Sunday, 29 December 2013

Secret Santa....

I hope everyone enjoyed the festivities. I am too scared to step on the scales, I am probably 2 stone heavier!

Even though I am no longer working in an office I still did not miss out on a Secret Santa this year thanks to the Twitter group #craftblogclub.  It was organised by the lovely Emma, the founding member of #craftblogclub and a fellow blogger, check out her fab blog here.

We were challenged with making a gift for a named recipient.  I received my Secret Santa gift very early, they were far more organised than me! Thank you Secret Santa!....

Wrapped in a festive fabric, love that idea!

Inside was a pretty felt Reindeer for my Christmas tree and Chocolate!

My beautiful gift was made by Caroline, the Reindeer is hanging on my tree among my red and gold themed decorations.  A mixture of handmade decorations and other pieces collected over the years. The chocolate didn't last long, yum yum!

I love her blog name ~ Tea is the Answer ~ and it is a good crafty read.

#craftblogclub is on twitter every Tuesday 7-8.30pm.  Join craft bloggers, lovers of craft blogs and crafters.  It is a fun, non-competitive arena to talk about anything craft and blogging related, as well as monthly challenges.

I will share the gift I made as Secret Santa in my next post

Thank you Santa for the rest of my gifts, so spoilt!  Of course I have crafty goodies to play with, one of which is a Crochet Starter Kit, 2014 will be the year I learn crochet....

What did Santa bring you for Christmas??

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Merry Christmas!!

I just wanted to wish you and your family a very merry Christmas and a prosperous 2014. 

Thank you for reading my blog and being a part of my journey, I can't wait to see what 2014 has in store. 

Merry Christmas

fizzi~jayne x

Saturday, 21 December 2013

He's nearly here....

Only 4 sleeps until Santa finally arrives!  Have you finished your Christmas shopping? 

I have just got back from my final craft fair of 2013!

I was in the Christmassy mood with my Christmas jumper and Santa hat

This craft fair was much better than previous ones, I actually made a profit! Customers were buying rather than browsing.  It may have been the time of year, the right customer for me or just being in the right place at the right time. I am happy that I have ended 2013 on a positive high and that the fizzi~jayne name is spreading.

Sales - 14!!

Now I can focus on getting ready for my own Christmas celebrations, family time and have a wee break.  I have now closed my Etsy & Folksy shop to do this so I won't be taking orders, or making any new products but I will be popping up on my blog,  Facebook and Twitter (I won't be able to stop myself!) so please come and say hello!

I will be reopening my shops on 31st December to launch my sale!

In 2014 expect to see new ideas, new products, favourite craft techniques and maybe a book review or 2.  If there is anything you would like to read in my blog please let me know, I would love your feedback.

I just want to thank my customers, blog readers and general supporters, what a year 2013 has been ~ I quit my 9-5, started this blog and that was just the second half of the year! I can't wait to see what 2014 has in store.

Merry Christmas!


Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Only 8 more sleeps!!!!....

I am overly excited about Christmas, check out my new Christmas jumper, the nose flashes!....

I have one more craft fair on 21st December so I get to wear my new jumper, yeah! I will be joining other artists and crafters at St Mary's Church in central Watford.  If you are in the area, it will be lovely to see you and it will be a great place to get individual Christmas gifts or to escape the shopping centre for a cup of tea.

After this craft fair I will be taking a wee break and my Etsy & Folksy shops will be closed from 21st December.  This is so I can get ready for my own Christmas celebrations (not that I have left it to the last minute!), enjoy family time and have a bit of a rest.  I may not be taking orders or making new products but I will be popping up here and on Facebook and Twitter so please come and say hello!

For now I need to finish off some last minute pieces for the fair, I'm making more decorations and gift wrap as I am predicting these to be popular, I hope so anyway....

PS.  Last order date for UK delivery is 18th December! Visit my Folksy or Etsy shops to order

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Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Feeling Christmassy....

Three craft fairs so far and I'm really enjoying them.  The build up of the week before is busy but I get a buzz from this and from seeing my hard work all come together.

My background is retail so I like setting up my own shop and getting the displays just right. Whereas before my career was more behind the scenes, now I get to talk to the customers, display products how I want to and basically have full control over the whole process. (Not that I am a control freak!)

