Dealing with a large order

Recently I was asked to create 50 stuffed boobies  for a newly formed company specializing in helping new mothers meet lactation experts in their area to help them breastfeed their baby. I thought I would give some advice based on my experiences so that those who are nervous about taking on a large order can use my bumps along the way, to make their first order a huge success (Keep an eye out for the tips in red)

When I first recieved that message I’ll admit I was terrified. My main thoughts were that I couldn’t do it and then that if I did then surely I should offer a discount for such a large order. I decided to speak to my husband about it, to see his thoughts and let me say they opened my eyes.
A large order still means the same amount of work, you are still going to spend the same amount of time making the items as you would if you had 50 seperate orders so……

Don’t undersell yourself

I worked out how much it would cost for 50 breasts and how long it would take to make them all. I offered free postage as a thank you for a large order and I made sure that the timescales I offered were true.

Don’t offer to do something bigger/quicker than is possible.

Because, when you can’t deliver this, it is unlikely the person will want to work with you again. I offered a charge to close my shop and work only on their order, halving the time it would take to create, which the customer used so I did as was asked and had her order ready within 2 weeks.

Communication is paramount

As part of this order I was asked to attach tags with the companies logo on that would be delivered to me from their supplier. I had no problem doing this so agreed. However, when the breasts were made, the tags were still not here and I started worrying again, knowing that my two weeks were nearly up. So, I simply emailed the contact and explained and all my worries were for nothing, she completely understood and just asked to be kept up to date which I did.
The tags arrived in the third week, I attached them within 2 days and sent the boobs off to their new owner.

Send your creation tracked and signed for

I can’t stress this one enough! Your order that you’ve just completed can be worth hundreds of pounds, or in some cases even more, do you really want to risk that it will go missing in the post? Then give your customer the tracking number so they feel in control of where their package is.

Finally…….

Relax, celebrate YOU DID IT!!

Hope this helps anyone who’s questioning whether to say yes to that order.

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Writing Descriptions to Sell Your Crafts

Hello all 😀
I know, I know, I’ve been away for a while but life and business got busy so I had to take a step back from the blog. I’ve hit a quiet moment so now I can join in again.
Today’s post is about writing descriptions for your gorgeous creations. I’ve been working hard on making my descriptions sell my items based on something I was told once that has stuck with me

Write a description as if there are no photographs

So here we go; my descriptions now have a few main categories that  I try and fill to the best of my ability while still allowing my craziness to come on through. I always have this to hand when i’m putting a new item up for sale.

Advert
When someone searches for something on Google they display the first few words of your listing – This is your first point of sale so make it worth it. You need to explain what your item is, who its for and why your buyer should choose yours above all others.

Special Offers

Do you have any special offers; Free Postage? Buy one get one free? Anything? Write them here.

Design

Here’s where you explain what your item is but don’t go giving away any state secrets. You give them enough to know how it’s made without letting them think its easy to make themselves (remember you don’t want the DIYers). In this category there are subcategories I use;

  • Design – How’d you make it? I’m a crocheter so can only explain what I mean using crochet terms but hopefully you’ll be able to understand how to change it for your category. In here I explain if it’s created using amigurumi or the stitches used but I don’t give away the pattern.
  • Measurements – In this area you need to either be EXACT or make sure you add approximate to it (remember people can claim your item is not as described and demand a refund). You need to give height, width and depth.
  • Ingredients – *again i’m talking like a crocheter* I state the name of the wool, along with the type (double-knit, aran, cotton thread) and the make up of it, such as 100% acrylic. Also any other items used such as toy stuffing, eyes, buttons etc.
  • Variations – Is there anything your buyer can change to customise the item? Things like; size, colours, fastenings, adding a name – anything you don’t mind adjusting (On Etsy you can use the variations sections to ensure the customer has made choices, stops delays with processing – but you only have 2).
  • Safety – For anything with play value (even if you wouldn’t have thought it’s for children) must be CE Tested and you need to state that it’s been done. Anything with play value can not be stated “not for children” this, does not get you out of CE Testing. There is more information on CE Testing Here
  • Washing Instructions – Can your item be washed? How? – This may make the difference for a sale as some people do not like “dry clean only” etc so should they recieve an item stating this you may be forced to take a return which would not have been needed had the buyer had this information first.
  • How long does it take to make? – If your items, like mine, are made to order then people need to know how far in advance of the occassion they should order. Here’s a peek on how I write this section which I have named CREATION TIME.

