So I’ve got to the end of January and finally my craft room
is back to some semblance of order apart from still being overcrowded with
crafting items that I cannot find home/space for.I should feel proud as literally after the
craft fairs in December it not only have the decimation of the remanence of
makes for the craft fair, but everything unsold and the structure of the stand
got dumped in there.But I’m not proud,
I knew it would be some recovery for me after the events, and we had a very
quiet Christmas too, but I still beat myself up over not achieving more.So why am I telling you this, well in fact
this is not uncommon with any crafter, those that are well, those that run
crafting part time alongside other jobs, those that are a house-parent and a
crafter and those like me disabled and crafting all set ideals that sometimes
we know from the outset are beyond reach and then punish ourselves when we feel
we have not done enough. What is enough?Here lies the problem, crafters/artists have to in a lot of cases create
and sell their work, it’s a dual role one that is difficult to balance, you can
spend all your time at fairs, marketing on social media, topping up your
websites, stocking shelves in shops where you have rented space and therefore
neglect the creating side of the creative wheel. Or we flip that round and
spend all the time creating (especially if your busy with orders)and neglecting
our presence outside of the ‘Crafting Zone’, to future and repeat customers and
finding that when we have dropped out of people’s minds the sales do too.We have to keep that wheel turning and
turning smoothly. Now I admit I am a
failure, I am a cheeky fat hamster who looks at the wheel and feels daunted by
it. I step on, go for a little spin, get out of breath and exhausted, to then
step off and leave it in the corner for a while, achieving very little. Come on
hands up all those that have started a new year’s resolution and haven’t
maintained it. So what am I doing, I’m creating fits and starts for both the
sales and making, this isn’t good I’ve not got my wheel running smoothly, and
risk it coming off its frame altogether.So, I have started a new plan (not a New Year’s Resolution, I suck at
those to), to research ‘the wheel’ to make it work for me and keep me running
at a pace that I can and then implement and maintain.
Well how on earth do I do that, in truth I’m not yet sure, I
have started by buying an A4 diary, and I’m looking at and trying bullet
journaling. I’m researching more into social media and the platforms and tools
to help make this work for me.I plan to
start a mailing list and engage my followers, with my future and existing customers
with direct contact of my makes, well as we know social media doesn’t show all
our magic to all our followers so I need them to be able to see the magic I am
making.I’m working on my selling
platforms, current and future ones, I have to make it as easy as possible for
people to buy from me don’t I?But I
can’t do this all in one day, and if I tried I will have pushed my little fat
hamster body to exhaustion on the wheel.So I’m making to-do lists, daily ones (yes even weekends) and there is
only a few items a day, but I also add in the other things that may crop up and
throw themselves into my day, like an order, *whoopee*.This is so that when I’ve not completed an
item on the list I can possibly see why the day didn’t go to plan,though, I don’t have as yet a tick box for
the cat sleeping across my keyboard therefore I could not type *grins
sheepishly* which I think should be added.
It’s even got me on a new make, a stencil to slot into a
diary that gives you tracings to bring alive your bullet journal *go me*. So as
I move further into February I am still using the diary, which has to be a
first for me.My planning today is
already interrupted with an order, a make which will take me most of this
coming week, but I have a stencil for that to add it to my journal, so when I
look back I can see that is why the next article for the Professional Crafters
Guild took me longer,*sneeks off to
make a coffee while no one looks*.
Catch you soon xx Saz xx
You can purchase my Bullet Journal here on Etsy at http://etsy.me/2leqi1g or you can come and
chat to me on my face book page Spratt’s Designs
Created by Guild Member Cotswold Characters Available
for adoption! These to beautiful pegasus creations are looking to bring
magic to their forever homes! Just £16 plus P & P of £4 they can be
flying their way to you!
Created by Guild Member Custom Hair Accessories Sinamay side-swipe brimmed hat trimmed with 5 hand sculptured calla flowers featuring Swarovski Elements stamens.
All creations are fully handmade and shipped in a hatbox where it can be stored when not in use. Created in the colour of your choice.
Created by Guild Member Blackberry Wedding Designs
Sycamore clock with Rabbit design in Pyrography - personalised to order
Unique rabbit design solid sycamore clock with quartz movement.
item has lovingly been created and is now ready for personalisation -
maybe a couple's names and date of wedding or it could be to celebrate
an anniversary. So many occasions this could be used for, you may even
prefer it without any added text - the choice is yours! £29.95 https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/507380791/sycamore-clock-with-rabbit-design
Created by Guild Member Taylor Mayde Scents Melt shards Comes in a 200g glass jar with wooden spoon making trasferring your melts from jar to burner easy.
