Thursday, June 27, 2013


When I watch Dragon's Den on TV I sometimes watch businesses pitching to the dragons who are similar in size to paper-and-string...they rarely, if ever, get investment.  Normally the Dragons’ class them as lifestyle businesses that can't grow big enough to warrant the Dragons being involved. 
paper-and-string is my lifestyle business - it allows me, John and Becky to do jobs we enjoy, and for that I feel very lucky indeed.
The Dragon's always focus on USP 's – and ask ‘what is your unique selling point’?  ‘What is so special about your business that someone else can't just copy it and make it successful too’?  And my answer is ‘me’ (and my team).

paper-and-string is me. 
Every single handmade item is designed and made by me. 
Every single kit is designed and sourced and put together by me, every single length of ribbon and every single button is a supply I would use in my day to day crafting. 
All the felt colours are dyed to colours I like to use, the quality and extra wool content is paramount because I use this felt and I only want the best.
All the fabrics are patterns I know will look good on products I make, in kits or for you to make something with.
All the supplies and tools are items I use every single day. 
All the packaging is designed by me (and then polished to perfection by my designer, who happens to also be my lovely sister)
And all the ideas are mine.

All the ideas come to life as I craft.  Because I do craft.  A lot.  And that means I have a lot of ideas.
So yes, Peter, Deborah, Duncan & Theo; people can, will and do copy my business. 
They can (and do) follow me like a shadow, they can (and do) introduce products that I sell just because I sell them.  They can (and do) undercut me by 5p here and there
BUT do you know what?  - They can't BE me.  They can't have my ideas before I do.  They can only follow and copy and try to imitate....they can lie and be dishonest and try to keep up...but paper-and-string (me, John and Becky – we’re a good team) will always be here, I’ll be doing what I love – and I’ll be doing it better than the followers because it comes from my heart, not from the greed. 
If you have read all of this blog post I thank you.  I hope you like my newest idea – die cut kits for you to make your own 3d flowers - the paper-and-string way.
 Please click here to see them on my website.
And that, ladies & gentlemen, will be another paper-and-string idea ;-)


Anonymous said...

So different and so to order a set right now.
Yet again you lead the way!
The Southwold beach-hutters.

Anonymous said...

A fantastic and well written blog. Yes we love paper and string because its you who has the ideas and makes and sells the products. Keep up the good work.
Christine from Northern Ireland

Gina Axell said...

Very well said Sarah! x

Anonymous said...

sometimes i wonder how to make a proper business out of crafting, and then i think of you and how amazing paper and string is, and i know i could never do it half as well as you, so i'll be happy here being me and ordering from you - as you do what you do SO well :)

thank you for loving what you all do, i love shopping with you and being creative with what i buy. happy days :)

Em said...

Wow, I LOVE your latest creation. Wish these had been available when I place my order 2 days ago (it arrived today, thank you so much)......Oh well, there's always next time XXX

Jayne Schofield said...

Well said Sarah. I know how hard you have worked and how talented you are. Those who copy will always be second best. A wise Dragon once old me...just keep your head in your business and make it everything you want it to be and the copiers will get fed up and find someone else to rip off...hope you are ok lovely xx

Anonymous said...

Very well said. You are YOUR business no one else can be your business.

Louise said...

LOVED every word of this, Sarah... It is so apparent in every blog post, every kit you put together, every new design/ idea that you launch, every Paper and String package that arrives at my door, that you do this job with passion and dedication.... That's why we all love YOU :)

CherylG said...

Here, here!

Made By Ewe said...

You're a constant source of inspiration to me, not because I want to steal your ideas - I don't even like felt crafting that much! - but because of your commitment to your business. Commitment cannot be copied, as you say, it makes you what you are.

Karen said...

WELL SAID SARAH!!!!!!!! You put so much love into every little piece of felt, ribbon and button, it shows! x

Unknown said...

Idea originated from the real place is the true idea not the imitated one.

Irene said...

GREAT POST!!!!!! I have followed your blog for some time now and I am always telling my daughter to read things you write. She designs and makes cards and stationery items, she has a full time job so has been working very hard in the evenings and weekends to get her business to a place where she can give up her job and go it alone. So thats why I follow you with great interest and admire what you have achieved. By the way I think the dragons would all be fighting to invest in you :)
Best wishes to you and your team