Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Happy Birthday...

...SparrowPrimitives from the 'British Sellers on Etsy' Team!

Featured Seller

This weeks Featured Seller is our very own Team Captain Chiara Stone of CLS Creations


Please introduce yourself and your business
My name is Chiara Stone, I’m 30 and married with a little boy who is two and a half. My background is in design and I am a self employed graphic and web designer. I wanted to explore my creative side more so started CLS Creations in my spare time.



When did you establish your business?
Well CLS Creations really came about when I started making personalized Christmas decorations, these were felt stars which could be personalized with a photograph, and people loved them and the sold really well. I always like to learn new skills and I came across the U-Handbag site, bought a kit and made my first clutch bag, from there I started making my own patterns and the business grew.



What prompted you to start your own business?
I always liked the idea of working for myself and after my son was born it just made sense to become self employed. In 2009 I started my Etsy shop and put some of the bags I’d made on there, but I didn’t really have a clue what I was doing and didn’t know how to promote myself, plus my son was still only a year old and I was getting the web design business off the ground so closed the shop for a while.
We moved house a year ago and I finally had the space I’d craved and more time now my son was older to really be able to invest more time in CLS Creations.



What are you doing when you’re not creating ?
Building websites, spending time with my husband and my son. Managing the British Sellers on Etsy team and when I get the chance a bit of reading.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I used to be very shy, wouldn’t approach people, I wasn’t very good at starting conversations with new people and now I’m the complete opposite.



What is your favourite…? Colour: Animal: Season: Movie: Book: Blog?
My favourite colour is turquoise,
Animal is a seahorse I’m fascinated by them,
Season is definitely spring especially after a long winter,
Film is tricky, I have a few The Labyrinth, The Princess Bride, Green Mile, Legally Blonde. Books, well I love Harry Potter but I would have to say my husbands first book Illmoor Chronciles The Ratastrophe Catastrophe, it’s so funny.
And blog, I really like http://www.newdressaday.com/ it’s so interesting to see the results and how you can adapt a piece of clothing to look completely different.

When did you first start working in your chosen discipline?I have always loved to sew, I started off with cross stitch when I was younger, I remember designing a cross stitch of my Nan’s life as a birthday present for her and sewing it in the playground at high school, I’m amazed I didn’t get bullied as it wasn’t your usual break time activity.
Then in my early 20’s I made teddy bears, a hobby I introduced my mum too, she was much better at it than me and makes the most incredible artist bears.
But the bag making has really come about in the last couple of years, I’d quite like to try my hand at screen printing soon.



What inspires you?
Lots of things inspire me, nature, animals, retro styles; I quite like kitsch and cutesy things so a lot of my products reflect that. Functionality also inspires me as I will think what would be the best way to use this item what features would I like it to have whether it’s a new design for a bag or one of my new craft accessories.

What’s your favorite piece of work that you have created?
Hmm that’s a tricky one, but I think probably the Pink & Turquoise Cherry bag, I almost kept it but then decided to make myself something else instead.
I’ve had lots of comments on it, but it’s still waiting for a new home.



What are you working on at the moment?
I’m quite excited at the moment as I am working on a new range of wristlet bags, the Cherry one is already featured in my shop and there will be more like this to come. I also want to produce a range of little bags for little girls and I have started to play about with diamantes too as I love a bit of sparkle J

How did you hear about Etsy?
Do you know I’m not sure now, I think someone else I knew told me about it.



What do you like about being part of Etsy
I love the community and the variety of talent, I think Etsy is the place where you can find absolutely anything, no matter how weird or wonderful, Etsy will have it.  I’m so proud of the British Etsy Team and how many talented members we have now, it’s approaching 1,700 now. I had no idea the team would become so huge when I started it back in December but there are a lot more British shops on Etsy than I thought!

Where else do you sell your work?
I also have a folksy shop, my own website http://www.clscreations.co.uk, and I sell on http://www.mudpool.co.uk as it’s currently free to list on there and there is no commission.



What are your goals for the future, both work wise and life?
Well I would like my businesses to continue to be successful, I would like to push the boundaries of my creativity and continue to learn new skills, and on a personal level another baby may be on the cards in the not too distant future, we shall see how things go.

