Branding – Creating Business Cards

Today’s post is written by Dayz of DayzeeLoveDesigns. She has lots of experience as a graphic designer and has created logos, business cards and other branding stationery for loads of people.

  • Planning your design

If you are working on the branding for your shop and planning to order business cards here are a few points to ponder.

  • Purpose & Quantity

Originally I wrote this as point 5 but it is in fact the most important thing to consider. What are you going to use them for? This will inevitably dictate how many you will need so have a good think about this.

Most people often just go for the largest quantity they can buy for the least money. By doing this you can compromise on quality for the sake of having huge stock of cards that you may not actually need. Unless you are attending a massive trade fair it may work out better to order smaller runs and change your design often. This allows you do modify your brand as you gain feedback. Shelling out for 10,000 cards and then deciding you’d like to change them 2 months down the line can be very frustrating.

I would avoid being tempted to do the business card equivalent of flyering. The take-up ratio on this kind of marketing is very low so you are basically just dropping them in the bin. Just think about the impact that this kind of pointless waste has on the environment. Instead consider only giving your cards to customers, display them on your table at a fair or market or leaving a small amount in select places. This is a much more effective promotional strategy. Targeting your marketing in this way will mean more people are likely to keep your cards.

  • Quality & Materials

So now you know the purpose and quantity you need you are in a better position to work out the quality of the materials that you can afford. If littering and the destruction of the rain forests is something you care about you could look into using recycled materials. This could help your brand as being environmentally friendly and handmade designer or seller of vintage may tie together nicely. Maybe you sell supplies that are environmentally friendly. This is an angle to think about.

  • Size & Shape

Not all business cards need to be the standard rectangle. Some sellers send out very small parcels so they may be better suited to mini cards. I use small tins for some of my products so even a circular card could work well if it fitted nicely into the tin. You can also get custom shapes but be prepared to pay more for these as it does take more time to create custom designs.

round business cards

  • Your contact details

This for me is one of the points I hear so many people talk about. ‘I bought 5,000 business cards and now I am moving house.’ What about all those social media links you currently have? You may use them now but in a year things may have changed. Remember MySpace?

I think the most practical thing to do with all these links is to have a website with all your details on and just use your website url on your cards. This way as social media trends change you simply remove the old details from the website and your cards still accurately reflect your most important contact information.

  • Logo or image?

Now you know your purpose, quantity, quality, materials, size & shape and your contact details. You have a good idea of how much space you have to fill. Now ask yourself if you have a logo that people will recognise as representing your business. Often the most effective business cards simply have the company logo on, maybe a small tagline explaining what you are about and the web address.

business card

If you are known for your unique products you could have a photo of your best selling item on one side and your shop name and url on the other. Having your Etsy shop url and a website url can also mean you are directing people to your shop for ordering and your website for your other social media links.

Now get thinking

These are of course just ideas to get you thinking. What works for one doesn’t always work for all. However, I hope thinking about these points will help you to avoid the ‘boxes of unwanted business cards at the back of your drawer’ problem.

 

The recycled kraft card business cards were made for Charles at Cremagoods using his own logo design.

Do you have a business card? Post it on Instagram and tag us at @craft_britannia and we’ll regram it to the world. 🙂

Craft Fairs and Christmas Markets

It’s September, and we’re nearing Christmas market season. The markets usually start in November, with new ones every weekend until right before Christmas itself. Craft fairs and markets can be quite intimidating for new crafters and sellers, but they require certain skills the same as selling online does.

Some things to focus on learning are salesmanship, product display and adaptability. All of these can be trained. Some people have natural talents for one or more, while others need to work at them. The author of this post definitely needs some work on all of the above! 🙂

In the time leading up to November we will be writing posts on how to ace the Christmas markets, but in the meantime I want to hear from you. Post in the comments, or send Victoria a convo on Etsy. Let us know how you cope with fairs and what your best tips are, and you may be featured in a future post!

Winter is Coming

It is September, quite firmly by now, and we have officially entered autumn in most of the UK. Perhaps some parts of the country have been there for a while already. But with this calendar based changing of the seasons looms that other season we’re all equally dreading and looking forward to – Christmas!

Etsy have very helpfully set up their annual Christmas Boot Camp, which is an email series which will help you get your shop in ship shape for the midwinter festival we all know.
You can sign up here: etsy.me/1UBytDS

In addition to the official Etsy Boot Camp, our team is, of course, always happy to help out. If you have any questions about the run-up or how to get yourself ready, or even what to expect, then just ask and someone will be able to help.

What are you most looking forward to, or least happy about, with the coming season? Tell us in the comments.

