Sunday, 30 November 2014

Dorset Team Christmas Fair - Sellers Spotlight

With less than 1 week to go until our big Dorset Team Christmas Fair, we thought it would be a great idea to place some of the attending sellers in the spotlight!  A real way to get to know both the designer/creator and to also see some of their work.
Our first seller is Sarah Ricketts from Delicious Bits - In her own words;

Type of Items sold
Bright, original jewellery, cards and prints

How and why did you get started. What are your inspirations?
I have always been creative and love to spend my spare time crafting although jewellery making became a passion around 5 years ago. I did the odd craft fair but didn’t really imagine taking my jewellery making more seriously until I discovered I could sell online with Etsy. I had a good read through the set up guide and it didnt look too tricky so decided to set up my shop a couple of Christmases ago and have never looked back. 

Top 3 reasons to start an Etsy shop
1. Simple and cost effective. 
2. Great opportunities to work with other like-minded crafters
3. The fantastic community I have met since joining

Top 3 tips for new sellers
1. Take great clear photos in focus
2. Make sure you write up detailed descriptions of your items
3. Check your postage costs cover sending your items abroad

Description of shop:
A combination of original, bright, chunky jewellery and modern cards and prints

Sarah's social media links;


Our second seller is Danielle Janes from Chibi Chi Designs - In her own words;

Type of Items sold
 Predominantly paper cuts, but we also sell prints, cards, jewellery and gift bags too!
How and why did you get started?
It started with a hand made anniversary gift for a family member.  It was a family tree paper cut that when shared on facebook started a flurry of requests.  Before I knew it I was getting messages from people asking me to create them presents, gift bags and even cards, I quickly needed an official business.  Thus Chibi Chi Designs was born.
What are your inspirations?
My main inspirations are cult classic books and movies.  Myself and Mr Chibi Chi are quite geeky, this is why you will find such a variety of items in our shop; from Alien inspired cards, right through to Alice in Wonderland paper cuts.
Top 3 reasons to start an Etsy shop
It's one of the simplest ways to have your very own online selling platform.

You are connected with buyers from all other the world (The majority of our orders are to the US)

There is a real sense of community with the other sellers and I am fortunate enough to have made some great local friends!
Top 3 tips for new sellers

Make sure your pictures look professional, take multiple shots of your item from all angles and ensure they are on a clear, clutter free background.

Although it can seem daunting, get to grips with keywords and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) as it is this and your photographs that will help your items be found and hopefully sell.

Be patient!  Rather than sitting on your laurels waiting for the orders to come in, use the time to create and list new items, hone your photography skills and tweak those descriptions, it will pay off I promise.
Description of shop:
If you need a personalised gift that really shows how much someone means to you, Chibi Chi Designs is the shop for you.  We have been fortunate enough to make bespoke Anniversary paper cuts, Wedding gifts and even pregnancy presents too.
Danielle's Social Media Links;

Highlight your business cards

Christmas fair inspiration tip
Highlight your business cards on your stall

We've prattled on about how important business cards are, so after going to the trouble of coming up with a design and getting a load printed, you owe it to yourself to ensure people pick them up.

While you can obviously pop them in bags along with any purchase, why not make a display of them?

In this example, a very simple structure means that the cards are clearly displayed and the personal sign encourages people to pick one up.

Something like this wouldn't take long to put together and you might already have a display prop that could have your cards attached to it.

To see the original pin, and get other display ideas, visit here.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Get clever with props

Christmas fair countdown inspiration
Get clever with props

We've mentioned how you can make display props if you can't find what you want in the shops, and to prove how simple idea can be incredibly effective, we have the following example…

The wooden suitcases can be found in discount stores, usually with acrylics or watercolours in them. By painting the outside and using chalkboard paint, the clever inventor has created a great display that can be adapted for multiple uses.

The dividers is a nice touch and can either be achieved with small piece of plywood or you could even use strong cardboard. Once painted, people will be none the wiser.

To see this idea, along with more, head over to here.

Friday, 28 November 2014

Dorset Christmas Fair - ETSY tote bag GIVEAWAY

8 days to go.....!

A rather large exciting box of goodies arrived at my door all the way from America from the Etsy HQ in New York. Etsy are sponsoring our Dorset Team Christmas Fair and have kindly provided us with lots of goodies for the event!