I have been meeting some great people who have amazing talent and we all offer support and advice to each other. I have mentioned it before, but there is real camaraderie at these events. On Saturday a few of us were talking about how surprisingly quiet it was for a Saturday in December. I have been recommended other craft fairs that have better footfall and where fellow stallholders have had more success, which is reassuring so I am checking them out for 2014. 

Sales = 7 items!
I am happy with this as it is more than the previous 2 Berkhamsted Fairs.

Cheesy pic alert....
Also this week
  • I reached 200 likes on my Facebook page, yeah! Thank you to my fizzi Facebook fans!
  • I have received my #craftblogclub Secret Santa, very exciting!  I'm busy making mine and will show pics of both in the next few weeks. 
In the meantime, I am busy getting ready for my last craft fair of 2013 which is on 21st December. I have also just realised that I have been so focused on fizzi~jayne and getting ready for craft fairs that I haven't even thought of my own Christmas preparations and shopping, eeek!! I did manage to get a couple of gifts from other stalls at the weekend but it is going to be a busy couple of weeks, ah well, sleep is over rated!!

How are your Christmas preparations going?  I'd love to hear from you.... 

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

I do love cake....and Christmas.... and Birthdays.....and of course craft.....

It's been a busy week of birthday celebrations, not only was it my husband's birthday but it was also my Nan's 90th!  So there was cake!  MMmmm lots of cake....

So I wasn't in my Craft Den for 5 days and I started to get the shakes but it is good to take time out, resting the mind allows the creative juices to flow.  I came home with lots of ideas written in my notebook (I carry this everywhere as ideas come when you least expect them) I will have to wait until after the Christmas fairs before I start work on them but I can't wait to get started ~ 2014 will be fizzi~jayne's year!!!!

Christmas craft fairs are keeping me busy right now, and I have another one added to my diary.  Someone saw my stall at Berkhamsted and passed on my details to an organiser of another Christmas Craft Market who asked me if I wanted to be a part of it, how could I say no!?!  It was so lovely to think my stall made an impression, it certainly gave my confidence a boost and just shows whatever my sales the fizzi~jayne word is spreading!  So if you are in the Watford area on 21st December I will be at St Mary's Church, just off the High Street on Church Street in central Watford (WD18 OEG). 

Before that I will be at Berkhamsted Town Hall again this Saturday at the Artisans, Arts & Crafts Christmas market.  I love Christmas and once the family birthdays are over (November is a busy birthday month) I get very excited.  I have my Santa hat at the ready and I am looking forward to having my first mince pie of the year.  It will be my last appearance of 2013 at Berkhamsted so it would be great to see you if you can make it.  If you can't be there I will be posting pics on my blog next week but if you can't wait until then I will be posting on my Facebook page and on twitter during the day....

Friday, 29 November 2013


Have you started your Christmas Shopping?

If you have a few bits left to do or yet to start (like me!) or maybe you need a greeting card for another occasion, don't miss out on saving 25% off everything in my Etsy shop using code BLACK25.  Saving starts today but must end 2nd December 2013

Folksy unfortunately don't give sellers the option to offer coupon codes to our lovely customers but fear not! Just enter the same code (BLACK25) in the note to seller and I will refund the saving.

Please note: This offer excludes postage and personalised orders and can't be used via my Facebook Page.

And don't forget if you order before 11am (GMT London, Momday - Friday) and add the Signed for 1st Class Postage item to your basket, your order will be posted the same day.  Plus this WILL receive a 25% discount!

Royal Mail aim to deliver the next day including Saturdays (excluding Sundays).  This requires a signature on delivery. The parcel can be tracked and generates a proof of delivery for peace of mind. 

Click on the links below to visit my shops....

Happy Shopping!!!!

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Berkhamsted Artisans, Arts & Crafts Market ~ Part Deux....

I had another stall at the Berkhamsted Artisans, Arts & Crafts Market last Sunday, this was the 2nd out of 3 I have booked in the run up to Christmas.  This one was definitely busier than the last one! 

