Are two separate shops better than one?

Evening all!
Just a quick one from me tonight before bed.
Crafty Miller, as I’m sure you’ve all noticed, is a shop quite a bit different to the normal crochet shops you come across on Etsy or Folksy (or my favourite Conscious Crafties) I have traditional items such as blankets and teddies and then we have the ……… stranger things such as boobs and cat bums! For a long time I’ve been trying to decide whether these two different types of crochet can survive side by side.
Would someone coming to find a crochet blanket be happy to buy one from someone who was also selling boobies? I’ve put this question to the lovely members of the Etsy UK Sellers Facebook Group and a lot of people have said it would indeed put them off.

Crafty Miller has always been Bright, Bold and Beautifully Bonkers Crochet but maybe they cannot all fit together? So I put it to you……. does Crafty Miller need a Bonkers Shop and a Traditional Shop?
Let me know your thoughts

Take care
Jenny

Work Smarter, Not Harder

Hello everyone! ✋

Its been a while since I wrote a blog and that’s because I’ve been super busy which, obviously, is brilliant! Being this busy has also made me reevaluate how I work. I’ve created a few things that help me keep up to date with what I need to do as well as the smartest way to do it and I thought I’d do a quick blog post to share them with you so you can see if they can help your business too. 

The first thing I made was a front page for orders. When an order is placed I print it off then attach my front page which picks up the important information for me to see at a glance. 

I then sort them in the order of when they need posting. I also created a “to make this week” sheet so I can see quickly, how long I’ve got to make new orders. Then, so not to stress, I only keep hold of the order forms for those due this week.

I have also found myself listening to podcasts which have made me work better and I am currently in the process of making a daily task sheet, when its finished I shall give you a glimpse but for now the most important thing I’ve learnt is to care for yourself as well as your business.

You can’t pour from an empty cup.

Take care of yourself first.

Enjoy your work!

Jenny

http://www.craftymillerjm.etsy.com

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

 

 

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

So you want to sell your crafts?

When creating a new item to sell there are many things that you need to remember, if like me you have a shocking memory, print this out and keep handy for each item.

Item Name ____________
Created on ____________

Need CE Testing? ____

Done ___

I tend to take photos before testing to save making another item, as the tested one isn’t able to be sold, straight after.

Priced Item ____

Ingredient How much used Cost

Total Cost

+ Fees

+ 5% Profit

Total Price

Photographs Done ____

Make sure you make them square and 1000 x 1000 pixels.

5 pictures

1 picture showing the WHOLE item, on it’s own.

1 picture showing how it’s used (Incl background objects to set the scene)

1 picture with linked items

1 / 2 pictures showing details (if more than 2 needed, try using collages but don’t use this one as the MAIN picture.

Use a plain background (Use your local DIY store for wallpaper samples)

Natural Lighting is a must (NO FLASH) If you struggle to get natural lighting, because let’s face it UK Weather isn’t the best hehe, considering buying a lightbox (with lights)

Listed Item

Etsy Listing Tips

Title

  • What is it?

  • Who’s it for?

  • What’s it for?

  • Special Occasions?

Categories

  • What is it?

  • Who’s it for?

  • What’s it for?

  • Special Occasions?

Description

Google Intro (What comes up when your item turns up on a Search on Google) Include – what it is, gift ideas and any variations available.

Design

  • How is it made? (Don’t give away the secrets)
  • Measurements (Inches works best)
  • Variations Available (Colours, Sizes, Clasps etc)
  • Safety Information (CE for toys)

Special Offers

  • Postage offers?
  • Buy one, Get one Free etc?

Linked Items

Is there anything that would also be good with the item they’re looking at?

Crafting Time

  • How long does it take to make?
  • Do you have an order you make things in?
  • Can people rush their order? How?

Gift Ideas

  • Who would like it?
  • Special Occasions?

Postage & Packing

  • How do you wrap it for transport?
  • Can they upgrade anything?

