“Handmade in Britain is an ambitious and ever-expanding brand. We continually research and develop new and exciting opportunities in the world of contemporary craft and design.”
Established by engineer-turned-designer Piyush Suri, Handmade in Britain was founded on a belief which quickly turned into a mission, to champion and support the outstanding designer-making talent that exists all over the British Isles.
From its inception in 2007, Handmade in Britain has stayed true to its original goal of promoting the finest design and craft practitioners in the UK, through fairs, events and pop-ups. A dedicated online marketplace was established in 2019 which came into its own in the Covid lockdowns of 2020 and 2021 when Handmade in Britain seamlessly introduced “Virtual Fairs” for its makers and customers alike.
Retail opportunities aren’t however its only offering. Workshops and business mentoring are an essential component of Handmade in Britain’s commitment to underpin and develop not only established making talent but also to foster the next generation of designers and makers, thereby sustaining the present, and securing the future, of UK making.
By increasing accessibility, creating new market opportunities and maintaining the highest standards in the contemporary craft sector, Handmade in Britain remains the leader in its field and stays steadfast to its founding principles.
“The vision of Handmade in Britain continues to expand and to deepen.”
For over a decade, Handmade in Britain has remained flexible and dynamic, allowing it to develop and grow in line with the needs of its members, and the customers it serves. Twenty-six shows over fourteen years, held in London, Oxford and Edinburgh – and with organisations as varied as RBG, Kew Gardens, Waterperry Gardens and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh – have secured its reputation. The last two years have seen Handmade in Britain recognised by the Arts Council as part of the Covid Cultural Recovery Fund and lauded as winners in the Creative Cities Challenge.
The year of Covid has demanded more of every business in the UK and Handmade in Britain has characteristically risen to the challenge. It is now focused on supporting the digitisation of the craft sector through an R&D of new technologies (an essential development to futureproof the UK’s craft industry); it will continue to increase accessibility and create new market opportunities; it will further strengthen its partnerships with art, design and craft communities; it will promote local creative businesses to a wider network of audiences both nationally and internationally, while crucially reducing operational and infrastructure costs, by creating a self-sustaining revenue model. Finally, it will create tailor-made virtual solutions for creative businesses, allowing users to pick and choose features based on their individual needs and unique financial constraints.
“To support and promote British excellence remains central to Handmade in Britain’s vision for our future.”
We aim to facilitate greater exposure, and appreciation, of the making industry as a whole and to continue providing comprehensive support to established, and emerging, talent.
To this end, our in-person shows will continue. After the trials of 2020 and early 2021 – and the need to reduce energy and fuel consumption – we have already committed to making our shows more sustainable and accessible to makers and visitors.
In addition, as a growing business, we are at the forefront of new technologies. The benefits of virtual selling are manifold: increasing the reach of our makers both within the UK and abroad and futureproofing the craft industry against unforeseen global events (as witnessed in the Covid pandemic). This approach lessens the need for travel on the part of makers and visitors, reducing the overall carbon footprint of the craft sector. An industry already known for its sustainable credentials can, with these innovations, become more sustainable still.
“Dedicated to all things handmade, Handmade in Britain seek novel ways to promote the work of talented makers, designers and craftspeople whilst simultaneously engaging new audiences.”
GET INVOLVED AS A MAKER
Handmade in Britain is here to support exceptional craft practitioners like YOU. Whatever your discipline, and whether your work is traditional or contemporary, our mission is to promote your quality and skill and to introduce you, online or in person, to our loyal and discerning customers.
Find out more here