Do you have any tips or inspiring words for others?
Follow your heart and be true to your art.
Always make sure you have the best possible pictures of your products, every so often stand back and try to be objective about your shop and think about how it looks to a potential customer.



Where else can we find you online?





Sunday, 24 April 2011

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

NEW SELLER SPOT - KINDERKRAFT

The British Etsy Team is all about exposure for our members, in this new spot we will be introducing you to shops new to the team with low sales that need a little bit of visibility for their lovely products. If you would like to be featured please email britishetsyteam@gmail.com with the details of your shop and some photographs of your products.

So this week the shop selected is KINDERKRAFT


A couple of words from shop owner Gill
"My name is Gill and together with my daughter Gemila we make up Kinderkraft! We share our love of all things creative in our hobby of making unique padded names for babies, teens or adults and words for decorating the home.
I started making padded baby names 25 years ago when my daughter was born and after a long break we have begun again, this time together.
We hope you enjoy our names as much as we enjoy making them."


You can buy online from KinderKraft at http://www.etsy.com/shop/kinderkraft
and visit their Facebook Page here

Featured Seller

If you are a member of the British Sellers on Etsy Team and would like to be considered for the Featured Seller Interview, you can now download the interview questions at our Submissions Page

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Giveaway!

This is one amazing Giveaway - 'British Sellers on Etsy' team member CorsetLacedMannequin has teamed up with Period Living and is giving away two of her beautiful mannequins, worth £190! The winners can choose out of 10 designs.

Deadline: 4pm 3rd May 2011.


For more information and to enter the Giveaway, click here.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Preview of this weekends BNR

The preview for the BNR is now up so you can go along and have a browse.
Opening Hours will be:
7pm-12 midnight Friday 15th April
8am - 12 midnight Saturday 16th April
8am - 12 Midnight Sunday 17th April

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Featured Seller

This weeks featured seller is Hannah Golding of Sweet Trash

Please introduce yourself and your business
I’m Hannah Golding and I make fabric based jewellery for my online shop Sweet Trash.



     When did you establish your business?
Well, I think I’m still in the establishing stage! I first started Sweet Trash on Etsy a few years ago but saw it more as a hobby and wasn’t sure whether there would be any interest in my kitsch jewellery. Then last year I had some of my pom pom jewellery on sale in Selfridges and did two successful pop up shops. I had such great feedback from customers it really boosted my confidence and I decided to relaunch my Etsy shop and start contacting a few shops about stocking my wares. At the moment I’m working on some very large, very bright pom pom necklaces for Redmutha store in Brighton.



What prompted you to start your own business?
I wasn’t enjoying my job and really missed my Art School days so thought I should put my textiles degree to some use. I wouldn’t call Sweet Trash a business yet but I would love to do more pop up shops around the country and see where that takes me.



If you make handmade items, when did you first start working in your chosen discipline?
      The range of jewellery in my online shop is pretty diverse but I started
       making my kitsch felt brooches about 3 years ago and then last year
       I became interested in upcycling and started making leather brooches
       from old sofas and handbags and pom pom necklaces from t-shirts and
        plastic bags.



What inspires you – either to design/make something or the selections you choose to stock?
I love anything 80s- I would love to live in a Cyndi Lauper video! So my fabric box is full of rollerskate, cassette tape and kitsch polka dot fabric. Aside from the 80s addiction inspiration mainly comes from materials I stumble across, I love to use strong colours and texture in my designs.



How did you hear about Etsy?
From another craft friend who was already selling on there. I was selling jewellery on Ebay and was finding it too expensive so was told to try Etsy.
How did you feel when you made your first sale on Etsy?
Really excited! I threw in loads of random freebies I was so pleased! When you see how many sellers there are on Etsy it’s amazing that people find you!

What do you like about being part of Etsy
I love that the other sellers are so supportive and genuinely interested in seeing what others make. I recently took part in the British Sellers treasury game where you create treasuries consisting of UK sellers and then those featured do their own treasury including one of your items and so on. It was great to see and chat to so many UK sellers and even find some who live locally.

What advice would you offer other Etsy sellers out there?
I think it’s important to have an online presence whether it’s on twitter, a Facebook fan page or both. If nothing else it’s a great way to meet other crafties and find out about upcoming events.



Would you like to offer the British Sellers on Etsy Blog readers a special offer?
Ooh go on then, use  TRASHYTHANKS20 at the checkout and get 20% off your order. Offer ends 30th April.

