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The journey continues.....

Gooseberry Fool has evolved and grown organically over time. When I started this venture, encouraged by friends and family, I never imagined it would grow to the extent that it has. I am truly grateful for all the support I have been given over the last few years, and I’m amazed that I have now found myself in a position where my hands alone are not sufficient to fulfil your orders. Crochet is a slow craft, it can only be done by hand, there are no machines which can create crochet pieces, and for me that makes it something truly special and unique. So I have been faced with a decision as to how best to address this, as I realised that I would need to outsource some work if I was going to be able to continue.
 
Taking the step to outsource has not been easy, I have found it difficult from a couple of points, firstly, that this brand which has become my fifth baby is so precious to me I knew I was going to struggle to relinquish parts of it, and secondly, where on earth do I begin in terms of sourcing other artisans who can work with me?
 
In starting my search for artisans, I knew that I wanted the brand to be kept as it is, with a focus on slowly made products, heirloom pieces crafted from natural fibres, but I also knew that I had a desire in me to want to be able to help and support other women to fulfil their ambitions. My search has taken me across the globe, I have made contact with various groups and co-operatives worldwide. I have had lots of samples made, I have inspected various yarns, I have assessed the conditions where artisans are working, I have taken into account shipping, communication, ethics and quality and I am delighted to say that I have found a group of women based in Southern India who are able and willing to lovingly create products for you. I wanted to ensure that I will be able to continue to design the patterns, and so each piece is created directly from a product designed by me. The beauty of the group I am working with is that it evolved from a wish to create livelihoods for local women. Around 100 women in the community work from home to produce your pieces. Many of these ladies have learnt from their mothers, aunts and friends, and it feels wonderful to be able to provide them with employment, knowing that they are being paid a fair wage for their work.
      
 
And so, Gooseberry Fool will now consist of several ready to ship products alongside this I will continue to offer some custom made products where the time scale for dispatch will remain at 10-14 working days. I hope that you will like what you see and you will continue to support me on this journey.
With my love,
Rachel x

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