We will be giving out goodies and information on the day on our Etsy information stand and also doing some giveaways leading up to the event. Please keep your eyes peeled on our social media pages for announcements!

The first of our giveaways is for this beautiful Etsy tote bag (thank you!)

There are several ways in which you can enter the competition. Please fill in your details into Rafflecopter and the entries will be revealed. If you do more than one task you have a greater chance of winning. The winner will be picked at random and contacted via email.

Good luck to everyone and thank you so much for all the support for our fair. We hope to see you on Saturday 6th December at the Wimborne Allendale Centre for the Dorset Team Christmas Fair. Please see our Facebook event page for more information

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please note the competition is open to U.K participants only.

Inspiration for customising display props

Christmas fair countdown inspiration
Customising display props

Now all of the organising is hopefully out of the way, we're going to have a look at some examples of some of the suggestions made. Pinterest is teaming with boards and we have one with all of our featured examples, plus more, from here.

Today's inspiration highlights how you can have fun with colour. The smallholder has used baskets of different colours, but because they are the same style and size, they still work together.

These baskets look as though they may have been bought like this, but it would be easy enough to paint plain baskets using emulsion. Either go for different colours as in the example, or visit B&Q or Homebase, pick a colour swatch from the mix your own section and get a tester pot of each colour on the swatch. That way you know all the colours will work together and you can get a lovely ombre effect!

Thursday, 27 November 2014

The big practise

Christmas fair countdown tip
The big practise

Now is the time to practise a layout for your stall. You should have enough products (or enough of an idea of what products will be made) to organise a rough layout. And it is worth doing now because you can address any obvious issues.

Start by getting a surface roughly the size of the fair (in our case, 6ft x 2ft). If you haven't got anything the exact size, have a measure and either mark where the table will end (if your surface is bigger) or just be aware how much extra you will have to play with (if the surface is smaller).

Put your tablecloth on and whatever name sign you have. Set up any display props and then add your items. Put smaller products at the front and then work back in height and size.

Now add your price labels. How do they work best and can they easily be seen?

Stand at the front of the stall and pretend you are a customer. Reach over to try and pick up a product. Are there any obstacles? Can everything be seen?

Now scoot around the back. If someone bought a product, is there room for them to hand it to you and for you to hand it back?

When you think you have it sorted, walk away and do something different for a while. Then go back. Chances are something you hadn't even noticed before will jump out at you. Fix it, walk away again and repeat until you are happy.

As soon as you are happy, take a photo of the display. Either do this on your phone, or print it out for reference. This way you avoid that sinking feeling at the show where your mind goes blank as to what you did!

If you don't need the items again, pack them away in whatever you will be transporting them to the fair in. That way you cut down on last-minute packing!

And don't worry if you are still wrangling with the finessing. Over the next few posts we will show examples of lovely displays to give you plenty of ideas.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Keep records of stock

Christmas fair countdown tip 
Keep a record of stock and sales

Now you are well into your fair-making frenzy, create a stock list of what you have and how much you are taking. Also note how much it costs.

Then, when you are at the fair and make a sale, simply tick it off the list.

This serves three purposes. Firstly, it enables you to check that everything adds up at the end of the show, both in terms of what stock is left and how much was made.

Secondly, it clearly shows, in black and white, which products and price points were the most popular. If you do this over a number of shows and it's the same pattern every time, you have a good business model to make your next show super-successful.

And thirdly, it's just fun ticking off when you sell an item.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Organise your money

Christmas fair countdown tip
Organise your money

Yes, a craft fair is about meeting people and building connections and getting feedback, but it is also about making the moolah. So it pays to consider how to handle money – it's one of those things that you take for granted until you get to the fair and realise you've got in a right pickle!

Having a money tin is a neat solution but it does mean you are leaving all of your takings, plus your float, in one portable place. You can't always keep your eye on it when dealing with customers, so it's best to keep your money on you.

A money belt (or apron with pockets) is a good solution. But be aware that if you end up with lots of change, it can start dragging down, so make sure your skirt or trousers are on tight!

A better alternative is a small bag. You can buy special money bags, but you only need a cheap over-the-shoulder job. If it has lots of pockets, organise your different notes or coins into these. Otherwise you can use bank bags or even a wallet.

