Country Love Ceramics was established in 1991. It began life as a traditional hobby ceramic studio.
The business began as a home-based “paint your own pottery” studio in a conservatory located in a rural Oxfordshire village. Having previously seen the popularity of similar studios in America, the founder felt it would be an ideal new business venture.
Initially the business manufactured blank pottery designs from clay and slip (liquid clay poured into moulds). It also encouraged customers to make their own pottery pieces which were then decorated and fired in a kiln. Customers would attend during opening hours to make, decorate or finish ceramic pieces.
Demand soon escalated and within a few years the business began importing bisque (pottery blanks) from Italy and began supplying bisque on a wholesale basis.
Training and Support
Expertise in the day to day running of a studio established Country Love as a source of honest, down to earth information for anyone about to venture into the world of ceramics.
A number of training courses were soon devised - the most popular being “New Business” training (a one-day, low cost, intensive course offering business advice and practical guidance for anyone wanting to start their own home-based or static site studio). Since its introduction, this course has continued to be one of the most popular courses held each month.
In the intervening years Country Love Ceramics helped establish thousands of clay cafe and mobile party plan businesses. The business is now probably the largest supplier of bisque to the contemporary studio market in the UK and Europe. Country Love focuses heavily on low start up packages and tailoring individual needs (knowledge based or financial) to start a new business. Country Love provides an unusually high level of support, especially in the initial stages of setting up. Up to an astounding 50% of incoming calls can be support-based on a daily basis.
In 2007 Country Love Ceramics Limited was bought by EM Richford, better known as Personal Impressions. In January 2011, the business became Country Love Crafts (a division of the E.M. Richford group of companies).
Country Love Crafts have a large distribution centre on an industrial unit ontailoring the the training to suit Milton Park Trading Estate near Abingdon, Oxfordshire. Container shipments regularly arrive from global manufacturers and our products are selected for style, quality and price.
Although ceramic blanks remain the core product range, the stock inventory has expanded over the years to include craft products as well as kiln craft supplies (like kilns, kiln accessories, underglazes, glazes, brushes, decorating tools).
More recently, Country Love is proud to have secured three exciting new distributorships: DecoArt, Decopatch and Duncan.
Our 20,000 sq ft storage unit is full of stock to ensure we are never short of supplies! Packaged in tri-wall cartons, our products travel so well we guarantee safe delivery!
Training and Support
The training programme has evolved over the years. The top selling courses for the past few years have been:
- New Business Course
- 3D Outprints (no kiln required)
- Clay Imprints (kiln required)
- Silver Keepsakes
Interestingly, we have seen a significant increase in bespoke training - proving that customers are clearly researching their options and tailoring the training to suit.
In 2011 over 90 courses have been scheduled throughout the year. We are confident that we have the right mix for Craft and Ceramic businesses. If you are looking for specific training, and it is not shown on our current training programme, then please let us know as we have access to a number of freelance demonstrators and tutors.