Gift Wrap

  • Do you offer gift wrap?
  • How do they get it?

Variations
It’s easier to make people choose their variations than expecting them to write it in the notes as a lot of people forget and then you have to message them asking for it.
You can also incorporate differences in prices depending on what they buy.

Postage and Packaging Costs

Remember as well as costs for posting you have to include costs for any packaging materials you use.

Tags
There’s a very good website to help choose Tags. www.marmalead.com

  • What is it?
  • Who’s is it for?
  • Special Occasions
  • What’s it made from?

Share your items

There are many apps/websites that you can use to save time on sharing! I use Hootsuite but make sure you look around and choose the one that suits your needs best.

Shared on Facebook __

Shared to Craft Groups __

Shared to Local Sales Groups __

Shared on Twitter __

Use your Hootsuite to schedule tweets to coincide with the hashtag hours available on Twitter.

#CraftHour – 7pm Sunday
#HandmadeHour – 7:30-9.30pm Weds, 8pm Sun
#UKBusinessHour – 8pm Thurs
#UKLateHour – 9-10pm Mon-Fri
#BizHour 2-3pm Mon-Fri
#EnglandHour – 9pm Sun
#B2BHour – 2-4pm Mon-Fri
#GiftHour – 8-9pm Mon

Shared on Google + __

Shared on LinkedIn __

Shared on Instagram __

Remember to add the other places you advertise your items too.

  • Include Price
  • p&p costs
  • Size and Variations Available.
  • Link to your item and/or an email address to order from

 Helpful Hashtags to include.

  • #Tweeturbiz
  •  #mylocaltweets
  • #britishcrafters
  •  #shareourshop
  • #craftpromote
  • #craftbuzz
  • #etsyuksellers
  • #etsylove

Share your items links into Etsy Teams.
This is helpful when first listing new items as favourites help your placing on Etsy.
Remember to play the games fairly or you will be asked to leave the teams.

 

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!

 

 

CE Testing

Hello all,

Today’s post is about CE Testing for toys. As a buyer, you should ensure that anything you buy holds a CE mark as this confirms that a toy is safe for your children to use.

CE

As a seller, there are many rigorous tests that your toy needs to go through before it can legally be sold. Failure to do this comes with a £5000 fine and even 6 months in jail! So please ensure it is done.

Quick Glance at CE Testing

Let’s start by seeing what the government have to say about CE Testing here as you can see there is a lot of information that needs to be considered when you think about selling toys.

Once you’ve decided that you need to test your toys, let’s start with taking a DEEP BREATH! And then grab a self-certifying pack, which can be purchased from here Once you’ve purchased it, I strongly suggest you print it all out and read it thoroughly, taking notes along the way, but again DON’T PANIC, it’s not THAT scary. I promise!.

Tests Needed

There are a few tests which need to be completed but they are mostly really easy.

A Tension Test which makes sure that any item you have joined together is secure and for this you need two G-Clamps, a set of suitcase scales, a heavy duty bag and a LOT of canned food (or alternatively you can buy weights which equal the 7.2kg needed)
A Rod Test which requires a rod that is 12mm circumference.
A Drop/Impact Test that you only need to do if you have a material that is hard and does not carry a CE Mark.
A Small Component Test. This one is a little more tricky but not much, you just have to make sure that no part of your toy fits into a cylinder (which comes with your conformance pack). If an aspect of your toy falls off during any of the aforementioned tests then you have to make sure they won’t fit in the tube either.
A Flammability Test. This is the test that most people are terrified of. Please don’t be, it’s not as scary as it looks. If you can get a certificate from your material supplier stating their item passed an EN71-2 test then you do not need to carry out this test. If not, then grab a friend and start testing.

Mostly make sure that you complete the file fully and completely and that you have insurance in place. Then let your mind loose and create your hearts desire.

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https://www.consciouscrafties.com/Crafties/crafty-miller/

www.craftymillerjm.etsy.com