Celebrating Three Decades of Katy Sue Designs: From Porcelain Dolls to Craft Connoisseurs
In a South Shields kitchen back in 1993, a creative journey began with mother-daughter duo Doreen and Sue crafting intricate miniature porcelain dolls. From those humble beginnings, Katy Sue Designs has evolved through the years, shaping and moulding its destiny much like the products it's renowned for today.
Transitioning from their celebrated doll enterprise, they ventured into the world of paper crafts and card making, and ultimately pioneered in designing and manufacturing premium silicone moulds for cake decoration and crafts. As Katy Sue Designs marks its 30th year in the industry, we want to express our heartfelt gratitude to our invaluable customers. Your support and loyalty have been our guiding stars, and we sincerely hope that our products have played a part in helping you embrace and love a creative life.
Join us and take a trip down memory lane, as we pay homage to the past, present, and the promising future of Katy Sue Designs.
Katy Sue through the years
SCROLL the images left to right or CLICK on the bars under the images to see more photos on each timeline.
1993 Mother and daughter team, Doreen Thompson and Susan Balfour set up Katy Sue Dolls, making miniature porcelain dolls from their kitchen table in South Shields, UK.
2004 The business is flourishing, with Katy Sue Doll collectors in 28 countries. Seeking a new challenge, Doreen and Susan take a side step into the paper craft market, launching Katy Sue Designs.
2006 Katy Sue develops a coloured texture sprinkle called Flower Soft®. This innovative craft embellishment product is hugely popular, regularly appearing on TV shopping in the UK, USA and Germany and Katy Sue Designs paper craft becomes an international success.
2008 Due to demand from across the Atlantic, Katy Sue set up their own Sales and Distribution Centre in the USA.
2012 Returning to their roots in sculpting, Katy Sue begin creating a range of food safe silicone moulds for the cake decorating and craft markets.
2013 Cupcake topper moulds win Katy Sue their first mould award, the Craft and Hobby Association of America’s Most Innovative Product Award. This was to be the start of an impressive and cherished list of accolades.
2016 Chef Ceri Griffiths comes on board to co-create the Creative Cake System, a range of moulds that produce classic borders and flourishes, without the need for royal icing.
2017 Katy Sue collaborates with Chef Nicolas Lodge to create Flower Pro, a range of moulds, veiners and cutters to make realistic sugar flowers. A new Paper Cutting collection is designed with artist Emma Boyes and illustrator Teresa Goodridge collaborates to create new Paper Craft Pads, further expanding the craft range.
2018 The Flower Pro range goes from strength to strength, Katy Sue develops more flower making moulds with Chef Nicholas Lodge including the innovative Ultimate Petal Veiner and Filler Flowers Mould, and publishes the first Flower Pro Book.
2019 Katy Sue Designs acquires two businesses, significantly increasing their manufacturing capabilities: Craft Creations has a 30 year history supplying the paper craft market; Acrylic Crafts specialises in acrylic and MDF products using state of the art laser technology. Create & Craft TV welcomes Katy Sue and an extensive new range of products is to be featured weekly.
2020 The pandemic throws the world into a new way of life and Katy Sue adapts quickly, launching a range of digital paper craft and weekly online flower making classes with Chef Nicholas Lodge – the Flower Pro Members Club.
2021 The acquisition of the UK's number one paper quilling supplier JJ Quilling adds another exciting craft range to Katy Sue, beginning to manufacture paper strips and design quilling kits.
2022 Another significant expansion as Katy Sue welcomes well-loved paper craft brand Kanban Crafts and Austrian manufacturer Alphabet Moulds, considerably increasing their product portfolio. Katy Sue and the cake decorating world loses one it's most treasured and talented, Chef Nicholas Lodge. A stunning floral tribute wall is created at Cake International where both Chef Nicholas and the Flower Pro Filler Flowers Mould receive awards.
2023 Katy Sue celebrates 30 years of creativity, with products sold into over 50 countries and continues to expand their innovative portfolio every day.