Tag Archives: etsy shop

Decisions, Decisions

Decisions, Decisions….

I’ve been offering this Grey Lace Stole almost since I opened my shop on Etsy and it’s been a decent seller for me. The yarn is now discontinued and I have to decide whether to source another yarn for the pattern or find a different yarn and pattern combo to offer. I have enough yarn left for 1 more stole.

Grey Lace Stole

I base what I offer for sale on several things; what yarn I can get and what I want to make to sell in my shop are two. I have tended to go for thicker/chunkier yarns as they knit up faster, and how long something takes to make is a factor in whether or not I’ll make it to sell.

Some knit/crochet items I find don’t sell well, and I sell a few then stop listing it, other items sell very well only at certain times of the year. (My Herringbone Handwarmers come to mind here!)

Herringbone Handwarmers

I prefer to use natural fibres and blends and not just 100% acrylic – they tend to be nicer to knit with, and can last longer without pilling. As I now have a knitting machine, I’m hoping to offer items using finer luxury yarns and bigger items such as larger lace stoles and wraps. I have to master the machine first!

I don’t tend to jump on trends like the ‘pussy hats’ or the polo neck rectangular ponchos with cables and large buttons for toddlers, I am careful about ending up with (more) yarns and materials that I won’t use if they don’t sell.

I did think this Girl’s Spring Poncho/Capelette would sell, but while the pattern does, the actual item doesn’t.

Girl’s Spring Capelette

And back to the original question – to find a new yarn for this pattern? Hmmmm…. I’ll have to let you know.

Camera Scarf Straps

Here’s a quick post about a few more camera scarf straps available in my Etsy Shop.

There’s a pretty blue patterned one – not quite sure what to call this pattern, it reminds me of Christmas tree baubles somehow….

Close-up of Blue & White Camera Scarf Strap
Close-up of Blue & White Camera Scarf Strap
Blue & White Camera Scarf Strap
Blue & White Camera Scarf Strap

This Turquoise one is a lovely bright and cheerful colour, perfect to brighten up anyone’s day.

Turquoise Scarf Strap
Turquoise Scarf Strap
Turquoise Adjustable Strap
Turquoise Adjustable Camera Strap

I had 2 of this shimmery scarf straps, and I sent one off for a Christmas Present in December so have one left for a lucky recipient!

Gold Shimmer Scarf Strap
Gold Shimmer Scarf Strap

img_2486

This is a new Scarf Strap, it will be listed this week in my etsy shop, very retro…

Brown Roses Scarf Strap
Brown Roses Scarf Strap
Close up of Brown Roses
Close up of Brown Roses

If you prefer a more funky Camera Scarf Strap, you can’t go wrong with this print, it’s so colourful! It’s listed in my etsy shop here.

Abstract Print Scarf Strap
Abstract Print Scarf Strap
Floral Print Strap
Floral Print Strap

This is another Camera Scarf Strap that will be listed this week – soft and pretty, perfect for spring!

Pink & Yellow Floral Camera  Strap
Pink & Yellow Floral Camera Strap
Close up of Pink & Yellow Adjustable Strap
Close up of Pink & Yellow Adjustable Strap

If you’d like a camera scarf strap made just for you, let me know through my etsy shop!

Shirley Woosey from Whimsey Woo Designs

I’d like to introduce you to the lovely Shirley Woosey from Whimsey Woo Designs on Etsy and Folksy. She is today’s guest blogger and makes the prettiest book covers and miniatures for dolls’ houses that can be found her 2 etsy shops.

I’ll let her tell you a little about herself and her shops:

Shirley Woosey
Shirley Woosey

Tell us a bit about you
I am in my early sixties now, the Mother of two grown up children and I have one 3 year old grandson.

How did you decide on the name for your shop?
My surname is Woosey and I wanted to use the “Woo” part in my shop name. I tried various combinations of words but decided on Whimsy because I though it suited the fabrics I use and went well with Woo. So Whimsy Woo Designs was born.

How long has your shop been open and why did you start?