Now is also a good time to sort out your float. To avoid jangling like a slot machine, look at your prices to determine what kind of change you need. Pound coins, 50ps and 10ps are probably all you need for change, but also ensure you have £5 and £10 notes. You can make a good guess of how people will pay (and therefore what change you will need) by looking at your prices. Just ensure that you have a record of how much you put in for the float!

Monday, 24 November 2014

Create product crib sheets

Christmas fair countdown tip
Consider creating crib sheets

How many times have you looked around the shops or visited a site a few times before you bought anything? We all want to ensure we are buying the ideal product and so exhibit this 'investigate, deliberate and then eventually purchase' behaviour when shopping. This is particularly true at Christmas, when the pressure to find that 'perfect' present is even higher.

The point of this ramble is because you have to figure that the temporary nature of a craft fair works against this behaviour. If someone doesn't instantly buy a product, they can't come back the next day to buy it. And by the time they have walked around the whole fair, looking at all the other lovely stalls, they might forget about you entirely.

So, to try and get yourself in people's minds, as well as allow them to consider items at leisure, create a catalogue or product sheet with details of what you make and how much it costs.

This only needs to be a sheet of A5 or A4, with your items listed nice and clear, ideally with pictures. Include a line or two about the product, along with dimensions, so the customer has everything they need. And obviously, link back to your Etsy shop!

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Create a stall 'back office'

Christmas fair countdown tip
Create a tidy stall 'back office'

It's easy to spend so long concentrating on what the fair visitors will see on your stall, that's it's easy to forget about behind your stall.

If you have a mess of boxes, bags and stock that you have to clamber over each time you need to get up, you aren't going to look very professional. In a similar vein, if you have to fumble around to find change or your receipt book, you aren't presenting yourself in the best light and could lose out on future sales.

So while you absolutely have to spend the most time thinking about your stall display, at least spend a bit of time thinking about the back. How about taking a small folding table to put your bags, receipt book and some business cards on? That way you can pop a card in each bag along with the sold item.

Take some clips or clamps along and use them to gather up any overhanging cloth at the back. That way you can easily place any boxes or bags used to transport your stock under the table. And it also means if you have to get any extra stock out, you don't risk getting tangled in the tablecloth and bringing the whole display crashing down!

If you have display props, it might be that you can adapt these to hold your essential items. It could only be a price list to refer to, but it all helps to keep a tidy work station!

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Advertise custom orders

Christmas fair countdown tip
Advertise if you take custom orders

People love products that are customised to them, but that's a bit of a tricky thing to base a stall around (unless you can do something there and then).

But to not advertise the fact you create customised products is such a wasted opportunity. One option is to have a generic version of what you customise (let's say a pet portrait) and then display it along with a sign saying something like 'Ask about my custom pet portraits'.

If you have an example of a previous commission, then it would be nice to also display this.

If someone shows interest in placing a custom order, work out how you want to approach this. The easiest would be through your Etsy shop, but that relies on the person bothering to follow up and place an order.

The best way is to get the customer's email address and then you instigate the follow-up. Since this is a Christmas fair and people will probably be desperate for last-minute gifts, also ensure that you take a calendar along. That will ensure you don't overbook yourself in a flurry of fair excitement!

Featured Stallholder - Dorset Team Christmas Market - Bradstocks of Dorset

Featured Stallholder for our Dorset Team Christmas Fair: Bradstocks of Dorset

Bradstocks is run by two families; Mark and Lorraine Goudge and Rob and Alice Hole who are all close friends. I can't wait to see their stall at the Christmas Fair as they not only sell the most beautiful handcrafted sheepskin products, but I love the story and heritage behind their brand. The sheepskin comes from sheep reared by Rob in Dorset and then are made into handcrafted products for the shop.

Rob Hole has famed Poll Dorset sheep with his father for most of his life and now has a flock of over 400 pedigree ewes. "Their existence is due to Rob’s grandfather the pioneering sheep farmer Bunny Lenthall who imported the very first Poll Dorset sheep from Australia back in the 1950’s and gave Rob’s parents their first pedigree Dorset sheep from his renowned ‘Bradstock flock’ situated on the beautiful Dorset coast line at Burton Bradstock as a wedding present!"

If you are looking for a gift for someone hard to buy for but who appreciates handcrafted, beautiful and unique products come along to the Christmas Fair and visit Bradstock of Dorset's stall. Bradstocks sells everything from iPad cases to bags and to womens and mens clothing all lovingly handmade locally.