Product Packaging à la Craft Britannia

There is one thing all Etsy sellers have in common, and that we all do differently all at the same time. No, I’m not talking about the way we procrastinate on listings our new products. I mean how we package them once they’ve been sold.

From boxes to padded envelopes to neatly packed bags, each seller put their personal touch on the way their products look when they leave each individual HQ.

Michelle from Stupidcats sells prints of, well, cats! She takes great care with her packaging.
“I’m very paranoid of my pictures getting damaged in the post, after seeing the state of some letters that arrive. My pictures are mounted behind mount board and backed with thick acid-free card. Then I wrap them in clear acid-free cellophane, place another sheet of thick card over the front and wrap the whole lot in brown paper, and send it in a board-backed envelope.”

packagingstupidcats

Beki from RatherUnseamly, maker of cross stitch items and patterns, agrees.
“Bubble wrap is essential for me! Especially for those framed items that have glass. I’d rather go a bit over the top with the bubble wrap and make sure that the item gets there. I also use fragile stickers on the outside of packaging, although whether that works or not I’m not sure!”

Rachel Elliot makes glass sculptures and jewellery under the name Flyingcheesetoastie.
“As you can imagine, glass is very fragile so I invest a lot of time and money researching the best way to package it safely yet economically for postage costs. All my glass creatures are wrapped in bubble wrap and boxed in sturdy cardboard shipping boxes then either placed in padded envelopes or another box with packing peanuts depending on weight. I used foam filled paper boxes for my jewellery with all boxes sized to fit and display nicely without being excessive.”

packagingrachelelliot packagingrachelelliot2

As you can tell, there is a lot of agreement on packaging fragile items well. But what about the softer items that are sold on Etsy? Liz of Madmumknits says:
“I sell soft knitted items so I usually wrap them in tissue paper, then in polybags to keep things dry with our inclement weather.”

Sally, using the shop name LifeCovers, has a nice little twist in her parcels of Harris Tweed producs:
“I wrap in tissue paper and ribbon. If there’s room in the parcel without taking it into another postal rate, I add a small sachet of lavender. This often gets very positive remarks – especially from my friendly Post Office!”

A lot of people use stickers as part of their branding. They’re easy to stick on boxes, envelopes, anything you desire really. Says Victoria Sol:
“I put stickers on my gift boxes, and I have little tags that I attach to the pieces with baker’s twine which give metal information and cleaning instructions. Both stickers and tags are from DayzeeLoveDesigns on Etsy and have my logo on them.”

packagingvictoriaxsol packagingvictoriaxsol2

Beki and Sally both recycle bubble wrap, although the rest of the packaging is brand new. Sally tells me:
“I only recycle bubble wrap and other padding type materials. I want to keep consistency and that’s not possible if I recycle. However, I do purchase tags which are made from recycled materials.”

Michelle believes packaging is an important part of your branding:
“I strongly believe that creating eye-catching packaging – whether it’s the outside thing it’s posted in, or what’s inside it – brings pleasure to the customer and makes it more likely they’ll use you again, or recommend you to others. Think about when you’ve received a gift that’s beautifully wrapped, or something in the post that has an eye-catching, clean, quirky envelope or box – it makes you feel a bit warm and fluffy, doesn’t it!”

Sally is of the same opinion.
“I often get very positive comments from customers about my packaging. They like that it’s simple yet thoughtful. They say it’s like receiving a gift even though they know what’s inside. I think any extra time spent wrapping up nicely is definitely worth the effort – and I enjoy the process too.”

Rachel even adds a little surprise:
“All my items come with a little story card detailing the making process and a little about the studio and my training. Mostly these fit inside the boxes so can be wrapped up for present giving too!”

Any final thoughts, then, ladies? Beki says,
“Having put off creating stickers for return labels etc forever I can now say I wish I had done that sooner, it really doesn’t cost much to do and it just gives your packaging an extra level of professionalism!”

packagingratherunseamly

Do you have any personal touches that you put on or in your packaging? Tell us in the comments.

How To Decorate Your Home

Loutul

First, you add something nice and tasteful, but a little bit unusual, like this candle sleeve from Loutul.

Fabrilushus

Then a nice, welcoming message, such as “Welcome”, on a handmade base that you can put in your hallway. This one is made by Fabrilushus.

Frutejuce

Your kitchen needs bunting, of course, and what better to display than this lovely one with flowers and teapots? You can find it in FruteJuce‘s shop.

DamsonTreePottery

And for your bathroom, how better to make a cosy atmosphere than with this beautiful soap dish from DamsonTreePottery.

