Welcome to Story Crafters!
We are Andy and Catherine, a Birmingham based couple and founders of Story Crafters.
We met in Birmingham in 2010 and got married a few years later. Having studied and worked here for the last 9 years, we have decided to start an adventure nurturing our small start-up Story Crafters together.
Catherine’s background as a primary school teacher combined with her love of reading and creating led to the idea of starting Story Crafters. Together we have built on the initial spark to create a series of craft boxes to date.
All of our boxes are handmade by us at home. Once we have chosen a story, we carefully design and test each craft before we write the instructions and put together the kits. We hope you enjoy using them as much as we have enjoyed creating each Story Crafters box.
I’m currently working as a nanny part time and devoting the rest of the time to working on Story Crafters. Craft and reading are two hobbies very close to my heart.
As a child, I was rarely seen without a book, whether out shopping or walking between classes at school. Growing up in London, I was very lucky to have several fantastic libraries within walking distance and each weekend I’d be there with my backpack stuffed full of the 10 books I was allowed on my library card!
I also love creating. At the moment I’m particularly enjoying sewing but have always baked, crocheted, crafted and DIY-ed my days away.
For the last 4 years I have worked as a primary school teacher. It has deeply saddened me to see that many young children have not had the opportunity to develop a love for reading and stories at home and some see reading as a chore.
Story Crafters was born out of a desire to help families spend time together reading and enjoying stories as well as being creative. With my background in teaching, the boxes are designed to be educational and also to develop children’s independence, co-ordination and fine motor skills.
I grew up in a family where reading was highly valued. Some of my favourite books from childhood are Lemony Snicket’s ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’. I have always loved making and fixing things as well as taking them apart! I enjoy carefully planning the things I make and ensuring everything is just so.
In the past I have worked as a classroom assistant and a private tutor, giving me some insight into education and the importance of helping children to develop a love of reading. I am passionate about helping people and I believe our Story Crafters boxes will provide tools to help families enjoy reading together.
Our Christian faith is very important to both of us and we have begun creating crafts that explore stories from the Bible. We hope that this will facilitate discussions about God and help families to learn and grow together in their faith.
Why Story Crafters?
Story Crafters was born out of our own love of reading and creating but there is much more behind our ethos.
Family time – The story books included in our boxes can be enjoyed together as a family and our hope is that families can spend time together making the crafts. As each craft is designed to be used in play, siblings and friends can play together using the story as inspiration.
Love of reading – The more children are exposed to stories and are able to explore them, the more their love of reading will grow. As we know, reading is an essential life skill but also a wonderful hobby too. In the words of Emilie Buchwald “Children are made readers on the laps of their parents”, so Story Crafters aims to provide opportunities for children and parents to enjoy reading together.
Fine motor skills – Using scissors, manipulating craft pieces and colouring are just a few of many activities that develop children’s fine motor skills. This is essential for children to develop dexterity and strength in their hands and fingers, which helps with everything from buttoning their shirts to writing.
Comprehension skills – Talking about and exploring books helps children to develop stronger comprehension skills. The creative play facilitated by the craft kits provides opportunities for discussion and exploration of the story.
Fun – In our experience children love to create! The crafts we create are designed to be fun to make and to play with.
Educational – Reading broadens the mind and teaches children new vocabulary and ideas. Crafts also hone essential skills - children can begin to learn to follow instructions, work as a team and develop a range of creative skills that they can use in other projects.