A visit to Treasure Tree Crafts
Today we escaped the office to visit one of sellers – Amanda at Treasure Tree Crafts who makes, amongst other things, our fabulous reindeers.
Even though it is only October, Amanda is already up to her ears in Christmas orders and is busier than she can handle! But with the promise of a cuppa and a good old chat, we managed to pull her away from her paintbrushes.
Amanda’s products are all hand made to order, and it’s quite an involved process. Each order, after being cut to shape, is sanded, and painted by hand. Before today, I had no idea what it meant to ‘de-fluff’ a reindeer, and I am delighted to report that, contrary to how it sounds, it does not involve any cruelty to reindeers whatsoever! De-fluffing is Amanda’s very ‘technical’ term for ensuring that the sides of each piece are smoothed to a perfect finish so that there are no fuzzy edges.
After ‘de-fluffing’, it’s an undercoat by hand, followed by up to three top-coats (depending on which parts and colours she is working with) before adding all the final details. Amanda even ties the bows by hand to ensure that each and every order is perfect when it leaves her workroom. The attention to detail is astonishing.
One of the things that really excites me about running D&T is being able to support other mums (and dads!) as their businesses grow as mine does. So it is extremely exciting for me that as a result of spending some time with Amanda looking at how long it takes her to finish each order (considerably longer than I had previously thought before our visit) and how we could make her business run more efficiently, she is about to take the big step of bringing in someone to help her – a massive step, but one that is absolutely right for her business at this time. Her hope is that it will allow her to not only reduce her dispatch time, but also to make more orders whilst still having some time to at least eat once in a while!
We do want to wish her new helper luck – Amanda’s standards are pretty darn high with nothing less than perfect being good enough! But the finished result is so worth the effort that goes into it. So, why not invite a reindeer onto your Christmas table this year – they make perfect place settings! And if reindeers aren’t your thing, she has snowmen, penguins, owls, bunnies, tractors and all manner of other lovely bits and bobs too, and I am sure Amanda (and her new recruit) would welcome the break from all that brown paint!