Sunday, 1 July 2018

Dorset Team Pinterest Board July - Jurassic Coast

We hope that you have all been enjoying the sunshine that we have been having recently. Our Pinterest board for July will be all about our beautiful Jurassic Coast which runs through Dorset.

Here are a selection of products made and sold by members of the Dorset Team

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Diary Of An Etsy Seller April 2018

Today we're going to find out what Jennifer from Happy Scatter (craft supplies) and Gifting Moon (gifts like mugs and coasters) was up to during the month of April...

April 2018

2/4/18 - 8/4/18
  • This week was the first week of the Easter school holidays, so the kids were home, and we had family staying for a visit. We also spent a whole day out at Kingston Lacy to celebrate my friend's birthday (and had curry for dinner too - yum). So the week was busy before I even started thinking about work!
  • I posted off some custom stencils which had been ordered by another Dorset Team member. It was fun to help with designing them and getting the packaging just right, so that she could sell them through her business. I love making other people's ideas into a reality.
  • I posted out packages to my new Gifting Moon brand reps - 3 packages to 3 different countries! Fingers crossed that they take some amazing photos for me to use on my social media channels.
  • March wasn't as busy as I'd hoped it would be, especially the last week of March. So I decided to turn on promoted listings on Etsy, to see if that boosted sales. I had one order from it on the 2nd of April and one on the 3rd so it looked like it would help, but time would tell.
  • I joined in with the #DorsetTeam twitter chat on the 3rd, one discussion was about whether having more listings (e.g. over 100) helps to get more sales or not (asked by @flossandjet). I replied that it only helps if you look at your SEO too (100 listings with bad SEO won't help you), and @studiopickles recommended Marmalead to help improve SEO.
  • On the 8th of April I joined in with a Market Night on Facebook, with a Rainbows and Stars Theme. A Market Night is when a bunch of small businesses add photos to one album, usually with discounted prices / new products, and at the alloted time on the night itself there's a codeword for people to use by commenting on the photos of items they'd like to buy. I had 6 orders, so it was pretty good - but it did involve a lot of Facebook networking in the run up to the event, so I wouldn't do these regularly as I don't have enough time!

9/4/18 - 15/4/18
  • It was the second week of the Easter holidays. We didn't have any family down at the start of the week, but we did have a day out swimming and going to the beach with some friends.
  • I had to make and post my orders from the Market Night as well as my usual Etsy orders so these all kept me busy whilst also entertaining my kids!
  • I hosted the #DorsetTeam Twitter chat on Tuesday 10th April - it was on the theme of 'Dorset And Your Etsy Shop' and we had a good chat about how Dorset inspires us and what local shops we have our items for sale in, etc. I decided that I need to put more about Dorset into my 'about' page too!
  • I was away from the 13th to the 16th of April - taking a trip to St. Ives Cornwall with my Mum, Sister, and Brother. We had a great laugh and it was good to get away from it all for a few days. I didn't put the shop on holiday mode while I was gone, but I did extend some shipping times by a couple of days.

16/4/18 - 22/4/18
  • I didn't get home until Monday and spent a lot of Tuesday unpacking, and catching up with orders that had come in while I was away.
  • I had a request for coasters with the drinks 'moscow mule' and 'bloody mary' on. As it wasn't the first time someone had asked for these I decided I'd better hurry up and draw them!
  • I had a custom order for mirrors with a different layout to my usual design, so I spent some time making mock-up images and tweaking it until the customer was happy. Custom orders do take a little bit longer but I love doing them as I like helping people find the perfect gift!
  • I spent a lovely day painting watercolour flowers to use in upcoming projects. I've been doing so much on my Ipad Pro lately - it was nice to get out my paints and get a bit messy.

