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Novelty teapot company Carters of Suffolk, based in Stonham Aspal, sees boom in sales over lockdown with orders from Australia, Thailand and Walt Disney World in Florida



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A Stonham Aspal company has seen a boom in sales during lockdown as people are spending more time at home drinking tea and starting collections with their handmade teapots.

Carters of Suffolk, of Stonham Barns Retail Park, which has been producing novel ceramic teapots for around 40 years, has seen a surge in online sales for the unique items.

Director Mark Gillam said: “I think our increase is down to a lot of people going on to the internet and looking to buy something special for their homes.

Mark Gillam, director of Carters of Suffolk, with some of the designs that have been selling around the world. Picture by Richard Marsham
Mark Gillam, director of Carters of Suffolk, with some of the designs that have been selling around the world. Picture by Richard Marsham

“They have also realised the value of buying British and buying artisan products – whether it be a small shop selling jams or us here selling teapots.”

It also has not just been this country which has been in demand for the fine ceramics, Mark says his teapots have gone global, including selling to the Epcot Centre at Walt Disney World, Florida.

He said: “We have sold them to customers in the USA, Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and even Russia.

Mark Gillam, director of Carters of Suffolk with some of the teapots..Picture: Richard Marsham
Mark Gillam, director of Carters of Suffolk with some of the teapots..Picture: Richard Marsham

“Our teapots are going all over the place and I think it boils down to the quirkiness of our designs and, as I say, I think they like the Britishness of a teapot as well.”

Mark and his business partner took over Carters in February last year, and with lockdown changed from predominantly business to business sales to expanding their sales to the public as well.

He said: “We put in a lot of effort in at the start of February and our new website went live in June. Since the first lockdown and with proper advertising it has just been quite phenomenal really.”

Each teapot takes Mark’s team of five highly skilled workers about a week to make, using manufacturing processes which have changed very little since the 18th century.

The teapots are made in small quantities to make them highly collectable and the details on them are produced using real gold and the silver is created in platinum.

About what it means to Mark and his team when people buy one of their teapots, he said: “It is lovely, they are almost pieces of art really.

“Buying one keeps my staff employed and at the end of the day I want to make sure they are supported.”

For details about Carters of Suffolk, visit www.cartersofsuffolk.com.

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