The coasters take a few hours to make each one. Your order aims to be processed within a week (subject to back orders). When your order is placed, a message is sent to you detailing the date they will be posted on, if you need it sooner there are rush order slots available — https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/280500166/uk-rush-order-add-on-priority-listing

Do you offer Rush Order Slots? Don’t know what I mean? It’s worth considering.

This listing is an ADD-ON only and can be used as a way to cause your item to be upgraded to NEXT DAY DELIVERY as well as asking me to work longer hours to ensure your item is posted out within a week.

Following on from the Design subsections my next one is
Gift Ideas

Here you are trying to give your customer a reason for buying this item so you need to tell them WHO your item is for – dad, mum, daughters, sons, teachers etc and WHEN your item is for – birthday, anniversary, christening, housewarming, homecoming.
This is also the place where I tell anyone about other items that are similar, I call it THE REST OF THE RANGE. I also mention any special bulk buy offers here.

Post & Packaging

Consider how you pack your items – tell your customer. Do you offer gift wrap? (I do), can you post directly to the recipient? (I do – MAKE SURE YOU GET THE NEW ADDRESS IN WRITING TO PROVE YOU POSTED CORRECTLY). All these are worth mentioning here.
How do you post your items? Mine are Royal Mail Second Class – signed for on anything over £10.

Finally it’s a good idea to add a link to any overall policies you have such as refunds.

 

So there we have it, it’s a bit more updated than the original one as i’ve had nearly a year of practice 😀 Have fun listing yours and I wish you many sales in the future.

Jenny xx
http://www.craftymiller.co.uk

 

 

The Creative Process

Hi all,

Hope life is treating you well. I’m just getting over a nasty hospital procedure designed to try and help me walk without crutches again, so far it hasn’t worked but it means I’m sitting down a lot more and can spend more time creating and blogging – all good right?
Today’s blog post is about how I decide what to make and the process behind it all.

When I decide to make a new project the first thing I do is have a quick nose on Pinterest (yes I know, you can’t have a quick look and it normally involves me scrolling for over an hour). When I decide that I like something, I ask the girls and they pick the colours and the shape and I make it.
If something requires CE Testing then I take some nice photographs and do the CE Tests, then once they pass I give my makes to the girls for a few days……. if they’re still going after the road test they get put in the shop. However, the process normally includes an impromptu photoshoot from the girls and I thought I’d give you a little insight with the latest product that is undergoing road testing with the girls.

ChPkZsJWIAEc3GF

Taking Advantage of Twitter

As a crafter you know that you can only sell what people see, so how do you spread your name and get people to see your wares?.
Social Media is a great way to do this but which platforms?

There’s plenty more too, use the ones that suit you and your business. For this blog I’ll be focussing on Twitter but check back and there will be more (as I get used to using them myself).

On Twitter, unlike Facebook, you are limited on what you can write, by 140 characters. With that in mind, think of short phrases describing what you’re trying to sell. The 140 characters also includes photographs which equal 24 characters.
Here’s a quick example:

includes this beautiful . Just £5 on

So based on this tweet, I’ve told people that I’m having a special offer (#fiverfriday) on my #bunny and that it is purchased through the link above on Conscious Crafties (@consciouscrafty). You may also note that I’ve put a hashtag of #craftbuzz at the end, more on this further down. I also added a photo so people could see what I was I was trying to sell. USE YOUR PHOTOS!! People are less likely to click on a link if they don’t know where it leads.

Bunny.jpg

Keep things, short and sweet with as many hashtags (the #) as possible for people to reach your item. When someone searches twitter they’re searching the hashtags, so for you to be found when someone searches #handmade you need to have #handmade in your tweet/other tweets.
If someone likes your item they will pop through your link and buy it OR they will retweet your post. When someone retweets your item, it means that it begins to show your tweet in their feed, and all their followers see it too.
It’s like when you hand out flyers, not only are you trying to show that person what you do, but also anyone else they come into contact with.

