Chapter 3 ? Groovi Baby!
The year was 2015, and we were flying high. Claritystamps and stencils were selling very well, our Create & Craft TV shows were getting busier, and we were going like the clappers!
Our new website was looking good, and we were certainly moving online. We had never had a bricks and mortar shop; we had always been a mail order company, and we have had a website / online shop for as long as I can remember back! It was very clear to us that retail was changing, and the future was online – which is quite prophetic when you look back! We used to do so many exhibitions back then; Covid certainly put the kibosh on them.
So, let’s recap: our stamp store was growing, our stencil store was growing – we were growing. We had taken the design team to France for a little holiday to say thank you, and Sylvia Marshall – a traditional parcher – had brought her Pergamano things with her. Well, Maria got right into the art of parchment. Sylvia showed her the ropes – and she was off! Bought a load of tools and started learning how to parch. She loved it! She asked whether, since we could etch the registration lines into the acrylic Megamounts for the Gelli plates, we could also etch designs into the acrylic to emboss. Long story short, our Jim figured it out, and together we came up with the Groovi System. The Plate Mate with the aperture was a real Lightbulb moment..
It was a gamble, but we tried it. We took some of our stamp designs and etched them into the acrylic…and that’s how it happened. Mats and tools were duly sourced and ordered, a Starter Kit was designed, Tina Cox came on board and helped us – and we launched the Groovi System on Create & Craft.
Did it work I hear you ask.. Oh yes! So many crafters loved the actual look of parchment craft, but hadn’t known where to start, or were daunted by the tracing and inking stage. So we designed a small collection of lovely designs – and just went for it! Here’s the Open Day at the Rugby Club just after we launched on TV!
The new Groovi system was so popular, we were barely able to keep up with production actually. We kept having to add laser machines to the production room. Then Dave had to start building extensions, to house the machines – and so it went on.
There were mixed feelings among the traditional parchers. Many poo pooed the system, saying it was cheating. We however felt the Groovi design plates were simply a confidence builder and a bridge to the other more traditional skills down the road. It was a bit of a battle actually, but we weren’t backing down! The lovers far outweighed the haters!
Several top trad parchers got involved too, like Linda Williams and Josie Davidson, so we just set our sights on the road ahead and kept going! Linda had a lot of sway with the trad parchers. Since she is so highly respected as a Master Pergamano Tutor, folks trusted her opinion, and followed her over. And so it grew…
We won the craft award for Best New Product that year too. Groovi certainly climbed to the top of the crafting charts! Our Laser machines now number not 3 but 13. THIRTEEN!!! And still we can’t keep up!
Gridwork was next. Tina Cox and Josie Davidson paved the way…
We had designed the Groovi System to fit Pergamano tools. Our opinion was why reinvent the wheel? If the best tools in the business had already been developed, why make more? So we worked with the Dutch, and it was fine. So imagine our surprise when they called us and asked us if we’d like to buy Pergamano!! All the stars were aligned that day…we were able to. I shall never forget calling Linda Williams to tell her we’d bought Pergamano. She was over the moon, as were we.
The two of us went to Slovenia together to run workshops in a shopping centre too. A week to remember!
And still, these three working always tirelessly and selflessly in the background, just getting it done…just keepin ’em fed here !!!
Since Groovi was born we have certainly evolved, and so has our artwork. The Groovi Design Team is pretty formidable. Actually, so is the Clarity Team! These talented crafters also work tirelessly to create inspirational artwork. I cannot express my appreciation enough for all they do. x x x Beautiful, clever and exciting.
Which brings us to 2018, and the 4th chapter. That is very interesting too…
Love and hugs
Barb x x x
PS. Tomorrow is a Big Groovi Day on TV. At 4pm on Create & Craft, we are releasing the 5th and last set of Christmas treasures, illustrated by Linda. And to celebrate the wonderful Collection, Linda has also designed a superb A4 Advent plate, which ties it all together beautifully. Join us at 4pm for the final launch, to complete this wonderful Christmas set. I shall add a cheeky little blog later, showcasing the plates and some superb art samples…
Oh how far we have come…
19 thoughts on “Chapter 3 ? Groovi Baby!”
The blogs this week, have made me realise that I have been following you for years!!! I am still a novice in regards to Groovi, but I do enjoy receiving the monthly club plates! Am looking forward to seeing the A4 advent plate! Can’t wait to read the rest of the blogs this week!
Wears me out just reading this ! I think I’ve got enough for a small shop here 😹 been doing some today too! I remember when you said you’d bought Pergamano that was such a surprise ! It goes on and on doesn’t it. I keep forgetting I’ve got elves and gnomes to deal with – Groovi and stamps, got enough to keep me going for the rest of my days I’m sure ! You’ve cost me a fortune over the years but I love it ! X
Hope Erik is doing ok xx
I did traditional parchment years ago but it was a long drawn out process groovi opened up a whole new world to my parchment and I’m addicted to it now.
thanks to Barbara and her wonderful team who are all amazing.x
And at that first Open Day you wrote my name in Groovi letters (I’ve still got it) and I was hooked! A brilliant system!