23/4/18 - 29/4/18
  • I had quite a few orders from Gifting Moon this week, with over 25 coasters and 15 mirrors going out. 4 of those orders were from Promoted Listings, with 15 orders in total from it for the month. I don't think I will keep it turned on every month but it gave me a bit of a boost this month!
  • This week I was making and packaging lots of Happy Scatter stencils, stickers, and die-cuts for the Lollipop Box Club Subscription Box.
  • I had a discussion on Facebook about subscription boxes, explaining to a couple of people about what they are and how they work. It made me then go and look for other subscription boxes - I don't want to regularly do another craft box as I want to stay loyal to Lollipop Box Club for crafts, but I could look into gift-style sub boxes for Gifting Moon items...
  • After all the stencils and things were packed I then prepped for the Dorset Team Spring Fair. I made some new mugs, printed lots more coasters, and got things together like my float and charging my Izettle card reader. It always takes longer to prepare for a fair than I think it will!
  • I struggled with cash-flow this week. With lots of orders to pay for postage for, and needing to buy more stock for the fair and future orders, and needing a float for the fair - money got a bit tight. It something you have to really stay on top of when running your own business but sometimes when I'm busy I forget to keep checking! 
How did your business get on during April? Don't forget to let the Dorset Team know about your successes (and failures if you need some advice or commiseration!) via the forum, FB group, or by tagging #DorsetTeam on social media.

Don't forget to join us next week for the next in our Business Building series!

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Social Media Special - Facebook

Here's another Social Media Special!

This time we're going to take a look at Facebook:

Everyone has heard of Facebook, but some of you might not be using it yet, or may only be using it for personal use rather than business use. So today we're going to look at how Facebook can be used to promote your Etsy shop.

Facebook Basics:

First of all, here's a few Facebook Basics, for those of you who don't use it at all yet...
  • You can use Facebook to share stories, photos and videos - both your own and you can share other people's too. You can also use facebook to join and communicate with 'groups' of people who have the same interests as you, you can follow business pages of business you like, you can play games, chat in Facebook messages, and more.
  • To use Facebook you need to set up a Facebook account (anyone over the age of 13 can do so).
  • PRIVACY SETTINGS: You should think carefully about the amount of information you put on there and check your privacy settings too. For example, if you tend to use your birth town as a password for your online bank account, then don't put your birth town on Facebook - you don't want to make it easy for people to gather your personal information and use it to hack into other accounts. This doesn't need to scare you off, it's just good to keep it in mind when you are filling out your details. You can change the privacy settings for each update if you want some to be public and some to only be seen by your friends, or specific friends only, etc. You can read more about privacy settings here:
  • You can become 'friends' with your real-life friends and family, so you can see the photos and updates they post, and they can see yours. 
  • People can interact with the photos and updates you post, by 'liking' them (or other emotions e.g. 'loving'), or by commenting below them - you can then reply to their comment too.
  • To use Facebook as your business (your Etsy shop) you need to set up a page. You have to already have a Facebook account before you can set up a page. Once you have a page, then people can 'like' it, and they will see photos and updates you post in there (though they won't always see everything you post, we'll talk more about this in a minute). They will be able to interact by commenting on / sharing your posts. They will also be able to message your page. You can add other things too, like a shop where you can list your items but then they have to click through to Etsy to purchase it.
There is lots more you can learn about Facebook settings and uses and I'm not going to cover it all here today. See the 'getting started' page of the Facebook Help Centre to find out more:

Using Facebook For Business:

Here's a few ideas on how Facebook can help your business...