Another good way to get your items seen is to take part in networking hours on Twitter. This is where, during advertised times you can post your items and the people who run the networking profile which retweet your message to their followers.
Here’s a list of known networking hours, feel free to message me if you know anymore that you’d like added to the list.

Monday to Friday
‪#‎uklatehour‬ = 9 – 10
‪#‎bizhour‬ = 2 – 3
‪#‎b2bhour‬ = 2 – 4
‪#‎womaninbiz‬ = 6 – 7
‪#‎ukbusinesslunch‬ = 12 – 1

Monday
‪#‎enterprisehour‬ = 8 – 9
‪#‎northwesthour‬ = 3 – 4
‪#‎gifthour‬ = 8 – 9
‪#‎creativehour‬ ‪#‎ccc‬ = 7:30 – 8:30
‪#‎mondaymarathon‬ = all day
‪#‎lincshour‬ = 8 – 9
‪#‎bayhour‬ = 8 – 9
‪#‎horsehour‬ = 8 – 9

Tuesday
‪#‎chesterhour‬ = 8 – 9
‪#‎treasurytuesday‬ = all day (For Etsy Treasuries only)
‪#‎dartmoorhour‬ = 8 – 9

Wednesday
#northwesthour = 8 – 9
‪#‎wrexhamhour‬ = 8 – 9
‪#‎britcrafthour‬ = 9 – 10
‪#‎devonhour‬ = 8 – 9
‪#‎nwpukhour‬ = 8 – 9

Thursday
‪#‎ukbusinesshour‬ = 8 – 9
‪#‎sunderlandhour‬ = 8 – 9
‪#‎etsyuksellers‬ = 8 – 9 (etsy only)
‪#‎eastangliahour‬ = 8 – 9
‪#‎southwesthour‬ = 8 – 9
‪#‎leedshour‬ = 8 – 9
‪#‎kirkleeshour‬ = 8 – 9
‪#‎wirralhour‬ = 8 – 9

Friday
#northwesthour = 9 – 10
#fridayfaveathon = all day

Saturday
#merseyhour = 1 – 2

Sunday
#crafthour = 7 – 8
#handmadehour = 8 – 9
#englandhour = 9 – 10
#spooniecrafts = all day (conscious crafties only)
#waleshour = 8 – 9
#equinehour = 8 – 9
#brumhour = 8 – 9
#sundayhour = 8 – 9
#holmfirthhour = 8 – 9
#eastdevonhour = 8 – 9

I know, I know it’s a huge list, how are you meant to keep up with all these networking hours? You might not be in as life happens. I use http://www.hootsuite.com and schedule the tweets (and Facebook Posts) for when I’m busy. You write what you want to post and then schedule what time you would like them to go live.

So what happens if you want to share things but it’s outside of the special hours? Well here’s a list of handy hashtags to use whenever;

  • #Tweeturbiz
  • #etsyuksellers
  • #mylocaltweets
  • #britishcrafters
  • #chestertweets
  • #northwalestweets
  • #shareourshop
  • #craftpromote
  • #womeninbiz
  • #epiconetsy
  • #etsymntt
  • #giftideas
  • #THLx
  • #tweeturbiz
  • #tweeturpromo
  • #tweeturbizuk
  • #ukbiz

So there’s your tips and tricks. If you have some you’d like added to the blog, let me know in the comments below.

HAPPY TWEETING

Conscious Crafties

As those of you who follow my blog know, I have many conditions which hinder my ability for a normal life. For those who have got here as a one off, here’s my story. https://craftymillerjm.wordpress.com/2016/01/16/meet-crafty-miller/

Those with a chronic illness often fall into deep depression as you feel your body giving up on you. Having something to accomplish can help fight this black dog and for me it was crafting, every new item I finished gave my heart a surge. Eventually I realised I was not going to be able to work as I couldn’t predict how I would feel, or how my mobility would be day-to-day, I had to rely on benefits from the Government. However, this Government seems intent on attacking the benefits from those who need it, so I needed a way to make money while still protecting my health.