My Etsy shop has been open since May 2011 but my Folksy shop opened a few months earlier in January 2011. I needed a creative outlet for my sewing and the amount of fabrics I had stashed.

What is your favourite item in your shop at the moment?
Currently this is my favourite item: It’s a large
Bible or Book Cover made from a gorgeous piece of green and gold vintage kimono silk from Japan.

Silk Kimono Book Cover
Silk Kimono Book Cover

What made you start?
I have always loved fabrics and find I can’t resist beautiful and unusual ones. When I was quite young, under 10 years old, my Granny taught me to sew book covers for my school books. These used to have carry handles. I always loved making them but over the years I have evolved them. They are more popular now without the handles and have an elastic loop and button fastening.

About 5 years ago I thought I would make some as Christmas presents for friends and family. They were a great hit and I needed something to do which was creative. My job in accountancy was becoming more and more frustrating and I needed to do something else to relax. My daughter suggested selling on Folksy and I soon discovered Etsy as well and after 2 years I was able to give up my accountancy job and concentrate on Whimsy Woo Designs.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
My original inspiration for sewing and crafts definitely comes from my Granny who was a trained milliner in her youth. Now my inspiration comes from beautiful fabrics which are created in the United Kingdom if possible, especially Harris Tweed. The tweed comes in all sorts of bright colours and is very contemporary. One I especially like is this Pink Harris Tweed.

Pink Harris Tweed
Pink Harris Tweed

I also love Art Nouveau and vintage designs. I have managed to find several vintage fabrics from around the world over the last few years. I especially love vintage kimono fabrics from Japan. The warehouses in Tokyo and Kyoto have many bolts of silk and yukata cotton fabrics which have been stored for 40 to 50 years. These are unused and have the most beautiful patterns and pictures on them. I tend to buy fabrics which I like myself because I know I will enjoy sewing them.

Silk Kimono Book Cover
Silk Kimono Book Cover
Vintage Art Nouveau Butterfly Maiden
Vintage Art Nouveau Butterfly Maiden

What do you love the most about running your own business?
The best thing is being my own boss. If I want to spend all day in my pyjamas, just pottering around my craft room, then I can do. It gives you an enormous amount of freedom.

What do you love the least?
My least favourite thing is editing my photos and putting listings on my websites. I would far rather be sewing or choosing fabrics.

What other things do you like to do in your spare time?
In my spare time I love to read. I can always find a little time to read, even if it is only a few pages a day.

I also love dolls’ house miniatures and hand stitch miniature rugs and carpets. Some of these are for sale in my other Etsy shop, Whimsey Woo Miniatures along with other miniature textiles I have made. I have my own 4 storey dolls’ house which I am slowly decorating and filling with furniture and rugs.

As my husband is now retired and my Etsy shops are not as busy in summer time we take the opportunity to get away as often as possible in our motorhome. We love to go to Scotland and across to Europe. My favourite places to stay are in the mountains and I also find time when travelling to look out for more fabrics for my book covers.

What would be the one piece of advice would you give to a person setting up their own shop?
The best advice I can think of is to take the best photographs you can of your craftwork. Remember if you are selling on the internet then the customer can only judge by the pictures. They can’t pick the items up to look and feel them. And do make something you enjoy doing.

Thank you, Shirley!

You can find Shirley and Whimsey Woo Designs here:

http://www.WhimsyWooDesigns.etsy.com

http://www.WhimsyWooMiniatures.etsy.com

https://folksy.com/shops/WhimsyWooDesigns

Crochet Mannequin Heads

I have these crochet mannequin heads listed in my etsy shop in white and black and last week I was contacted about making 2 in another colour, ‘natural’. When queried, she meant an oatmeal/light tan colour. These are used as product photography props for 6-12 month hats. I have made other sizes, but have to refine them.

So I knew where I could get an oatmeal colour yarn quickly and set up a custom listing for the customer, and bought the yarn when I was picking son up from school. I had to adjust the pattern as it was for a heavier yarn – more increases, more rows, smaller hook size but not a difficult re-write…

I think I’m going to list this new colour in my shop, and then offer the patterns with kits with the corresponding black/white/oatmeal yarns… but first the crochet mannequin heads themselves!

