Juicy Customer Segment


 Many craftspeople are convinced there is no money out there , but it still exists and here is a rich pocket who are more than prepared to spend.

Image

SOCIAL BACKGROUND

This is the illustration that Grayson Perry did for the latest RA magazine, in it he depicts the typical  visitor to the Royal Academy summer exhibition. Heartlands British upper middle class.

Do these people buy art ? Is the Pope Catholic? You bet they buy art . The RA takes 30% commission, back in  2003  they were already making two million pounds from the show. These people buy and buy, they have London flats, country houses and seaside places and in each they want to express their immaculate up to date good taste.

Don’t imagine the rich aren’t still with us, they are still there, a bit more discreet, and so over their  bling years.  Now they Care. They buy handmade, they buy craft, they have craft every where. And when they havent had time to buy the real thing from an individual maker, they buy it fake from Cath Kidson 

 They want to play happy families and create idyllic memories. Rock, Southwold, Newport holidayers whose children go to boarding school and are looked after by au pairs. Mothers who work desperately hard to keep it all running and sit in their offices and feel guilty that their families are not being nurtured.  They hanker for  handmade because it represents time and that is what they havent got.

GENDER

Handmade craft buyers are predominantly female.  Even if he pays, the motivation to buy is female.

AGE

They are females of all ages, but largely twenties to fifties The young female buyers are the surprise, but its easy to see what is going on, it’s all  about nesting. The rental flat gets decked out in handmade, weekends are  all  cupcakes and tea dresses. They drool over Kirstie Allsops Handmade Britain

WHY ARE THEY BUYING?

It’s a mutation of  the naughties’ spirituality search, it’s trying  to find value, not financial value, but emotional value.

 The threat of losing your job, even if you do it well, is disheartening, the need to stay in a unfufilling job is also emptying, long hours drain energy. There is never enough time to do what you need to do, let alone to be who you want to be.

 There seem to be a group of people who stand outside these miseries, the people who live simply and make by hand.  Your customer  is wanting to buy into your world. They want to live your life vicariously.

HOW TO BENEFIT FROM  THIS CUSTOMER CATEGORY

Here are the rules you need

 NICE PLUMP PRICES

 This customer category expects  them,  they think buy cheap, buy junk

 SIMPLE LOW FLAT RATE POSTAGE

 They splash the cash but are mean about postage as they know the real cost

      SHOW PICTURES OF YOUR LIFE STYLE

      Pander to their fantasy

        MAKE YOUR SITE FEMININE

These buyers are almost all women

MAKE YOU WRITING STYLE FRIENDLY BUT BRIEF.

        Share your life, they aspire to it, blog if possible but in small helpings

      LET EVERYTHING LOOK HANDMADE

       Handwrite, don’t print , be personal;  no business speak

      MAKE CHOOSING UNCOMPLICATED, FORGET CUSTOM  MADE

     They are time poor, if they want something custom-made they will ask for it

 MAKE THE BUYING PROCESS SIMPLE

Online use PayPal or similar try not to use selling sites with lengthy sign ins for customers

BE VERY, VERY POSITIVE

They are buying into an ideal don’t spoil it

HOW WELL DOES YOUR PRODUCT FIT?

Heavy on nostalgia works well

MAKE SOMETHING PRACTICAL

So that it can be  bought guiltlessly as a household necessity

 £45 tea cosy made by Sarah Hancox of A Very British Affair nobody aims at the target group better

YOUR SCORE

How good are you at attracting this group of buyers?   How well do you fit in?  Give yourself one point for every one of the above  you do okay and two points for each one you do very well.

Any thing over 12 and you have this licked, under 7 and you’re in trouble, get it sorted if you want to attract this juicy part of the market

Links to places that are  on message for this customer segment

Selvedge Magazine this is their own shop

Little a Designs online website

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47 thoughts on “Juicy Customer Segment

  1. nadine says:

    Morning Dixie,

    i have read over and over almost everything that you have said to everyone and all the advice you have given, but im still struggling as to how i can make this work for me. I started my business about 8 weeks ago and since then i have had a few customers mainly from facebook and a couple from a ladies business networking group, but i am making no money to live off. I make home decorative items and specialise in indoor wreaths. I understand these are not a “need” item for the home but rather a “want” item. I only ever use top quality materials and i pay a lot of attention to detail, but i am struggling with how to get market to customers who are willing to pay a higher price for these rather than most of the customers who see my work and love it but then say they cant afford it. I live on the north west coast of the uk which money wise really isnt doing mush for people now with a fair amount of unemployment and so on. I just dont know where to start to gain new customers and plenty of them who are ready to pay my prices and how to market to them…. this is my only job right now and im a single mother so i really need to make this work and make a living. Ive also had a new idea on rebranding as i know my brand right now is weak and im making a new range of items aimed at business women…again totally lost of where to go to find the customers i need….

