|Andrew and Sarah Gillett, with daughter Sophie and Ella|
Cranham Publications is a small family business run by Andrew and Sarah Gillett. We are based on a farm in Cumnor, a lovely village on the west side of Oxford. We work in very peaceful surroundings, with views of the beautiful farmhouse from the office window and far-reaching views south to the Ridgeway from the workshop.
Andrew trained as a printer at Watford College of Technology and then worked in the printing division of Oxford University Press. In 1981 he set up his own business, initially working from a shed in his back garden (well, we all have to start somewhere!). Soon larger premises were needed and he moved the business to the Jericho area of Oxford, where he set up Cranham Press in 1983. Andrew has always prided himself in producing work of very high quality and is known for his great attention to detail.
Sarah has a background in languages and publishing. After leaving Oxford Polytechnic (now Oxford Brookes), she spent some time working in Germany, before returning to England to work at Oxford University Press in the publishing division and then on Harpers & Queen magazine in London. Sarah didn’t enjoy living in London and was keen to return to Oxford. Coincidentally, Andrew was looking for somebody to help run the office at Cranham Press, so offered her a temporary job while she looked for something more permanent. That was back in 1988 and the rest is history!
We have always been interested in gardening and plants and as the printing business became more competitive in the early 1990s, we began to think about a change of direction. In 1994, we set up Cranham Publications producing greeting cards with floral and garden images. We started with a range of floral images by local Jericho artist Neil Drury, followed by three photographic ranges featuring work by some of the country’s best-known garden photographers. We soon realised that we would need other products as well as the cards. The first of these was the Garden Portfolio Desk Calendar – calendar cards in a small plastic case, which opens out to sit on your desk. Cranham was the first to produce such a calendar featuring photographic garden images and it is still extremely popular today. Other innovative products, designed by us, have been introduced over the years. These include our gift-boxed Jigsaw Puzzles, the Garden Visitor’s Notebook, the List It! Desk Pad Organisers and the Mini Brief Notecard Packs.