Craft Britannia Winter Sale

Do you know what’s ongoing right now? Right this minute??

Why, it’s the Craft Britannia Winter Sale!

We have loads of shops taking part, and you can find the Facebook event here:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1073405959434972/

Find sale, seconds and clearance items such as decorative glass objects, tote bags, jewellery, knitted items and felted creatures.

Drop by the Team Page to see the shops taking part in the sale:
http://etsy.me/2jrLm3k

or take a look at the sale sections listed below:

SpinningStreak – http://etsy.me/2k9kd5L
Blucha – http://etsy.me/2kkkMNn
Stupidcats – http://etsy.me/2jirty1
KimsHandmadeCave – http://etsy.me/2jpzw9P
LaurasJewellery – http://etsy.me/2jpBirr
AnimalGlassDesigns – http://etsy.me/2kkgt4z
CheekyGeeky – http://etsy.me/2jR9Qpu
KilnFiredArt – http://etsy.me/2kkANPf
LittleConkers – http://etsy.me/2j6axXQ
Fabrilushus – http://etsy.me/2j6eRqd
DestaiDesigns – http://etsy.me/2k9lvxD
Mythillogical – http://etsy.me/2jYFbV9
Twinkknits – http://etsy.me/2jYML2k

#DifferenceMakesUs – A New Promo Campaign by Etsy

#DifferenceMakesUs – What’s that all about, then?

Well, Etsy has a new promo campaign happening, and they’ve decided to use the hashtag #DifferenceMakesUs. The idea is that differences make us unique, and each Etsy shop is difference and unique.

How does it work?

Each week, the @EtsySuccess Instagram account will announce a weekly challenge. You can take part in this, or you can just tag any product photo with #DifferenceMakesUs. Make sure you also tag @EtsySuccess and @EtsyUK for a chance to be featured!

How does this link in with the Craft Britannia team?

We want to feature your best work! Even if you don’t get chosen by Etsy themselves, you have a chance to be regrammed by the @craft_britannia Instagram account. Tag us in your product photos and hashtag it #dmuteamcb and we’ll pick the best and most interesting stuff to repost.

You can also read more about the campaign here:
https://www.etsy.com/uk/seller-handbook/article/how-to-participate-in-etsys-global-brand/50091672239

And you can enter your photos off Instagram into a competition here, where you can win a £1,000 gift card!
https://www.etsy.com/uk/differencemakesus

We’ll also be taking on the video challenge – stay tuned!

Etsy UK Captain’s Summit 2016 — Graphic Design

I’ve returned from Etsy’s 3rd UK Captain’s Summit bursting with ideas to help our community work more closely together.  Although we’re quite spread out geographically in the Craft Britannia team we are really good friends who spend a lot of time talking together online.  While getting us all together for a meet-up or a selling event may prove difficult there is no reason why we shouldn’t try and find ways to meet in smaller groups spread out across the UK.

I’d like to see if we can also make team brochures and online supplies swap sales too.  Here is a little look at what happened when Etsy Admin and some amazing UK Team Captain’s and Leaders got together in cambridge to talk about their teams.

If you have any ideas for team activities please do leave them in the comments as we’d love to hear them.

This month I took part in the 3rd Etsy UK Captain’s Summit in Cambridge with Lottie from SimplyCharlotteB. The Summit was an opportunity to share help and advice on team issues like how the Etsy Made Local Christmas markets went, while catching up with friends and partaking in tea and cake. Lots of tea and […]

via Etsy UK Captain’s Summit 2016 — Graphic Design

Creating a Post & Packaging Workstation

Do you run out of packaging unexpectedly? Ever had to quickly order envelopes after an increase in sales?  Sarah Beever from Sarah Beever Design gave us some tips on how to prepare for these kind of situations.

sarah_beever_image.jpg

Sarah created this post & packaging workstation to help her keep track of her postal supplies more easily.  After buying the big letter rack from Ikea for £25 she now keeps everything including scales, stamps, cards and leaflets in it.

Having everything in one place makes reordering much easier.  It also means she can include a card and leaflet in every package that she sends out as her workstation is stocked ready for when the orders come in.

Sarah buys most of her packaging in bulk from ebay.  This includes padded envelopes and large letter boxes as using them help keep the cost of postage down.  Sarah feels that the increase in sales that she experienced last year is partly due to streamlining this process.

Her final comment. “What works for some may not work for others.  After all our buisnesses are so individual which is what makes them special.  If this advice can help one person it is worth while.”

We will be following up this post with some tips on where to buy your parcel size guide and the packaging that will help both you and your customers save money on shipping.

Does anyone else have any tips of being more organised with shipping their orders?

Black Friday at Craft Britannia

Black Friday

Our team has a fantastic selection of handmade products this Black Friday, and most of our shops continue the deals through the weekend and even include Monday!

