We have all just recovered from tidying up and getting everything back in place after a tremendous two days of craft and alpaca celebration here at TOFT. This weekend marked the tenth anniversary of the brand that is now TOFT. A brand that is internationally recognised across the world as representing the very best in creative design, service and luxury.
More than time this celebration marks the the arrival back from University some ten years ago of Kerry Lord or Bettinson as she was then, carrying her newly printed, first class honours degree in English and with a little time to kill before taking up a masters or embarking on an academic career. We casually asked her, as you do when a spare pair of intelligent hands arrives on the manor, if she would look over our emerging alpaca retailing efforts and see what she could do.
Well the rest is history, she took to it like a shark in a meat factory, committed her talents to the n'th degree to make this side of our business a huge success. Ten years later TOFT employs over 14 people, retails and wholesales across the world and has become a brand with a huge national and International reputation. Kerry has just published her fourth book on crochet. We have the TOFT coffee shop and Shop open five days a week on site in the TOFT Studio. We have an online retail facility to rival the best in its field and a wholesale division that is smoking! The goal posts are moving so fast around here you don't get a chance to kick the ball at them.
All this is very much down to the commitment, energy, creativity and talent of our daughter Kerry, and of course in no small part also down to the amount of support she gets from her husband, her friends, all our family, friends relations, passers by and any other slave, that can be exploited to give her a hand.
I could go on forever detailing the incident, adventure challenges and successes of the past ten years and I am convinced that one day someone will do just that, but suffice to say Shirley an I are so very proud of our daughter and what has been acheived here. We feel very privileged to have played a part in seeing Kerry Lord become a brand in her own right and mature into the formidable creative force she has become today.
10 years is a long time and a lot has been acheived but I confidently put you all on notice to watch this space. For I am acutely aware that for TOFT the story is just at the end of the beginning. This first ten years has been a magnificent achievement but it may it well be a mere drop in the ocean as to where Kerry will lead her merry team of Yarnies to next.
Congratulations to you all, congratulations Kerry and our sincere thanks to everyone past and present who has contributed to making TOFT the success it is today. Hold onto your hats y'all for the best is yet to come!