Friday, 30 May 2014

#CraftBlogClub ~ selling your crafts....

craftblogclub badge
I hosted #CraftBlogClub this week and the topic for our chat was about selling our crafts, discussing the opportunities and challenges and offering hints and tips.

It was an interesting chat that raised a lot of topics.  Below is a summary but it was a meaty discussion that we got our teeth into so make sure you have a cuppa ready and are sitting comfortably to read this....

Folksy Vs Etsy
I like Folksy because they are British and it's not as saturated with sellers as Etsy (yet!) so it feels easier to stand out.

Etsy is a huge marketplace that is known globally.  Whereas the benefit of this is you reach customers around the globe but you are up against lots of competition.

I have a shop with both and I like them both for different reasons. I like Folksy because I will support British where possible and I have had more success with them.  However, Etsy allow me to offer discount codes to reward my customers, help drive sales and measure the effectiveness of after sales from craft fairs.

Here are what other #CraftBlogClub peeps think....

@Dainty and Ivory - I've been trying on Etsy but nothing yet!
@Flutterby Button - I find it really hard to stand out on Etsy now, seems saturated. 
My advice is to look at the shops that are featured plus Folksy show best selling brands on their homepage.  Make notes as to why you think they have success.  Is it because of their imagery, their descriptions, the type of products they sell or the price points they sell at?  Check out your competition and make a plan of attack!

If you are an Etsy seller you need to sign up for their newsletters which offer lots of advice and support for their sellers.

I asked if anyone has sold via their Facebook page....
@jet011 I have but only to people I am already friends with on there
@IcySedgwick I get a lot of people showing interest on FB but no sales

I have made a sale via my Facebook page and people can buy from me directly but it's main purpose for me is to see what fizzi~jayne is up to and find out about promotions & new products.  It also is a portfolio of my work past and present. 

@IcySedgwick has blogged about the challenges of Facebook's algorithms here 

Craft Fairs
I've talked a lot about craft fairs recently on this blog, here are what others were saying....

@Flutterby Button has more success with craft fairs, especially around Christmas etc.
@hookstitch - October through January are my main big selling months
@TheWrightCoach sometimes it depends on where the fair is, it needs to be central and have passing trade.  It's better if all the products are handmade crafts

Knowing who your customer is helps product development and pricing which is why I like craft fairs to meet people

It's important to get your brand out there and I would recommend to sell in more than one place to be seen. You need to focus your time on what is right for you and your brand and the way to find out is to try out different places to sell.

What do you do to promote your products and shops?
@EmmaRuthJones I'm planning a variety of things at the moment, driving traffic via blog and more interaction on Twitter
@LoveAmyBecca Twitter is a good place, as is Pinterest and through my blog

Good imagery is key to selling online....
@hookstitch having that great eye catching photo is a must.
@LoveAmyBecca recommends a mini light studio for photos, we bought one for £30 and it's brilliant
@IcySedgwick I like to take my photos outside on an overcast day - clear lighting but no harsh shadows

Teaser alert! ~ I have blog posts planned dedicated to photography in July, including a guest post from a photographer offering tips

As well as good images describing the features and benefits of the product are key to sales. For every feature add why that is a benefit to your customer.  This article from Craftseller offers advice on writing engaging descriptions

@Kay_O My struggle would be pricing, because it would never reflect the time/effort
This is a common challenge. Never undersell yourself! you have a skill that has a value and costs to cover
@TheWrightCoach We tend to cost materials & time and then look on Folksy and see what similar items are being sold for
@IcySedgwick I have an hourly rate, plus the cost of materials.

What you also need to consider is any depreciation of tools you use.  For example a printer will need to be replaced at some point.

Doing what you love and being able to earn money from it is an amazing feeling but it can be frustrating when sales are quiet.  My advice to those who are feeling despondent is it takes time to build brand awareness and a regular customer base. I am at the early stages of my business plan so I am not making record sales yet but it is a journey! I have a plan with small steps to achieve that will keep me focussed and less likely to feel disheartened. 

So if you are a seller or thinking of selling my advice is to follow your dreams, persevere, be patient, have a plan and have good friends & family on hand who can give you a pep talk when you are not feeling so positive.

