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Hello! I’m Kate

I've run a business linked one way or another to the craft industry since 2009, although my desire to teach people how to make things started long before. I love teaching people how to make things, but also thrive on helping others run their own creative businesses, doing what they love. 

I started The Makery in 2009.  After a decade in Marketing and Branding, I quit my day job to follow my dream. I spent a year planning The Makery, creating the brand and figuring out how to make it a success. We very quickly found our first premises, signed the lease and got the keys just 10 days before our first baby was born! 

The Makery grew quickly. Within the first year we’d taken on a second premises, had a regular column in the UK's largest subscription magazine, been featured in national newspapers and magazines - Elle Decoration being a highlight - I cried for days - and had slots on BBC Breakfast & Woman’s Hour.

The time felt right; I knew I was on my path.  The appetite for craft was growing. 

Our crew grew fast, and before we knew it we were a team of over 30, teaching people all sorts of creative skills in our workshops and parties. 

Kate Smith MakeryKate
Kate Smith Makery Sewing Book
Kate Smith Makery Book.jpg

We were approached by a Book Agent in 2010, and I fulfilled another dream!

I’ve written 2 books; 'Makery' & 'Makery: Sewing', both of which were published internationally.

We were invited to appear on Dragon’s Den in 2011 which was one of the most terrifying and exciting experiences I can recall. It resulted in a massive boost to our business, overnight.

Makery Merchandise Range

Shortly afterwards, we signed a licensing deal with Wild+Wolf and launched our range of merchandise. This was such a fun time: Designing, coming up with the ideas and seeing them brought to life. Our range was distributed in thousands of retailers worldwide and helped us achieve exactly what I set out to do: Help break craft into the mainstream and get as many people as possible to learn to love making things.

I was contacted by John Lewis soon after. They already stocked our kits and books, but now they wanted us to start hosting our workshops in their flagship store. Our relationship with John Lewis has developed ever since; our team hosts workshops in stores across the country, and I regularly host online workshops for them. I love it: My first weekend job as a teen was in John Lewis, so it's come full-circle!

MakeryKate Google Workshop

We started hosting workshops for brands in 2012, and we've been lucky enough to travel to some pretty exciting events and corners of the world over the years. We continue to work with brands we love now, creating crafty content + diy projects, and hosting staff/customer workshops and events. 

I was chosen to take part in the Goldman Sachs small business programme in 2015 which was incredible; I'd recommend to any small business owner. It gave me such confidence in what we were doing, I can't rate it highly enough.

Following the course, I met with a potential investor who arrived via helicopter - that was a pinch-me moment! We didn't go for the investment, but it opened a few other doors for us and is an experience I won't forget!

I started working with Cricut in 2018, to help their UK launch in John Lewis. 
I now spend a good deal of my time consulting for Cricut. I never thought it possible to be as passionate about a brand other than my own, but honestly Cricut has changed that for me. And through that, I have discovered my new passion and purpose: To use my learnings, experience, mistakes and successes to help other female-led creative small businesses grow and flourish. I now have some mentor slots, and I'm about to launch my 'Grow your Creative Business' online course which I am SO VERY excited about!
To hear about it first, click here.

Thank you for reading this far! I hope you've found something here to inspire you. And if you're not already a Maker, I hope I can help you get making! 

MakeryKate Kate Smith
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