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Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Best birthday cards for men

It's hard to find nice birthday cards for the men in your life isn't it? Probably because they're pretty hard to design. I always struggle. It's so much easier to use flowers and pretty buttons! So I have searched Folksy and Etsy for my favourite birthday cards for men. They are all handmade in the UK.

Moustache birthday card by Ello Design
Happy birthday handsome card by Always Sparkle

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Top tips for selling on Folksy

Are you thinking about starting a little shop on Folksy to sell some of your handmade creations? Or perhaps you've been selling online for a while but would like more sales? Follow these top tips for selling on Folksy and you'll have your shop looking top notch in no time (they probably work for other online sales venues too, like Etsy).

Over the past year I've been interviewing Folksy sellers and nearly 100 shops have taken part - you can see all the interviews here. One of the questions I asked was 'what is your top tip for selling on Folksy?'. There's a great wealth of experience and wisdom shared in those answers, so I have collated some of my favourite answers. Here are the top tips for selling on Folksy, from those who are doing it.

1. "Take good photos, it really does make or break your appeal to customers." Helen from A Farmer's Daughter. Dawn from Audrey's Cat adds "Work on your photos and then work on them again and then work on them a bit more!" Jo from JoSara has some great advice for improving your photos:

"Your item photo is the first thing a customer will see of your shop on a page of other search results, so it needs to grab their attention and entice them in to find out more. If dull light is a problem, make a small investment in a photo tent and a couple of daylight lamps to brighten the items up. If it’s difficult to get a clean, bright background, try, which will magically transform the background for you. Another tip is to make use of the Macro facility on your camera. You don’t need a flashy camera to get great close ups, just find out how to change the camera setting to Macro (the tulip flower icon) and you’ll have pin sharp images. Lastly, make sure to use all 5 photo spaces in your Folksy listing to show the whole of the item (on all sides if it’s got a pattern, or detail that you can’t see in one go), show close ups on any important details (try using some arty camera angles to get some interesting close ups), and you could put the item into context, too, i.e. if it’s a bracelet, show it on a real arm. Imagine you are your customer. What would you look at on your item? What would you want to have a closer look at? You have to be the eyes and hands of your customer via your pictures."

2. "Be active on social media," says Lesley from Phoebe Dreams. "I find that linking items from my Facebook page brings in lots of extra traffic, and quite often sales too." Sam from Pants and Paper agrees, "My best promotional tool at the moment is Facebook. I have made a real effort lately to try and spend more time there and it has paid off, with most of my viewings/sales coming via my page."

3. Josiane from Wee Peoples recommends getting involved in the Folksy Forums - "I receive a lot of orders from other makers and the forum provides an opportunity to introduce yourself and your work."

4. "Have a strong identity and brand" says Heather from Popsey. "Being consistent with photographs and products strengthens your presence online". Jenny from Little Red Robin says "make sure your shop banner matches colours in the packaging you have and business cards".

5. "Put as much effort into how your shop looks as you do in making your items," advises Tracy from Cinnamon Jewellery.  "Write a profile – buyers like to know a bit about who they're buying from. A well presented shop reassures buyers you care."

6. Work on your titles. Anna from Anna King Jewellery says, "The majority of my customers are new to Folksy. I like to think that they find me through search engines. Having descriptive titles and putting the important information at the beginning of your descriptions can really help with visibility in searches." Andrew from Bright Stem adds, "Think about what customers might type in to find your products. It takes time and requires research but is definitely the cheapest way of attracting customers."

7. "Promote promote promote and then promote some more" urges Teresa from Creative Treasures. Emma from Ritzy Swish recommends using Stumbleupon, Twitter and Craftjuice.

8. "Customers can't pick up and feel your items so you need to give them plenty of information," say Catherine and Jennifer from Daisy Beth. "Make your descriptions as detailed as possible including materials, dimensions, colours etc. It helps to imagine they can't see the item you're describing."

9. Ali from Very Berry Fabrics suggests writing a blog. "I get the most traffic when I feature new additions to the shop on my own blog, I have worked really hard on getting regular traffic to my blog (I average 20,000 hits a week), and I take advantage of their good nature now and again by shamelessly promoting my lovely fabrics." 

10. And my top tip for selling on Folksy is make sure you're charging enough for your items. There's no point selling 10 items if you actually don't make any profit on them. Work out what it costs you to make and sell them (including materials, your time and selling fees) and make sure you add a price tag that is larger than that. You may find that charging more for your items means you sell more too. It sounds a bit odd, but customers can be suspicious of items that are too cheap and wonder how well they have been made. My advice is to charge a little bit more than you would be happy to pay.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Grab yourself a bargain

It seems I'm not the only one having a summer sale. So I've been browsing Folksy and Etsy for my favourite sale items. Links are below - why not grab yourself a bargain?! And don't forget to check out my summer sale over on my website.

Denim ipad cover was £20 now £10 from Whimsy Woo Designs
Super small human bean was £7 now £2.50 from Stuffed Nonsense
Paisley brooch was £8.50 now £5 from Buttercup Boutique
Glass bead bracelet was £12.50 now £8.00 from Beady Daze
Orange needlefelted bird was £14 now £7 from The Felt Menagerie
Turquoise, lime and red cotton necklace was £20 now £15 from Rhea Clements
Red mod flower purse was £16 now £8 from Thirtyfive Flowers
Turquoise butterfly necklace was £18 now £12 from The Autumn Orchard
Large cotton shopping bag was £10 now £5 from Alice Potter
Leaf stem necklace was £26.95 now £18.95 from Claire Gent
Bright yellow modern print lampshade was £35 now £25 from Peppered Moth
Map notebook was £6 now £4 from say it

Monday, 12 August 2013


To make room for new designs some products are being retired from the say it shop. The limited remaining stocks of these items are available at a discounted price. So this is the time to grab yourselves a bargain! 

Head over to the say it website to see the sale items -> You might want to be quick because there are only one or two left of some designs and when they're gone they're gone. 

I'm linking up to Handmade Monday again, so if you're interested in seeing what other crafty folk have been up to pop over there and browse the other blogs that have linked up.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

I like... #11

It's getting harder to write these posts now, trying to think of things that I like to share with you. I hope they're helping you to see behind the scenes and get to know me a little!

Something that you might have guessed if you've read many of my blog posts is that I love all things paper. I think that pen and paper is far superior to any form of electronic note taking. My husband adds reminders to his phone; I write notes on little pieces of paper and leave them in places I'll come across.

Leave a message monster
by Samuel Lindup

Most people probably have some sort of electronic to do list; I have tried this on several occasions but always revert back to writing lists on pieces of paper. I think it's something to do with actually getting to cross things off when they are done.

Personalised memo pad
by Doodledah

A friend reminded me this weekend how important it is to write letters, and how much this is a dwindling art nowadays. She is excellent at keeping in touch by sending little notes through the post. It's definitely something I should do more of.

Vintage typewriter notecards
by Arbee Cards

I also prefer to use an actual paper diary. I can't imagine ever getting the hang of google calendar or similar. I actually have three diaries at the moment - two for work and one for everything else. They are so helpful for planning and scheduling things, and I can access them without needing to grab a gadget and log on.

2014 fabric covered diary
by Handmade Books

So there you go. Paper wins hands down every time for me. Which do you prefer? Are you passionate about paper or do you like to grab a gadget?

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