Your Facebook Page: As mentioned above, you can set up a page for your business. 
  • You can post updates one there (photos, videos, or just snippets about your day). Try a mix of updates about new products, behind the scenes, and about you / your shop. 
  • You could try finding some hashtags to join in with on certain days, like #motivationmonday or #throwbackthursday - see more here:
  • Pay to 'boost' your posts or advertise to reach more people - and you can set the target audience these are being shown to so that it matches your target audience (see our post about finding your target market here:
  • Not all the people who've 'liked' your page will see all your posts. If they haven't recently visited your page or liked one of your updates then your new one won't be shown to them, or it will be quite far down in their facebook feed, so they probably won't scroll down far enough to see it. Encourage people to comment on your updates by asking questions - the more interaction your post has the higher it will appear in feeds.
  • You can set up a Facebook shop, as mentioned above. For how to do that see here:
  • You can also add events you are attending, for example if you will be at the Dorset Team Fairs you can show these events on your shop page. Here's how to do that:
Your Facebook Group: Some business will also set up a Facebook Group for other people to join. 
  • This can be set so it's not as public as your Facebook Page - you can then use it to share special offers or coupon codes with people in your group - so this could be loyal customers, or customers who have spent over a certain amount etc.
  • People might be more likely to interact in a group - they might not want to comment on a public photo on your public page, but in a group there are less people to see the comment. 
  • You can pin posts to the top of a group so that people see the important information.
  • You could try creating polls to get more feedback - this works on pages and in groups but again you might get more responses in a less public setting.
Join Groups: You can also join groups to help you network your business.
  • Join groups to help with your Etsy shop, for example the Dorset Team Members group: so you can ask for help if your are stuck on something, but also to share successes, news, etc with other shop owners who will understand your joy!
  • Join groups where people go if they are looking for handmade items to buy, or where you can share your giveaways, news, latest products etc. For example there's the group 'Handmade Craft Network UK' with over 38,000 members: 
  • You will find lots more groups to join if your search Facebook. When you search something (e.g. 'unicorn') you then need to scroll down to the 'groups' section, and click 'see all'. This will show you the groups it has found on that topic:

That's all we're going to look at for Facebook today. Let us know if you have any questions. Don't forget you can also 'like' the Dorset Team page here:

If you missed our other Social Media Special posts you can see them here:

Monday, 30 April 2018

Spring Fair - Featured seller - Love from Hetty & Dave

For the past few weeks we have been featuring different makers and sellers on our blog who will be selling at our Dorset Team Spring Fair in Wimborne on Saturday 5th May. 

This week our featured stallholder is Zoe who runs Love from Hetty & Dave 

Zoe in her studio wearing one of her brooches

Zoe is based in Bournemouth and makes hand stitched leather jewellery, customised shoes and handbags, plush slugs (!!). 

Rainbow plush slug!

Zoe graduated from Kent Institute of Art & Design in 2001 after completing a degree in silver smithing. After graduating she was drawn to the more tactile qualities of leather and textiles and in 2004 begun making her own range of hand stitched leather handbags, purses, brooches and necklaces which successfully sold these at famous Portobello and Spitalfields markets in London. 

Work in progress - Stitching leather bee necklaces

In 2007 she set up her shop on Etsy and sells her wares all over the world from Etsy, her website and boutiques in the UK, Europe and Japan. 

A sneak peek into Zoe's studio

Zoe has had a number of celebrity customers including Amy Winehouse, Deborah Meaden and Jodie Harsh. 

Zoe is also the author of the book 'Love Leather Accessories' and has starred on 'Kirsty Allsopp's Handmade Christmas'. 

Rainbow ballet pumps by Zoe. 

Come along to the Dorset Team Spring Fair to meet Zoe and see her wonderful quirky creations in person. 

You can find more information about the event here on our Facebook event page:

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Dorset Team - Our County - Studland Bay

It's time for the latest in the 'Our County' series, where we celebrate Dorset and the wonderful places to visit here! Today we're going to look at Studland Bay...

Studland Bay has 4 miles of beautiful sandy beaches, but also a variety of other habitats which make it an important nature site, including sand dune heathland (which is home to all 6 native UK reptiles, along with other creatures and plants). The coastline is managed by the National Trust, so you can find out lots about the area on the National Trust website here:

There are 4 beach areas - South Beach (the smallest), Middle Beach (the most sheltered), Knoll Beach (the largest), and Knoll Beach also includes an area of Naturist Beach. The naturist beach is a fair walk from the Knoll Beach car park, and is well signposted, whether you want to find it or avoid it - it's clear where the boundary is!

