It’s a double celebration for Stamp Addicts this month, so please raise a glass for their 28th birthday and their 5th anniversary with Hochanda! Sarah from Stamp Addicts is here to give us a little look back at their humble beginnings, divulge her favourite stamps and tell us Stamp Addicts’ proudest moments. It’s a cracking read, so what are you waiting for… dive in!
Tell us a little about Stamp Addicts!
Stamp Addicts is sisters Sarah Bewick & Vicky Adams. The company was started in September 1992 by our mum, Carole, and we took over running it in 2005. Vicky and I were involved in Stamp Addicts from the very beginning. We helped at craft shows, worked in the shop and taught people how to stamp. We started working from home in North London before opening our first tiny little shop with a classroom only big enough for four people. When we had guest teachers visiting such as Helene from Magenta, we would hire the Greek restaurant two doors down. Now in our third business premises in Bedfordshire, we have space for the store, the classroom (up to 12 people) and for manufacturing. Apologies if you come to visit us and can smell the rubber cooking!
Where did it all begin for Stamp Addicts?
As kids, our Mum was always making things like rag dolls, hobby horses, amazing birthday cakes and fancy dress costumes. So, Vicky and I grew up in a crafty household where scrapbooking an event was second nature. This grew into greetings cards to sell with my handmade jewellery and this is where stamps came in. However, the supply in the UK was very limited, so after a holiday in California where we discovered an abundance of choice in rubber stamps, Stamp Addicts was born. We starting importing rubber stamps from the US, most communication was done by fax or by visiting trade show in different locations around the US.
It’s been a challenging year for all, but what is the most positive thing to come out of lockdown for you?
We’ve been talking for a couple of years about having some designs made as clear stamps but had never had the time to work on this. So, being in lockdown did give us the opportunity to create and launch our range of clear stamps. Also, not having any exhibitions or workshops has meant most weekends at home with family. Between us we have six children and Vicky recently welcomed her first grandchild!
What is your favourite stamp that you have created?
Oh wow, since we started manufacturing we have created hundreds of stamps and we have several fabulous designers. I cannot draw. At school I was told not to take art as an option. So, I create the sentiments and graphics, anything computer based.
- I think my favourite of the Sherry West designs would be Christmoose as he is cute, adorable and Christmassy – I love Christmas.
- Of the Lesley Crawford designs, it is Doodle Panel which is quite a retro-style design.
- If I had to choose one from Vicky’s designs, I think it would be Scriptilicious Blooms – great just as they are or fabulous on shrink plastic!
- For Teri Sherman’s designs, my favourite has to be Marina the Mermaid, I am enamoured by the underwater world and all the tropical fish and colours it offers.
- Finally, my favourite JudiKins design has to be the Peeking & Praying Angels. We’ve been selling these stamps on wood for about 25 years. But this year JudiKins granted us the licence to manufacture their designs cling mounted, so this pairing was top of my list. Perfect for masking and creating into a choir!
What do we have to look forward to in your birthday show on 22nd September?
We are bringing a selection of new Mini Background rubber stamps, including our bestselling Italian Marble but in a mini size. Plus, two brand-new clear cute designs from Sherry West – a little boy at Christmas and a little girl talking to a duckling. Also coming is a new set of clear birthday sentiments to finish off your cards, and then to top off the show, we’ll be bringing back some of our favourite stamps from our five years on Hochanda. These will work perfectly with our new Mini Backgrounds. Obviously, we will also squeeze in some of our favourite accessories too!
28 years is quite an achievement! What have been just some of the highlights over the years?
There have been so many! Meeting so many different people and making new friends has to be the biggest highlight for me. We run monthly workshops in our store, with regular customers that visit us and then there are all the people we meet at shows – visitors and exhibitors. I started organising Stamperama in 1998 and that has grown quite significantly in the last four years. From one venue twice a year to an extra four new venues. That now includes Crafterama at Alexandra Palace. Unfortunately due to lockdown, this has been postponed until August 2021. We are very excited about this event when it comes around! Another big highlight for me is the travel. We have travelled to trade shows in different parts of the US – New York, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles etc. as well as Frankfurt in Germany. Plus, I get to regularly travel to Switzerland to teach in a craft store. Obviously, I have to bring home Swiss Chocolate!
Will you be doing anything to celebrate at home?
Because of lockdown, we’re not able to celebrate with a party and our favourite customers, so it will be very low-key this year. We will save the big celebration for when we turn 30 in two years!
Do you have any tips for people getting into stamping?
Invest in a stamp press and a stamping platform and a selection of good black inks. You’ll need several different types for use with different colouring options. Archival and water-based inks will cover most bases and then a permanent ink for shrink plastic. Once you have these, you’re ready to start and slowly build your collection. We found that with the introduction of the stamp press and platform many people that struggled with stamping before are now able to stamp cleanly and successfully and are able to enjoy stamping again.
Stamp Addicts’ 28-year journey has been quite the adventure! We’re sure that joining Hochanda back in 2015 is the best decision they have made so far, and we look forward to many more years of providing you, our Hochanda Family, with their fantastic range of stamps! Be sure to tune in at 1pm on the 22nd September for a special celebration!