My Stall

Check out the bunting! I made this from thick card and I'm so pleased with how it turned out
The general feel amongst the stall holders was there were more browsers than those intending to buy and I got the feeling that people were getting ideas for Christmas.  I had a flyer advertising I will be back on 7th December so hopefully those who were interested will be back otherwise the flyer included my details and a discount code to use in my Etsy shop.

The discount I offered was the same as before ~ an exclusive 10% off promo code ~ this is so I can track how many customers have bought from me online since seeing my stall, it is another way to track the success of the craft market.

My new range of Christmas decorations had their debut outing....

 The beaded snowflakes received a lot of attention

Felt Christmas Heart

I displayed the decorations on a 3ft Christmas tree with lights....

I do enjoy craft fairs, I get to meet other crafty people and meet potential customers.  I like talking and this time I was more confident in talking about myself and my products.  I had quality conversations and saw what customers liked which I believe is invaluable market research for the price of a stall. 

Sales = 3, 1 more than last time!
Business cards/ promo leaflet taken = loads and from the conversations I had, I am reassured that they were interested in my products and with the promo code I can track how true this is.

Obviously I would love more sales (a girl has got to earn a living!) but as part of my plan the first year is to use these fairs as a way of spreading the fizzi~jayne joy, raise awareness and to use them as a form of market research to inform the direction of my brand. 

I have been told that it helps to attend the same craft fair on a regular basis, as customers do like to come back again and they will get to know you.  I may need to test different pricing and products but mainly I need to have perseverance and patience.

My next craft fair is the Christmas Market with mince pies and entertainers, it should be a fun day, I have my Santa hat ready!

I love Christmas so I am very excited to be a part of this ~ only 35 sleeps until Christmas Day!

 Who else has had a craft fair recently? was it a success?
If you attend craft fairs as a customer what attracts you to a stall and what makes you want to purchase?  any advice is gratefully received!
I'd love to hear from you and your experiences....

Monday, 11 November 2013

birthday week....

I had a week of birthday celebrations, my birthday celebrations :-) one day is never enough!! So I allowed myself some time off and spent a day at Hobbycrafts at the NEC. The Art Materials Live and Crafts for Christmas were also there, a 3 for 1 event, it was huge!!  It must be the largest craft event in the UK, I was overwhelmed with excitement. I had such a fun day, I was in my element, stall after stall of craft supply goodies and of course I bought stuff....

Lots of new goodies

I could have bought so much more but hubby was with me and kept track of everything I spent, EVERYTHING!  I might leave him at home next year, although I do need to be kept in check at events like this as I am a child in a sweet shop! Budget, what budget??

I got some fab presents for my birthday and felt thoroughly spoilt.  I received couple of books that look really interesting....

"Crafters Guide to Taking Great Photos" and "Blogging for Creatives", has anyone read them?  I can't wait to read them, the trouble is I don't know what to read first.....

O and just before I go I will be at the Berkhamsted Artisans Arts & Crafts Fair this Sunday with lots more new products, will I see you there?

Friday, 8 November 2013

Last Order dates for Christmas Delivery....

I just wanted to let you know my last order dates to guarantee delivery in time for Christmas. Please note these dates are based on the last posting dates given by Royal Mail in time for Christmas delivery.  If you need to post your order on please allow extra time and order much earlier.

Delivery to the UK
  • 1st Class Post ~ 18th December 2013
  • Signed For 1st Class (additional charges apply) ~ Order by 11am (GMT) to be sent out the same day. Royal Mail aim to deliver the next day including Saturdays (excluding Sundays).  This requires a signature on delivery. The parcel can be tracked and generates a proof of delivery for peace of mind.  This can be purchased as an additional item from my Folksy and Etsy shops

Please note Royal Mail can not guarantee next day, for urgent orders they recommend Special Delivery, prices start at £6.22. If you wish to pay for this service please contact me directly.
Last order date for this service is Friday 20th December 2013

  • Bespoke/ personalised orders ~ Please order any special requests for Christmas no later than 2nd December 2013 for 1st Class Delivery. 
Delivery to Canada, France, Greece & Poland
  • Royal Mail 1st Class Airmail ~ 6th December 2013
  • Bespoke/ personalised orders ~ Please order special requests for Christmas no later than 20th November 2013
Delivery to the USA & Western Europe (Excluding France, Greece & Poland)
  • Royal Mail 1st Class Airmail ~ 11th December 2013
  • Bespoke/ personalised orders ~ Please order special requests for Christmas no later than 25th November 2013
Rest of the World
  • Royal Mail 1st Class Airmail ~ 1st December 2013
  • Bespoke/ personalised orders ~ Please order special requests for Christmas no later than 14th November 2013
Visit my Folksy or Etsy Shops to see my handmade creations....