Join our event on Facebook to keep track, or explore all the individual shops yourself. Use code BLACKFRIDAY at checkout to receive your discount! 🙂

These are the shops taking part:

Loophole – www.etsy.com/uk/shop/SixSkeins – 20% when spending over £10
Kitty Ballistic – www.etsy.com/uk/shop/KittyBallistic – 20% when spending over £15
Stupidcats – www.etsy.com/uk/shop/stupidcats – 10% when spending over £10
Blucha – www.etsy.com/shop/Blucha – 10% on all orders
Erika Price Designs – www.etsy.com/shop/ErikaPrice – 10% on all orders
Kim’s Handmade Cave – www.etsy.com/uk/shop/KimsHandmadeCave – 20% when spending over £15
Linden Tree Jewel Box – www.etsy.com/shop/lindentreejewelbox – 20% when spending over $20 (that’s about £13)
Billie Makes – www.etsy.com/uk/shop/BillieMakes – 20% when spending over £10
Victoria Sol Jewellery – www.etsy.com/uk/shop/VictoriaxSol – 20% when spending over £10
Designs by Emma @AllNeedles – www.etsy.com/uk/shop/DesignsAllNeedles – 15% on all orders
Cheeky Geeky – www.etsy.com/uk/shop/CheekyGeeky – 15% when spending over £5
Katy Kookaburra – www.etsy.com/uk/shop/katykookaburra – 15% on all orders
Fluffy Duck – www.etsy.com/uk/shop/FluffyDuck – 20% when spending over £10
Aisling Dezines – www.etsy.com/uk/shop/AislingDezines – 20% on all orders
Laura’s Jewellery – https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/LaurasJewellery – 20% on all orders

Christmas Markets Tips and Tricks

A lot of people worry about what to do and what not to do for Christmas markets and other craft fairs. Steph of SixSkeins has done a number of craft fairs and has a lot of experience to share with you! 🙂

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Relevance – It generally takes a few years of trial and error to find the craft fairs that work best for your items and location. Keeping in touch with other local small business people doing similar fairs is very helpful, as is keeping a list of contact details for the different events together with a reminder in your calendar of when applications open. If you visit a good fair that you’ve not heard of before, get the contact details for next year and add them to your list.

Christmas markets in particular can be different to those at other times of the year. Customers are looking for gifts obviously, so in my range I find that readymades tend to sell better than craft supplies. If possible, have a good spread of prices to cover stocking fillers up to larger price ranges, and think about whether your customers will be looking to buy your products for children as well as adults. Think about how you shop for your family and friends, and how you decide what to buy each person, then apply that thinking to your range to see how it fits and how best to package/display items to make them most appealing.

Keep a spreadsheet of the sales you made at each event, then compare them to the costs of your stall plus travel, food etc to see which ones are working best for you, then book those for the following year. Drop those which aren’t making a reasonable profit and look for more suitable ones to fill those gaps for next year.

Insurance – Most craft fairs need you to have your own Public Liability Insurance. This is readily available for a reasonable price from various companies on the internet, either for single events or as annual cover. Choose the one that works out the most cost-effective for you, depending on the number of fairs and markets you hope to sell at.

Layout – It is always interesting to see what sellers use for display. Height is key; it rnables customers to spot your stand from across the room, plus it gives you more space to display your items, particularly if you sell larger products such as cushions or bags.

Do a mock-up of your display a week or so beforehand; if you don’t have a table just lay your cover out on the floor to the right size. Arrange your display and photograph it from several angles, then check your photos. It’s far less stressful to make layout changes at this point than on the day, and you’re more likely to pick up on extra signs or display equipment that you need beforehand too. I ahev been selling at craft fairs and markets for several years now, and still constantly change my layout and displays.

Equipment – I use 2 folding lightweight wooden bookcases to add height, one each end of my table, which cost not too much from ebay. On the top shelf of each I have display mannequins with sample products on, again giving more height and display space.

Rotating displays with hooks can be useful space-savers too, either on your tabletop or full height standing next to your table if you have the space (mention it on your application form; it’s not usually a problem). These can declutter your display so customers can more easily see what is available, while still giving you the ability to display lots of item variations.

Lighting – is very important, especially towards Christmas when days can be very short and dark. If a customer can’t see your items properly they won’t be drawn to them or see their true potential. A couple of bright desk/clip lamps and a long extension lead is a valuable and not too costly investment from somewhere like Argos. Compare several types in use to see how bright they are before choosing which will work best for you.

Battery-powered strings of fairy lights and a few lengths of tinsel can add a festive touch to your Christmas stand for very little cost. I keep my craft fair Christmas decorations separate to the household ones, as Christmas craft fairs are often going on well before we’re ready to decorate our home!

Do you sell items that will be worn? If so, take a well-sized mirror so a customer can get an idea of how the product looks in situ rather than in the packaging. Trying on a necklace to see the length is a lot easier than reading a measurement, and is more likely to secure that sale.

Offers – If you offer a discount for craft market sales, you will encourage customers to buy there and then rather than just take a business card (which you have dotted around your table of course!). It’s easy to make a generic ‘Show Offer’ sign with a standard discount that you can use at each market. Make sure you print it in BIG (and colourful if you like!) font on A4 paper & laminate it if possible for durability, then pin it to your display stand at eye level.

Make sure your offer works for you as well as your customers – i.e. you’re still making the profit you need after the discount.

