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Creative Hornchurch family celebrate 25 years of business growth

PUBLISHED: 09:39 24 May 2016 | UPDATED: 11:00 24 May 2016

Crafty Arts, in Romford, celebrated 25 years in business after opening its first shop in Hornchurch in 1991. 
Nick Necati with his son Jay.

Crafty Arts, in Romford, celebrated 25 years in business after opening its first shop in Hornchurch in 1991. Nick Necati with his son Jay.

Archant

A family-run arts and craft enterprise has celebrated 25 years in business, crediting its success to its ability to adapt.

Crafty Arts opened its first shop in Hornchurch in 1991 as the country emerged from the economic crisis of the late 1980s.

Nick Necati, 61, of Hornchurch, and his son Jay, 33, have run the business successfully through booms and busts and since the latest recession it has grown and become a limited company.

Mr Necati opened the business with his wife Lorraine, who used to make marketing signs for brands including Selfridges and Fortnum & Mason.

The growing dominance of the web design technology meant Mrs Necati was left without a job and decided to open her own arts shop, with the help of her husband who anticipated redundancy from his job at BT around the same time.

“We didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into. We had to learn on the job but we made it work,” said Mr Necati.

In the early days, the couple’s son Jay and daughter Lauren, now 30, worked at the shop on Saturdays. The arty siblings took a taste to the business and now both work as graphic designers.

A year after the shop opened, the couple launched a second branch in Lakeside, Thurrock, and later there were shops in Brentwood and at the Blue Water shopping centre in Dartford.

But the arrival of the internet shook the business as customers were on the hunt for bargains.

On Jay’s suggestion, Crafty Arts moved all of its sales online.

“We have been through two recessions but we managed to move along with the customers,” said Mr Necati.

In 2014, Crafty Arts settled at its current location in Bryant Avenue, Romford, where operates both a shop and a warehouse for its online business, which sells goods across the UK and Europe.

In the last three years, the business has grown 25 per cent year-on-year.

Mr Necati said: “I manage the business side and I have the experience while Jay has the technical expertise. I have done my bit for the business so it will be for him to take it over,” Mr Necati told the Recorder.

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