Please see Bradstock of Dorset's online store here

For more information about our Dorset Team Christmas Fair please see our Facebook event page

The fair is at the Wimborne Allendale Centre and entry to the fair is free. There are 80 different stalls so is going to be a wonderful festive day out and there is something for everyone.

Please stop by, have a browse and support independent local businesses this Christmas!

Friday, 21 November 2014

Dorset Team Christmas Fair - Featured Stallholder - Sophia from Jessalli

photo 4_2.JPG
Sophia from Jessalli will be selling at our Dorset Team Christmas Fair in Wimborne. Sophia sells handmade and personalised soft furnishings and gifts. She runs both an online and bricks and mortar shop as well as selling at Craft Fairs around the country. This is a photograph of Sophia with the wonderful Kirstie Allsopp at the Handmade Fair in London. Behind you can see some examples of Sophia's work.
Beautiful personalised stockings by Sophia

Jessalli in Sophia's words:
"I started making things for family and friends. They used to place orders with me and it grew from there. I did small markets and the demand let me give up my job and do this full time. I'm totally inspired by the Dorset countryside and colour. I aim to make handmade gifts that can be treasured forever and suit a variety of styles. Personalised items should be heirlooms kept in the family for years to come."

Do you love Sophia's shop as much as we do?! Come along to the Dorset Team Christmas Fair on the 6th December to meet Sophia and take a look at her beautiful handmade products. As well as soft furnishings Sophia is also selling the most adorable Christmas cards! 

For more information about the fair please see our Facebook page:

To view Sophia's shop on Etsy please see here:

Collect email addresses

Christmas fair countdown tip
Collect email addresses

Part of the beauty of a craft fair is meeting (potential) customers face-to-face. It is the best way to get a real feel for if something works particularly well, and also what isn't quite so successful.

While meeting and chatting with people is undoubtedly a highlight, it is also a massive marketing opportunity. You can use it as a way to gather email addresses from interested parties and then keep them updated as to new products via newsletters.

You don't need anything fancy. Either print out forms for people to fill in, or ask customers if they would be interested in receiving newsletters in the future.

To sweeten the deal, you could set up a draw, where people have to email an address to be in with the chance of winning one of your items. If you do this, be sure to include an opt-out clause for if people do not want to receive further information from you.

While you are unlikely to gather thousands of addresses from one fair, over time you can build up a decent database for very little effort.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Create fair offers

Christmas fair countdown tip
Special fair offers

If you are selling items that you have also posted on Etsy, it's best to stick to the same prices as online. Otherwise a customer could look up your Etsy shop and wonder why they paid a different price for something.

However, there is nothing to stop you having a special fair offer. Maybe you take a leaf out of the high street store's books and have a 3 for 2 offer on one product. Or look at reducing price.

The key thing here is to make it obvious that it is a special offer just for the fair. It's also worth keeping it to only one type of product. If you start littering your stall with offer signs, it will look like Lidl's!

Dorset Etsy Team Christmas Fair - Featured Stallholder - Bahru Boutique

Featured Stallholder: Laura from Bahru Boutique


Laura makes handmade jewellery for the wild at heart! Perfect for someone who likes the great outdoors and boho, surfer style jewellery. Even her packaging is beautiful coming in little reusable boxes with scented rose petals!

Bahru Boutique in Laura's words:

"I'm inspired by the woods, the seas and the things in between!  Living in the great Dorset countryside, I can't help but be inspired by the nature surrounding me, and that I have grown up with.  British wildlife and summertime is at the heart of my designs, featuring dragonflies, honey bees, frogs, starfish and seahorses to name a few.  I also design jewellery with summer music festivals in mind, featuring bells, feathers and boho charms.  I began making jewellery when I worked in a craft shop age 16, now at 25 I have my own business making and designing jewellery that I love to wear!"

Laura will be selling at our Dorset Team Christmas Fair in Wimborne on the 6th December 2014. Entry to the fair is free and there will be 80 stalls full of beautiful vintage and handmade products.

Christmas fair information and event page:
Bahru Boutique:

We hope that you might be able to make the event but either way please take a look at Laura's shop, it has some beautiful jewellery which would make wonderful Christmas gifts.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Meet the Dorset Team Christmas Fair Stallholders - Jill from Trawler Studio

Hello everyone,

Thank you so much for reading our Dorset Team blog. We hope that you are enjoying the blog posts.