While trying to get advice from other crafters I found people who weren’t supportive of a newbie, demanding I change my prices as I was too cheap and ruining it for them, the “real” businesses. It was heart-breaking.

Then I found Conscious Crafties! Here’s some info on it –

About Conscious Crafties

Conscious Crafties is a handmade craft buying and selling community for creative people living with chronic illness, disability or caring for those affected. It’s built by a Spoonie for Spoonies.

How was the idea born?

Sam De La Querra, Gastroparesis and POTS warrior
My Beautiful Friend Sam

Hi there, I’m Karen and after becoming sick in 2011 almost overnight, I found my way to various support networks. I noticed that many of us turn to crafts to help distract from our illnesses and to feel useful again. Seeing so much untapped talent, the idea was born to create a community for everyone to showcase their work, in one place and give people a way of creating their own business. It was also a way for me to feel useful again, by using my skills to help others. Conscious Crafties is about empowering us all to be successful through our crafts, tell our stories and meet new like minded friends who understand our struggles. I’m also hoping it plays a key part in changing the way disabled/sick people are viewed by the world. We can still contribute and are incredibly talented!! Conscious Crafties has been built in honour of Sam, my beautiful friend I met through sickness and our love of crafts. Her strong fight with Gastroparethis and POTS sadly ended in Oct 14. Heartbroken, I knew then, after years of thinking about it, the idea for us all to sell our crafts within a supportive community needed to be launched, so it could help people now and give them hope for the future.

Stories are told:

As most of us feel unheard, each ‘Craftie’ gets to tell their story on the site to help spread awareness of our (sometimes invisible) illnesses. Stories appear in the ‘Meet the Crafties‘ page and also posted on Facebook and Twitter. We’ve gained a massive following on Facebook in such a short space of time (thank you everyone!) so our stories are seen by thousands. Our crafts are regularly shared through social networks and many of our Crafties have appeared in various online newsletters, all helping to increase sales whilst raising awareness. Every new Craftie also gets invited to our ‘Crafties Community’, a fun place to share crafts, selling tips and form close bonds with friends who understand our struggles.​

How to get involved

There is no joining fee or subscription, it’s free to list and when your item sells a small percentage is taken to keep the site running.
https://www.consciouscrafties.com/

I applied to join, there’s a waiting list as they’re so popular! 😀 Just after Christmas, I was allowed to join and I swear, it’s been the best I ever did. The support from the community is immense and Karen, who runs Conscious Crafties, is BEYOND helpful, going out of her way to help you list, to the best of your abilities.
Just look how good my shop looks thanks to her – https://www.consciouscrafties.com/Crafties/crafty-miller/

So if you’re a Spoonie, or support a Spoonie that needs to feel accomplishments, PLEASE, take the support that’s out there and come join the community.

Craft Fair -30/01/16

Facebook)Craft Fair 30.1.16.jpgCrafty Miller will be here sharing a stall with my good friend Michelle’s Knit Knacks (Find her on Facebook)

If you are going make sure you pop over and say hi!

 

 

Meet Crafty Miller

Me.png

I taught myself to crochet as a way to deal with the pain I was in from my many Chronic Illnesses. I found that crocheting helped me keep my mind off the pain I was in. As I progressed people started asking to buy things I was making and so Crafty Miller was started.

I suffer from Fibromyalgia, Costochondritis, Iritis, Chronic Migraines, Temporal Mandibular Joint Dysfunction, Tinnitus, Sciatica, Hip and Mobility Problems, Myclonic Jerk along with some mental health problems from dealing with all this information and pain. I have to take a lot of medication including some quite strong painkillers but before crochet I was having to take them 4 times a day, every day. Now I’m able to only take them on days where my pain hits an 8 on the good ol’ pain descriptor that doctors use.

I have found now that crochet is not just a pain reliever but has become a real passion. Creating new items makes me feel so happy to have accomplished something and it helps me connect with my two rough-and-tumble daughters who enjoy helping me take photographs, and post items as well as thinking up items for me to make.