About Us

Everything you need to know about us here at Abacus.

Three generations of the Swindell family stood outside of Abacus Creative Resources in LancashireThree generations of the Swindell family stood outside of Abacus Creative Resources in Lancashire

Our Timeline

Take a look at the journey to becoming
Abacus Creative Resources.

Family Business Established

Patrick Swindell established the first dedicated wholesaler of Art Materials, supplying Retail Art Shops nationally, from his house and van.

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1976

Brothers

Roy and Roddy Swindell joined the family businesses

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1995

Bigger and Better

Moved to large premises in Wythenshawe, Manchester that facilitated serious growth across multiple businesses

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2006

New Beginnings

Abacus Resources was born, specifically supplying educational establishments

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2009

Relocation, Relocation, Relocation

Moved to purpose-built premises in Carnforth, Lancashire

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2013

Letís Get Creative

Rebranded to Abacus Creative Resources

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2017

Happy Anniversary

Abacus celebrates 10 years of business

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2019

New Generation

Bonnie & Lyndon Swindell join - 3rd Generation

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2021

Next Level

Abacus launches new website

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2023

  • 1976
  • 1995
  • 2006
  • 2009
  • 2013
  • 2017
  • 2019
  • 2021
  • 2023
1976 Family Business Established

Patrick Swindell established the first dedicated wholesaler of Art Materials, supplying Retail Art Shops nationally, from his house and van

1995 Brothers

Roy and Roddy Swindell joined the family businesses

2006 Bigger and Better

Moved to large premises in Wythenshawe, Manchester that facilitated serious growth across multiple businesses

2009 New Beginnings

Abacus Resources was born, specifically supplying educational establishments

2013 Relocation, Relocation, Relocation

Moved to purpose-built premises in Carnforth, Lancashire

2017 Let's Get Creative

Rebranded to Abacus Creative Resources

2019 Happy Anniversary

Abacus celebrates 10 years of business

2021 New Generation

Bonnie & Lyndon Swindell join - 3rd Generation

2023 Next Level

Abacus launches new website

Why choose us

As an Art, Craft and Design Technology supplier, we are proud to supply education establishments, retailers and creative studios throughout the UK. We stock an exciting range of creative materials from the industries best known brands including POSCA, Winsor & Newton and Daler Rowney as well as our very own Blue Acorn. Our range has grown from simply art materials, to supporting all creative disciplines including Pottery, Textiles, Printmaking, Graphic Design and much more.

Abacus Creative Resources is a family business built by three generations of the Swindell family. Brothers Roy and Roddy who have taken the reins, have an enthusiasm and dedication instilled by their father and founder of the business, Patrick. This has been passed down to Roy’s eldest children Bonnie and Lyndon who joined the Company to form our new looks sales team just over a year ago.

The family’s commitment to the Company is shared by all the team who are based in Carnforth, Lancashire. From the Warehouse to the marketing department, everyone is dedicated to delivering exceptional customer service.

Director contacting education customersDirector contacting education customers
Blue Acorn Deluxe Canvas ApronBlue Acorn Deluxe Canvas Apron

To put it simply, we do our job because we have a passion to source and deliver good quality art materials to education establishments and retailers throughout the UK. Nothing gives us more satisfaction than serving our customers!

Blue Acorn is a unique creative brand thought up by the Swindell family. Our in-house team work closely with creatives to develop a carefully crafted range of stylish sketchbooks, journals, canvasses and essential creative tools for the unique Blue Acorn brand. The brand was developed with students in mind; providing excellent quality materials to support creatives at every stage of their journey.

Abacus Creative Resources is renowned for our creative kit service. Our dedicated team work closely with education establishments to create individual student kits based on the requirements of each course. We are proud to supply some of the UK’s most prestigious art schools and colleges with our customisable and pre-assembled kits, made to our client’s own specifications.

So, from Fine Art to Fashion and Photography we are the one stop shop for your creative needs!

Order fulfilment rate

Our average order fulfillment rate is 94.9%.

10,000 products in stock

From Awagami paper to zip mesh bags, we have something for every department and every budget.

Next day delivery

We pride ourselves on offering speedy delivery and the best customer service!

Meet the team

Meet the people behind Abacus.

Roy Swindell

Roy Swindell

Managing Director

Roy is the managing director of the family business, after his father Patrick handed over the reins. Roy oversees and gets involved in every aspect of running the business, from managing suppliers to going out and about meeting customers!

Favourite Food: Steak.
Favourite Pastime: Walking in the Lake District.

Roddy Swindell

Roddy Swindell

Director

Roddy is Roy’s brother and has worked for the company for over 30 years. He started by helping out in the school holidays! Roddy manages colleges and the retail sector and loves to get out on the road and meet customers face to face.

Favourite Food: Roast Lamb.
Favourite Place: Coniston, Lake District.

Lyndon Swindell

Lyndon Swindell

Customer Account Manager

Lyndon, Roy’s son, joined Abacus in July 2021. Lyndon is the Independent school account manager. He provides a first-class customer service experience and loves nothing more than getting on the road and meeting customers face to face.

Favourite Food: Steak.
Supports: Manchester United.

Bonnie Swindell

Bonnie Swindell

Sales Manager

Bonnie, Roy’s daughter, joined the Abacus family in June 2021 and is an all-round Sales extraordinaire. Bonnie oversees the Sales department and is dedicated to managing our State school and Academy accounts.

Favourite Food: Stir-fry.
Phobia: Dogs.

Hannah Butler

Hannah Butler

Office Manager

If you’ve ever called Abacus HQ you’ll have no doubt spoken with Hannah! Hannah joined the business in 2017 having recently moved to the area from Stoke and works alongside sales and the warehouse team to oversee the smooth running of all processes, resulting in a great experience for our customers. Hannah studied Marketing at Staffordshire University.

Pets: Pooch - Ernie. Cats; Binky & Vinnie.
Favourite Pastime: Knitting & Running.

Sian Whyley

Sian Whyley

Marketing Executive

Sian, originally from Yorkshire, joined Abacus in April 2021. She not only looks after all the marketing and social media for Abacus but for our very own brand Blue Acorn too! Sian studied Graphic Design at University of Cumbria.

Pets: Cats; Gotham & Godric.
Favourite Food: Indian

Duncan Lowe

Duncan Lowe

Operations Manager

If you’ve ever received a delivery from us, it’s all thanks to our warehouse team; led by our Operations Manager Duncan! Duncan joined the Company on 1st February 2018 and keeps our stock, deliveries & warehouse in order. Duncan studied Sport Science at University of Cumbria.

First Job: Paper round.
Phobia: Heights.

Alex Parkinson

Alex Parkinson

Warehouse Operative

Alex is the newest addition to the Abacus family joining in June 2022. He has settled nicely into the team, considering the conflict of interests when it comes to football teams!

Favourite Meal: Steak and chips.
Supports: Preston North End.

Mike Storey

Mike Storey

Warehouse Operative

Mike, who joined in April 2021, drives here daily from Sedbergh in his beloved Mini. From manufacturing to picking and packing orders, Mike is involved in all aspects of the day to day operations in the warehouse.

Pets: Cats; Buddy & Tinker Bell.
Supports: Blackpool F.C.

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