Duo has it all stitched up

cutoutAnt and Dec have got nothing on Karen and Roz from StraightCurves – the close pals are a definite double act.

The pair have an infectious sense of humour and boundless energy and sitting side by side to talk to me about the business they practically finish each others sentences.

You get the impression jokes, fun and laughter are the order of the day if you join them for one of the arts and crafts sessions they run in Chesterfield.

Karen Rogers is the creative one behind the business and she has taken on her friend to “keep the wheels on the cart” as Roz herself summed it up.

“StraightCurves is Karen’s baby – I am just the babysitter,” she added and they both giggled at the idea.

“If it wasn’t for Roz keeping me in check I would spend all my time making. I get excited about creating  and I love teaching people so get easily distracted from the admin side,” explained Karen.

The 37-year-old moved to Chesterfield from London where she was working as a teacher to be near family who had moved here from Leicestershire and at first she taught at Springwell Community School and for Derbyshire Adult Education.

However, the self-confessed workaholic said that it wasn’t enough for her and she needed more of a challenge.

She decided there was room for someone else to be offering craft sessions and set herself up – initially offering crochet and sewing classes, before expanding into premises within the newly refurbished Market Hall.

That’s where she first met Roz Vincent. “She came to learn how to crochet and we became friends and then one day she semi-jokingly said I should employ her to help out. I thought about it and realised it was a great idea.”

With Roz as studio manager Karen is now free to concentrate on what she does best and the business, now based at 104 Saltergate, is booming.

They have just taken on a young apprentice and they have an army of part-time tutors for the huge variety of workshops they offer.

The list has grown from crochet and sewing to include among many others mosaics, weaving, pottery, spinning, beading, felting, paper craft, life drawing and even creative writing.

“So many of these crafts are being taught less and less in the county. I really wanted to make sure that people still had the chance to learn them, and we are adding more and more to our list all the time,” said Karen.

Every nook and cranny of the two-storey studios is filled with either craft materials or fascinating creations.

There is also a hallway gallery with cards, prints and pottery by local artists for sale.

It is an Aladdin’s Cave of treasures and the relaxed atmosphere created by the pair means it is definitely somewhere where anyone could feel comfortable while learning a new skill.

As well as the courses and workshops they also offer social sessions, such as Woolly Wednesday (which isn’t just knitting and crochet), sessions for children as well as crafty parties for all ages.

For more details about what’s available, go to http://www.straightcurves.co.uk or telephone 01246 807575.