Wow, I jumped on the Groovi train that day you showcased it on C&C. I had tried to learn the traditional way but it didn’t work for me.
The Groovi system certainly shed a brilliant light on how to do parchment work and I haven’t looked back. I have made lots of new friends through workshops and Retreats and met some wonderful teachers, Linda, Tina and Josie to name three.
Every month about 25 of Groovi enthusiasts meet for a very enjoyable six hours, united by our love of Groovi.
Groovi was where I joined the Clarity followers, buying my starter kit from Create and Craft. I’d watched you demoing corner stamps and brayering, but Groovi really struck a chord with me. All those clean white lines- right up my street! I’m looking forward to the next set of Christmas plates tomorrow and the advent plate, well, that might have to come home too!!
I still remember attending the Open Day and immediately falling in love with the look of the lovely Groovi designs. You were the first person to show me how the system worked and how to emboss a circle without getting a doughnut!
With love xx
I started as a trad parcher- it was Josie’s grids that initially drew me to Groovi! But that was quite quickly followed by joining a couple of the clubs and now I am definitely a Clarity fan!!
Joined the Groovi bus quite early on & learnt a lot from Maria, Paul & Rosella when we used to have classes at Evesham. I continue to do classes with Maria which since lockdown have been via post/email & videos on YouTube. To think if Sheila hadn’t taken her parchment work to France, the mega mounts hadn’t been designed for the Gel plates & Maria’s enquiring mind Groovi wouldn’t have been born. Everything was definitely meant to be that week in France.
Looking forward to the last set of plates tomorrow plus the advent plate. With there being so many combinations I can continue making cards in the New Year ready for next Christmas plus of course the frames can be used for other occasions as well. There is so much inspiration on Groovi Worldwide to keep us occupied for ages.
May Clarity long continue to bring us our crafty fix xx
I recall the first Groovi show on C&C and sending in an email concerning the fact that the tracing can make or break the design if you don’t get clean lines. What a journey since then. I have a variety of the old parchment magazines, some of which feature some of the designs you have reproduced into Groovi plates and the Josie Davidson Clinic on techniques. I still refer to them. I’m not surprised you have gone from strength to strength and am sure this will continue. I hope Steve and his co-workers are ready for some ‘late nights’.
I only got on the Groovi bus 3 years ago but oh what a journey it’s been. I’ve loved reading in your blogs how you’ve got to the rung of success on your ladder, a real battle I sure but you’ve so many happy people surrounding you. Thank you Clarity Team for all you do for us. You truly are a wonderful company and I for one don’t buy from anyone else. ❤️❤️❤️
I was watching your Demos on c+c, loved your work thought how lovely it looked but thought tim and time again that I would never be able to do this.
But I found out I had breast cancer and had to have a double mastectomy, I promised myself to do things I always put off, so I ordered the starter set Well I have never looked back I am hooked, big time, I make cards for our local Cancer unit for there Charity I have just ordered your new plates that come out tomorrow from create and craft but not told my hubby yet lol, Thank you to you Barbara and the whole team for all your hard work xxx
Like Anne I only buy from Clarity and like Jackie I too could open a small shop. I would dearly like to run a workshop or craft group but I have no room here and we are rather off the beaten track with very restricted parking. However I have been one of your followers for many years and you have kept me “in the groove” through COVID and other disasters.
Can I say a big THANK YOU to all those lovely creative people who come up with the designs, artwork and samples. Together with the Clarity elves who work so hard to get our orders out so swiftly and the great back up from the step by step blogs and tutorials – well who could ask for anything more from a company.
Looking forward to tomorrows shows, all are programmed to record.
Safe journey tomorrow.
It has been amazing to read your posts this week and to realise just how long I have been following you. I have never been a stamper, but just loved to watch your shows on C&C. I saw you launch the Groovi system and then bought my starter kit at the NEC, where I did a make and take with Jo Rice. On my next visit, Rosella taught me to picot cut and by then I was totally hooked. Thanks to Ros and Lynda starting the ENGG, I have made many Groovi friends and learnt so much at our monthly meetings. My life is so much richer for having Clarity and Groovi in it, so a big thank you to everyone from me. X
I can still remember the flack you took from the traditional parchers at the beginning but you were so right – it was the initial tracing and drawing of the line art that put so many people off (myself included) even though I enjoyed the white work and colouring. xxxx
Another success story, just love all the Groovi plates grids everything.
Such a relaxing addition to us crafters, well done for all the hard work that goes on to produce these items.
Hi Barb, another brilliant instalment in the Clarity journey. Certainly a popular one too. Whilst Groovi and Parching is not really my thing (although I did sign-up for the club for a while), I am amazed at the beautiful arty creations that come from the system, and the popularity proves that it was a good move. Looking forward to the next instalment. Take care and stay warm everyone. Bx
Such an inspiration to read your story on how the company grew. we have to keep parchment craft alive.
I was a pergamano teacher for years then I had a bad heart attack which left me with shakes hands so I wasn’t able to craft. By luck I had held on to my tools I saw on tv the groovi system and I thought I would try it. It strengthened my arms and I eventually managed to get my traditional to use along with groovi Thank you Barbara Gray xx