It has been wonderful to see over the last few weeks our Dorset Team Christmas Fair stallholders getting ready for the fair and the new products they have been making. 

One of the sellers who will be at the fair is Jill who runs a successful Etsy shop, Jilly Bird but has also launched her brand new company Trawler Studio this month and has already been featured in Country Living magazine! What an amazing start.

Meet the seller:

This is Jill, she lives in Bournemouth and her work is inspired by the beautiful Dorset coastline.

Trawler Studio: 

Trawler Studio is a beautiful online shop which sells sells homeware, clothing and prints. 

In Jill's words....

"Trawler is a lifestyle brand with one foot on the beach and the other in the sea. I’ve always lived on the coast so it seemed a logical step to make an Etsy store that reflected this and so Trawler was born. I love using natural materials like linen, wool, denim and cotton and enjoy the way they all improve with time. Trawler also allows me to skip from one discipline to another, one minute I’m printing mugs or drawing in my sketch book and the next I’ll be hand stitching or taking photographs. The Etsy platform is a perfect professional way for me to reach a global audience and at the same time stay connected to the other makers like me."

Jill will be selling her wares at the Dorset Team Christmas Handmade and Vintage Fair in Wimborne on Saturday 6th December. Entry to the fair is FREE. Please click the link above to find more information. There will be 80 stallholders and the fair is the first fair in Dorset to be sponsored by the global online marketplace so is going to be a good one and the perfect place to pick up unique Christmas gifts.

By coming to the fair you are supporting local independent businesses who take pride in their products and they are beautifully made and high quality. You also can chat away to the maker and find out more about their process and find out about how they got started.

Jill made this wonderful video showing the final stages of putting together her cushion covers:

Please be sure to take a look at Trawler Studio on Etsy which can be found HERE!
All information about our Christmas Fair is located HERE

Hope to see you at the Dorset Team Christmas Fair!

How much stock should you take to the fair?

Christmas fair countdown tip
How much stock should you take?

This is a tricky question to answer and whatever you decide, it will probably end up being too much! But of course, that's much better than running out of stock.

Start by ensuring you have a good range of items across all price ranges and include products that reflect your Etsy business. A stall is also an excellent opportunity to sell items you've made that you might have been nervous about posting.

One thing to bear in mind – don't be tempted to cram everything you take onto the stall. You can get away with just having one of something, but do ensure that if a customer shows interest in it that you engage with them and explain that you have other colours/sizes/ with you.

If you are paranoid about running out of stock, you could have a sign saying that you are taking orders. That way you can still make sales!

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Create an interactive display

Christmas fair countdown tip
Create an interactive display 

The beauty of exhibiting at a fair is that customers can see and touch your products. For some, this makes all the difference between just being interested in something and actually making a purchase.

If you sell items that can be worn or products that are used, such as smellies, then make sure people can try them out. Have tester pots ready for people to have a good sniff at, or help customers try on scarves or hats. Don't forget to take a mirror so people can see how spiffy they look.

And finally, if you do sell clothes, jewellery or accessories, make sure you are wearing your products. It's the best kind of advertisement! Also, if possible, take along some current projects to work on. Customers are interested to see how you work and it helps add interest to your stall.

Whatever you are working on, don't forget to post updates to the Facebook event page

Monday, 17 November 2014

Get inventive with display props

Christmas fair countdown tip
Get inventive with display props

It can be tricky finding the ideal vessels to hold your stall products. You'll probably find exactly what you need eventually, but that's not much good if you need them now!

So if the shops have let you down, you have two options. The first is to have a look around your house to find things. Maybe a side table could be turned into a nifty place to put a sculpture. How about turning a cake stand into somewhere to show off earrings?

The danger with this is that you risk ending up with a hodge podge of holders. Therefore stick with neutral colours or only use stuff that you are happy to paint for a coherant look.

The other option is to make your own. This doesn't have to be a major undertaking. If you just need somewhere to store something like badges or purses, get some cheap bowls and candlesticks from a pound shop, stick together to make a tiered arrangement and then use enamel spray to make it look like it has always been one piece.

Get used to ignoring the usage and colour of items and instead concentrate on the shape. You'll soon see display potential everywhere!

