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About Red Balloon

Once upon a time...
I've been crafting for as long as I can remember. I recall that every year at Christmas-time I would spend hours secreted away in the spare-room, manufacturing elaborate hand-made gifts for everyone in my family; things I'd found in the pages of my mother's old Your Family or Woman's Value magazines. My family pretended to like these gifts, of course, as one must, but I don't think they were exactly market-quality items.

I went to primary school, and learnt to knit and sew, as every little girl should, and I remember that I was particularly taken with embroidery. I used to spend most of my pocket money on embroidery cotton and pre-printed cloths. Come to think of it, very little has changed... except that I don't get pocket money anymore.

My first craft market stall
When I was 13, I learnt to make fabric-covered photo frames, notebooks and soaps (remember the Biggie Best country look?), and my mom helped me to get a stall at Durbanville Craft Market, where we spent many lo-o-ong Saturdays peddling our wares and meeting other crafters.

The beginning of an addiction
The following year we were taught basic cross-stitch in Home Economics class, and I took to it immediately. The teacher told me that I seemed to have something of a talent for it; that was the only nice thing she ever said to me, so I figured there must be something in it...

So I cross-stitched, notebooked and knitted my way through high school, and eventually graduated to designing my own range of original cross-stitch kits. I sold these for a while, but when I got married at the tender age of 21, I found the craft market way of life was becoming a little too demanding for me, and I needed to find a less labour-intensive way of selling my products.

From small beginnings...
And so was born the idea of The Red Balloon Homecraft Directory, a place where crafters could advertise their handcrafted goods without even leaving home. As time went by, and I received more and more requests for information on craft markets, where to buy specific craft materials, and how to find craft classes, I developed a clearer picture of what crafters really wanted: a living, growing, up-to-date and immediate source of information on every aspect of crafting; a place where the world of the crafter, supplier, teacher, market organiser and shopper could intersect.

We've spent many months of late nights and early mornings developing the concept, tweaking and improving all the while, and sometimes, frustratingly, having to start all over again. But here we are at last, ready to welcome you to the Red Balloon Craft Junction.

Thank you for stopping by; please stay a while and make yourself at home. And do mail me if there's anything I can do to improve your experience here.


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