Craft Business: Tell us about your company?
Michael Armstrong: I set up Rico Design Ltd ten years ago as a UK/ Irish trading business for Rico Design GMBH, a third generation privately owned Arts and Crafts Wholesale business based in Germany. As one of Europe’s largest suppliers to the market it was important to have a base in the UK/Irish market selling directly rather than through third party distributors. The company sells approximately 26,000 SKUs covering most areas of craft that include knitting and crochet,fabrics, stitching and embroidery, jewellery making, stationery, party and paper and craft haberdashery. We only sell products that are branded Rico Design.
These are created by our own product teams and sourced from our manufacturing partners throughout the world. We believe in the complete product journey i.e. every part of the process from idea to final delivery is controlled by our in-house creative teams so the consumer receives a clean brand experience. We are a destination for arts and crafts developing beautiful product collections and supporting their retail sales through our marketing activities and shop display/space planning.
CB: How is your company developing and growing?
MA: From a standing start in 2007 Rico Design Ltd has become a significant supplier to the retail market. I believe the company enjoys great relationships with its customers valuing each one with the highest importance irrespective of size. There have been so many changes in the last ten years. I have a great team of people working with me and we are in turn supported by very talented and dedicated colleagues in Germany. To support the future expansion of the company a big investment was made in 2016 with the construction of a significant addition to our warehouse and distribution space. In addition, the company purchased a redundant plant bakery building covering some five acres for redevelopment to meet new market opportunities within Arts and Craft.
CB: What are you currently working on? New launches, ect?
MA: The summer is a very exciting time of the year for us. Our new fabric, stitching, knitting and crochet collections are being presented to our retail customers together with some exciting enhancements to our craft and stationery ranges. In addition, we will be launching an online order portal so our retail customers can fully appreciate the breadth and opportunity the company offers.