    thank you
    Nadine

    • Dixie Nichols says:

      Nadine of course you are not making money yet, its such early days

      You have lots of likes on your Facebook page which is great, although I think you have been targeting other hand makers there which is not logical, you need to seek customers not other makers.

      Also anyone who wants to buy has to struggle to get the information they need. Every time you picture a product- and that means every single picture of that product- you MUST say Price, dimensions, materials, how to buy.

      Also you need to look round for an online shop you can take part in, so then you can direct interested customers there. There is a list here http://ukhandmade.co.uk/onlinedirectory to start looking. Do some proper research before you commit.

      I think you are right your locality isn’t helping but nor will putting your prices down to what they can afford. Therefore you have two options: online or travel to fairs.

      Think where your friends live and if you could stay with them to do a fair. Look at your rivals which fairs do they attend each year as they will only do that if they are selling. I know there is a problem as the sort of fairs that will support your prices cost a lot to take part, that’s why people try to get started online but that needs feeding with face to face customers.

      Everything in getting going is really difficult, but it is not impossible, you mustn’t get resentful and you have to just go on hacking away at the selling NOT the making.

      You must also be realistic, read the post on will your business succeed to see if you really are in the right place for this to have a chance of working Its here https://handmadelives.wordpress.com/2011/11/05/quiz-will-you-make-it-as-a-self-employed-creative/

      The good news is its not your product that looks good. Don’t diversify just make them sell. Another possibility ( and I am no expert on this) see if you can get a development grant to help you through this year being in the NW might actually help with that. Talk to any local arts organisations to see if they know of anything

  2. Mandy says:

    Hi Dixie

    Having been made redundant 18 months ago and with a very sick husband at the time, I re-trained so that I knew how to make jewellery PROPERLY. I’ve been selling now for a year, and find craft fairs too expensive to make much of a profit, and my stuff is just lost on Etsy!

    I had this one customer at a craft fair a few months ago who commissioned me to make a bracelet for her, and when I met her for a coffee to deliver the completed bracelet, we got talking, and she took me into a boutique she likes a few doors down from the coffee shop.

    That has resulted in me doing a big order for them and they have said they will order regularly! Fantastic News! They like my price points, they say… but I think I may need to put my prices up…

    We are starting a new life shortly as my husband has now recovered, and we’re moving to the West Country…

    Do you have any thoughts? I have a facebook page, and my own website….

    Thanks

    Mandy

    • Dixie Nichols says:

      Mandy you have had a tough old time and its not about to get easier as you are moving and trying to get a young business going.

      You are making some very nice things but you dont have a recognisable style yet and you are dramatically under pricing. The first will come with time but you should edit your offer online to the pieces you are most proud of. Remake older pieces which you feel you could improve on.

      I am concerned about that Boutique how do they know they are going to order regularly until they have begun to sell your pieces?. Did they buy the pieces or are they on sale or return? Its very easy for them to squeeze you on price, get stock for free, with lots of promises, get you to invest in materials and they reap any rewards and none of the risk. Be careful its great to be upbeat but you have to always remember that NOTHING IS AS GOOD AS YOU THINK, OR AS BAD .

      I am always saying this but I think you should go for a few good pieces which you tell the story of making, you work and rework until you are utterly delighted then you spend real time promoting that piece and trying to find a gallery or a buyer, you stay on its case until it is sold. What you need to understand is as you are working with expensive materials you can easily destroy your chances by making and selling lots if you under price. Sales do not equal profit unless your price is right. Sales can actually cost you your business.

      I think a Facebook shop and Etsy are too downmarket for where you should place yourself. I would kill the Facebook shop but just put prices on work you picture there, if people want to buy it they will say so. I like your pictures but you do need at least one shot of the jewellery being worn as any customer wants to see how it hangs on the body.I would look at sites like Made by hand or UK Handmade and look for West Country Craft Associations also look at Craftfinder (which is free at the moment) but don’t make a move until you have totally overhauled your prices.

