Earlier this year, Amazon announced support for more than 100 new apprenticeships in organisations across the creative industries, doubling its creative industries apprenticeship levy funding to £2m in a bid to develop the UK’s creative talent of the future.
An important part of Amazon’s investment is our commitment to the UK-based artisans and SME craft businesses who sell their goods via Amazon.co.uk and Handmade.
The Handmade store is available for artisans to sell their handcrafted products to millions of Amazon customers all over the world. It’s open to creative business owners who make accessories, artwork, baby products, beauty products, clothing, shoes, handbags, jewellery, homeware and more. Keep reading to meet some of our Handmade and SME sellers to hear their success stories.
Funky Soap Shop from London
Anni Kriesche fulfilled her lifelong dream of making her own soap and skincare when she started Funky Soap Shop. The business has grown from making a few products in Anni’s kitchen to a 15 strong team and large premises.
Funky Soap Shop provides shoppers with healthy and simple products, revives old recipes, and offers plastic free alternatives. Now in operation for over 10 years, the business has had many highlights which include having its own billboard in Westfield London sponsored by Amazon, and a piece of press coverage in a magazine that sent sales through the roof.
“Amazon gives a platform for many creative businesses,” said Anni. “They can reach customers they wouldn’t normally. The Small Business and Climate Pledge Friendly badges Amazon offers also help customers to purchase more consciously and support designer-makers and creative industries.
“Funky Soap Shop itself has been supported with advertising campaigns and promotions from Amazon which have helped to raise the profile of Funky Soap and gain customers.”
Fizzy Fuzzy from Buckinghamshire
Vicki Kajtar worked in the food industry for 12 years and headed up a New Product Development Department before having children and establishing her business Fizzy Fuzzy.
The idea for the business came about by chance when her daughter was given bath bomb making kit as a birthday present and she was less than impressed with quality. Because of her background, Vicki understood the principle and ingredients involved in creating bath bombs and decided she could do a better job herself. Since then, she went on to become one of the first businesses to feature her products on Amazon Handmade in the UK.
“Once the products were live and I could see them available on the Amazon website – that was a truly memorable day,” said Vicki. “That was when my craft turned from a hobby into a proper business. I then became a limited company in 2017 and have never looked back!”
Wee Woolly Wonderfuls from Hull
Lisa Dobbs started her craft business, Wee Woolly Wonderfuls, in her spare room while working as a mortgage advisor, and now runs it full-time with her husband.
“In a small business you have to be the designer, photographer, marketer, social media guru, kit packer and dispatcher, and everything in between,” said Lisa.
“Amazon has been instrumental to the growth of my small family business. It has given me the opportunity to offer my items to a huge audience, as well giving me marketing opportunities in newspapers, marketing emails and with celebrities which has been instrumental in growing my business.
“Our orders on Amazon went crazy the day that Stacey Solomon posted an Instagram story about making our Arthur & Betsy Bunny Kit for her new baby whilst pregnant. The response was amazing, and lots of people I knew were contacting me saying that they'd seen our bunnies go viral!”
Cotswold Crafts by Emma
Emma Eatwell set up Cotswold Crafts by Emma in the midst of a COVID-19 lockdown in 2020. Initially a stopgap while her career was on hold, the handmade resin gifts and accessories business proved its selling potential on online shops.
“What I thought would be a barrier - not having the ability to showcase the pieces in local markets or craft shops due to being in lockdown - proved to be a blessing in disguise in the long term,” said Emma.
“It meant I took a leap of faith and joined the Amazon Handmade Sellers. This opened Cotswold Crafts by Emma up to a much wider audience, which catapulted us into being the successful small business we are today.
“Amazon is pioneering the way in supporting the creative industries by providing craftspeople with a platform to showcase what they can do, without physically running a shop. The support Amazon Handmade provides, with online workshops, tutorials and advice from advertising campaigns, means it’s accessible for small business to grow and thrive.”
Amazon has invested more than £4.2bn in UK creative industries since 2010, across areas like Kindle Direct Publishing, Amazon Publishing, Prime Video, Audible, Amazon Fashion, Amazon Music, Amazon Games and more. New analysis also shows that Amazon’s investments supported 16,000 jobs across the sector in 2022.
Read more about how Prime Video’s investment in the UK is creating opportunities for homegrown film and TV talent, or learn about the Amazon apprenticeship fund which is creating 750 apprenticeships in small and medium sized UK businesses.