Craft Your Year - Buy the book now!

Sara – “Willsow plantable books sprout up in America!”

Share This Article:

When I got the news that Willsow’s first pallet of plantable books had landed in America and sailed through customs – I very nearly jumped for joy. 

Exporting to the states is no small thing and the fact that the guys from Willsow had achieved this huge step forward in such a short amount of time is just absolutely amazing. 

I’m so proud of how far they’ve come, and so pleased to have been able to help them kick start their US journey. 

Three years ago James Coulthurt and Thomas Willday stepped into Dragons’ Den and just knocked it out of the park with their pitch. 

I knew from that moment that they were destined for great things and I was right! 

Willsow is one of my favourite investments from the Den. Not just because the team behind it are both so lovely (and they are) but also because the product is something that I’m really passionate about. 

They created the world’s first ever plantable children’s book. Pairing groundbreaking innovation with sustainability to create a business with real heart and purpose. 

Each book is made from natural seed paper, creating a fun and magical way to connect children with nature. They can follow fun stories about carrots and lettuce, then plant the book and watch the main characters grow! 

As a mam of two young boys, the idea immediately resonated with me. Encouraging kids to have fun with books and reading, spend more time outdoors  and learn about where their food comes from –  these are all things we need more of! 

I also loved the sustainability of their product, each book is printed with eco-friendly inks on 100% recycled paper, stitched with 100% natural cotton and filled with non-GMO seeds. Everything has been carefully thought through and created with sustainability and the bigger picture in mind – another great message for the little ones who will be using  them.

I’ve been working with the Willsow team for three years now and this year, one of our big growth strategies has been to tackle the US market. 

It got off to a roaring start. They were invited to be part of the UK Department for Business & Trade’s Big in America campaign. And, after wowing one of the world’s biggest book distributors with their pitch they landed a contract! 

Then came the tricky bits. Shipping seeds, obscured into plantable children’s books to the United States is not a quick or simple process. 

The guys at Willsow worked tirelessly to get through the process with endless paperwork, seed sampling and seed inspections, including one from the Government’s Animal and Plant Authority. 

With California’s Prop 65 legislation to navigate, their plantable books had to be pulled apart and rigorously tested for certification. 

The next big hurdle was to physically get the product into the country – and that’s where I came in. 

Exporting products to the states is not a straightforward task at all, it’s an incredibly complicated process requiring warehousing and navigating the complexities of customs. 

Tom and the Willsow team had hit a bit of a wall with the importation process and reached out to me for help. 

As a global company, Crafter’s Companion has offices in the UK and in California in the states. So, I put Tom in touch with Gary from our US team who was able to get their import permits up and running, creating an arrival point and trusted location for Willsow’s pallet. 

This is something we’ve done before when supporting some of my other Den investment businesses, such as Easytots, through this part of their journey. I know how difficult these processes can be and it’s a privilege to be able to help out. 

And this week, we’ve been celebrating as the first pallet of Willsow’s amazing plantable books flew through customs checks to make it onto US soil.

Willsow is ready to go and take on the US market and I couldn’t be more thrilled for them! 

Find out more about Willsow here: