The story continues. We launched our Claritystamp range on telly in about 2008 – and that’s when things really took off. Our little corner stamps and pattern-building tricks proved very popular. It was something new to TV, and folks loved the way we presented. So we moved out of the portable cabin in the garden and into an industrial unit on a farm. It was the Old Pig Shed!! Our team grew then, to keep up with orders. Oh how we grafted!
We would spend all month making stamp stock, then Dave would drive it all up to the Peterborough TV warehouse, then I would go up to the TV studios, do an hour or two – and sell the lot! Then come home – and start again for the next month! Actually, in the beginning we could only handle 2 hours every 6 weeks! And I would spend all my evenings preparing the demos or cutting out stamps. So full of fear and nerves. But it was okay, and as the sales grew, so did the Clarity team.
Mark and Grace were growing up into beautiful people, working hard, playing hard, and living the dream in America…and they still are!
Dave and I were hard at work, growing our business…and having fun too actually!
Now fast forward to 2013. I had discovered the Gelli Plate. What a great, formidable piece of Kit!! It really fired up my imagination, and whilst it was already being used in select art circles, nobody had taken it to the TV. So I took a risk, placed a HUGE order with the American company, and then started getting to grips with it!
First trial was at the NEC to to test the waters…
Well, what can I say? The public loved them! And I soon figured out that they worked beautifully with stencils. And so we bought a laser machine, and our friend Mel Turner, the cartographer, started designing superb stencils for us…
We made them to fit the Gelli plates too, which is why most of our stencils are 7”x7”, to fit the 6”x 6” Gelli Plate!
I also figured out pretty quickly that the Gelli Plate was far more useful and versatile if it was mounted on an acrylic megamount, turning it into a stamp of course! So we bought another laser machine, and started etching acrylic plates…and enter the Mega mounts, complete with etched markings for positioning. Hold that thought, because it was this simple thing that led us on to the next Chapter…tomorrow’s blog…
And so we grew. 2 laser machines became 3, (Let me add that these machines cost £25,000 each, so it was certainly a considered purchase every time!). Clearly, the stencil business was faring very well. We were building a super selection of stencils by now, and I was gaining confidence with my Gelli art too. The art samples below are all around 2013 and 2014!
By now everybody and their crafty brother was caught up in the Gelli Plate wave, and we were designing super stencils alongside our stamps. They were fun times. Our team had grown, and business was booming.
We had our first Clarity Open Day at Crowborough Rugby Club – a celebration of all things Clarity. And it was packed!! Recognise anyone?
We ran Clarity Retreats at Crowborough Rugby Club too… who was there when Prince Phillip popped in??
oh. And we watched rugby there too …
Next stop Germany. We took our wares to Munich and started on TV there…at HSE. All the while still appearing on Create & Craft too. Those were very busy times!
And all the while these guys were tirelessly working away in the background…
These were the years we travelled A LOT. Worked on TV in Germany, worked on TV in the UK, launched TV in the States. Living out of suitcases, working out of suitcases…recognise anyone?
These were good times. With the power of hindsight now, when I scroll through the photos to build this blog, I am astounded at what we packed into those years. I guess we still do, but it’s different now. Not bad. Different. We‘re older, more stay-at-home – and that’s okay. Now I’m busy in a different direction too…
Anyway, that’ll do for Chapter 2. Tomorrow we move on to the 3rd phase, where we really did get on a different bus altogether!!
Hope you’re enjoying this … I am. I don’t often look backwards. But this is actually very affirming. At a time when I often wonder what the hell is happening, and whatever next….
Love and Hugs