Mannequin Head 1
Mannequin Head 1
Mannequin head 2
Mannequin head 2
Shown with 6-12 month hat
Shown with 6-12 month hat
Both mannequin heads
Both mannequin heads

Another New Camera Buddy – Rocky the Penguin

Here’s another little camera buddy I made at the same time I made Ellen the Elephant. He’s a cute little Rockhopper Penguin, perfect to waddle out for smiles from all your little models!

Penguin Camera Buddy
Penguin Camera Buddy

You can find him available in my Etsy Shop

Rocky the Penguin Camera Buddy
Rocky the Penguin Camera Buddy
From above, sitting on the camera lens.
From above, sitting on the camera lens.

A New Camera Buddy!

I have finally had a chance to make a new camera buddy – an Elephant! I have to get decent photos of it on my camera before I list it, but here are some quick shots I took in front of my usual wallpaper background.

She’s a lovely grey colour with large bright pink ears, a long trunk and fits on a standard size lens to 23cm in circumference. She’s now been added to my etsy shop Here!

Ellen Elephant
Ellen Elephant
Say hello!
Say hello!
On the camera from the back.
On the camera from the back.

Guest Blog Post – Emma from StanleysMummysmakes

Another guest blog post, this time from Etsy Shop StanleysMummyMakes and Emma Hutchinson. I’ll let her tell you her story….

Emma & Stanley
Emma & Stanley

So here I am, about to turn 36 at the end of the month and writing my first ever blog…scary huh? Firstly let me express my thanks for being given the opportunity to do this and explain that what you are about to read is my internal monologue written down, I have a child under two years old, I spend 90% of my time with him… you could be in for a rocky ride.

The item that started it all... Decoupaged Spoons
The item that started it all… Decoupaged Spoons

This last year has been pretty momentous but in a completely subtle way. No fanfares, party’s or the like but small risks and changes that have turned our family life around.

Decoupaged Cupboard Knobs
Decoupaged Cupboard Knobs

Rewind to Feb 2015 and I was returning to work after my maternity leave…I was both excited, I had loved my job for the last 18 years and secretly I was looking forward to conversations that didn’t revolve around gripe water, nappies and the breastfeeding debate if I’m honest…and sad to be leaving my baby boy at 8 months old but I’d found a fabulous childminder, so far so good!! A few months in though and I was really struggling to keep all the plates spinning, keep a clean tidy home, be a good mum, and give 100% at work…I was often up and out early, and home late. I fell out of love with my job. Then a serious health problem raised its ugly head within my family, and I began thinking that life is too short and that family is THE most important thing. Things changed, slowly at first, I went back to my art and design roots (I studied Art and Design to A Level then Graphic Design and Illustration to degree level)…doodling and crafting became therapeutic but also got me thinking!!

 Decoupaged Trinket Box
Decoupaged Trinket Box

I knew I wanted to finish work and stay at home with Stanley but couldn’t make the figures add up…while I was maternity leave I had made a few items, Christmas wreaths and countdown plaques to sell to family, friends and also to other mums at playgroup etc. I had overheard one of the other mums say ‘Stanley’s mummy makes these’ and for some reason that stuck in my head (mainly because I remember thinking, why do we lose our names when we have children??). Could I make enough by crafting items to supplement me being a stay at home mum?

 Chicken Bunting
Chicken Bunting

I googled like I’d never googled before and decided that Etsy was the platform I wanted to set a store up on. So I did (on Aug 10th ‘15 to be precise) However, I had nothing to put in it an I started to look around for inspiration. Now this is where it gets a bit strange (especially if you are male…my husband STILL doesn’t get it!!) I am a collector of Emma Bridgewater pottery, now there are worse things in life but the way my hubby goes on you wouldn’t think it…so I often found solace in groups of like minded mostly female individuals on Facebook. I like to refer to us as ‘potty people’.