    New Christmas Decorations added to my shops this week

Sunday, 3 November 2013

I have been thinking a lot about Christmas....

...and I am sooo late in getting my products ready, even though I promised myself I wouldn't be last minute and have been thinking about it and buying bits since April!  Aaahhh!

The good news is that 70% of people shop in the last ten days before Christmas and they spend more because of that, phew!  I still have time!

It's not an excuse but I have had lots of bespoke orders this year (I am not complaining, that's great) and until recently worked full-time, so I just need to catch up with myself.  Since being able to focus on my fizzi~jayne empire I have been beavering away and I have some new products...

These and others are available on my Folksy and Etsy shops and I am making lots more to add to my shops in the run up to my next craft fair on 17th November ~ this is the deadline I have given myself, I always work best to a deadline. 
The first of my new range of Christmas Decorations, so exciting!!!

 The larger heart can be a tree or door handle hanging

Next year I will have no excuses to be late, in the meantime this is what I am going to do to get those last minute sales, or what I also like to call fizzi~jayne's top tips....
  • Descriptions ~ Visibility is key! All product titles, first line of descriptions and image titles should be obvious and be relevant to what customers might be searching for on the web, i.e Handmade Christmas Card.  This should mean my products end up higher on a search engine.  For anyone who sells products that aren't made specifically for Christmas but are ideal gifts, tweak your descriptions to appeal to your Christmas shoppers.
  • Make last order dates for Christmas delivery obvious ~ I have clearly listed these dates in every item description and on my Facebook page in my notes.  Plus I will dispatch within 1-2 business days.
  • Give an option for customers to pay for next day delivery~ I have added the option for customers to pay for signed for 1st class post, by adding it as an additional item on my Folksy and Etsy shops.  Royal Mail aim to deliver the next day including Saturdays. This requires a signature on delivery and the parcel can be tracked and generates a proof of delivery for peace of mind.  For more valuable items Royal Mail offer a guaranteed next day service, Special Delivery, costs start at £6.22 which is a large cost for my type of products but for anyone selling more valuable products I would recommend giving this as an option to your customers with the stress of Christmas and getting the right gift, customers will pay it!
  • Use Social Media as my marketing friend ~ Shout Loud! Increase frequency of my posts but making sure I am being interesting, relevant and compelling, making every post count. I will be running promotions in the run up to Christmas and social media is a great way to promote them.
  • Make my stall stand out at the craft fairs ~ I'm going to make my stall as visually appealing as possible and I am very excited about my plans but you will have to come and see me at Berkhamsted Town Hall on 17th November or wait for the pics ;-)

With these tactics I hope that this Christmas will be a successful one.

Has anyone started their Christmas Shopping?  Anyone finished it?

Monday, 28 October 2013

what's in a name?....

People often ask me how I came up with the name fizzi~jayne makes....   So let me tell you ~ Fizz was my nickname at school (and a name that my Dad still calls me).  Jayne is my middle name and I make things!

I added the "...." as the plan was always to add more variety of products to my range and be more than cards, it is a kind of watch this space/ fill in the gaps style of approach.  I kept the name all lower case just to be different and rebel against the grammar rules, apologies to my English teacher and all those who are sticklers for grammatical correctness, I just like to break the rules. 

I googled various options of spelling of the name and agonised over it and the ease of spelling for far too long. I asked work colleagues and friends for their thoughts and so that is how I reached fizzi~jayne makes....

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Berkhamsted Artisans Art & Crafts Market....

I had my first stall at the Berkhamsted Artisans Art & Crafts Market last Sunday, there were other newbies there which was nice and there was a great camaraderie feel about it. 