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Dorset Team Christmas Fair - Sellers Spotlight

With less than 3 weeks to go until our big Dorset Team Christmas Fair, we thought it would be a great idea to place some of the attending sellers in the spotlight!  A real way to get to know both the designer/creator and to also see some of their work.

Our first seller is Amy Lathwell from Daydream Avenue - In her own words;

Type of Items sold

Vintage style jewellery

How and why did you get started. What are your inspirations?

I started my first etsy shop 'Daydream Bridal' when I made my own hair accessories for my wedding. So many people commented on it and I loved making it, so I started making more to sell. I've always loved vintage estate style jewellery and soon started making jewellery that I felt could stand on their own as a brand in a separate shop, so Daydream Avenue was born!

Top 3 reasons to start an Etsy shop

Fantastic sense of self achievement and confidence when someone wants to pay money for something you've made!

Brilliant community.

Really easy to navigate and set up.

Top 3 tips for new sellers

Fill in your T & C and returns policy sections.

Clear, close up photographs with lots of natural light.

Learn about tag words and how to name your items well.

Description of shop:

Handmade jewellery inspired by bygone eras of elegance.Sparkly stones and sophisticated shapes lovingly put together.Lovely Art Deco and Art Nouveau pieces of jewellery.

Amy has two wonderful facebook pages;

Our second seller is Lynn Davy from Nemeton - In her own words;

Type of Items sold
 Handmade bead jewellery, kits and DIY beading tutorials

How and why did you get started?
 ‘How’ is very simple: I began playing with beads at the age of 10 and have never really stopped. ‘Why’ is more complex. I never really took to sewing and knitting, but stitching tiny beads together to make unique patterns and structures was (and still is) a process I found deeply satisfying right from the start. These days there are so many bead colours, shapes and finishes to choose from, there are always new designs to invent and new combinations to try.Sometimes I feel as though I’m still just starting out. The satisfaction, the delight and the sense of discovery are as fresh as ever!

What are your inspirations?

Many things inspire me. Colours, first and foremost, but also the landscape (I am fortunate to live in Dorset, a very beautiful English county) and the tiny details that can be observed in nature. Sometimes the beads themselves are all I need for inspiration, particularly handmade lampwork glass beads which are as varied and diverse as the people who make them.

Top 3 reasons to start an Etsy shop

1. Wanting to make my craft pay for itself

2. Wanting to share my designs with others
 3. Wanting to network with other designer-makers.

Top 3 tips for new sellers

1. Be patient, your shop won’t take off overnight

2. Network and promote to drive traffic to your shop, don’t wait for people to just randomly find you

3. Join a team so you don’t feel so isolated, and take all the good advice you’ll be given!

Description of shop:

I make colourful, unique, eclectic beaded jewellery by stitching together tiny seed beads. My patterns, kits and bead selections are designed to inspire beaders of all skill levels. 

Find Lynn on facebook

Brighton Etsy Sellers Pop Up Event

This week the Dorset Team takes a peek at what another Etsy UK Team are doing in the run up to Christmas.  Brighton Etsy Team are holding an amazing Pop Up Shop in Brighton Square, an absolute must if you are passing by!

The Brighton Etsy Sellers Team is made up of more than 600 local designer-makers who all sell their work via, a global online handmade marketplace. This November for the first time the team will be taking their products from online to a bricks and mortar shop in Brighton’s South Lanes for a month long Pop-up.
The 25 featured designers were picked from a long list of applicants by local creative duo Super+Super, who will be releasing their first craft books nationally this autumn. The team have been working with We Are Pop-up to find the location for the shop, and have also gained support from the Etsy head office. The shop will be open for four weeks in the run up to Christmas, with a wide variety of handmade and vintage items available; from prints, greetings cards and home furnishings, to jewellery, clothes, accessories and one-off unique finds. The shop will also be a creative hub for the month, with workshops and crafty activities taking place, and the chance to meet the designers behind the gifts you buy this festive season.Team captain Karli Dendy says; ‘We’re excited to bring what we do online to a wider, local audience; to a place where people can physically see and hold the products that we all spend so much time designing and making. The shop is going to have a huge variety of items and will be a perfect opportunity to find a unique gift in the run up to Christmas’. To find out more about the pop up you can visit the team blog

The Dorset Team New Items

We are fortunate enough to have so many talented and creative members of our team.  Each week we will take a look at the newest items that have been listed on the Etsy store from our wonderful group.