I was flicking through the new Emma Bridgewater catalogue one day and wondered how many other potty people were in my position I.e. lusting after adding to our collections but not having the bank balance to do so? I started experimenting with decoupage using Emma Bridgewater napkins and made myself a set of wooden spoons to display in my kitchen that matched my pots perfectly. One upload of the photos onto Facebook later and I had order requests. A quick email to Emma Bridgewater HQ to make sure I’m not breaking any laws and StanleysMummyMakes was born.

 More spoons...
More spoons…

From then on in things went faster than I’d ever imagined. I suddenly found myself HMRC registered self employed and my notice was handed it. By Oct 12th I was officially running my own business and working from home. BUT, the most important thing is that I get to spend time raising Stanley!!
Let’s be clear, I make nowhere near what I was bringing he from my old job but I can work around Stanley, we are saving on childcare, our quality of life is better due to a work/life balance and I’m able to contribute towards household bills and family expenses.

I love what I make, I would only sell items that I am willing to have in my own home. I have had return customers and some fabulous feedback and I’m pleased as punch with how things are going.

Bunting
Bunting

Now, if you are reading this and wondering whether to set up on Etsy or not, I would say to you do it… you might just surprise yourself!! However, a word of caution… don’t just expect to sit back and watch the sales come rolling in. It’s hard work, and I mean bloody hard work!! Right at the beginning I mentioned a birthday looming, well at the ripe old age of 35 (what’s that, but you look so young in your photo?;-)) I’ve had to educate myself in all things social media…not an easy task. Google has become my best friend…WIDN, SEO’s, pins, tweets, likes and followers. Networking is my middle name. My phone has become my bank, diary, business planner, and social life. If you are willing to put in the hours and workload you will see results. I have had just over 250 sales through Etsy and my products are now stocked in a local Tearooms – the Yard Tearooms (Instagram.com/theyardtearooms). I am running my own business, I now watch sales figures and margin more than I ever did when I was working in retail. I am the boss (and I’ve got an Emma Bridgewater cup to prove it!!)

How did that happen?
Thanks for reading!!

Emma

Find me at:
Etsy Shop: StanleysMummyMakes
Instagram: stanleysmummymakes
Facebook: StanleysMummymakes
Pinterest Pinterest

Stockist:
The Yard Tearooms, 16-18 Getliffes Yard, Leek, Staffordshire, ST13 6HU

Guest Blog Post – Etsy Shop Hopetheblackdog

Another guest blog post – the first in a short series featuring UK Etsy Shops.

This first shop is Hopetheblackdog and is owned by (or is it the shop that owns the person?) Amy Alice Donoghue from Nottingham. She’s opted to answer a few questions about her and her etsy shop. (Click on the captions to see the item’s listing).

Amy
Amy

Hi! I’m Amy, 26, from hope the black dog, and I live in Nottingham with my fiancé and two pet rats called Marie and Rosa. I have Generalised Anxiety Disorder and I love teaching myself new crafts. Winston Churchill used to call his mental illness “a black dog” when he was suffering with depression and bipolar disorder. I wanted to take this imagery and make it more positive, so I took that black dog and I named it hope! I find a lot of inspiration from quotes, Instagram, Pinterest, The Mighty website and personal stories for my crafting.

 Floral Pendant
Floral Pendant

I started making items for the shop in December 2015, and finally worked up the courage to list anything in January 2016. I was signed off from work for a long time, initially because of my anxiety, but it transpired that it was more than that and I’ve been undergoing extensive testing ever since (not great for my needle phobia!). Since I was off for such a long time, I wanted to make it meaningful and contribute some good in some way. I decided to make items that promoted positive mental health, and donate £1 from any sales to Mind Charity.

 Floral Embroidery Kit
Floral Semicolon Embroidery Kit

My favourite item in my shop is my “Anxiety is My Super Power” cross stitch kit because even though it has been difficult, exhausting and life-changing to live with Anxiety it has also been the driving force in a lot of my greatest achievements. It’s a mixed bag and I think a lot of people with mental health problems can see the duality.

Anxiety is my Superpower Embroidery Kit
Anxiety is my Superpower Embroidery Kit

The best thing has been meeting so many people who have been touched by the work I am doing. I have met so many wonderful people who felt comfortable enough to open up about their mental health, and so many wonderful people who want to support me to do more. It’s been such a whirlwind of emotion!

