Ex-Royal Navy mum sets up crafts website for the best in British handmade gifts

A MUM has launched her own crafts website for the best in British handmade gifts.

By Hope Mckellar
Saturday, 16th November 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Saturday, 16th November 2019, 6:00 am


Sue Bonnar (centre front) organised a gathering of local ladies with like-minded interests in craft work at The Osborne View on Hill Head Road, Hill Head, Fareham for sellers and supporters of The British Craft House


Picture: Malcolm Wells (061119-9545)

Byline: Malcolm Wells
Credit: The News, Portsmouth
Source: The News, Portsmouth
Sue Bonnar (centre front) organised a gathering of local ladies with like-minded interests in craft work at The Osborne View on Hill Head Road, Hill Head, Fareham for sellers and supporters of The British Craft House Picture: Malcolm Wells (061119-9545) Byline: Malcolm Wells Credit: The News, Portsmouth Source: The News, Portsmouth

Susan Bonnar - also known as Dottie - set up The British Craft House this year after having the idea during an 18-mile run while training for a marathon in February.

The site runs in a similar way to international craft website Etsy, but all of the products are British and all potential sellers are hand-selected by Susan.

Since launching the site a couple of weeks ago, she already has 170 sellers, with a range of products from cards and stationary to personalised jewellery.

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The ex-Royal Navy air traffic controller started to make cards to send to her husband, who, as a Royal Navy officer, was often on long deployments.

She said: ‘I never considered crafting could be my full-time job, but card and album sales took off in shops and online and by the time I had my third baby I decided to leave the navy. My passion became helping others and bringing together people who spend hours crafting something unique and help them drive it into a business. The British Craft House site gives them that platform. I really want to help these people sell, to be able to give up their day job so they can pursue their passion. Make their dreams come true.’

She has also set up the Hampshire Crafters Network, made up of crafters from the region who meet monthly to socialise, discuss business and creative ideas.

Susan has been selected as a winner of Dragon’s Den investor Theo Paphitis’ Small Business Sunday award twice, in which he selects deserving business to give a shout out to on Twitter.

She has also trended on Twitter herself, with her Team TBCH Twitter hour, where sellers on the site share their handmade goods and socialise with each other through the social media platform.

Her next plan is to do a 12-days-of-Christmas style period of giveaways and competitions, for which she has already got around 80 gifts to be handed out to lucky winners.