Sunday, 11 July 2010

Directory Overhaul

Hi Everyone,
The Shop Handmade UK directory has steadily been growing and has now reached over 1500 UK based designer-makers so I think it's time for an overhaul of the directory. My aim is to help shoppers find you and your products based on the end use or function. I'm proposing removing just 2 categories, changing the names of others and adding to most a range of sub categories as some of the main categories like Jewellery, Accessories and Homeware & Gift are getting very large. I'd also like in each sub-category to feature in the top 5 product spots a product from every designer-maker listed in that sub-category so there is variety on each page.

Here are my proposed changes:

Accessories - Stays the same, add subcategories:
  • Phone / i-pod cases
  • Hats
  • Scarves
  • Hair accessories
  • Children's & Babies accessories
Art & Design - Stays the same, add subcategories:
  • Illustration
  • Prints
  • Originals
  • Sculpture & Design
Bath & Beauty - No change

Cards & Stationery - Stays the same, add subcategories:
  • Greetings cards
  • Notebooks
  • Papercrafts
  • Invitations
  • Wedding
Ceramics & Glassware - Removed as the category it based on medium used not function. The majority listed fall under Homeware & Gift so most would move to these categories. Some jewellery designer-makers are listed here, they will move to Jewellery.

Fashion & Hats - Name change to Fashion & Clothing add subcategories:
  • Women's
  • Men's
  • Children's
  • Babies
  • Footwear
Hats will be moved to Accessories.

Handbags & Purses - Stays the same, add subcategories:
  • Handbags
  • Clutches
  • Totes
  • Purses
  • Other
Homeware & Gifts - Becomes Homewares, (new category created for Gifts) add subcategories:
  • Lighting
  • Wall Decor
  • Soft Furnishings
  • Furniture
  • Home Decor
Gifts General - For all products that don't really fit into other categories from Edible goods to unusual good that would generally be gift related only.

Jewellery - Designer / Fashion & Gemstone - Combine all 3 Jewellery categories into 1 main category with new subcategories based on medium & style:
  • Silversmith / metalsmith
  • Gemstone
  • Precious Metal - Silver / Gold
  • Resin
  • Wood
  • Glass/Lampwork
  • Ceramic
  • Fashion Beaded - Non precious
  • Plastic / Kitsch
  • Vintage Style
  • Repurposed
  • Wedding
Knitting & Embroidery - Removed as the category it based on medium used not fuction. Goods in this category will move to Accessories, Fashion, Homewares or Gifts.

Photography - No change

Plushies & Dolls - Change to Plushies, Bears & Dolls, add subcategories:
  • Dolls
  • Teddy Bears
  • Sock monkeys / monsters
  • Plushies general
Supplies - Stays the same, add subcategories:
  • Fabric
  • Knitting
  • Jewellery
  • Papercraft
  • General crafts
These are just proposed changes, I'd really like your input and suggestions especially on the new sub-categories so please leave a comment and let me know what you'd like to see.


Shop Handmade Australia

Hi All,

Well it certainly is a small world and only about 4 weeks before I was due to jet off down under on holidays I was contacted by the lovely Julie of Shop Handmade Canberra in Australia. Their setup is slightly different, they started with their very popular Handmade Markets held 4 times each year which has now grown to become a high street shop in addition to the market. Shop Handmade Canberra opened in April only 7 weeks prior to my visit and I have to say the shop is gorgeous and the ladies behind the concept were lovely and all so very talented.

My visit was timed well as the next day the Handmade Market was on so I ventured over to browse over 120 stall holders in a beautiful location with so much on offer. It got my mind racing and I could just see so many of the gorgeous products our UK designer-makers create on the shelves of a high street shop dedicated to only handmade. Here's a look at Shop Handmade Canberra and some of the things I bought while there.
Store front in Allara Street Canberra

Me with Rachel from Shop Handmade Canberra

Shop Pics

Some of the goodies I purchased
Thanks to Julie, Tania, Rachel & Jennie, the store is stunning & it was so lovely to meet you all and see a team so dedicated to handmade.


Friday, 9 July 2010

Trade Secrets

Hi All,

Not often do you get the chance to take a look behind the scenes of someones business and learn their trade secrets but now you can. Leona Baker, the creator of cult indie jewellery brand Lady Luck Rules OK has been running Jewellery Workshops & Trade Secret Talk events in London and is now taking her popular worshops on the road.

The Trade Secret Talk will cover topics such as how to start, run & grow an independent creative business; how to successfully sell online; PR, marketing and social media; wholesale & trade shows; and how to deal with the tough stuff like competitors and copycats!

The Jewellery Workshop reveals all their unique production methods & materials, the importance of sampling, working with manufacturers, where to source and practical tips on how to achieve the best results. The techniques involved can also be applied to many other products including accessories, clothing, home wares, greetings cards and stationery.

The initial London talks and workshops have been attended by a wide variety of people from artists, graphic designers & illustrators, boutique owners, jewellery designer/makers and include a Central St Martins Design Tutor and attendees who’ve travelled from Paris and Italy.

There are 6 worshops around the UK so everyone has the chance to attend one close by. As a jewellery designer-maker and jewellery supply seller I've already booked my ticket to attend the Birmingham workshop on Sun 1st August. If you're going to be there leave a comment, it would be great to meet up.


Monday, 5 July 2010

More new UK designer-makers!

Hi Everyone,

I'm back from my travels down under, was lovely to see my family & catch up with old friends but it's nice to be back home, especially as it was heading into winter in Australia. I've been adding over 30 new designer-makers to the directory the past 3 weeks and here's a peek at a few of those newbies. To view all just browse the directory and look for the 'NEW' icon.

Cassia Beck Photography - Beautiful View 8x8 print - £15

Simonne Elizabeth Designs - Salut Beaute Gold Earrings - £30.00

The Silver Starling - Heart Pendant on Silk & Leather - £40.00

Jenny Arnott - Flowers Cushion - £65.00

Summerland - Ladybug baby Slippers - £14.60

Kerry Jane Barker Handmade Cards - Viola Trois Personalised Card - £2.50

BonBon Lip Balm in 8 yummy flavours - £5.00

Lou Lou Spangles - Ribbon Corsage - £24.50

Coming Soon:
My visit to Shop Handmade Australia (it's a real high street shop just opened in Canberra)
New Sample Sale Packs
Directory Overhaul