Meet Leann! Craft Expert on Crafter’s TV, Global Head of Product Development and Design at Crafter’s Companion and (some might say most importantly) the Gemini queen!
From designing the original Gemini to launching additions to the family - she’s been there every step of the way. So, who better than Leann to take you right back to the beginning to tell our Gemini story!
Origins in craft
“The Gemini started from our love of die cutting. We absolutely loved die cutting but were frustrated because there wasn’t a machine on the market that offered reliability, power, performance and pressure. So that every single time you know it’s going to create a crisp die cut without having to change out plates and make lots of tricky amendments.
“At the time, the Enveloper and the Ultimate Pro were the Crafter’s Companion flagship products. We were also on a journey of creating other crafting products but we kept finding ourselves having to restrict the intricacy of our dies because the machines just couldn’t handle it.
“So we decided to develop our own machine. A die cutting machine that would give customers that reliability and high performance. Something to make die cutting fun and accessible and reliable and that offered that power, performance and pressure.
Design, development and determination
“We began developing the Gemini about two years before its launch in 2016. We tested so many prototypes to make sure we had that consistency, performance and reliability. I don’t settle for OK, it has to be right!
“I ended up flying out to the factory in China and working with the engineers for two weeks to show them exactly what we needed the machine to do.
“The first time the Gemini machine worked was such a highlight moment after all that hard work. We were high fiving the engineers and I felt euphoric. There are points in your career where you feel so proud of what you’ve accomplished and that was truly one of mine.
“I came up with the Gemini name, as in the constellation, because the machine has a twin function of die cutting and embossing. It was a huge gamechanger in the craft industry and a phenomenal success straight away. The feedback from customers was ‘this is what we’ve been waiting for’.
The Gemini Family
“Since then we’ve gone on to develop and create the full Gemini family, with machines sized for all kinds of crafter and all kinds of crafting space.
“I feel that the Gemini is my legacy. This is something that we started from scratch with a vision of what we wanted to achieve and we stuck with it til we got that precision, performance and reliability that we wanted. There are still people out there who won’t use any other die cutting machine and that makes me feel so proud.”