featured roving canal trader
Lisa Grainger - LDK Print
what's in a name?
My name is Lisa, and my husband is Dave. We have two daughters - Kim and Caitlin Jayne. Coming up with a business name was easy - we chose the first initials of each of our names. Thus L (Lisa) D (Dave) and K (Kim). That was in 1995. When we had our boat built in 2004, we were trying to come up with a name which incorporated both our children's names. But Kim said we should name the boat Caitlin Jayne after her younger sister as her own name was already in our established business name. So that is what happened.
After many years of having a land-based shop, we began to contemplate trading from our 69ft narrowboat, Caitlin Jayne, and at the end of 2017 we put the plans in to action, changed the boat license to a business license, got the appropriate insurance and joined the RCTA.
Our first floating market was Great Haywood, which we thoroughly enjoyed, but it was definitely an eye opener, to say the least. We soon realised we needed some sort of canopy to protect us and our products against the rain. So, when we got back home, we got our heads together to see what the best way would be to have something secure, yet easy to take down and not permanent or anything that might deface the boat.
Being ex market traders, we still had the market stall bars and the canopy which we could use and we had a few more bars made up that fitted on the rail of the boat. So, with what we already had in storage and few additional bars, we had our canopy.
For the first couple of floating markets, we printed mugs, mouse mats, keyrings, clocks, coasters, placemats, cushions, T shirts and hoodies, but by the end of the 2018 season, we had expanded our products to include embroidered T shirts, hoodies, and polo shirts.
We have been doing embroidery since 2003 and were looking for a 2nd 15 needle embroidery machine that would match what I already had. The problem was, getting one that would fit on our boat, as the one I already had was too big to fit through the doors of our boat.
I had approached Barudan but they only had a 9 needle machine that would fit through our doors, but we really needed a match to what we already owned.
Luck was on our side for once, because Barudan came back a few days later to say they would build us a 15-needle embroidery machine on their 9-needle frame and we would be the first people in the UK to have this machine.
When we do floating markets now we still print the above, but with the additional embroidery to T shirts, hoodies and teddies or, if customers bring their own items, we can print or embroider their clothing.
Other products include engraved products, 3D models, door plaques, bags, and a whole new range of things.
We have the best of both worlds because when we are not trading from our boat, we are back at base and producing other products that we cannot produce on our boat, like our full colour banners, and 3D printed products.
Basically, our services include:
- Embroidery or printing to workwear, casual clothing, hospitality, catering, sportwear, hats, towels etc.
- Digital and vinyl printed signs, banners, decals, vinyl graphics for vehicles, boats, etc.
- Personalised gifts include, embroidered teddies, printed mugs, mouse mats, keyrings, cushions, place mats and coasters, clocks etc.
- 3D printed models for children to role play, ornaments, or home decoration.
- Laser engraving to acrylic led plaques, slate coasters and place mats, wood etc.
- Road legal number plates – we are a registered number plate supplier.
LDK Print & Embroidery Ltd is a family run business. Established in 1995, we have, over the past few years expanded and flourished, now with a satisfied customer base from all over the country, that keeps returning year after year. We know our new customers will be more than satisfied with our services.