Just give it a go, who knows what is possible until you try.


It was a great chat for me as I am passionate about offering support to others wanting to sell and make a living from their talents. 

I recommend following the below on Twitter, they regularly post useful articles on selling and you should check out their websites which are full of resources:
Claire Hughes and Polly Dugdale from Handmade Horizons
Design Trust
Enterprise Nation

Is there a topic you need advice on? Let me know, I am happy to share my knowledge and experience and what I don't know I will find out.

fizzi~jayne  x 

Pssst.... I am next hosting #CraftBlogClub on 17th June.  The topic is yet to be decided but if you would like to chat about anything craft or blog related let me know. 

Friday, 23 May 2014

Free UK Delivery This Weekend

To redeem, enter the code FREEPOSTAGE at the checkout of my Etsy shop and discount will automatically be deducted. 

Folksy customers please enter code in the "note to seller" and I will refund the saving before dispatch. Unfortunately Folksy do not have the option for sellers to offer discounts so this is the only way I can give you a discount via Folksy.
Sorry this is not available to postal addresses outside of the UK.
This offer must end Bank Holiday Monday 26th May 2014 at 23:59, so don't miss out!
Happy Bank Holiday Weekend!!

fizzi~jayne  x 

Monday, 19 May 2014

Craft Fair Circuit ~ Harpenden and Crafty Herts....

I am currently doing the summer craft fair circuit.  Last weekend I was at Crafty Herts and the weekend before I was in Harpenden. I am trying to find a regular craft fair where I can build a network of regular customers.  This isn't to say I won't do others fairs. I intend to do as many as my schedule allows but I want a regular pitch so my customers will know where to find me.


Weather was heavy showers on and off all day so footfall wasn't great therefore sales were not my best.  However it has potential to be a great one.  They have their regulars, some have been selling at the fair for the past 3 years, so it can't be that bad! Right?!  They were saying it was an unusually quiet day and they would normally do better, so I will give it another go.
Overall it had a great atmosphere, everyone was very chatty and friendly.  It was a pleasure to be a part of it and because of that the time flew by.  As a place of work it was a nice place to be, we even get free tea and coffee, a bonus!
Crafty Herts at Hertford Museum

Crafty Herts was a smaller fair, only 7 stalls in total. It's organised by @LoveAmyBecca who I met through #CraftBlogClub.  It was great to meet her after tweeting so regularly!
In comparison to Harpenden the weather was absolutely gorgeous, so I hate to blame the weather again, but it doesn't help footfall. Who wants to go shopping when they could be sitting in their garden or going on a trip to the park or beach or sitting in a beer garden?!
It was disappointing to not make many sales but there are going to be days like this and it is always reassuring that it wasn’t just me, everyone was experiencing the same.  The trick is to persevere,  if one craft fair doesn’t work out there will be another time or another craft fair that will. 
The only way to get my brand out there and my products in homes is to get out there and be seen.  Online is a massive market place and is just one way to promote and sell fizzi~jayne products but it is important to me to meet potential customers. I generally like meeting people but more importantly I get to interact with customers and understand their needs and what they are looking for which improves my product range and chances of success.
I am trying two more new craft fairs in June....
Little Fox Market Rickmansworth ~ 7th June
Frogmore Mill Summer Fayre ~ 29th June

For more details on these events please go to my Events and Craft Fair Page
In the meantime I have lots of custom orders coming through which are keeping me busy!
Who else has been selling at craft fairs?  Have they been successful? If you run a craft fair let me know, I would love to hear from you
fizzi~jayne  x 
P.S. If you want a custom order I would love to hear from you, to find out more information about the service I offer visit here

Monday, 5 May 2014

My Month in Pictures ~ April....

I love taking photos and I am learning all the time about how to take a better snap. I always have my Digital SLR with me when I am out and about but I also take pics on my phone. I am a big fan of Instagram and I take lots of pictures using this app.  I just love pretty pictures!

So, I thought it would be nice to share them and have a round up each month of my photos. Here is my first, month in pics ~ April....

