Tewkesbury-based Alice Caroline has just been announced as one of the first official UK Liberty fabric companies to win a Queens Award for Enterprise in International Trade. As demand has grown in the company’s patterns and sewing kits, thanks to many more of us taking up crafting, it has seen year. on year growth of 206 percent since 2015, with international sales now accounting for 45.7 per cent of total sales.
Alice Garretts’ life-long passion for fabrics and sewing inspired her to establish Alice Caroline, a Cotswolds-based creative business selling Liberty fabrics and sewing kits for homewares and accessories. Nine years and 23 employees later, Alice’s largely women-led creative business has now been catapulted onto a global stage while UK sales have rocketed by 69 percent during a hugely successful lockdown year.
As well as selling through retail and specialist trade, Alice has worked exclusively with Liberty on a collection of exclusive Liberty fabric designs and makes these into sewing and pattern kits. It’s these popular, quintessentially British fabrics and kits which have flown the flag for UK export and steadily contributed to overseas trade success over the past six years.
“When I started selling Liberty fabric in 2012 I could hardly dream of such a success story,” explains Alice. “Hearing about our Queens Award was the icing on the cake after a year of huge increase in demand for our kits and fabrics in the UK. We have just had our busiest 12 months with customers turning to us to keep them busy sewing.
“A love of crafting our own homewares is certainly here to stay and our UK success along with our Queen’s Award will lead to further expansion both in the UK and internationally”, continues Alice. “We will be able to offer a greater choice of fabrics, create more patterns and sewing kits and have the exciting opportunity to develop new exclusive prints with Liberty.”