Get to know Bert & Gert's

| 7 min read

Introducing Bert & Gert's

Tell us more about Bert & Gert's?

Bert & Gert’s is a family business with a family name. we started the business in 2012.

The one single question Mark and I get asked more than any other is which one of you is Bert and which one of you is Gert.

I’m sure it’s like comedians who have their catchphrases shouted at them in the street. We really like it; it gives people an easy way in to talk to us and usually results in a really interesting conversation. Our standard answer to the question, which you may have heard before, is that we are brothers Jason (myself) and Mark (my older brother by 3 years, 3 months and 2 days) and that Bert and Gert were our grandparents. We’d like to give you a bit more of an insight into who we are, who Bert and Gert were and why they are our inspiration in everything we do.

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How did you get into crafting?

Mark and I were born to proud parents Tony and June, we were their only children, so far so good and sounding like the setup of a standard 1970’s sitcom. I was born 10 days late; I should have been born on our Mothers Birthday on July 12th. Most people who know me really well, say that I set a precedence for the rest of my life by being late, time keeping is something I really have to work at.

Like all parents, ours worked hard to give us the things they hadn’t had in their own childhood, like their parents had before them. Mom and Dad were born at the very end of the second world war and Mark and I can appreciate now, much more as adults, how tough those times would have been, the end of rationing not coming until a good while after the end of the war. The times of Make Do and Mend, utilising many of the skills we now call crafts, which then were necessity.

Our dad Anthony, known as Tony, was born to Bert (Bertram) and Florence. One of two children, his younger sister, Rosaleen. We know very little about our Dads side of the family, unfortunately they all left us way to early and our father sadly passed away very young too. We later discovered through researching our family tree that on Bert’s side of the family if we went back a few generations, that his family had been Hawkers, street market people. It must be in our blood, it’s funny that so many years later, we now run our events and that includes a good many street markets. Since we began in 2012 we have provided over 12,000 spaces to crafters, designer makers and artisan food traders to sell at our events.

Our Mom, June was the second youngest of 5 children, 3 elder brothers and one younger sister, born to Dennis and Gertrude (Gert). Through circumstances which we won’t go in to here, Gert found herself alone and bringing up 5 young children, she worked multiple jobs and did her absolute best for her children. She didn’t suffer fools gladly and like many women of her generation, fought to be taken seriously in a man’s world. She ran a tight ship, worked hard and still found time to pass on the skills she’d learnt to her children. Later in life, when she could take things a little easier, she passed on those skills to her grandchildren, she was a keen knitter, I still have a warm woollen hat she knitted me shortly before she died and it keeps me warm in winter and brings back warm memories of learning to knit, French knit and sew with my grandmother, or Nan as she was to us kids. Nan was also a keen baker, and I knew my way around a kitchen at a young age, Nan always had a slice of cake for us whenever we visited. To this day, my favourite cake is homemade sponge cake with glace cherries in, no one makes it quite like Nan did.

When was your first show on HobbyMaker and what did you launch?

My first shows on HobbyMaker were right at the start, we launched on Tuesday 15th March, I really wanted to make it for week one but I was away at the Glasgow SEC Creative Craft Show and needed time to prepare fully. We launched our full Gnome collection on the first shows, it included a Welcome Gnome sign, large and small layered Gnomes, Gnome note books, slot together toad stools, our Gnome Embellishment Boards and lots more, they have been firm favourites with everyone. We’ve had a few collections of Gnomes now, including my favourite the Beach Gnomes and we’ve got more planned. Gnomes are for life, not just for Christmas. Our Gnomes are fun, mischievous and allow me to introduce a few puns (which I always love) like our Gnomebody Does It Better plaques.

What's your favourite craft project?

My favourite is quite often the one you are yet to see; I know that some of the amazing things I’ve got planned will surprise people and I hope they will continue to love what I do as much as I do.

Quite often, my most used items, are our Tags and Door Hangers, they are the most used items I’ve ever designed, they are useful stash items, the foundation of many a mixed media project and you’ll see me use them with almost everything I bring to the channel.

The MDF Characters I released recently have been one of my favourite things I’ve ever done and Angel, in particular, has to be my ultimate favourite, its going to take some beating to surpass her. I have more character’s planned and I’m still as excited today about designing as I was at the very beginning of my crafting journey.

I have to thank the HobbyMaker audience who have been extremely supportive of us since we joined, they have allowed us to grow and evolve. I’m most proud of the full range of products I’ve been able to bring to the channel and that includes our partnership with Zieler to bring really wonderful, quality art products to everyone. I’m proud that we have shown people how to use those art products in their crafting and that they are continuing to learn, craft and play along with me.

What's your go-to Karaoke Anthem?

Anything from a musical would normally be my go-to but you don’t get a lot of those on Karaoke play lists. I love everything about big musical numbers, I’ve been very fortunate to see so many shows, everything from The Sound of Music, Oliver, Les Misérables, Blood Brothers, Rent, Wicked and Footloose up to more recent shows like Dear Evan Hansen; that I saw in the West End last year shortly before it closed, later this year I’m going to see the revival of Love Changes Everything with Michael Ball starring and I really can’t wait. If I were to pick just one song to sing, I’d choose “As long as he needs me” from Oliver, such an emotional song, I’m not sure I can fully do it justice, but I would never let that stop me from trying, just like when I’m singing along in the car.

If you could be any animal, what would it be? And why?

I would have to say I would choose to be a dog; they say dogs are man’s best friend, dogs are loyal, caring, intelligent and part of the family. Family is so important to me, it’s at the heart of everything I do. If you keep watching, you will see some dog related MDF from us very, very soon.


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