My first pot of Annie Sloane chalk paint / My stall all set up and ready to go at the New Milton Craft Fair / A Celebratory glass of wine after the craft fair  

Beach huts at Mudeford, Dorset / My yarn basket (little pleasures) / A pic from my morning run on Easter Sunday (making room for chocolate) / Jars in my in-laws kitchen, original from the 70's, love them
More photos of Mudeford, Dorset - Boat / Beach / Harbour / Crab Pots

Easter Egg Cosies made as gifts for the family ~ Bunny with a Pom Pom tail / Bunny / Chick
My #CraftBlogClub Challenge gift from Emma at Frugally Peachy / My #CraftBlogClub  Challenge Gift I made for Emma / Photo shoot of new products just launched / my first attempt at Zentangle

I hope you enjoyed my April in Pictures

fizzi~jayne  x 

P.S You can follow me on Instagram here

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Guess who has been nominated for a Liebster Blog Award??

Yep ME!!

I was nominated for a Liebster Award by the fabulous Toria from Creative Mine who is a beauty, creative and lifestyle blogger.  It was totally unexpected to be nominated and of course flattering.
Thank you Toria for nominating me!
Check out her blog here
The Liebster Award is given to new blogs who have less than 200 followers. Blogging is about building a community and it's a great way to connect with other bloggers and helps spread the word about newer blogs. The word 'Liebster' has German origins and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.
There are a set of rules to accept the Award which change depending on the year/person but I shall abide the rules Toria has given me, so this is what you have to do...
1.       Each nominee must link back to the person who nominated them
2.       Answer the 11 questions which are given to you by the nominator
3.       Nominate some other bloggers for this award who have less than 200 followers
4.       Create 11 questions for your nominees to answer
5.       Let the nominees know that they have been nominated
If you are sitting comfortably, then here are my answers to Toria’s questions….
1.       How did you come up with your blog's name?
My blog name fizzi~jayne makes.... is also my business name. 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 which I have done, it is a kind of watch this space/ fill in the gaps style of approach.

2.       What inspired you to do a blog?
I always wanted to write a blog but I didn't think I would have enough interesting stuff to say.  It was Tilly Walnes of Tilly and the Buttons (and The Great British Sewing Bee fame) who was speaking at the Folksy School that inspired me to start this blog.  I want to build a community whilst writing about my journey of turning my hobby into a successful business. I want to document my highs and lows to hopefully inspire and support other creatives to be able make money from what they love.

3.       What are your top three favourite hobbies?
·     Craft, craft, craft, I love all things crafty as you may have guessed from this blog.  If you regularly read this blog you will know I have started to learn crochet but I love all types of paper craft and mixed media art.  I also make jewellery and if I have time, I also sew.
·     Photography.  I studied photography at art college for a term in the day of the dark room and film but fell in love with taking pictures all over again when I invested in a digital SLR early last year and it goes everywhere with me.
·     Running.  I have a love/ hate relationship with exercise, I would rather be in my craft den but when I put my trainers on, get some good tunes playing on my iPod I love it.  My greatest achievement is completing the Great South Run in 2012, to look at me you would never guess I could run 10 miles but I did!

I have a medal and the photos to prove it!

4.       What's your favourite book and why?
A tough one, I have enjoyed so many books but I don't get to read as much as I would like.  My favourite book I read a couple of years ago that I recommend as a must read is The Help by Kathryn Stockett.
I couldn't put it down, it was about African-American maids that work in white households in Mississippi in 1962.  An era of  history I didn't know much about and I still can't believe what was acceptable behaviour towards other human beings. The strapline on the back of the book is "Where black maids raise white children, but aren't trusted not to steal the silver....", madness! It is a book about courage, crossing boundaries and friendship. A must read.
5.       What's your favourite fashion item that you can't live without?
At the moment it is my satchel handbag my hubby bought me for my birthday. I have used it every day since November so it is starting to look well loved.  It's perfect as it fits across my shoulder and fits so much in including my iPad and a book, so practical and beautiful.

6.       What's your favourite holiday destination?
Anywhere with a sandy beach in the UK or abroad.  Last year we had a holiday of a lifetime in Bali, which is the most amazing place.  It's as idyllic as you would imagine and a very spiritual place.  It is where I made the life changing decision to leave my 9-5, so we won't be going anywhere as exotic as this for a loooong time! This year we are going to Cornwall and I can't wait! It's somewhere I want to explore, see the beaches, eat cream teas and relax.