With many of our team members getting ready for our Dorset Christmas Fair on Saturday 6th December, we have a few new items to share with you all!

The wonderful Lynn Davy from Nemeton has created these beautiful Kabuki, none matching Earrings.

If you would like to see some more items that the Dorset Team has to offer, click here

Use colours in your display

Christmas fair countdown tip
Use colours in your display 

Colour is a powerful tool. It can affect and enhance mood and so is an important consideration when planning your stall.

If your logo uses colour, then you already have a template for which hues to pick. But even if this is the case, don't be afraid to use a different colour if it enhances your products.

Although white is always a safe bet, it might not actually be doing you any favours if your products have lots of white in them. Rather than pop, they will instead blend with the background. Maybe try a mid-dark grey. You'd be surprised at how it will recede while the colours in your products come to the fore.

And if you have a neutral grey (ie one that isn't cool or warm), then it can happily be teamed with any other colour without clashing.

There's no harm in changing the colour used on your stall from fair to fair, as long as you do keep brand cohesion with things such as logos and general styling. Maybe keep your table cover the same colour each time, but alter the colour of your containers.

If you do fancy dabbling in colour, the good news is that it's really easy to paint on pretty much anything these days. Annie Sloan's chalk paint is manna from heaven for anyone who can't be bothered to sand and prime surfaces. Just paint it on and you're away! Alternatively Rustoleum's Painter's Touch spray is easy to use and is suitable for all conditions – great if you are planning on exhibiting outside.

So don't always plump for the vanilla option – there's a whole world of colour to explore!

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Get more stall for your buck

Christmas fair countdown tip
Get more stall for your buck

It can be a dark art trying to fit all of your products onto your stall, so while there is still some time left, have a think about going vertical.

By introducing some height to a stall, you not only give yourself more room to display items, but you can give yourself a better way to display them. There's nothing wrong with having people flick through a box of paintings, but hanging those same paintings really shows them to their best advantage.

You don't need to be a DIY genius to add a bit of height, either. Obviously you can get busy with building bespoke shelving, but a bookcase picked up from a charity shop works just as well. Or something like two bedside cabinets on either side of the stall with a shelf between them will drastically improve your display space.

Two vital things to remember, though. If you plan on doing fairs in the future, don't make anything that will only work with the 6ft x 2ft measurement we've been given for the Christmas fair. Just in case somewhere else has totally different tables.

Secondly, ensure that whatever you use is rock solid. If you are stacking boxes on top of each other, take along a cordless screwdriver and some screws to keep them together.

The easiest solution to anchoring props is to use clamps. Places like Screwfix or even Amazon sell them and they really don't cost much.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Be descriptive

Christmas fair countdown tip
Be descriptive

When selling online, a golden rule is to leave the customer in no doubt as to what an item is. So we all take loads of photos to portray texture, size, detail and use.

While the first three of these are obvious when a product is being seen in the flesh, it doesn't hurt to still deal with the final one.

Not everyone feels comfortable asking questions, and so including a few words to describe what a product is does no harm. It doesn't have to be anything more than something like 'Liberty fabric bunting'. You can do this on your price tags if there's room.

Also, if your product has a specific use, demonstrate it. If that is impossible, consider using photos to show it in action. Hopefully you can use images you have taken to put on your Etsy shop, and it all helps the customer visualise how they can use the item in their own home. A cushion looks lovely on a stall, but an image showing a bunch of cushions on a beautiful sofa sells the lifestyle!

And shall we just ignore the fact that there are only three weeks left to go?!

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Take stock of your stock

Christmas fair countdown tip
Review your stock

By now, you should have a firm idea (or at least a very good idea) of what you are going to be selling at the Christmas fair.

While it is tempting to forget about the world and just get stuck into creating, it's worth taking a few minutes to review your products.

When you decided what to take, you no doubt considered the audience. Take a fresh look at your products – will everything appeal to them? You don't need us to tell you that gifts and Christmas decorations are winning items!

One other important area to review is your pricing. Have you got items to cover all price ranges? If you can make products for a low price point (without losing money), then ensure you take some along. Spreading your price points will only widen your potential audience, so it's certainly worth doing.