There wasn't much footfall, it was thunder, lightning and generally a miserable wet day (thankfully it was an indoor market, I felt for the farmer's market that was outside!).  It was the sort of day if I didn't have to leave my house I wouldn't have so I can imagine a lot of people stayed in the dry and who can blame them!  The good news is everyone was in the same boat so although sales were low, it wasn't just me.

All set up and ready to go

Me and my stall

I produced a flyer with an exclusive 10% off promo code to use in my Etsy shop so I can track how many customers have visited my shop and bought my cards since seeing my stall.  It is a shame Folksy don't do promotional codes yet, there are lots of requests on the forums so hopefully they will get this sorted soon as is a great way to track success of any kind of marketing and in this instance the craft market.

Free sweets!

I need to improve my sales technique, which is odd seeing as my career has been in marketing and most recently I spent my day writing features and benefits for toilets, yep toilets! The trouble is it is now personal and I find it hard to big myself up but the more I do it the more I will improve. One of my strengths has always been my people skills, so I need to get a grip and just talk to potential customers like I would anybody else and let my bubbly self shine!

Sales = 2 :-(
Business cards/ promo leaflet taken = lots, I lost count but I certainly am reassured that they were interested in my cards and with the promo code I can track how true this is.
New ideas for my display = 7

My next one is 17th November, with it being closer to Christmas I hope it will be more successful, plus I am working on some exciting new products and displays, watch this space....

Who else has recently had a stall at a craft fair?  Was it a success? I would love to hear about it....

Monday, 21 October 2013

A week of food and goodbyes....

Last week was an emotional one, it was my last week at the 9-5.  I didn't enjoy the goodbyes but I am so excited to be able to focus on my passion and get on with all the exciting ideas I have.  I have made some good friends at work so a lot of the goodbyes will be "see ya later". Being my last week it was a week of eating lunch out a lot and since starting this blog I am now one of those people that now takes pictures of everything, EVERYTHING including my food.

One of many indulgencies this week, yummy!

and of course there were leaving drinks, everyone kept buying me drinks! which explains the fuzzy pic (The Guinness is not mine!)

I got lovely leaving gifts from work....

A tea pot, we have tea ladies (not the cliché tea lady you might have in mind but staff from the local sandwich shop) that come round with a tea trolley twice a day, who were the highlight of my day, I have often said I am going to miss them as I now have to make my own, I know, disgraceful! (I wonder if they would do house visits?!).  I also got a book, Handmade Marketplace, which looks really interesting and useful.  I can't wait to read it and then tell you all about it.  Plus Cath Kidston Scrapbook and stationery plus a friend bought me a scarf which is sooooo me....

Oo and chocolates, so I was very spoilt. 

Now for the next chapter of my life and being my own boss, yay!


Saturday, 19 October 2013

My main thought this week has been....

What is my niche? 
In an earlier post, Why do I need a plan?,asked myself the questions, what am I going to sell to hit those sales numbers? What is my niche? 

Online is a huge marketplace, if I only look at Folksy and Etsy, the amount of talented makers & sellers are impressive. 

