Monday, 2 July 2012

Who is behind Craft Magazine Shop?

In my last blog post about the ex-All Craft Media sewing magazines (Sew Hip, Modern Quilting and Handmade Fashion) I mentioned that it seemed like the previous ACM owner Kerrie Allman was behind the magazines.  They had been purchased by a new company Craft Magazine Shop an unregistered company supposedly owned by someone called Derek Barnes.  No one seems to have heard of, or been contacted by Derek, only by Kerrie and her relations.

The new domain name had been registered in the name of ACM (after they went into administration), her sister was e-mailing advertisers and her mum was answering the phones at the new company.  However, despite all of that Kerrie was still swearing blind on her blog that she was nothing to do with Craft Magazine Shop.  Even though she admitted her mum and sister were working there, and that she herself was back in the ACM offices she continued to maintain the company was nothing to do with her.  When people started to question the contradictions in her blog posts she made her blog private.

Then on Friday it was announced on Twitter that Sew Hip had been renamed Simply Sewing, a quick search on Yudu showed the new front cover of the magazine along with the new domain name: http://www.simplysewingmag.co.uk/.

Despite the first page of the magazine urging people to visit the site there is no content on it, not even a holding page.  However, I decided to do a quick Whois search and guess who registered the domain less than 2 weeks ago?

None other than Kerrie, although she did it in her maiden name - Kerrie Rycroft.

The rumors of Kerrie's involvement have been circulating ever since it was heard that Craft Magazine Shop had bought the magazines.  People had reported being contacted by her in relation to the magazines, many have suggested that the new editor (Jenn Smith-Clarke) was in fact Kerrie using a pen name but for me the final confirmation is the above.  Concrete evidence that Kerrie is still behind the magazines.

So do beware, this is now the third company she has run which has owned these magazines, the last 2 ledt a large number of unpaid contributors, large debts to the HMRC and their printers unpaid.  The debt of the last 2 companies is over £300,000 and there could still be more creditors to come forward.  Do Google All Craft Media, KAL Media or Kerrie Allman to read about other people's experiences with this company before you decide to work with them.  Or read the comments on my original blog post here.

26 comments:

missielizzie said...

This is very interesting - great Miss Marple work!

Thanks for the warning x

Catherine Lloyd-Evans said...

Thanks Fiona - good update. It's also worth adding that some of us (unpaid) contributors suspect that this new Simply Sewing will contain our work, run without our permission, since most of us had probably submitted piece to be run before the furore erupted (in my case, the back column). We are attempting to find email addresses for editorial staff working on the magazine in order to tell them not to run our work without permission, because it will all add up to yet more breaches of payment, or contracts, which should be documented. We need to instigate mass legal action! Hm, wonder how I do that...

Jo said...

Catherine - do you have any contact with a union such as the NUJ - the freelance branch could give you a lot of legal info xx

http://www.nuj.org.uk/innerPagenuj.html?docid=2558#.T-mUVjpgKNQ.twitter

If the link doesn't work just go to the NUJ & click join.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget handmade weddings is another of there titles. Just been published - riddled with errors - another kerrie hallmark!

Indigo Blue said...

All three of my projects were published before I realised what had happened. I know intend on selling my projects with patterns on my website to try and recoup some of the money lost. It is the possible re-selling of projects to magazines in other countries which I am not happy about. Customers will not realise perhaps what has happened.

I still think BBC Watchdog would have a field day with this one. Could it help to get some of the fees paid?

Flying Blind... said...

Great investigation - even funnier that I replied to the subscribers email saying 'good luck, you'll need it because of the damage and ill-feeling that woman has caused!' "Jen" replied "We are so excited, and going forward we are going to do our very best to make this magazine as amazing as we know it can be."

HMRC do not take kindly to phoenixism!

Anonymous said...

I was told that Jen Smith-Clarke has been invented by KA and her sister as they thought it would be funny to add another Jen and pull the wool over everybody's eyes!

Pearletta Wilson said...

Certainly an eye opener for me. Thanks for raising my awareness. Are you going to get BBC Watchdog involved?

Anonymous said...

Great post Fiona x

Sewingjem said...

All contracts with All Craft Media were cancelled by the administrators. Unfortunately, they don't seem to have advised the contributors. Craft Magazine Shop has no right to publish anything without agreeing a new contract with you first. You can probably sue for breach of copyright if that is what they have done.

Sarah @ FairyFace Designs said...

Unbelievable stuff!! Thanks for the updates Fiona

sandyb said...

