Business News

New acquisition for Katy Sue Designs

Katy Sue Designs acquires JJ Quilling.

Katy Sue Designs, the award-winning South Shields based craft manufacturer and retailer have completed another important acquisition. Having experienced significant growth in ecommerce revenues during the past 24 months the business is further expanding its paper craft range with the acquisition of the UK’s number one quilling supplier.

JJ Quilling is a 40-year-old family owned business which serves an important paper craft niche. The business is the number one UK manufacturer of paper quilling supplies and kits and is the only remaining UK manufacturer of speciality foil edged strips. The quality of their range is recognised by enthusiasts as far afield as Japan and the USA and has itself grown rapidly as a result partly of the increase in the craft’s popularity.

Commenting on the deal Sue Balfour CEO of Katy Sue said, “We have been working on our own range of paper quilling products which are set to launch in early 2022 and searched for a UK supplier to add to our kit designs. We were surprised to find most of the supplies were a poor quality and had to be bought in China and so we were delighted to begin working with JJ as a UK supplier and ultimately to have the opportunity to acquire the JJ Quilling range and manufacturing capability. We intend to invest in more products and additional customer service capability to help the business reach its real potential.”

Diane and Tris Boden, the owners of JJ Quilling commented, “We had been considering retiring but wanted to make sure the business lived on and became part of a business with the same culture and ethos as we have. We approached Katy Sue and found Sue Balfour was the right person to take things forward, so we completed negotiations quickly and to our complete satisfaction. We are going to stay on for a period to ensure the business is fully integrated into its new home at Katy Sue”.

Katy Sue Designs has set ambitious growth plans, aiming to build a £10m revenue business employing over 100 staff within 5 years. Having secured investment in late 2018, the business has seen sales growth of over 200% and is on an acquisition journey to build out the business, consolidating a highly fragmented UK craft market.


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