Angela Poole Designs
Ever wanted to launch your own craft range? Pi's former commissioning editor explains how she made her dream come true via HOCHANDA
Designing for my own craft brand has been a lifelong dream of mine. I made the decision in June 2017 not to return to work after having my second child. It wasn’t an easy decision to make, as I loved my job as Commissioning Editor of Papercraft inspirations magazine. A few months later, I came up with the idea of turning an old and almost forgotten papercraft technique, known as dissolving pictures, into a die set for card making and scrapbooking today. It was a long process calculating the best angles for the cuts and how to make it easy for a crafter to connect the pieces together. I have ring binders at home that are filled to the brim with sketches and diagrams, showing how the die set evolved over several months. Eventually, I was able to get a prototype die made. The original dies had rather chunky edges and small windows which we later opened out for better visibility when positioning the dies. Up until that point, I’d been cutting each Magic Window out by hand and it took absolutely ages. Even though the prototype needed to be developed further, I knew I was holding a product that worked and it was exciting to think that other crafters might love the idea as much as I did!
TV screen test training
We made the decision to launch our brand and new product releases on TV first. Rich, my partner and business partner, called HOCHANDA one day just to ask how we might go about arranging a meeting with a buyer and they suggested that we pop over the very next day – and we did! From that very first meeting, we felt that HOCHANDA was the right channel for us, as everyone there is so supportive and friendly.
Before our first show, I needed to attend a training course with a screen test – which was very daunting! Rich and I learnt lots of tips and advice for how to demo in front of the camera, plus how the
remote-controlled cameras work too. It was surprising to see how empty the studio is during filming.
The launch day arrives
When we arrived at HOCHANDA on the morning of our launch show, we were told that so many people had purchased our products already, that we needed to release more stock, otherwise we would have to cancel the show altogether! Thankfully, we were able to give them more stock but even then, we had no idea what was about to happen.
I can’t emphasise enough just how nervous I was before that first show. We were rather ambitious that day, as we had made the decision to make our website live during the show too, so it really was a live launch! It was such a rush to get set up and ready that my nail polish wasn’t even dry when we went live!
Ten-minute TV sell out
I had hoped that crafters would love our products as much as we do, but I had no idea that we would sell out of the Magic Windows Slide & Reveal die set within the first ten minutes of the show! It was such a shock and I’m so thankful to customers for making it such a success.
I still get very nervous before a show. I can happily talk about our products all day – but behind the camera rather than in front of it! The presenters at HOCHANDA are fantastic though, as they help you to feel comfortable and ‘almost’ forget that you’re crafting in front of an audience on live TV!
Looking to the future
Innovation will remain a focus of our brand. I’m passionate about papercraft and paper engineering and I want our products to continue to surprise and delight. Watch this space and look out for us on HOCHANDA again in 2019, as we have some incredible products lined up. I want to tell you about them now... but you’ll have to wait just a little longer!
Angela's Magic Window Slide & Reveal die has taken the craft world by storm
Above: The Magic Window dies were a sell out success!Below: Angela and the team created an amazing backdrop
Angela conquered her pre-camera nerves to craft live