Created by Guild Member Arabella's Attic Vintage Coin Purse
This pretty coin purse made from cotton linen fabric with a beautiful
vintage inspired pattern is just the right size to hold coins, notes
(bills), credit or debit cards. Or, if you prefer, you could use it to
hold makeup or jewellery
Created by Guild Member The Scrapbooker A beautifully designed scrapbook or photographic album with built in
panel box to hold all your tickets, brochures and guides from your
holiday. This album has been lovingly designed and handcrafted from scratch using
the finest materials - gorgeous bespoke designed cover and lining.
The inside has 15 white card leaves or plastic top loading wallets
giving 30 workable sides on which you can add your photos and memories.
Can be customised to suit your needs. £65.00 http://thescrapbooker.bigcartel.com/product/boxed-scrapbook-photographic-album-holiday
Running a small craft business can be a minefield, there are so many ways that you can waste your time and money. We asked some of our Guild Members what advice they would give a new or struggling business.
get into like for like farming on Etsy or Facebook it doesn't help you
in the long run.
Research, look at people that sell similar items to
you, note what you like, photographs, wording, how they communicate,
where they promote - don't copy but be
Things don't happen overnight. We are all very good at
posting positives, so you don't see the tears behind the mask, so don't
think that everyone else is a big success and your not, you'll be
surprised at how many struggle everyday, even those with lots of sales.
Register with HMRC especially with the changes coming in April.
Socialise online in groups like the PCG as you can moan and celebrate
with fellow crafters who understand how much hard work your putting in,
you don't have to be there alone xx
Get to know like minded people via
social media, fairs, groups. We can learn a lot from each other and I
personally have found the majority of people are friendly and happy to
offer advice (PCG perfect example).
I would also say create what you
love! Yes look at trends, but the best work is created when you love
what you are doing.
Be legit. Register with HMRC, get insurance and be sure you comply with any regulations that are relevant to your business.
Work out who your ideal customers are. This makes it so much easier to target your marketing and will save you time and energy in the long run.
DON'T undervalue your work. Work out your prices correctly (including
your overheads, materials, time and profit) right from the start! Your
prices will always change over time but at least you won't have to do a
complete overhaul if you start out too cheap.
is important. You don't need to spend a fortune on it but you NEED to
have a consistent brand, especially if you are present on a number of
Network the right way. Like for
likes etc. May give you a boost but they are no good to anyone in the
long run. Good content and interaction are the key!
Connect with other business owners! Running your own business is lonely
sometimes and even if you have support at home, I don't think it's
something people understand completely unless they've experienced it.
Good things come to those who wait! And those who work really hard!
Business is NOT going to come to you, you will have to work for it but
don't be disheartened if it isn't going anywhere fast - building a
business takes time.
NEVER forget why you started your
business in the first place!! This is SO important because if you lose
the connection and the passion for what you do it will end up feeling
like just another job. You ARE your business so love what you do :) x
Join us today at the Professional Crafters Guild and become part of our fabulous Community.
Herkimer Diamond Quartz measuring between 4mm - 8mm in size have been
stranded onto very strong beading wire and finished off using a sterling
silver clasp, with a sterling silver extension chain as an option.
Beautiful Herkimer Diamond Quartz Bracelet in Sterling Silver.
The Message In A Bottle has become Paperamas signature piece. Beautifully
presented personalised handcut mini papercut Message In A Bottle.
These little bottles pack a big punch so many beautiful responses.
Comes in a gorgeous presentation gift box with additional sprinkling of
glitter confetti & a small semi-precious crystal stone.
Unicorn Vinyl Design Overlaid Glass Block with blue fairylights, creating twinkles of illuminated magic. These
blocks are perfect as an occasional light, as a nightlight for your
home, or a gift for friends or family. Lovingly handmade to order in
Worksop, Nottinghamshire and shipped across the entire UK.
Personalised Family Group of wellies in a contemporary white 23.5cm x 42cm frame. Each wellie boot is hand cut and a large variety of styles, and different coloured and patterned paper is available. Each
pair of boots is mounted slightly raised from quality watercolour paper
and the family members name written in fine pencil underneath.
This cute pair of tibetan silver Cat earrings are Alice in Wonderland
inspired. They are created with silver plated hooks, rubber backs and
packaged in a black velour gift pouch and would make a lovely token gift
idea... for somone who loves cats.
This beautiful memorial bracelet, or angel wing bracelet, is a lovely
bereavement keepsake item to honour the passing of a loved one. Handmade
using traditional macramé techniques, the design features a single
silver-tone angel wing connector, on a nylon thread, and is finished
with seed beads. The angel wing bracelet can be personalised with the
addition of an initial charm.
handcrafted glittery resin dragonfly wings float below sparkly artisan
handmade lampwork beads in luscious shades of rose pink. I've accented
the wings with rose Swarovski crystals and sterling silver beads, and
hung them from my handmade sterling silver earwires. 3.6in/93mm
This stunning Wedding anniversary card is absolutely perfect for couples
celebrating their Emerald wedding anniversary - 55 years together.
Whether it be for friends or parents, they are sure to be delighted with
this exquisite handmade and personalised card.