 Floral Semi colon Pendant
Floral Semi colon Pendant

I do find it frustrating waiting for funds. I am trying to run this business from the half pay that I am currently on, and so when I have great ideas, or run out of stock, it means I have to wait for a sale or another pay day. It’s frustrating! I have to make a lot of lists. When I’m not working on Hopetheblackdog, I love to knit and crochet, read and eat.

 This too shall pass
This too shall pass

The best piece of advice I can give if you’re like me and want to start your own etsy shop: START would be the main piece of advice. Don’t wait for divine intervention, just begin. Good things take time and the sooner you start, the sooner you can reap the benefits.

SHOP Hopetheblackdog

BLOG Hopetheblackdog

INSTAGRAM – hopetheblackdog

FACEBOOK Hopetheblackdog

TWITTER h0petheblackdog

PINTEREST hopetheblackdog

Guest Blog Post – Henry, Fred & Felicity on Etsy

Today’s blog post is from Fay Stephenson from Henry, Fred & Felicity on Etsy.

Faye Stephenson
Faye Stephenson

She creates personalised canvases for nurseries, home decor and special occasions – they are all hand-painted by Faye and I love the look of her shop, she’s created a look that makes you want to check out all her wares (beware my wallet)…

Tell us a bit about you

My name is Fay Stephenson, I am 41 years old and mother to 3 very boisterous boys aged 4, 9, & 10. I work part time for a local company, looking after their Social Media & Online Sales; but my real passion is crafting. I love to create, to sew, but most of all to paint. I hand-paint personalised and bespoke canvases for all ages (with a strong lean to kids and families), and am really looking to make this my full time job this year.

Blog

Twinkle, Twinkle Canvas
Twinkle, Twinkle Canvas

How did you decide on the name for your shop?

It came quite easily. My two eldest boys are named Henry and Frederick, and as I started my business before Samuel was even a twinkle in my eye, I immediately knew I wanted to include their names as they were my inspiration. When I was younger my mother had wanted to call my Felicity, but my father wasn’t so keen, so they agreed on Fay. However as a little nod to mum and because it sounded much better, I decided upon Henry, Fred & Felicity.

How long has your shop been open and why did you start?

My shop has been open since 1st Feb 2012, but has been very off and on and I really haven’t given it the attention it deserves. 2016 is my year to really concentrate on me, my shop and my brand. It all started when I made a canvas for Henry’s room, then Freddie’s. Friends commented how much they liked and so I began making as birthday presents for friends children and orders started from there.

What is your favourite item in your shop at the moment?

It’s hard to chose between the oversized Scrabble canvas and the Glasgow Style collection, but think i’d plump for the Scrabble canvases at the moment as loving the new colours I’ve introduced as they remind me of summer, and i think they are just so fun!

Name Canvases
Name Canvases

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I get inspiration from everywhere, family, friends, books, the internet, existing themes in rooms, client’s briefs. Inspiration is definitely all around us and sometimes springs up quite unexpectedly!

What do you love the most about running your own business?

I love the freedom it gives me, I can work as much or as little as I like and I only answer to me. I find it incredibly therapeutic. I get to do something I love and give somebody something that they love, what’s not to love? #bestjobever

What do you love the least?

I’m not sure there is anything I don’t love? I even enjoy doing my books LOL, so i’d probably have to say not being able to do it full time is the only thing I love the least at the moment. But I intend to change that this year!

Poem Canvas
Poem Canvas

What other things do you like to do in your spare time?

My boys and my husband are all very sporty, so a lot of my spare time is spent at swimming lessons, football, tennis & squash, but when I do get a little time I enjoy movie time with my boys, cooking and also playing the piano.

twinkle twinkle personalised canvas

What would be the one piece of advice would you give to a person setting up their own shop?