There are 3 car parks and you can park at them for free if you are a national trust member (it gets expensive for a whole day parking in the summer holidays otherwise). Knoll Beach has a national trust cafe and shop, and frequent family events.

If you stand on Knoll Beach and look right you can see Old Harry Rocks - some chalk stacks which mark the most Easterly point of the Jurassic Coast:

You can also walk from the South Beach Car Park to see a closer view of Old Harry Rocks:

If you stand on Knoll Beach and look left you can see all the way to Bournemouth, Christchurch, and Hengistbury Head:

Out to sea you can often glimpse the Isle of Wight too.

The beach has beach huts, many privately owned or some you can rent, and also watersports rentals / lessons:

It can be windy at times, which is great for a spot of kite-flying:

The sand is good for building sand castles, or for turning children into mermaids / mermen:

And the sea is lovely and clear, so great for swimming in. There is a marked swimming area in the peak season, where boats aren't allowed into - great for parents with small kids who want them to swim, without worrying they will get in the way of a kayak!

The beach can even be great for a walk in the winter. But you won't want to go in for a swim then, because the sea looks more like this...

Have you visited the beaches at Studland Bay before? Tell us if you have any great memories from a trip there!

Don't forget to tag #DorsetTeam in your social media posts if you have any great photos of Dorset areas. Also let us know if you have any favourite spots in Dorset that you'd like us to feature one month!

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Dorset Team Spring Fair - SM designs in Wood

Our Dorset Team Spring Fair at the Allendale Centre in Wimborne is fast approaching and this week we are sharing another one of our stallholders who will be selling at the event. 

This week's featured stallholder is Simon of SM Designs in Wood. Simon is based in Portland and  sells beautiful handcrafted wooden furniture and wooden items. This will be Simon's first time selling at one of our Dorset Team events and we are really looking forward to having him at the Spring Fair

Work in progress photo of Simon making a chopping board
After 18 years working in a different career, Simon decided to return to Dorset and fulfil his lifelong dream of becoming a furniture designer and maker. He finds the Dorset landscape offers much inspiration and he hopes to highlight this by using local woods and other natural products like Portland stone in his work. 

He uses a mixture of traditional and modern woodworking skills to produce unique, high quality pieces and makes and sells everything from candle holders to beautiful handcrafted tables.

He says, "I want to create pieces that are aethetically beautiful to look at, but are functional in the lives of people who own them."

Come and meet Simon and see his beautiful handcrafted wooden items on display at the Dorset Team Spring Fair at the Allendale Centre in Wimborne on Saturday 5th May. Entry to the fair is FREE and there will be 60 stalls by local makers and sellers at the event. 

This is a fantastic way to support small independent sellers whilst also picking up some really unique items for your home or for gifts. 

Please put the date in your diary and we hope to see you there! 

More information about the event can be found over on our Facebook event page:

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Business Building - Finding Your Target Market

Hello, today is the next instalment of our Business Building topic, and today we're going to talk about your Target Market!

Do you know who your customers are? If you are going to build a successful shop it's essential that you know who you are trying to sell to and what kind of things they want to buy.

Broad Idea:

You may have quite a broad idea at the moment, for example, you might know your target market is women aged 18 - 50 who like jewellery. This is a great start, but it's not enough to help you find them to advertise to them and develop the products that they really want.

Specific Customer:

You should end up with a more specific customer profile - e.g. a 40-50 year old woman, who appreciates handmade items but also shops at high street stores like Next, their favourite magazine is woman & home, they prefer subtle colours rather than bold, they eat out several times a week, and only look at Instagram and Facebook a couple of times a week.

How This Can Help You:

Creating a specific customer profile DOES NOT mean you are shutting everyone else out. You aren't narrowing your market to only sell to this one type of woman. But having a specific profile helps you to think about what places to promote your items - for example if your target market doesn't go on Instagram much, then it might be worth advertising more locally or in magazines.

You can have more than one customer profile - write down several if you sell to a variety of age ranges or sell a range of different products.

