  4. Well that was unexpected! I hope that they keep the Craft Store as it is – I love the mix of small family companies and small producers x

  5. Thank you for the update Barbara. It’s great to know you are still going to be on TCS. And the change won’t affect the current way it’s run.

  6. Exciting news indeed.
    I moved away from Create and Craft when you left as I thought they were more chat and less demo. Your products have always sold themselves to me and I love your in-depth demos. You and Paul, Linda and your other team members explain things so well.
    This is the start of a new era, hope all goes well.
    Stay safe.

  7. Very interesting news indeed .Must be very affirming that following your heart and instincts you have come full circle !
    I wonder will I now be able to get the craft channel on my TV.At present I can only get create and craft on channel 683.I do of course go on line to follow the craft channel and my favourite company Clarity particularly as you always do such amazing demos and teaching .
    Wishing you all the very best in the new venture xxx

  8. Wishing you all the best with the changes that have been announced. It sounds like we’re all in for some exciting times this year

  9. Love the format at the craft store,small companies given time to demonstrate and prices that are affordable. Create and Craft got a bit expensive for most humble crafters. This is a new start and I hope it all goes well but we Shackers will still be here no matter what.💕I

  10. Thank you for the update Barbara, not what I was expecting to read this evening! I wish everyone at The Craft Store every success with this new venture, however I do have a few reservations.
    I sincerely hope that the ethos of The Craft Store remains and that the many smaller, family run businesses remain to the fore and that Tattered Lace does not start to overtake the channel!!!!

  11. Thank you for the update, Barbara, there’s been so much speculation today. Exciting times, indeed and hopefully it will all work out and benefit us crafters, especially if it follows the Craft Store model, which I think we all prefer. The icing on the cake would be for it to be shown on Virgin. Good luck! X

  12. Thank you so much for the update Barbara. I had seen about this on Facebook and was quite shocked, and very concerned, as I absolutely love the format on The Craft Store. Feeling much better about it now, because if you are happy about it, then I will be too. Love and hugs, Gilly xx

  13. Congratulations and all good wishes. For me, as long as the friendly Clarity team with their helpful demos, friendship and personal service remain, along with the shac Shack , I’m happy. I’ve tried the rest and Clarity is best! Good luck.x

  14. I enjoy both channels,for different reasons, there’s the good and not so good with most things. I hope to see a good dollop of diversity along with good prices and some fun and learning. Having just been through a business merger in my workplace, I have a huge amount of empathy for all employees involved and hope for the best for them all, hard times ahead for them.

  15. Thank you for the update I have been reading a few posts on Facebook some quite negative, them and us! So I stopped reading them 😊 It is nice to know that Clarity will be embracing the change , looking forward to the new shows, xxx hugs

  16. I was really shocked with the news. I really like the craft store demo time versus so little time c & c give their guests and I do watch both channels, however the filming quality on the craft store is inferior and hard to watch and puts me off so I’m hoping that will change – please

  17. I think it’s fair to say that very few people like change either, for the sake of change or changing into an unknown future, and do feel for the presenters and staff working at both studios and for the small suppliers. From a customer point of view I can see that, knowing the individuals responsible for making this happen (your good self included), will create a craft channel ‘par excellence’, using all their experience in the industry. However, for presenters and staff this must be a worrying time and I would hope that they’re given timely and clear information regarding their future. One criticism that I have of TCS is that it’s communication network is sometimes not what it should be. Anyway, waffle ye not David. Here’s to the future and all the fun there is to come x

  18. Thanks for the update Barbara, I have to admit I haven’t watched C&C since you left, and then Matthew Palmer joined too and there was nothing left for me there, except the lovely Deano. I really have missed him and it will be lovely to see the two of you together again (I hope) and having fun.

  19. Well said Barbara exciting times ahead. I think it’s such a shame there is so much Us and Them and negativity from so many of The Craft Show followers. Hopefully the merger will put an end to this. Will we end up with one corporate name? I personally look at the schedules of both channels and watch whatever I fancy regardless of what channel it’s on. It’s going to be an interesting few months to see how things pan out. I wish the powers that be every success in these exciting times ahead.

  20. Thank you for sharing with us your thoughts and expectations for the merger of the two channels. Your ethos and approach has always been admirable and in your position as non exec director, I do hope that this allows influence on decisions and forward culture and strategy. A few thoughts to share on the new strategic direction:
    1. Ensure that pricing presents good value. Especially on craft channel this is not the case and I have raised this in the past and been told that the aim isnt to offer the best price for a product.
    2. All other comapnies now offer free P&P over a given value. I choose to buy direct from the manufacturer for this reason.
    3. Reasonable delivery lead time
    4. ApplyIng specifically to create and craft, Presenters think they are more important than the product or thr demonstrator. I have switched off with a grimace on a few occasions.
    5. We dont need to see the same program repeated all day. Just give us catch up tv
    6 retain the art demonstration approach of craft channel. It works and customers love it
    7. Do stand up to the large brands, do not let them push out the smaller companies as they have done on c&c. We can buy crafters companion, tonic, tattered lace etc on the high street.