Comfort – Standing at your stall all day can be a chilly business leading up to Christmas, even if you’re undercover. Fleecy boots can help keep your feet warm, as can a large piece of cardboard (e.g. a recycled packaging box opened out) for you to stand on behind your stall – it’s amazing how insulating that can be on a concrete or tarmac floor!

Take a flask of hot drink or soup if possible to sip throughout the day to keep you cosy and hydrated. Taking your own snacks and packed lunch keeps your costs lower too.

Reusable hand warmers are cheap to buy and very effective when held in your pocket or mitt. Just flex the warmer to click the metal disk inside and the disk will heat up and harden, then stay warm for several hours. To reuse, boil them until they soften again, cool and store in your craft fair box for your next event.

Money – Think about your prices and take a cash float that is useful for you. If you have an item that costs £1.95 you’ll need to make sure you take 5 pence coins in your float – or maybe round up your price to £2!

If you’re manning the stall by yourself it’s useful to invest in a trader’s money belt that clips around your waist. That way when you nip off to the toilet you haven’t got to worry about your cash or phone going missing!

Receipts – If you’re selling your items online too, it is helpful to write receipts (with carbon copy duplicates) for all of your sales. You can buy books of these online or in stationary stores like WHSmith. It looks more professional to the customer and gives you an easy way to check through the day’s sales and adjust your online stock levels afterwards. Make sure you include a business card with each sale, or stamp your logo/web address on each receipt beforehand.

Payments – If you sell items over £10, being able to take card payments is essential in my experience. I have an iZettle card reader, which is the same as the PayPal reader but was on offer when I wanted to invest. I use it at every craft fair & market, and have even taken card payments for other sellers when they don’t have the facility! All you need is wifi and maybe an electricity point to keep the reader charged up if you’re selling for a full day. You install the reader’s app on your phone, connect the phone to the reader using bluetooth and you’re ready to take payments!

Overnight – If you’re leaving your items in a gazebo or marquee overnight (e.g. for a 2-day fair), it’s a good idea to take a large sheet of plastic to cover your stall overnight. Condensation builds up very easily on the inside ceiling of marquees with the day-night temperature changes, which will then drip down onto your precious handmade items if you forget that cover!

Most important of all – smile, speak to your customers and enjoy the day. Try to think up a standard opening line you can use as customers come to your stall; I ask people if they knit or crochet themselves. Engaging the customer in a chat makes both of you feel at ease and gives you the opportunity to easily introduce them to your products. If they don’t want to join in just hand them one of your business cards and wish them an enjoyable day before they move on.

If you can, take some part of your craft with you to work on throughout the day; I usually have some crochet with me. You probably won’t get much actually made, but people will often stop and watch what you’re doing, which again gives you an easy opportunity to engage them without feeling awkward.

Even if you don’t make a huge number of sales, you’ll have increased your potential customers’ knowledge of your business and products, made contact with other local small businesses and chatted to a whole bunch of new people too!

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So there you have it – words from an expert! 😉

What are your experiences with Christmas markets? Anything that hasn’t been mentioned? Tell us in the comments.

How To Write A Good Artist’s Profile

No matter where you go in the online sales world, there will be a specific page for you to fill out. The name of this page varies – “About Me”, “Profile”, or just “Me”. This is a particularly difficult text box to fill for many designers and makers, because we’re not used to talking about ourselves. We can talk about our work at length, but me? What do I say about me? I’m not very interesting!

Well, that’s where you’re wrong. Of course you’re interesting! Everyone is. You just have to find a way to convey that in text. There are a few tips that can help you on your way, and I’m going to try to explain a bit about each point.

Tell a Story

You don’t have to start David Copperfield style with “I was born on a Friday”, but it can be interesting to note if you’ve been creative all your life and if you’ve tried out different forms of expressing that creativity. Even if you only include your adult life, tell us about how you came by your form of craft and how it’s developed over the time you’ve been doing it.

Be concise

Having said all of the above, you also need to trim away excess words and information. Don’t go into detail of your early years, just note the important bits and move on. People are interested to hear your story, but they don’t want to trawl through a bunch of waffle. 😉

Your About Me page isn’t actually about you

This is a weird one, contrary to what I’ve been going on about so far, but still an important point. Along the same lines as being concise, remember that you’re writing to an audience. You want the person reading to see why you’re worth listening to, and buying from. You want to show that you know your stuff (in a more-or-less humble way), and you want to instill trust. Don’t make things up, but don’t downplay your achievements either. Make it interesting for others to read.

Use a picture of yourself

Believe it or not, in the handmade and artistic worlds it matters a lot that people can see who made that beautiful item they’re curious about. If they can see that there is a real person behind the words and products, they’re more likely to buy.

Twitter, Instagram and other short profiles

All of the above has been talking about big text boxes where you can write several paragraphs. So what do you do when you have a character limit?

* Be concise
* Include keywords
* Consider using humour

And perhaps the best tip of all: read other people’s About Me pages and profiles. Take inspiration (but don’t copy outright). See what works and what doesn’t, and incorporate it in your own page. Experiment.

Are you happy with your About Me page? Give us a link in the comments and tell us what, if anything, you’d like to improve.

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