Saturday, 13 August 2011

Brand New Website Launch

Friday was a big day for me - it saw the launch of my brand spanking new Website!!  It's taken me forever to do and listing 136 cards was a task and a half but now it's finished I know it was worth all the effort. 

I've only sold on Folksy up until now and to be honest the sales haven't been that great over the last couple of months and I seem to be spending more on listing and re-listing than what I'm selling.

I still have a Folksy shop for the time being but as items de-list it's unlikely they'll be re-listed.  The advantage of selling on your own website is they stay listed until sold and there's no listing fee!! 

Go and check out the new Website and why not leave a comment in the Guestbook!!

Friday, 5 August 2011

August's Feature Friday - Honey Cottage Handicrafts

It's August already - where has this year gone!  Time goes so quick now!!

I'm very happy to introduce my August Blog Feature - Honey Cottage Handicrafts.  Lorna very kindly gave me lots of lovely information regarding their venture, I hope you enjoy reading! 
Describe what you do,when you started doing it and what made you decide that was what you were going to do.

There are 3 of us involved at Honey Cottage Handicrafts – 3 generations.  Hilary and Bernice have always been making crafts, since a very young age. Together they have been crafting for over 100 years combined. I (Lorna) don’t really do much making, but I do look after the website and all the content on there. Before we launched the website, we did occasionally and unofficially sell our crafts to friends and families and managed to raise money for charity Smile Train. This year we launched the site to raise awareness and sell some items to try achieve our goal of raising £1000 by the end of 2012 for Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team.  We’ve also in the past done some special commissions work and little projects and all the money from this also went to charity.

What makes you different from other people selling/ doing the same craft?

We’re very different to everyone else, and in actuality we don’t really do the same as any other businesses I’ve heard of. One of the main things we do is tatting, which is rarely done anymore and the ethos behind Honey Cottage Handicrafts is also very different to anyone else. We’ve got so much experience in arts and crafts over the years – but we see it as more than that. It’s not just crafts, it’s lifestyle. We believe in making the most with what you’ve got, we recycle, we re-use and we try not to waste anything.

Where do you get your inspiration/ ideas from?

We get our inspiration from all kinds of places, but mainly from our ancestors.  A lot of the things we make and methods we use is something we’ve always done. Tradition is very important to us, and I think we’ve found a way to combine age old methods of tatting, sewing, needlework – but with a modern twist.

Is this run as your business full time or just as a sideline?

Currently, this is just a sideline for us.  1 of us is retired, 1 works part time, and another  full time. Yes it is something we’d be interested in perusing but we’ll have to see how things go. At the moment I’d say we don’t fully class ourselves as a business, as the money we are raising currently goes to charity. 

Where do you make your items, do you have a craft room/ studio?

We are lucky enough to have a special craft room/studio in Honey Cottage. You can read more about it here:

 Where do you sell and how do you market yourselves?

Mainly we sell to friends/colleagues. Now we’re starting online on Folksy and just trying out other options. It’s very much try and see with our marketing strategy at the moment but we hope to attend some festivals over the summer to spread the word and possibly some Christmas fairs later in the year. Word of mouth is a great marketing tool.

Where do you see yourselves in 5 years time?

In 5 years time, hopefully we’ll be making a success of Honey Cottage Handicrafts. But before that we want to reach our goals for charity. Anything over and above that would be a bonus but charity is our main aim for now.

Do you have any advice for people out there who might want to start a craft hobby/business?

Do what you enjoy, and enjoy what you do!

I then asked this month's random question - if you had 3 wishes what would they be and why??

1.       Make a success of our site so we can eventually inspire and educate others on what we do and our tradition. We’d love to be able to pass this on so we don’t see our skills go to waste

2.       To raise as much money for charity by selling our crafts

3.       A new sewing machine to be able to make more union jack cushions!

If you'd like more information regarding Honey Cottage Handicrafts or the Calder Valley Search & Rescue here's how you can contact them:

Folksy Shop
Calder Valley Seach & Rescue Website