Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Autumn Time : Pine Cones and Acorns and Rose Gold Jewellery

 Here we are and it is now mid September! We really don't know where 2016 has gone....but we are now focusing on the run up to Christmas. We have some fantastic fairs lined up....including a return to Knutsford Christmas markets for the fourth year running.

Much as we love summer, we are quite fond of autumn too......bonfire night, toffee apples, autumn colours, halloween......the run up to Christmas. There is so much to be excited about! We have developed and expanded our autumn-inspired range of jewellery from last year. We launched our latest designs a couple of weeks ago at the Weald of Kent Craft Show to a great reception.

James on our stall at the Weald of Kent Craft Show
Much as I love all our designs, I think the rose gold range is my absolute favourite. I love our acorn and pine cone jewellery and I am so thrilled that it has been a success so far. We have been so busy lately that I have barely had time to work on our online presence. I have neglected our Etsy shop and our own website launch has been put back by a month. This week, working in the shop and preparing the website for launch is absolutely top of my list of priorities.

Acorn Earrings in gold plated, rose gold plated and silver plated. 

As well as rose gold, we also have our autumn-inspired range available in gold plated and silver plated versions. Aren't those little acorns and pine cones just soooooooooo cute?

Anyway, I had best get on with photographing and listing our new pieces for Etsy and making our new website look perfect....and of course popping over to Handmade Monday.

Monday, 5 September 2016

Full Time and Craft Fairs

Well, it has been absolutely ages since I last blogged - April in fact - and so much has happened since then. I am not sure where to even start after such a long hiatus!
Unfortunately, I have not had a good year health wise and took the step to take an unpaid career break from my job as of August 1st. I am now working on our little business full time and this is the end of my first month as a full time crafter and seller. It was a really tough decision to take and very scary as I am used to a regular salary.....but I felt ashamed being off on the sick and felt that this would help with my pride and self esteem, and so far things are going really well!
We got off to a flying start in August by finally being accepted as a Not On The High Street partner. We have been wanting to get in with them for ages and applied several times in the past. We ended up going to their 'Pitch Up' event at their offices in Richmond at the end of July and took a few of our products for feedback and advice. It was totally worth the trip to London and I would recommend to anyone interested in joining NOTHS to go to their next one in October. A lot of our products were declined as the market for jewellery on there is already saturated, but they did like our molecule necklaces and gave us some really good advice on branding and photography......we went home and worked in these and 2 weeks later got accepted!!!! Here is our little shop : By Poppy NOTHS shop. We are sooooooo proud of it and it is doing really well so far *fingers crossed*.

My Exhibitor Badge & Show Guide.

For the third year running, we also had a stall at the Chilterns Craft & Design Show at Henley on Thames. I felt very nervous indeed this year as it is a very expensive fair to do and felt like a bit of a gamble now we are reliant on the income from our business. We took a large 6 metre stall this year as we wanted to keep our spot from last year and they were changing the layout of the marquee.....and also decided to stay in a B&B instead of camping.....so our costs were much higher. I spent the fortnight before panicking and stressing that we wouldn't sell anything and that it would be a disaster, but thankfully we did really well. We had a lot of customers come back to see us from last year and met loads of lovely new people. It has taken me a good week to recover from it.....and now we are doing it all again this weekend at Penshurst Place in Tunbridge! (Only we have a more manageable 4 metre stall this time ;) ) 

Our Stall at the Chilterns Craft Show

Hopefully we will continue to grow both online in our Etsy shop and NOTHS. We are also in the process of totally redoing our website, but it has had to take a bit of a back seat whilst we have been concentrating on the fairs. 

Anyway, I had best get on with making and preparing stock for this weekend and get the weekend's orders prepared and posted out. I am feeling much more positive about the future now and working for myself is doing wonders for my self esteem - I can also plan my day around my energy levels (thanks lupus) and rest when I need to....whilst we are talking about resting, I might just have one more coffee and pop over to Lucy Blossom and Handmade Monday to see what some of the other ladies have been up to......have a great day xxxx