Fate brought them together, and they share that love plate by plate
It is much like a fairy tale; boy and girl meet in high school and then lose touch. Twenty-eight years later they meet again, love blossoms and they get married. Together they start a small craft business. It is fate, kismet, serendipity, which is why Hugh and Elizabeth Henry called their craft business “Serendipity Crafts.”
Graphic designers by trade, they needed to make some more money to make a down payment for their first house and it just made sense that they put their creative skills to work. They hit upon a wonderful and unique idea – creating signature platters, a twist on the traditional guest book or group greeting card, and personalized keepsake plates.
Elizabeth was a stay-at-home mom who sold crafts before she and Hugh got together. After their marriage, Hugh continued to work in the graphic design industry, but the couple also decided, in 2005, to bring their considerable artistic skills to bear as they started designing, painting, marketing, and packaging their collaborative products.
"We work primarily with ceramics, however we have been known to paint on anything that doesn't move. And sometimes things that do as well,” Elizabeth chuckles. “We purchase blank ceramic pieces to paint on. Hugh does 95% of the designing and I do 95% of the painting. Once the design has been painted, the pieces are then heat set in our kitchen oven.”
Their ideas come from everywhere. Says Elizabeth, “our favourite definition of the word Serendipity is ‘all the random pieces coming together in one wonderful moment, when suddenly you see what their purpose was all along’ which really describes how we get our ideas. Hugh draws his from the graphic design industry, which is odd because he is more of a fine artist than I am. My design inspiration comes to me most often in the early morning or, when I am spending time alone with my thoughts. Another great source for our designs come directly from our customers. Many times a customer will come to us with vague design ideas and we will run with their suggestions.”
Hugh agrees. “We both love custom design requests. New challenges feed our creative juices the most. With that said, each piece that we paint is one-of-a-kind so our favourite pieces are always the ones that we are currently creating.”
Serendipity Crafts does at least one local craft show per year. They also manage their own website, and enjoy using services like iCraft and other online marketplaces. From time to time, they run contests or promotions, sending out email newsletters or donating product to help raise funds for various causes.
“We blog, we "tweet", we have a gallery on Flickr and we have a Facebook page,” notes Hugh. “It all takes much more time than I first expected it might, but it is something that is necessary to do.”
“We love what we do,” says Elizabeth. “It is most important to believe in yourself and your product. Find your niche and create a superior product. Our philosophy is to always aim to deliver a ‘little more’ than what our customers expect.”
With that in mind, is it any wonder that the Henrys enjoy working together so much? And that they are determined to continue building this business, so that it will support them once they decide to retire?
Now that is a thought you can put on a plate!