Thanks for the helping all of us keep on top of this.

Nicola said...

Thanks Fiona for keeping on top of this. I've just been approached by Simply Sewing regarding advertising space. The Fabric Loft will not be advertising with any magazines owned by Craft Magazine Shop.

Linda Dossett said...

As of 23 July, the Company that Richard Rycroft started before ACM went into Administration, called Handmade Living Magazine Limited, is now called:

Craft Magazines Ltd.

Richard Rycroft is Kerrie Allman's father and the company is working from ACM's old offices Bullocks Barn in Takeley.

Despite denials by Kerrie Allman, most people believe that she is running this company. Now that it has been made a Limited Company the Allman/Rycroft family have no personal liability for any debts, so if this one goes bust they will lose nothing (again).

Anonymous said...

Get watchdog involved there is a lot more to this story!!!

Anonymous said...

Watchdog must get involved as there is soooooooooo much more involved in this story!!! POMPOM is on the case!

The Sewing Directory said...

Thank you all for your comments and I'm glad it has made a few more people aware of who they are dealing with. Please do let everyone know, the sooner the word spreads the better before more people get taken advantage of.

kirstymacholly said...

I subscribed to Modern Quilting from the first issue, and will definitely not be renewing my subscription. Apart from all the debate surrounding Kerrie Allman, the actual magazine now is really very poor. The content is very thin, and the standard of sewing and photography in the last make - a Mystery Quilt by Jenn Smith Clarke - is dire. I can't believe they actually thought it was OK to put it in a magazine.

ThatLibraryMiss said...

The lovely Starlight Quilt in the latest issue of Modern Quilting is a free pattern from Bari J, available here:
http://www.artgalleryfabrics.com/cgi-bin/fabricshop/projects.cgi?patternID=43
In a departure from the usual Allman practises, permission was asked for and granted before this free pattern was printed and sold to an unsuspecting public.

laurarara said...

Hi, I am running a new workshop and was approached by Simply Sewing offering advertising space. I am new to this and thought it sounded like a great deal - an advert in a national magazine at a small cost! Never received any details though of what I should send through and have tried over and over again to contact with a reply only once, now nothing. I wonder if you have any updates on what is happening with this magazine - I am guessing it has been pulled or gone into administration. The worst thing is I passed on the details to the shop where I am running my workshop - I just hope they haven't paid already :( Any updates would be appreciated. Thanks.

ThatLibraryMiss said...

Laurarara, Simply Sewage is published by the same dodgy lot as Modern Quilting. I wouldn't touch them with a bargepole. I reckon their circulation figures are as sound as their ethics.

There's a whole lot of information at http://www.ravelry.com/groups/friends-of-the-group-once-known-as in the thread called THE HISTORY. Ravelry required free membership and it's well worth the minor hassle of signing up to read about the Allman antics.

Anyone thinking this is just nasty mean bullying should google
KAL ACM
There are so many people who've had bad experiences with them.

rachelahyde said...

They owe me money too... I am still waiting to hear from them, but silence. I don't live near any large newsagents so have not even seen if there still is a Sew Hip/Simply Sewing magazine out there. Anybody actually found one? I would love to know if any of my projects are actually in it.

Bossymamma said...

It sounds as though there might be problems with Simply Sewing - apparently shops that usually have it don't have the current issue.

Jo D said...

I have a subscription and the last one I received was issue 44, which I think came in early September. No sign of the latest copy but I'm not that bothered as Simply Sewing isn't a patch on Sew Hip. I haven't been interested to make any of the recent projects and it's not an appealing layout anymore.

Blooming Felt said...

I've just been contacted by Kerrie's mum regarding the "new" simply sewing magazine that is going to be launched digitally. It looks as though the paper version is no more so now they're trying their hand with digital publishing !!

I already threatened their company with legal action earlier this year when they tried to run one of my ads without my permission. They are now trying to get me to advertise with them by saying how fantastic digital publishing is.

I've just sent them an extremely rude email telling them that I requested earlier this year, when ACM went down the tubes, never to contact me again. They seem to have completely forgotten about this and are now calling and emailing me. The mistake they made was getting Shirley Rycroft to call me - Shirley Rycroft is of course related to Kerrie Rycroft (Allman).

Steer clear of any company run by this woman - I have absolutely no idea how she is managing to keep trading when she has managed to put at least 2 companies into liquidation !

Kerry said...

I should probably tell you that Craft Magazine Shop has also been dissolved now too!

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