      • Mandy says:

        Wow! I’ve read and re-read your comments. I totally get what you mean. I hadn’t really thought about finding my style but I know you are right. I will act on your comments. Incidentally the boutique bought from me, they didn’t even ask to do sale or return. My ‘special’ customer came to the craft fair last Saturday, and bought a few more pieces, she suggests that Etsy is rather like a bad advert as I’ve only sold 10 pieces…
        You have given me lots to think about, and boosted my confidence about my craft.
        I will think, and change things…. and let you know.
        Thank you so much!
        Mandy

  3. Leisure Time says:

    I am concerned that due to the length of time it takes me to create and make an appliquéd cushion that I’m not even making minimum wage. Having said that if I was to charge material costs plus a decent hourly rate that I might price myself out of the market.

    For example the breed affix cushion took just over seven hours including the time it took draw up the alphabet / Miniature Pinscher templates, cut out each letter and the breed silhouette. Obviously now that I have created these templates the next cushion shouldn’t take as long to make.

    http://folksy.com/shops/LeisureTime

    Sue

    • Dixie Nichols says:

      Sue I am afraid it is hideously simple. Either you summon up the courage to charge the right price and see if it sells, or you simplify your design to allow it to be sold at a lower price.
      You cannot indulge your love of making at the cost of making a living. There is absolutely no way round that.
      I am just writing a post about confidence. It’s called a Craftsperson’s Coat of Arrogance that could really help you to make the next step. It should be online by this evening. Come back and tell me if it helps as I would really like to know.

      • Leisure Time says:

        I don’t want to simplify my designs because I feel my designs are unique and that is what makes them stand out from the numerous designs already available within the hand crafted market.

        I will pop back this evening and hopefully your post about confidence will allay my fears.

        Sue

      • Dixie Nichols says:

        That’s fine but then you must also charge the price for that, if you find it is not achievable you will have no choice but re think. If you are needing to charge a lot more than other sellers on Folksy and you don’t make sales there try more expensive Market places before you despair. Good luck

  4. Marion Hancock says:

    Hi Dixie, hello from Dublin. I’m not exactly in the craft realm as I’m publishing greeting cards by a range of Irish artists, but I think what you say has general relevance. So far all my marketing has been in Ireland but I’m wondering if maybe those blonde ladies in Waitrose would also like our cards….thanks for a great blog. Marion

    • Dixie Nichols says:

      Marion no member of the Juicy Segment would go online to buy just one card they would buy sets though They want to solve problems when they buy and so if you did a set cards by Irish Artists for the males in your life you might do quite well.

      There is really no reason to restrict your market to Ireland, surely America is the obvious place to target. They also seem to have started to buy again, at least that is my experience. What you need to do is to use a flat rate postage for all. I do that on a win some, loose some basis. For me £3.00 wherever you live, what ever you buy, works. Sometimes its not quite enough, other times its more than cost.

      • Pete Moncrieff-Jury says:

        I’d agree with the American aspect. I sell through Artfire (Etsy is a no brainer for me. Too big, too much trash..(sorry for sounding bigoted) and I have sold all sorts from darning mushrooms to wedding goblets. Each time I ask myself “can’t they get these things in the states or am I selling too cheaply?” Also though the PayPal accounts are predomantly in a man’s name the buyer is female.
        Pete (Bodrighywood)

      • Dixie Nichols says:

        Pete I think the distances across America are are so huge and the internal postal costs are so high they dont think twice about buying from the UK and Paypal takes it in their currency. I used to have a paralell website in dollars but I found they bought anyway even when it was priced in pounds.
        I agree about Etsy and it is ridiculously understaffed so you are pretty much on your own on there.

  5. Jayne Rozario says:

    I cant believe I have found you. you are fantastic. But I have to go now and come back with more time! Points that stick in my mind are; Being consistently confident on pricing,looking for the right venues and keeping things simple instead of trying to please everyone. You are concentrating my mind and reining my thoughts back in, which is great. Thank you.

    • Dixie Nichols says:

      Jayne thank you for all your encouraging comments I can never have too many!

      I have looked at your facebook and website and surely you already know what I am going to say WHERE ARE YOUR PRICES?

      All that hard work and all you are doing is persuading people that they can’t afford your pieces.

      The people who will buy your work are the people who admire it. If you admire something you assume it is out of your price range unless you are rich, in which case you are short of time and want an instant answer and feel you might be a bit too amateur for them to be bothered to deal with.

