Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Three Folksy finds!

Since setting up my shop on the uk based handmade marketplace Folksy last month I've discovered a whole collection of talented crafty peole and developed quite a long wishlist of things I'd like to buy! So far I've restricted myself to three things that I saw and fell in love with...

My first purchase was this wee soap set from Bits N Bobs, they're so realistic! I had to justify this to myself as something I could buy and give as a gift to someone so I'm waiting for some birthdays to come round (hopefully not of anyone who reads my blog!). This seller also makes a really cute haribo style soap set and sent me a wee sample soap with my order which smells amazing!

The second thing I bought was this lovely necklace from Crafty Little Mia who makes a variety of things including button based jewellery, illustrations, fine silver jewellery as well as her own fabric designs. The necklace I bought has a wee button pendant on it made from fine silver clay which is a material you can mould and once fired, finished and polished has a higher silver content than sterling (around 99%). I love this necklace and it's going to get lots of wear!

Lastly, just today I bought this postcard set, it's from an illustrator called Elli Moody who I discovered though the Folksy forum. There was a thread on the forum with people recommending shops that they loved, I clicked and found this one and the chicken postcards just jumped out at me. I love the style of illustration used throughout the items in this shop and almost wish I was moving house so I could use her new address cards!

I think this is the one downside of setting my shop up - just finding so many things I want to buy and having to rein myself in constantly!

Thursday, 25 March 2010

what to do....

I bought these beads a while ago and because I bought them online they turned out to be a lot bigger than I imagined in my head! I had bought them with the intention of making a bracelet but I'm thinking now that they're maybe a bit too chunky for this?

They're amathyst but have veins of varying colours through them too so vary from deep dark purple to light lilacs, whites and brown tones. 

I'm hoping someone has a bright idea to give me some inspiration! Leave me a comment with your suggestions...

Monday, 22 March 2010

Personalised pendants

I've been meaning to list these for a while now (since I had my giveaway) as there seemed to be a good response them. The basic idea is you can have a picture that means something to you made into a keepsake pendant. It is something that is quite popular in North America but I haven't seem much over in the UK, in fact I had to buy my supplies from the States so I hope they prove popular!

The pendants are approx an inch square and I finish the backs with fabric and a thick resin coat to proect the picture itself, make the bail secure and to give a water resistant glass-like finish to the back to match the glass tile front.

I'll need to see how the choice of necklace types goes down, it's hard when listing items to know how much information to include and whether to just do a standard item or give people choices. With this item because it is customised I'm hoping people appreciate the option of chain/necklace types and colours, so it is more personal to them. But it means that it requires a bit more interaction between me and the customer after their purchase so I'm sure I'll have to iron out how this works best.

Leave me a comment to let me know what you think and what you could see peole doing with these. Of my giveaway winners, one was on holiday so is looking out their photo for me now, the other I'm in the process of making her necklace, I'll post up a photo when it's done!
Anyway you can find my personalised necklaces in my shop (click here)

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Packaging and promotion

This week I got some nice promotional goodies sent to me from Lady Umbrella, a new T-shirt brand that takes their promotion work very seriously. They sent me some stickers and also a pin badge (see below)

I first found these guys on a t-shirt makers forum over a year ago and so saw the thorough approach they took to setting up their company and working towards a launch date. They fully launched their line this February and have already been featured in National media and one of their t-shirts will be in a new feature length movie Booked Out. Their approach to promotion is very inspiring. Now that I've started selling more items I really want to get definate packaging and promotional materials designed and made...watch this space!

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Winners, busts and new stock

My personalised pendant giveaway ended on saturday there so using a random number generator (http://www.random.org/) I drew the two winners and emailed them to let them know. The first winner got back to me right away and is looking out her picture for the pendant but I haven't heard back from winner number 2 yet so I think I'll give it till the end of next week then draw another winner if I still haven't heard. So if you're reading this winner number two email me back!

I'm indending too to make personalised pendants (i.e. with your own photo) available for sale. Because of the process they would have a turnaround of a week to 10 days. Is this something people would be interested in? Please leave me a comment with any thought you have.

I'm trying to develop my product photos as seeing as customers to my online shop can't physically pick up and inspect my pieces having good photos is very important. I've yet to work out how to get any good ones at all of my t-shirts or hoodies but I'm working on it! The jewellery is slightly easier because it's smaller but I've proved to myself I can't get good photos of it being worn (seeing as I'm not a contorsionist or professional photographer!) so I think my next project will be to try to make a display bust for necklaces at least. Rena Klingenberg gives a tutorial on her blog showing how to make a simple one like the picture above that I might try out (picture from Dana's Jewellery Design)

I've been listing some new items in my online shop and there's more to come, I managed to get some time to spend making new stuff and so have a batch of resin pieces that need finished. Before I get to much more up for sale I really want to concentrate on developing my logo and packagin material. Right now I'm trying out some different ways of packaging including gift boxes, mini customised cotton drawstring bags and pillow packs. I need to decided and settle for my packaging 'look'. Some items that I'll be listing in the next few weeks...

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