    Our thoughts are with the staff whose future is now uncertain. Lets hope for a new improved channel that meets customer needs.

  21. As said by many others The craft store is my preferred channel as it’s format with more demo time is better and the diversity of crafts and small businesses on offer. In addition I found CC more of a hard sell which puts me off completely. I have thought that The craft store had started to head that way sometimes too, so I hope that that will change and perhaps you have influence here. I do wish everyone luck with the merge however.

  22. Thanks for the update it will be interesting to see how things go moving forward but I am encouraged by your positive view of the situation

  23. I sincerely hope that the Craft Store continues presenting and demonstrating in the same way which is why so many of us switched channels. The Craft Store way is so much more relaxing and although a selling platform you don’t feel the pressure selling as on Create and Craft. Change is always challenging and I hope we will still see all of our lovely presenters and they keep their jobs! I really hope everyone gets a fair share of tv coverage and we are not overwhelmed with Tattered Lace, Tonic, Crafters Companion!

  24. Thanks for the measured view. Most of what I have read so far has been very partisan. It is going to be quite a challenge to get a good balance.

  25. It was a bit of a shock when I saw it on Facebook yesterday, but it is really good to have a inside legitimate view. Thank you Barbara. I hope everything goes smoothly for all the businesses concerned on both channels.

  26. Hi Barb, all I can say is WOW. I did not know this was happening. It will be interesting to see what happens going forward and I hope it is all for the good, and the Craft store remains unadulterated. Whilst I am a member of the Create and Craft club, it was mainly for products that were sold on there and not on TCS. Take care and stay safe everyone. Bx

  27. Hi Barbara, thanks for the details. I saw this on Facebook yesterday. Demonstrations are what sell the products not just showing them to buy. I am sure all will go well.

  28. Thanks for the update and reassurance re Clarity. I do feel for all those who work for the companies who are living through these anxious times as the merger develops. I hope things turn out well for them too xxx

  29. Blimey!! – I hate change, but I know that with you on Board Barbara you won’t suffer fools gladly! so I will embrace it and hope that the change will be for the better for all involved. Not particularly worried if it all goes Pete Tong because I am now totally a Clarity follower through and through and I know you will always be there whatever! Good Luck!! Onwards and upwards xx

  30. I just hope the craft store continues with the format presenters and companies it has now. Hopefully that good practice can be brought back to create and craft, who I stopped watching, due to the short programmes, presenters too busy presenting themselves to let us see the demonstrations and overkill by some of the larger companies. I think the craft channel has the mix of larger and smaller Independent companies and a good mix of different crafts just right. I’m so glad the takeover is this way around and not the other! Keep up the good work. 😊

  31. I am sure both channels can come together and move forward to supply great TV and wonderful projects. It’s nice to know that a company like Clarity will embrace the change. A lot of people say they prefer one channel to another. Yes we all have our favourite presenters etc but at the end of the day it’s the products that keep us buying from that company regardless who is presenting or which channel they are on. I only buy from two companies….. Yourselves and one other, I find it better value to buy direct from you and my other company. The only thing I wonder about is….. Are there enough hours in a day to showcase each company equally. Whatever happens I wish you a successful journey xx

  32. Hi Barbara this is a big shake-up for the crafting world. I am so pleased that you are not going to change. Let’s sit tight and see what happens. Thank you for being there. Hugs xxx

  33. A big surprise but life moves on and if this is right to join up with create and craft then so be it. I will always be a Clarity supporter as they have always been there for me and the Shac Shack saved my sanity during the pandemic months. Good luck to the new combined company

  34. I , personally, have stopped watching C and C because it’s all chat..Hochanda does more demonstrations. I think most of us are just concerned that we still get Clarity stamps because that is all I watch.

  35. It makes no difference to my supporting Clarity either on or off screen. You are always there. The companies may have become one, but are the channels staying the same, i.e. separate?That remains to be seen. I predominantly watch The Craft Store but watch C&C if there’s anything interesting. Best of luck, Clarity.

  36. Not excited but very apprehensive , as I mainly watch Create and Craft and only watch TCS when Clarity,Phill, or John next door is on. I always turn off if a certain presenter is on because I only understand one word in ten of what they say. I will miss my favourite presenters on C&C also the lower P&P and better Flexi payments or Open pay as I usually buy a lot, so I may buy direct from companies now or perhaps give up Crafting altogether as it takes far too much of my money anyway . I hope it all goes well for you , I have always thought that Craft shows should all work together and not be a them or us factor. Onwards and Upwards.🌈

  37. Thanks for some clarity (no pun intended) I just hope the format doesn’t change too much. Love the demos and as a crafter it is essential for us all to see how we can use the products bought with our hard earned money. X

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