Where can we find you?

Friday, 8 April 2011

FIRST SALE FEATURE Stripes and Stars

Stripes and stars creates beautiful felt brooches, with intricate detail made to a high quality. Discover this shop today.








Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Featured Seller

This weeks featured seller is Jacqui of Pennyfarthing Designs

Please introduce youself and your business
My name is Jacqui and I live on the top of a hill in South Oxfordshire with my husband Mike. Our nest is now rather empty as both our children have flown but this does mean I have been able to take over their old playroom to use as my workshop. This is in fact, a loft room over my kitchen, with a view out across the countryside to the Berkshire Downs, very windswept but very beautiful.
I keep a few chickens clucking around in the garden and we have also raised some pigs recently, although thankfully these were not kept in the garden! We also have a beloved VW campervan, Doris, now lovingly restored and an important member of the family since the children were very small!
My Etsy shop is called Pennyfarthing Designs. I create handcrafted jewellery, much of which is inspired by the Steampunk movement. I love to incorporate upcycled watch pieces, keys, buttons and old coins into my jewellery pieces and often embellish them with Swarovski crystals.



When did you establish your business?
I began experimenting with jewellery styles just over a year ago and opened my shop on Etsy in August 2010.

What prompted you to start your own business?
Over the last 30 years I have had a very varied career. I worked in IT for 15 years; this was back in the days when the computer took up the whole ground floor of the building! I left IT when I had my children, as flexible working was not possible in those days and I wanted to be a hands-on mum.


Since then I have done many things and my current day job is helping students with learning difficulties at a local college. While I have enjoyed it all and love my current job working with students, I have always been frustrated at having no creative outlet.

A few years ago I was diagnosed with cancer and was off work for almost a year. I know it sounds like a cliché but my illness really made me realise that we only have one go at this life and I had better get on with living the rest of mine, how ever long it was going to be! The first thing I did was to throw a huge 50’s themed party to celebrate my 50th birthday, complete with jukebox, 50’s frocks, Teddy Boys and a fish and chip supper. Then, back to the day job and start thinking about what I really wanted to do.



If you make handmade items, when did you first start working in your chosen discipline?
My daughter wanted a necklace for her birthday and found an amazing one we both loved. Unfortunately, it had already been sold but I was so inspired by some of the pieces we had seen, that I wanted to have a go myself. I did loads of research and pored over lots of photographs before I eventually took the plunge. I found a wonderful pocket watch on Ebay, hunted around the internet to find a beautiful angel wing and eventually created a necklace for her.
Over the next few days she was approached by several people in London, all wanting to know where she had got the necklace and some even asked if I would make another one for them!
This was my lightbulb moment! All paths then led towards Pennyfarthing Designs.



What inspires you?
My inspiration comes simply from the pieces laid out my worktable.   Opening a package of beautiful watch parts is so exciting! Often, as soon as I see them I can see the finished piece of jewellery.
Other times, I may have watch faces, mechanisms, coins, embellishments and crystals that I keep rearranging until I am happy, much like doing a jigsaw, except that the ‘correct’ solution is simply down to me!


How did you hear about Etsy?
I found Etsy several years ago, as I love to trawl the internet for interesting and beautiful gifts for other people.  The stores on Etsy were a revelation!

How did you feel when you made your first sale on Etsy?
Thrilled! It felt as though my jewellery making was becoming a proper business!

What do you like about being part of Etsy
I love the feeling of belonging to a community. Knowing I can ask for advice from other people who run small online businesses is great as their experience can be invaluable. I love the fact that I am constantly discovering beautiful new items, handcrafted by other Etsy members, without even trying!



What advice would you offer other Etsy sellers out there?
Do plenty of research before you start! Check out what other people are doing, check out what actually sells and be sure you have something to offer that people are going to love. Once you start, take the best photos you possibly can, and get involved on Etsy! I made the classic mistake of thinking I had finished the job by opening my shop. Wrong! Opening is only the first step, sadly it is easy to be completely invisible in such a huge marketplace and you need to work, work, work at keeping your profile up!

Would you like to offer the British Sellers on Etsy Blog readers a special offer?
Coupon code BLOG10 
Where can we find you?

Friday, 1 April 2011