Peterborough craft channel is a TV hit after just five months
A Peterborough-based national TV shopping channel is set to break even after being set up five months ago with Â£1.9 million of crowd funding.
Craft shopping channel Hochanda, which has studios in Mancetter Square, Lincoln Road, was created last September and already employs 98 people.
It has also launched in Germany to tie into a huge demand for craft products and has plans for further European expansion.
The company was set up by entrepreneurs Paul Wright and Val Kaye, who founded and sold the Peterborough-based Ideal Shopping Direct incorporating Ideal World and Create and Craft TV shopping channels.
Mr Wright said: “In five months we have served more than 70,000 customers.
“We are a significant employer in the Peterborough and to date we have 98 staff.
“Business is going extremely well and we expect to breakeven by the end of the year and for any new shopping channel to achieve this is unheard of.
“This is ground breaking, there has been a major investment in technology to drive the business in the growing digital market.
“Our commitment to offer variety and focus on customer service first and foremost has been the major contributor in this area.”
Crowd funding a venture works by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet.
Mr Wright said: “When the company is in the position to do so the investors will receive dividends and have voting rights at shareholder meetings.”
Mr Wright added that the crafting community had given a “highly positive response” to the arrival of his new company.
He said: “We have found the areas of biggest interests in craft is paper crafts, such as card making with dies and ink stamps using various mixed medias.
“The more mixed it is the bigger the interest. Hobby and arts has also proved to be really successful for us.
“This again proves it was the right decision to not just focus on crafts.
“Some of the hobby’s that have generated a big interested has been the car care kit for car enthusiast or the electric bikes we did last year were extremely popular.
“We are now entering into the gardening season so these areas will come into their own again.
“Under our arts category we have enjoyed the fast growing area of adult colouring and encaustic Wax Art is a very niche art but all the same seen some record results for us.
“Our commitment to using DPD and setting up a in-house UK call centre is proving to be the right decision
With the launch of Hochanda Masterclass Live HD we will be the first UK Shopping Channel to provide an online HD portal using IPTV technology to serve interactive distance learning.”