TheFeminineTouch

Add a comfy TheFeminineTouch cushion for your couch…

GracesFavours

 

…A cute GracesFavours personalised felted picture to your wall…

Mythillogical

And, of course, a cute little Mummy’s Boy to your mantle. Wait, what? Mythillogical got me distracted again. Anyway.

TatianaRosa

By putting some classically stunning coasters to your table, you can make the shock of the Mummy’s Boy out of the corner of your visitors’ eye all the more meaningful. These are made by TatianaRosa.

StupidCats

Don’t forget the StupidCat!

AislingsDezines

And finally, the cherry on top, waterproof bunting for the outside from AislingDezines.

Follow these simple directions and you’ll have a quirky, handmade, unusual and gorgeous home in no time!

Six Skeins / The Feminine Touch Collaboration

Etsy Teams are useful for many things, and Craft Britannia is no exception. When you join a team, you’ll have access to Etsy colleagues’ knowledge, experience and friendship. Oh, and did I mention it makes it a lot easier to find someone to collaborate with?

Collaborations are great. They’re a way to come up with new products, new ways of promoting your shop, as well as that you get input from someone who’s not in your own head. Great minds may think alike, but it’s always good to have a second pair of eyes to give you a good, honest opinion on what’s being made.

Within our Craft Britannia team we have a collaborative effort happening right now – between Steph of Six Skeins and Sandra of The Feminine Touch.

Knitting kit

“The collaboration between myself and Steph from Perran Yarns was a huge milestone for me. Steph asked me personally if I could re-work my newest knitting pattern design so that it could be knit in one of her hand dyed yarns,” says Sandra.

“As part of the Craft Britannia team Steph had seen my Etsy shop and my knitting grow from strength to strength over the past few years. I had hand knit a variety of shawls and wraps using her yarns so I knew what unique qualities they possessed. I felt honored that she wanted to work along side me, that she trusted me 100% to perfect the pattern so that she can supply it in kit form with her yarn.”

Steph admits she feels there aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything she wants. This collaboration has opened new doors: “Hand-dyeing luxurious Perran Yarns is my passion, but unfortunately not yet my full-time role. I work in IT 4 days each week and also prioritise precious time with my family including our two wonderful teenage daughters whilst they are still living at home with us. This means that although I have knitted and crocheted since I was a child, I have very little time to design projects to showcase the array of yarn types and weights that I dye currently. Collaborative working with other established designer-makers such as Sandra from The Feminine Touch on new patterns and kits is a wonderful opportunity to overcome this. ”

She continues, “For me personally it means that new ideas and designs using my yarns can be made available much more quickly to the enthusuastic knitting and crochet public, whilst I can focus on individually hand-dyeing new and current colourways with the designs and seasons in mind. A collaboration also gives a wider scope of design possibility to the patterns and kits, with ideas and suggestions coming from both parties – as the saying goes ‘Two heads are better than one’! The collaboration enables us to produce highly individual kits so the customer gets the best combination of an exclusive design with a hand-dyed luxury yarn in a choice of colourways – or even a custom-dyed colourway if preferred!”

Sandra points out some of the logistics they encountered as well. “It also meant that we had to treat this as a business venture, work out supply and retail costs and what percentage cut of the profits each of us got.”

The two ladies are very excited about this venture, as are the rest of us at Craft Britannia.

“Personally the collaboration provides a win-win situation for both of us, Steph gets yet another pattern to sell alongside her yarn; something that she freely admits she has little time to design herself. As well as selling on Etsy, Steph also sells her yarn in B&M stores at and fairs so this the perfect opportunity for one of my knitting patterns to be seen by more potential customers. The more I delve in to the world of design the more I realise how important it is to get my name and patterns out there in to the general public,” Sandra points out.

“Hopefully this is the start of something great!”

Knitting kit

The kit can be found in Steph’s Etsy shop here:
https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/242962623/diy-knit-kit-flowery-infinity-scarf

Summer at Craft Britannia

August is upon us and, unfortunately, the weather has been a little bit dreary. (Why do the British always look forward to a glorious summer, only to be disappointed?)

Anyway, we’ve searched through the team shops and found some gloriously summery items to brighten up your day!

bunting - aisling designs

Summery floral bunting from Aisling Designs

hairgrips - damsontreepottery

Pretty flower hairgrips from Damson Tree Pottery

house planter - erinnies

House shaped planter with yellow door and window from Erinnies

rainbow earrings - victoria sol

Vibrant Rainbow Earrings from Victoria Sol

watermelon - yarnowlsnest

Watermelon Baby Hat (so cute!) from The Yarn Owl’s Nest

 


Post written by Laura of Laura’s Jewellery

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