Monday, 11 May 2009

Shop Handmade UK Sampler Box Poll

Hi All,

You may recall the Sample box poll I posted a few weeks back. Quite a few of you who voted requested more information on sample boxes so as promised I will explain a bit more about how they work.

The main aim of a sample box is to allow handmakers to get their product sample or discount card in the hands of as many buyers as possible, buyers who want to try new products and are looking to purchase. You can donate either a discount card or a product, the product can be sample size or full size that is up to you and of course the products you sell. You can donate as many samples as you like or are financially able to. The amount of boxes offered to buyers is determined after samples are received by the organiser (Shop Handamde UK) and split to ensure each box is well stocked and buyers receive value for money. This is usually 12-15 products per box.

The benefits of a sampler box is that it's co-ordinated, marketed and organised on your behalf and you benefit from being alongside other handmakers offering quality products and services. Buyers have just the one place to purchase multiple samples from rather than asking many makers for a sample.

There would be a dedicated page on Shop Handmade UK for the sample box, each handmaker who has donated to the box would have an advert on this page with link to their store. The boxes would be sold through either Etsy, Folksy, Misi or Coriandr or a mix, this again depends on what the majority wants.

This is very much at the idea stage, I'm looking for more votes and input by way of comments so if anyone has any questions or suggestions please speak up. Previously it was suggested to have samples for trade buyers. I think this is a great idea, I'm very much for promoting wholesale markets having just created our new Wholesale Page so this is something I will look at in future. For now I'm concentrating more on retail buyers.

I've attached the poll below again so please vote if you haven't already.



Thanks
Belinda
www.shophandmade.co.uk

New Featured Designer - Susan Green Books

Featured DesignerHi All,

Our new Featured Designer is Susan Green of Susan Green Books. I love reading about other artists, designers & makers. Even though I make myself I am always intrigued by how they got started making and their skills used in their craft. Read the interview with Susan here.


I've many more great Featured Designer interviews lined up so check back soon.

Enjoy
Belinda
www.shophandmade.co.uk

Sunday, 10 May 2009

New Designers

Hi All,

I've been updating the directory with 29 new handmade designers. Here's a peek at a few. To view all 29 browse the directory and look for the 'NEW' icon to spot recent additions.

New Featured Designer coming tomorrow!

Thanks
Belinda
www.shophandmade.co.uk

Saturday, 9 May 2009

New Changes to Shop Handmade UK

Hi All,

I've been busy with a few new changes to www.shophandmade.co.uk all to help shoppers find your stores and promote us handmakers better.

New Homepage Layout - I've moved the product features over to allow a Handmade Directory shortcut. The aim of this is to show instantly what's on offer and to encourage shoppers to browse all the categories and increase traffic to our stores. Under the Handmade Directory shortcut is a link to the Featured Designer so you can see at a glance when this is updated. Our next Featured Designer will be live on Monday so check back for that.

The new homepage layout has allowed 12 product features instead of the original 10 so more space to show off the fabulous talent we have in the UK. Here's a peek at the new layout:


New Handmade Directory Layout - In line with the Handmade Directory shortcut on the homepage I've shortened some of the category names and added a brief overview of the type of products found in each category. This should help shoppers find what they are looking for faster.

New Wholesale Page - Some time back I removed the wholesale column from each category as many listed as unknown and I felt this would serve only to frustrate trade buyers. I have now included all stores who have listed themselves as offering wholesale, on a dedicated Wholesale page. This lists all the categories alphabetically so store owners and retail buyers can do their shopping from the one page saving them time.

As mentioned, a new Featured Designer coming Monday and other updates on their way including new directory additions. Stay tuned....

Thanks
Belinda
www.shophandmade.co.uk

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Spring Colours

Hi All,

I love looking at colour trends and one of my favourite websites is Pantone.com. It's a great tool for inspiration and getting ideas in line with future trends. Here are Pantones Spring Colour Report for 2009.


Thanks
Belinda
www.shophandmade.co.uk