      People are shy. Especially people with not much spare cash, they fear the embarrassment of being told a price which is way beyond them. Custom made means lots of talking and many people are uncertain about what would suit them and what they are getting themselves into. Those people will buy from you, but it needs to be a ready made piece. It doesn’t need to be cheap they will save up or wait until some cash comes their way but they won’t engage with you.

      I bet most of your business is coming from word of mouth and the reason for that is people tell each other what they paid and you were friendly and helpful.

      The tone and liveliness of your Facebook page is perfect, your pieces are good, but need some more description and PRICES. I realise there are issues of a bride not wanting to tell the world what she spent, so don’t name her…Its not rocket science

      KEEP CALM CARRY ON AND PUT IN THE PRICES

      • Jayne Rozario says:

        Hi Dixie, Thank you for taking the time to look at my website and face book. I really value what you say. I will get to work on the prices, I think some of it is having the conviction to print it, in case you frighten people off, but as you say, I can see, now, that I am doing that anyway!
        I struggle with descriptions because I dont feel very good at English, but some days it flows better than others, so I will just choose a good day!
        Thanks again Dixie, I will be looking out for you!

      • Dixie Nichols says:

        Jayne not wordy descriptions, basic facts that you can’t get from the photo, dimensions materials- for example is your wire silver coloured? plated? solid?

        Don’t put suggestions about why people might want to buy as that actually limits rather than expands your market. For example perfect for mothers day -not so perfect if your mother is dead.

        Avoid the arty, poetic and sales talk; just be factual

  6. mrsmcindoe says:

    Really great information, thank you. I did a mini survey of people who bought or seriously considered buying at the last craft fair I did and all of them were the same – 30s/40s, Boden for the weekend, mid length maintained blonde hair, and shopping, shopping, shopping!Gifts for friends and family to show their shopping ethics (handmade, uk made, local, designer/maker). So very interesting to read your advice on how to appeal to these lovely people some more!

    • Dixie Nichols says:

      O Well said Mrsmcindoe! Very well observed and when you think that maintained blond hair costs around £800 a year then you realise these people have money to spill. You are so right their gifts are a declaration of who they are. A sort of aesthetics bidding war.
      Essentially they are crafts foodies. Such a fabulous good time for craftspeople to be selling if you aim straight.Which you do.

  7. Karen Nelson says:

    Great advice, I always find it hard to price items and worry that customers might not want to pay for said articles. Also the longer things go unsold the more the inclination to drop the prices. I will review my website taking your advice into account and hopefully generate some more sales.

    • Dixie Nichols says:

      O Karen PUT YOUR PRICES UP I looked up your Folksy store and there you are offering a baby cardigan for £16.50 but its machine made equivalent sells on Boden for £28. What can I say?
      Yours is individual, handmade and charming theirs is pretend all of those.

      Everyone feels when stock sticks that is because no one wants it But you can go through a fair where every one picks the same thing up, says its lovely, but buys something else. They liked it, but did not have a use for it.

      Lowering the price only works if the price was the reason it didnt sell. You must value your stock, you need it to sell the item that they take. If you more or less give it away you devalue what you have and have to replace it as you can’t sell without it. What I am saying is items that havent sold are valuable to you, even if they do not sell.

      You are making really nice things, you are presenting them well and then YOU ARE GIVING THEM AWAY

      Please do some research on line look for the middle class shop equivalent of what you are offering and see what it sells for. Your prices are SHOCKINGLY low and are probably putting people off. How can I buy an apliqued patchwork cushion for £15? It looks good in the photo but must actually made of nasty materials and made in sweat shop. I want only wholesome things about my baby. I would not buy him a cushion for anything under £32 and even then think I am ripping off the maker.

      Prices as low of yours are about your lack of confidence in yourself read my Crafter Types post, have a laugh, then a think and then man up.

      • Karen Nelson says:

        Thanks ever so much for your reply, it has really instilled confidence in my work and I shall take your advice

      • fiona says:

        Hi Karen, it doesn’t matter if it hasn’t sold at this price yet..if it wasn’t seling at the cheaper price either, at least you are now valuing and pricing your work properly. My stuff doesn’t sell all the time and I’m often tempted to drop prices but when it does sell, I congratulate myself on holding fast. You should put everything in your shop up so it looks coherent. If I could knit, I’d be ditching everything except the clothes and knitting like a loon, doing varitions on the jumper, it’s so great!! Sorry to sound so bossy but your work is so lovely and deserves to valued correctly and you deserve to be paid properly.