7.       What is your favourite film?
Dirty Dancing, it  has to be the best chick flick ever!

8.       What's your favourite memory?
My wedding day, cheesy I know, but it was the happiest day of my life.
9.       What's your favourite food and why?
Pizza, no, a curry, no pizza, ooo I can't decide!! If I had to choose one to eat right now I would go for a Dominoes Veg-a-Roma, my favourite pizza.  Pizza is the perfect meal, it has your carbs from the base, calcium from the cheese, if you have meat you get protein, I'm a vegetarian so I have loads of vegetables which are of course healthy so the perfect meal!! Ok I know it isn't a  nutritious meal but it is yummy and with a Dominoes you get the garlic and herb dip, Mmmmmm!

10.   Who is your biggest blogger inspiration?
There are so many inspiring bloggers, so this is really difficult to pick just one.  I love the photography of  One Sheepish Girl's blog.  I thoroughly enjoy the frugal adventures of Frugally Peaches which is written by Emma the founder of #CraftBlogClub. For arty and crafty techniques I am inspired by Ink On My Fingers and Barbara Gray from Clarity Stamps.

11.   What are the top three beauty products that you can't live without?
·    Concealer ~ to hide the dark circles and any spots or uneven patches
·    Mascara ~ I have long eyelashes so to make the most of them I use a volumising mascara.
·    No7 Protect and Perfect creams ~ This may be classed as more than 1 but I use their creams and serums with the hope I will have a youthful look for ever. ('ll let you know in 10 years!)

 So I am going to nominate the following Blogs for the Liebster Award:
  • Sally from Sally Strawberry ~a fellow #CraftBlogClub peep and a lover of Crochet.
  • Emma from Emma Made ~Is a very talented crafter with such a happy blog.
  • Linda from notes from the arena ~ I find her blog inspiring how she is overcoming her difficulties and facing life head on
If you have more than 200 followers, sorry me bad, but you can join in anyway....

Your questions are....
1. What inspired you to start your blog?
2. How did you come up with your blogs name?
3. Who is your biggest blogger inspiration?
4. What are your top 3 hobbies?
5. Did you make any New Year Resolutions for 2014? What are they and how are you getting on?
6. What is your favourite film?
7. What is your favourite movie snack?
8. Where is your favourite holiday destination?
9. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
10. What is your favourite book?
11 .What animal would you describe yourself as and why?

I am looking forward to reading my nominees posts
fizzi~jayne  x 

Friday, 2 May 2014

New products and a saving for this weekend only!!....

This week I have been busy adding new products to my Etsy and Folksy shops.  They have been a little neglected recently as I have been busy with customer orders and getting ready for craft fairs.

I used the craft fair in New Milton to test some new products and I got a great response about these coasters from customers....

I was inspired by my love of funny and inspiring quotes.  For the packs of 4 coasters I used the decoupage techniques inspired in a previous #CraftBlogClub challenge.
The coasters are glazed twice to protect the artwork from hot mugs and makes them easy to wipe clean. It is important to me that my products are fit for purpose so I tested prototypes this included drinking lots of hot drinks, (it's a hard life!). They also have cork mat on the back to protect surfaces.
I have also added wall hangings to my collection and I have one left from my stall which can be found in my shops....

I added  more cards to my range, some of which co-ordinate with the coasters.

To celebrate the launch of my new products, and it's a bank holiday yay! I am offering 20% off everything in my shop!! (excludes P&P). 

To receive this great offer use the code MAY20B at the checkout of my Etsy shop and the discount will automatically be deducted.  To shop in my Folksy store, use the same code in the note to seller and I will refund the saving before dispatch.  Unfortunately Folksy do not have the option for sellers to offer discounts so this is the only way I can give you a discount via Folksy.

This offer must end Bank Holiday Monday 5th May 2014, so don't miss out!

To see all the new additions to my range and to take advantage of my 20% off go to either my Etsy or Folksy shop.

I hope you like my new products

fizzi~jayne  x