So how do I compete? I need to stand out and have a niche.
I love making cards, it is what I have become known for but it is a saturated marketplace.  What makes me stand out, my USP (Unique Selling Point) in marketing speak.  My intention was always to do more than cards and I now have the time to explore the other areas of craft I love ~ I love constructing 3D designs from paper and card, I sew (my degree is in Fashion), I enjoy cross stitch, photography and I have recently taught myself to make jewellery. 
What is a niche....
A niche = Your specialism + Your target customer
Benefits of a niche....
  • What I become famous for - an expert in that field, making it easier to stand out from the crowd and get noticed
  • Easily defined product
  • Easily defined market.  By knowing who my customer is keeps marketing costs low, customer loyalty high and deeper revenue with those customers
By thinking about the following will help me find my niche....
  • Values - Quality of product and service.  I hate poor service and not getting value for money.  Good quality supplies are important to me, I also aim to buy British where I can and support our economy.  I want to be known for excellent customer service, treat my customers how I like to be treated.
  • Passions - creating, designing, making pretty things that makes someone feel special - so not product specific but a start
  • Talents - I am not very good at blowing my own trumpet but I would say I have a talent in designing, a good eye for colour and I am creative, all of which I hope shows through my products
  • Ideal clients - This is tough as ideally, anyone who buys!  A question posed to me was which customers challenge me and who do I enjoy working with?
So I need to do some more work to find my niche and be able to answer the above, so the plan is....
  • Product - Cards will always have a place in my range but what else can I create to complement them?  I will now have the time to try all the different projects I want to do and test different markets, not only what sells but what I love doing.  The way I am going to do this is make products relating to a theme and have a "collection" for example Christmas is a great theme to create a range of products.
  • Online sales - Both Etsy and Folksy provide stats for my page and I also use Google Analytics which is free. By looking at these I can see what has been viewed and purchased.  The disadvantage of online is you can see what products are looked at but you don't know why they didn't buy
  • Craft fairs - This will fill in the gaps that online stats don't answer.  Craft fairs and markets are great for free market research, I'm going to speak to people to find my ideal customer, what they like about my products, what they buy and who buys them and what turns them off. 
I have a stall at Berkhamsted Town Hall tomorrow, it is my first time at the Berkhamsted Artisans Art & Craft Market, I am really looking forward to it and if you can come along it would be great to see you but if you can't make it don't worry, I will be posting pictures on my Facebook page and on Twitter during the day and you can be sure to read all about it here in a future post....
Berkhamsted Town Hall Postcode is HP4 3AP


Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Something I just have to share....

If you have been reading my blog you may have noticed I have been playing with the layout.  I have been learning how to make improvements through Googling and I came across this blog post by diy Design Fanatic who made it so easy to get the social media icons that link to my pages without HTML writing!  There is a video tutorial from Blogaholic Designs on the post as well as a link to craftiments where I got the icons.

Thank you Pam for doing all the hard work for me I am so pleased I found this and successfully did it so I had to share it.

What do you think of the tweaks I have made?

Sunday, 6 October 2013

So I've quit the 9-5...

Eeeek!! I wasn't planning this so soon!  My full time job is too intense to be able to focus as much time on fizzi~jayne as I need to if I want to make a proper go of it as a credible business.  I only really have the weekend, I don't want to sound "o poor me",  I just reached a point where I can't do any more and grow fizzi~jayne into a proper business unless I don't sleep and I am the kind of girl that needs her 8 hours. I also want to be able to spend time with friends and family instead of feeling selfish and feeling that I have neglected them.

The final straw was when we had a restructure 4 months ago and everything I liked about my job changed and other events started pointing me towards making this decision.  I have so many ideas that I never have the time to do, so I have made the difficult life decision to quit my stressful job to be able to focus on my passion.  I will be poor but I hope to be balanced and happy. 

Great news, hey?!?

Let me introduce you to my view from my new office....

A view from my craft den.  The farmer has ploughed the field, so not as pretty as it can be but I will share pics over the seasons
What I am looking forward to:
  • I get to do what I love everyday, woo~hoo!
  • Being my own boss
  • I can dance in my office if I want to!
  • I'll have a 60 second commute
  • Having the time to network with like~minded, creative people
  • Starting all the projects I have wanted to do and test different markets
  • Going to work in my tracksuit bottoms and an old Bon Jovi T-Shirt
  • I will have an amazing view from my desk which will constantly change with the seasons and depending on what the farmer plants next.
  • Working the hours I choose
  • I won't miss the office politics
  • Now my hobby is officially a form of income (hopefully) I can read all the books I have been meaning to for ages and only get to read on holiday.
  • Most importantly feeling happier, healthier and more balanced.
I want to thank everyone who has supported me and convinced me to follow my dream, without great friends and family this would have been an impossible decision to make.

Who else is burning out?  What have you done to get balance in your life? Or are you just working every hour you physically can?  I would love to hear from you.

If I can offer any reassurance, all the hard work and stress will be worth it when the day comes that you can earn money from what you love. There comes a point when you need to decide when to get serious. There are only so many hours in the day/week/year and you will know when that is and it is a difficult decision to make. 

fizzi~jayne x