    • fiona says:

      Karen, I don’t know if you will see this but I’ve just looked at your site and seen your prices. Now, as a fellow artist & someone who struggled/struggles with pricing properly, I know how awful it can feel to do. But I actually feel upset having looked at your work..for instance, the 3 piece pink baby set, and boys jumper, and seeing how you have priced them. Seriously, you should be asking for 3 times the price. They are very wonderful and will sell at three times the price. Please, please go and change your prices or I won’t be able to sleep tonight. Over and out..

      • Karen Nelson says:

        Thanks for your comments Fiona I will follow your advice on this and see how things go. I did try this before on another item that you looked at but alas still did not sell said item. But I can only try it and see what happens

  8. annabelsglassdesigns says:

    Very useful blog, thank you. I too struggle with pricing, not having much money myself. Getting my painted glassware in a shop has helped me get a more realistic idea of the price customers will pay. I do custom pet portraits but you’re right in that I’ve sold more display pet portraits than requests for custom ones!

    So should I concentrate on doing different breeds for sale and not push custom portraits?

    • Dixie Nichols says:

      Yes I think so, its far more efficient. I think you should do coaster sets as well of mixed dogs or cats

      . I do think when you click though on a product because you like it and are thinking about buying it, it is very off putting for the seller to suggest you might like something different.

      • annabelsglassdesigns says:

        Dixie
        Thank you for that advice, it hadn’t occurred to me I might put customers off mentioning I also do custom paintings on a listing. I will go and amend that, my broadband hasn’t been working for the last 4 hrs so on tomorrows to do list!

        I like the idea of coaster sets too.
        Thanks again Annabel

  9. freespiritdesigns says:

    thanks for the great ideas in this post Dixie, i’m glad to have found your blog and will definitely visit again. Have liked your facebook page too! :)

    • Dixie Nichols says:

      Thank you Freespirit you are looking pretty young female heartland buyer already. Why dont you make up a picnic hamper with a two people mix of your products with a lovely fat price Might work.

  10. Lisa says:

    Great reading. Read it at a time I was thinking of reducing my prices (including my minimum wage!) but I will now leave as they are. I have always had the same intentions but where and how do you find your ideal customers??

    • Dixie Nichols says:

      Smart question

      Try the Selvedge fairs relatively affordable and ultra middle class

      Also try for some free magazine coverage.

      Pick your magazine, find their round-up section, and try to get a product included with an online buying point. I would suggest your Harry cushion as being the right match for this market but offer to make one up with whatever the magazine would like written But re-photo the Harry cushion in a beach hut or some other middle class background before you offer it. Look though the magazine to pick up on the look they favour. Glossy monthly mags work 4 months ahead. One product one magazine, dont send to more than one at a time.

      if you get editorial and you probably will, make a display board of the coverage for fairs.

      • Lisa Galvan Reyes says:

        Thank you for your advice Dixie. Can I ask why you picked the Harry cushion for the magazine market? Are magazines looking for a particular product, something unusual or a product that will appeal to everyone? Sorry to question you further but this business is fairly new to me so to find someone with sound and constructive advice is what I need at the moment.

      • Dixie Nichols says:

        Lisa You are welcome to ask as much as you like as long as I can keep up I am happy to answer.

        I picked the Harry cushion for the market that I am describing in the article not specificly for magazines. Magazines like any thing that is relevant to their readers and which hasn’t been seen everywhere. Those round ups have to favour a certain number of advertisers – however subtle the connection, the link is there. And they like to bring something new to the table something they can show some editorial choice over.

        If you put the product in their hands with a simply written info sheet. They are more than likely to use it. It makes the writer look as if she ( probably will be a she) have done a bit of research and have some connections.

  11. Made In Manchester says:

    Oh Dixie, you’re absolutely right! I find it very hard to remember that I’m not my ideal customer. If I saw my stuff in a shop, I wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) be able to afford it! But there are rich folk out there; it’s just a question of finding them and prising their Mulberry wallets open! Off to take a long hard look at my prices and shop.