My best piece of advice would be to focus and ensure you’ve done your market research beforehand. Make sure you price your products correctly, taking into account all factors (there are loads of sites to show you how to work out) otherwise there is not point doing, it is a business after all! And make sure you feel comfortable saying no! I spent far too much time in the beginning making things people asked for that were really nothing to do with my brand or product line, but I felt I couldn’t say no. I’ll still do the occasional bespoke job for friends, but tend now to steer them as much as possible towards a fellow crafter on Etsy who actually does make the item they are looking for.

You can find Fay here:

Etsy

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Instagram

DunnCrafting – A Guest Blog Post

Another Guest Blog Post from another UK Etsy Shop – DunnCrafting. It’s owned by Susan and Karen, a Mother/Daughter crafting team from Bedford (not too far from me!) and showcases their love of nature and colour in their shop with the collection of home decor and special occasion items including seashell hearts and flower bouquets and pomanders.

Susan has answered some questions about their Etsy shop and how it got started.

Karen and Susan
Karen and Susan

How did you decide on the name for your shop?

My daughter Karen and I did a bit of toying with word combinations and were trying to find a name that would reflect both of us – we hit on Craftywildes to begin with – but that made us sound a bit shifty- so we settled on DunnCrafting (Dunn is my daughter’s married name) which has a nice play on words.

How long has your shop been open and why did you start?

Playing about with fabric flowers, and quilted balls for Christmas in 2013 prompted the idea of working together to make things that others might like – and so our Etsy shop was born! Since those first tentative days, our range has developed and continues to grow as our creative imaginings become realities.

Shell Wall Plaque
Shell Wall Plaque

What is your favourite item in your shop at the moment?

I’m a bit clucky over all the things I make, so it’s difficult to choose one favourite. Near the top must be the heart wedding favours that I made recently (Love shells!).

Shell Hearts
Shell Hearts

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I was taught to knit and sew by my mother – and a seminal moment when, aged 10, I met a beachcomber during a family summer holiday; this man made exquisite dolls from shells, and showed me how. Once home I made my own from shells collected at the beach. Candles followed made from household candles and wax crayons melted together, whisked and then poured into molds – my mother’s egg whisk took some time to recover!

Button Bunny Nursery Decor
Button Bunny Nursery Decor

Karen’s love of making things started at school, culminating in Art – Ceramics A level. Her brother’s wedding was a watershed – she rushed out and bought her first sewing machine to make her own wedding outfit. Since then, she has delighted in experimenting with all sorts of projects from bean bags to a penguin outfit for her own daughter’s school dressing-up day, imagined from a Japanese onesie she saw on the internet!

We both browse through Pinterest looking for ideas – and sometimes get inspiration from displays in boutique shops that we might encounter. I visited the Ideal Homes Christmas Exhibition this year and have made a list of possibilities! Karen is a busy mum and full time teacher, so she is my ‘critical friend’ and brainstormer companion!

What do you love the most about running your own business?

Being retired, I can use my time as I wish and doing something that gives me such pleasure is a no brainer – add in giving delight to others and being paid for my efforts, and you have a perfect combination! It also gives me the perfect excuse for impulse buying!

What do you love the least?

Being interrupted by having to keep my accounts up to date!

What other things do you like to do in your spare time?

I volunteer for Tibbs Dementia Services, giving counselling support to carers of people with dementia, and I also sing in two choirs. My grandchildren are a joy!

What would be the one piece of advice would you give to a person setting up their own shop?

Learn as much as you can about SEO, and taking and editing great photos to showcase your makes; use social media; network as much as you can to make sure your shop and your makes are seen; be open to advice and constructive criticism from other sellers. Don’t give up! Etsy can be funny at times – it can feel like feast or famine – and sometimes lots of the latter! But everyone has to start somewhere – don’t feel discouraged if other sellers seem to be roaring ahead and you’re not! Good things come to those who wait (so I keep telling myself!)

Daisy Pomander
Daisy Pomander

If you would like to know more about DunnCrafting and where to find their lovely items, you can find them on:

Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/DunnCrafting
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DunnCrafting
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest/DunnCrafting
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/DunnCrafting
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/dunncrafting
Blog: dunncrafting.blogspot.co.uk/