How To Find Out What Your Customer Likes:

If you are worried because you have no idea what magazines your customer reads or whether they use Instagram, then it's time to do some research!

1. Start by looking at your shop stats. Click on the 'customers' tab of your stats and look at where your customers live, what device they are using (if more are using mobile devices then it's more likely they also use social media apps too, if your customers mostly use desktop they might not use social media as much), and look at the 'other searches'. Looking at what other phrases your customers are searching for will help you understand what their other interests are, and maybe help you come up with more product ideas!

2. Jump onto social media. Look at the profiles of your followers - what kind of pictures are they sharing, does it say what their interests are in their profile, what other accounts are they following? You might, for example, find that a lot of them are following a certain celebrity - could you see if you could send a freebie to the celeb who might wear / use the item on their social media? If you are looking on Facebook you can see who has 'liked' your page by going to 'settings' and then 'people and other pages'. Click on one of the names to go to their profile, and under their cover photo there should be a button that says 'more' - click on this and then 'groups' - now you can see what Facebook groups they belong to and decide whether it's worth you trying to join and network in some of those groups!

3. Ask questions. On your social media don't just show off your new items, ask questions too - e.g. mention what you are having for dinner and ask what other people are going to be eating, ask customers what their favourite holiday destinations are etc. It all helps you to build a picture of what they are like.

4. Check out your conversations and reviews. If customers are asking questions through conversations does it help you get ideas on who they are buying for and what would be the perfect product for them? In reviews do customers mention loving the item themselves or did they give it as a gift - and if it was a gift do they mention how they gave it as 'part' of a gift (you might be able to make other things to go with it if so)?

5. Sell at a real-life fair / market. If you are selling at the upcoming Dorset Team Spring Fair then make sure you listen to what people say about your items. Are they drawn to certain ones - if so make sure your photos for these are great online and consider making some more similar items. Do they ask if you have something which they can't see - this might help you come up with a new product, or it might just help you add to the interest lists for your target market.

More Information:

You can see more about targeting your market on these two Etsy articles: and

Put it into practice:

Collate the information you've gathered and make a plan for how you can use this to promote your items. You don't have to do everything at once! Pick one social media to start with, and think carefully about how to use hashtags or what colours / props to use in photos so that they will appeal to your customers. Then move onto another social media or advertise in a magazine or on a blog that you think your customers read. It isn't going to be an exact science but if you keep working on it you will find the right people and make more sales!

Remember you can come and ask questions in the team forum (, or join our Twitter chats on Tuesday nights (7.30pm - 8.30pm #DorsetTeam) if you need more help!

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Spring Fair - Featured Seller - Lisa Berkshire

For the last few weeks we have been sharing with you some of the stallholders who will be coming to our Dorset Team Spring Fair. 

This week we are featuring Poole based artist Lisa who runs The Illustrated World of Lisa Berkshire

Lisa sells illustrated prints and cards, original artworks, illustrated upcycled objects, painted stones, boxes, jewellery and more! She also takes on custom orders for personalised artworks.

Lisa has been an illustrator for 27 years and shows and sells her own illustrated ranges of prints and artworks for children and adults on the themes of The Sea, British Nature, Folklore, Stories, nature in general, Landscape, Personal Narratives and Children's Stories.

"I apply my illustrations to all sorts of things that can be used to make a living or working space a more enjoyable (and illustrated) place. I love connecting my work with people's everyday lives."

3 things about Lisa in her own words....

1) I love including a sense of fun and humour in my work.

2 I love to use pen line in my work and combine it with bold colours and patterns. 
3) My favourite thing to do is to make something for someone that is so personal it couldn't be for anyone else!

Lisa will be selling her wares at the Dorset Team Spring Fair on Saturday 5th May at the Allendale Centre in Wimborne. Entry to the fair is FREE and there will be 60 stalls by local artists, makers, designers, vintage sellers and craft suppliers.

For more information about the event please see: