Monday, 26 March 2012

How to present a lock of hair?

I was really proud of myself with some pendants I made last week so I thought I would show them off on my blog. The request was for a lock of hair to be encased within a resin pendant, tied with a pretty ribbon along with a small pink flower.

Now bearing in mind that the pendant measures about one inch by one inch in size and my ribbon tying skills haven’t been practiced for some time, I think I did quite well with them! The hardest part was tying the ribbon around the lock of hair because I do not have the nimblest of fingers. For the flower, I used miniature flowers that I also use for my name on rice jewellery.

I think I did the locks of hair proud, what do you think?

Lock of hair keepsake jewellery

The really sad news this week is that I have noticed our local crafts shop, ‘Kim’s Crafts’ in Hinckley is closing down. The shop has been serving the local crafting community for the last seven years and it is so sad to see it go. It is far more than just a shop as the extremely friendly are always willing to offer advice and the shop also put on plenty of demonstrations throughout the week. I am not sure where I will go now for my supplies and the visit into town will not be the same again. I do hope Kim opens up another store locally so that I can still have my weekly fix.

If you would like to see more pictures of my lock of hair keepsake jewellery, please visit my hair keepsake jewellery gallery.

Mick

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Promoting Handmade Crafts on Facebook

A Facebook business page is an effective way of not only meeting potential customers of our crafts, it can also be used as a tool for keeping in contact with past customers. The use of Facebook business pages as a marketing tool for promoting handmade crafts can be extremely valuable and I hope the following will help to show how effective it can be.

Facebook business page for handmade crafts

I started my Shpangle Jewellery Facebook page for my jewellery business about a year ago, and to be honest I didn’t realise how effective it could be and pretty much left it alone. Within a very short period of time I noticed my customers were starting to follow the page and after a while this number grew to the level it is today; almost 550 followers, the majority of which are my customers.

Promoting handmade crafts on Facebook

I strongly believe that all forms of social media have their place in the marketing of our handmade crafts. In fishing terms, it isn’t necessarily the rod that you use, but the type of bait and of course, patience. I relate the likes of Twitter to fly-fishing; you whip your line in and out of the stream with the attempt of catching that Salmon. Whilst Facebook on the other hand, is a bit like being a Trawlerman; you cast your net into the deep ocean and over time it begins to fill.

The Benefits of Promoting Handmade Crafts on Facebook

In my mind the use of Facebook as a marketing tool for promoting crafts has the following benefits over other forms of social media marketing.

1) It is extremely visual. Pretty much all of our crafts are visual and often a photograph speaks a thousand words. With Facebook and the use of product photographs and related text it is fairly easy to build up a pictorial story of your work and portfolio of your handmade goods. Generally, people like to see photographs rather than short snippets of text.

2) It has longevity. A product photograph or announcement posted onto the wall stays there and remains there for all to see for days, months and years! Quite often I have discovered comments made on photographs and other announcements made many weeks after the initial event.

3) Communicating to the masses. Rather than having a conversation with just one person it is clear and easy to communicate to several people simultaneously. It is very much like having a newsletter with which the recipients can give instant feedback. For example, I often post details about new product releases and quite often get immediate feedback from people asking for further information.

4) Other business pages. It only takes one happy customer to recommend your product or services on another popular business/organisation Facebook page and before you know it your page has become popular amongst people who have a genuine interest in your product.

5) My customers are there. With over 30 million UK Facebook users (half of the UK population) and the majority of them using it every day, Facebook has a huge reach! The other great thing about Facebook, is that it covers such a wide spectrum of people, ages and interests.

6) It is dynamic. A Facebook business page is similar to a website; it says a lot about you and your products, but has the benefit of forever changing. I often receive customer testimonials left on my Facebook page rather than my website.

How to get more followers to your Facebook Page

Personally I would focus on natural likes for a Facebook business page rather than just likes for the sake of having numbers. I would rather have a few people who engage with my content than hundreds that don’t and these natural followers will have an interest in what I have to say!

Getting more Facebook followers

Yes, there are plenty of methods out there for enticing followers but there is no point if they do not have any interest; you really want people who have an interest in your business and share your content with others, and generally spread the word!

Some methods of making it easier for people who have an interest in your business to find you on Facebook include:

1) Add Facebook buttons to your website and blog.
2) Connect your twitter and Facebook feeds together so that they are updated simultaneously.
3) Specify your Facebook page link on emails, business cards and related forum signatures.
4) Post fresh informative content regularly to your page.
5) Post a signature to your Facebook page on other related Facebook walls.
6) Always interact with your audience and acknowledge comments etc.

I hope you find that useful and for anybody considering setting up a Facebook business page; please give it a go, as like me you may be pleasantly surprised with the results.

If you have any other comments or suggestions on how best to utilise Facebook for promoting our crafts please let me know.

Mick

Monday, 12 March 2012

Cat Bookmark from Cute Kids Clocks

Last week I was informed by Jenna over at Cute Kids Clocks blog that I had won her blog giveaway! How exciting! It is not very often I get to win something and I was given the choice of a handmade animal bookmark or keyring. I decided on having a cat bookmark so that I could give it to my daughter; she loves both reading and cats so thought it would be appropriate for her.

The cat bookmark arrived a couple of days ago and I was initially impressed by how beautifully packaged and presented it was, complete with a handmade card that Jenna also sells from her website.

Cute Kids Designs
The Cat bookmark itself is made from hand-stitched felt; it is beautifully stitched and is lightly stuffed. The attention to detail is immense from the stitched ribbon to the decorative spiral of the wire fastener. My daughter loves it, to such an extent that she didn’t want to take it to school in case she damaged it!

Cat Bookmark
Please visit Cute Kids Clocks website to see her range of handmade gifts and homewares, including her range of children’s clocks that are again all hand-stitched, fun and colourful.

Thank you again Jenna!

Mick

Monday, 5 March 2012

Messages of Hope Necklaces

My first sale of jewellery from my online shop in 2012 was actually on New Year’s Day, when a gentleman purchased a necklace for his partner. I remember it well as I noticed at the time that the delivery address on the invoice was different to the billing address and that I had asked him if he wanted it gift wrapping.

A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by the same lady who had received the pendant. She firstly thanked me for the necklace however then informed me that her partner had sadly lost his fight to a brain tumour earlier that week.

She wanted to thank the nurses from the hospice that had looked after her partner by giving them some of my jewellery. Obviously I was honoured and we decided that I would make name on rice necklaces for them. Each of the necklaces would contain the word ‘Hope’ written onto a single grain of rice and that I would make them all different with the inclusion of flowers, glitter and various other sparkly things!

So here are all fifteen of the hope necklaces that I made for the nurses at the hospice; I hope they like them!

Name on rice jewellery
Hope jewellery
Hope necklaces
If you would like to see more of my name on rice jewellery and perhaps read about how they are made, please visit my name on rice jewellery website page.

Mick