Saturday, 17 September 2011

1st week on Etsy.

Im still finding my way around Etsy and I must admit its slightly overwhelming. I have joined a few teams, mostly UK sellers, who have all been lovely, particularly the SHHIM team, although I have just noticed that the name has changed to crafy folk This is where alot of the sellers from Folksy are, so I do know quite a few of them, but over the week we have been joined by a few American sellers which is wonderful.
The team is run by the lovely Lillys Night Garden assisted by Flonightingales and Squintessentials Hopefully we will continue to get talented makers and build the team.
A quick sample of the variety of talent on offer.

Think I may have to try the pomegranate soap.

Id also like to do a quick promotion for a friend of mine Quirky Jen, an amazing photographer, check out her facebook page.!/quirkyjenphotos    She also does weddings.
And good luck to one of my brides, Katie who is getting married this weekend.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Folksy fury.

Over the last week there has been a bit of disruption on the Folksy site, resulting on some sellers leaving totally, and others placing their shops in holiday mode.
Folksy have not changed their criteria but have decided to tighten up on 'unacceptable' items. which has meant that some sellers who have been on Folksy since the beginning, are now deemed as unsuitable and are being asked to either change their style or leave.
These sellers have spent many hours promoting, finding out what their customers want, and promoting their own shops and in turn Folksy.
Now while I dont disagree that Folksy should follow their 'vision' and tighten up, I do disagree with the way that it has been handled by Folksy, and that it should have been done sooner. Its almost as if Folksy wanted as many sellers as possible regardless of what they sell, to build the site, and now they are at a point where they can dismiss these sellers as they dont fit the long term 'Vision'
I have been deemed acceptable by Folksy but have placed my shop in holiday mode while I decide what to do, these are my reasons

1. Folksy have been talking about tightening up since they were in Beta (a year ago?). During the conversations that took place then, Folksy were asked to do this sooner rather than later, so people didnt continue to promote and spend money on their businesses if they werent suitable.

2. Because no1 was not enforced people have continued to spend money, and promote their business. Working hard to find the items that customers want, and building up a customer base over the last year. Only now to be told that they do not fit the criteria and therefore are not welcome unless they change there style. Therefore they have to start from scratch rebuilding a customer base.

3. Im not sure that any of us are fully aware of what this ‘vision’ is that Folksy has. It appears that the goalposts are continually moving. Some peoples items are classed as suitable, while others that are very similar are not.

4. I have concerns regarding that direction that Folksy is taking, and would like reassurance that this situation is not going to happen again in the future. That Folksy are not going to ‘tighten up’ further in a years time, excluding a lot of sellers that they are currently saying are suitable.

5. I think the whole situation has been handled appallingly, the sellers represent the ‘Folksy Brand’ and are asked to behave appropriately on their forums, and when discussing Folksy. Yet this respect has not been returned to the sellers. On Twitter, Folksy have not represented themselves well, and have been quite dismissive of the upset, and distress that they have caused to us their customers.

6. Folksy fees are higher than other similar sites, and are being increased come November. My sales figures on Folksy are very similar to Misi, but all of my promotion has been for Folksy, so is it really working. I have had an empty Etsy shop for the last year, which I have begun to stock. Maybe now is the time to go international and compete with the big guns in the Button Bouquet world.

Please excuse if I dont respond to comments, Im having problems with this and have emailed blogger to find out why.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

End of The Wedding Season.

First I must apologise for not blogging during the summer, its been a busy summer! This time last year, I was wondering if this whole bouquet thing was worth the effort and money that I had put into it. My folksy shop had been open for 7 months, and I had only had a couple of orders. This year has been an entirely different experience and very much worth it. Ive had far more orders, and had the pleasure of working with some amazing brides (and mother in laws, and chief bridesmaids). Ive also opened my own website  Below is a selection of some of the bouquets Ive made this year.

But I have to say the two bouquets that posed the biggest design challenge and Im most proud of are Rhonas vintage lace bouquet, and Fionas vintage glass bouquet. Both ideas came from dicussions with the bride, but when I suggested the ideas, I hadnt actually worked out the logistics of how I would achieve it. So I then spent many hours of agonising, fiddling, putting together, taking apart, the odd little bit of swearing, and in the case of Fionas bouquet the breaking of some stunning vintage glass buttons that nearly made me cry

I have since made another glass bouquet for a fellow folksy seller, (cant show you yet, as her wedding is a couple of weeks away) and have perfected the design a little, but still broke quite a few, they are soooo fragile!
So the wedding season has been quite busy, and I am currently starting on Lauras bouquet (giveaway winner) and a couple of orders for early next year. Yes I already have orders for next year, so get in quick brides, cos I can see it being another busy summer, but this time I planning/hoping to stay a few months ahead of myself.

Good luck to my September brides, Stacy, Zoe, and fellow folksy seller (wont say her name cos she doesnt want people to know that she is having a button bouquet). Good luck girls, have an amazing time.