14 Feb 2020
Suha Hazboun from Swedish House Crafts outlines this year’s goals for the popular craft company…
How did Swedish House Crafts start?
I wanted to start an online business to experiment my theories regarding online engagement as I used to be a digital designer, and crafting has been my side hobby for many years. When I came to England from Sweden I noticed the lack of Swedish producs. The English market adored them because they were different, and that is why I chose the slogan, A Different Crafting Table.
Were there any challenges around the start-up of this business?
Yes, moving to England from Sweden was easy, the challenge was finding a job in my profession. I didn’t have much experience in English market and had to find a solution. I gathered my thoughts and came up with an online e-commerce project and I already know the crafting market, so it was easy for me to start up with my own niche.
As we approach major holidays such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Easter, what products/themes are you predicting to be big sellers for you?
I did have Swedish, Pion and Maja Design papers, but I also expanded to add a Polish brand called Laserowe Love Papers. One of our best sellers is the Magnolia Stamps. The DooHickey Club magazine is currently on promotion and that is one of the most purchased titles from my store in the UK and worldwide. People enjoy buying from Swedish House Crafts because there is always something extra besides the exceptional customer service provided.
Have you found that working with a variety of different brands has boosted your business? How have you benefited from this cross promotion?
Variety is important in almost all business but finding a niche that suits your company is worth considering. I always sourced brands from the Swedish market that I can easily communicate with so that I have no language or PR barriers.
Tell us about your online classes. How do they work and have they proved to be popular?
I teamed up with Jammie Clark from Sweet Sentiment, an American colouring class teacher who I followed and sourced carefully after I saw how she could turn a beginner to professional in just a few classes. The classes have been growing in popularity, and people have started to subscribe to monthly classes where they receive a free kit with each session. It always includes stamps and extra items such as papers and embellishments. Each class is unique and focuses on what her followers ask for. Jammie is amazingly organised and always early with her work. We have lots of ideas to continue developing this idea and we’re hoping that she will visit us in the UK for some colouring fun days.
How have you used social media to promote your business? Are there any online avenues that you haven’t explored yet?
That is where I shine. Online engagement is a great way to convert followers into customers. Crafters have so much passion, and being a crafter myself, I know what kind of posts they want to see. I focused on Facebook and Instagram initially before corresponding with bloggers and YouTubers. Another major attraction has been Pinterest which usually receives 22k monthly unique views.
Moving forward, I would like to create an app for crafters that provides the ultimate source of knowledge based on many different aspects I have been working on, but let’s keep this our little secret for now.
What are your goals for 2020?
I am now a full time Creative Director at a local advertising agency, but I’m still running the Swedish House Crafts store thanks to my design team leader Lynn Brown and my lovely design team. Most of them have been with me since the beginning. 2020 will be a challenging year which will involve making some tough decisions about how to manage my time. I have been known to work 18 hour days which have caused me to suffer burn out. Despite the fact that I still get new ideas, my brain works faster than my fingers!