Craft Buddy crowned Owner-managed Business of the Year

Published on: 21st March 2023

Craft Buddy took home the title at the Thames Valley SME Growth 100 Award ceremony as the company continues to flourish.

Dino (left) and Gary (centre) with their business award.

Craft Buddy has been named Owner-managed Business of the Year at the Thames Valley SME Growth 100 award ceremony that was hosted at the Bremont Headquarters in Henley-on-Thames London earlier this month. Co-founders Dino and Gary Wadhwani were thrilled to receive the award and spoke of their excitement at continuing to grow their business.

Founded by Gary and Dino, Craft Buddy combined the Wadhwani Brothers’ experience in arts & crafts and sourcing products to establish the business. The company has been expanding exponentially in the past 10 years. Pandemic-induced growth and a strategy to venture into licensed business have fuelled the company’s growth immensely.

Now, with a team of over 30 people and warehouses in both the UK and Germany, Craft Buddy has not only become one of the leading arts & crafts suppliers in the UK, its distribution network also covers most of the EU markets, Middle East, North America and Asia Pacific region. The company is also an official licensee of numerous world renowned brands, including Disney, Star Wars, Marvel, Peter Rabbit, The Smurfs and latest additions: Paddington and L.O.L. Surprise!

The judges were impressed with Craft Buddy’s passion and commitment in a challenging sector, as well as its pragmatic and timely strategies. They noted the company’s genuine bootstrapped approach as an ideal lesson in how to navigate the myriad channels of retail.

“It’s been an exciting journey and we are grateful for being recognised by the judging panel of Thames Valley SME Growth 100,” commented Gary. “Navigating through the complicated environment and competitive market has been a challenging yet very rewarding experience. We adapted and evolved quickly to stay ahead of the changes and we were so proud to bring Crystal Art Buddies to the market last year – our answer to creative crafts meeting collectible toys.”

“For a company to keep growing, we understand the importance of diversification, but did not lose sight to of our core target market,” added Dino. “We have worked very hard to keep innovating and present new products from our various brands including Crystal Art, Forever Flowerz, Paint By Numb3res, Craft Buddy Home and Craft Buddy Puzzles.”

“TV shopping is one of our key retail channels and we have been performing exceptionally well with Create & Craft TV in the UK and QVC in Germany,” continued Dino. “We have signed a contract with TV shopping channel Home Shopping Channel (HSN) and will have our first airing on the 28th March. We can’t wait to bring our products in front of US consumers.”

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