  12. Pete Moncrieff-Jury says:

    I have to say I pretty much agree with everything you have saud. My problem is the same as a lot of crafters, undervaluing my own work. Most of my work is bought by women though I hadn’t thought about it until you mentioned it. I do make a fair bit of ‘practical stuff’ with an eye to making it different and atractive but find that making is so much easier than selling. Starting out with little or no capital I find the investment in the larger fairs and markets beyond me at the moment but perhaps need to re-asses my prices and take a step back and look again at what I produce. Thank you fro a thought provoking article

    pete (Borighy Wood)

    • Dixie Nichols says:

      Pete Exactly “MAKING IS SO MUCH EASIER SELLING” that’s the whole point. That slogan should be slung across workrooms up and down the land. And in the case of potters it should be tatooed on their hands. That is the absolute nub.

      I looked at your wood pieces on Art Fire http://www.artfire.com/ext/shop/studio/bodrighywood and they are masterful.

      I thought you sometimes narrow your market unintentionally by calling the little pot the tooth fairy pot you cut out other uses, I might use it for earings. For the same reason never define your buyers ie “Connoisseurs of rustic …”

      In order to have a presence at the more expensive fairs trawl exhibitor lists and see if there is a small exhibitor there that you could approach to put a few expensive pieces on their stand on a commission basis or share the stand even if it is a third two thirds split.

  13. Sangeetha says:

    Dear Dixie,
    Great article. Very valuable tips. The rules you have stated seem really practical and I am sure they will work for any craft and any setup. Will definitely apply them for my crochet business and adapt them for the Indian market. I agree with you that there is definitely a market out there for quality handmade goods.

    • Dixie Nichols says:

      Glad you liked it Sangeetha.

      You shouldn’t think just of the Indian market your pieces are easy to post you should be thinking of the English speaking market as that is who you are reaching on the internet.

      So do include some pictures of your home and town on your blog occasionally as what is everyday to you is very different and interesting to readers from outside India.

      Think of it this way, people engage with the place, then with you, then with your craft, then the product and then they might BUY

      • Sangeetha says:

        Oh Dixie! Spot on as usual. I will definitely keep a “global” vision in mind now. Thank you once again for your great tip. Regards

  14. A VERY BRITISH AFFAIR says:

    Dixie – thank you, I really don’t know what to say – It seems you have been able to collate and articulate all the jumble of thoughts about my own target market I have had since I first started making stuff I hoped others would like!

    I am frequently torn between making stuff to sell – diversifying, and making things I would like to buy myself. Every time I try to make something even slightly outside my ‘comfort zone’ for want of a better description – I find I am disappointed and dissatisfied; something always instinctively pulls me back. I don’t think this is necessarily a conscious thing – I guess I just know what I like, and just can’t bring myself to make something I’m not happy with.

    I think I know my market but currently am not making sufficient effort to target them specifically,
    I will thoroughly study your post – and plan accordingly and more strategically, I am finally(!) planning my first, carefully chosen and targetted craft event.

    Despite encouragement from friends to just get out there, I have always felt there is no point trying to flog your wares to people who clearly are not in a position to buy – it can be soul destroying, particularly when you work full time and have very little to spare. Hopefully this Christmas event at East Bridgeford Hill http://www.fabulousfairs.co.uk/ will be right for me – I would love to know what you think if you have the time to check it out.

    Thank you once again for your support and encouragement, it really is both appreciated and valued and I am looking forward to reading others experiences and views on this target market.

    • Dixie Nichols says:

      The fair looks bang on target. But I dont like the fact there are no entry costs or stand costs up on their site. That should be there . You need to get the daily figures on visitors from last year’s fair. Those pictures could all be the launch party of invited guests.

      You need to differentiate yourself from the others who will all be great marketers. Make a 2 min video of the dogs full of your product placement of your work and put it on a loop. People will stop at your stall to watch because of DOG LOVE and then you can get to work on them.

      You have to make what pleases you, but do think categories of what you make, jewellery is overflowing and is seen as a indulgent buy, but posh home stuff is more allowable hence the cushion mania.

      Totally crucial is to collect people’s emails, dream up something they will want, in fact here is a more than brilliant idea, get the dogs to write a newsletter, print one up, make it funny with drawings and give it out and offer to put customers on the online list for updates from them. Those dogs are your FORTUNE.

      This isnt business advice, it is handing you raw cash!!!!

      Incidentally do you know about The Tweed Run? Absolutely heartland for you, see if you can get into their webshop http://tweedrun.com/?page_id=90 I saw it going over Westminster Bridge talk of money-on – a – bike!

      • A VERY BRITISH AFFAIR says:

        Wow – lots of things to think about Dixie, you have some great ideas and my head is spinning! Thank you so much for checking out the fair I hope to be attending. I will be meeting the organiser shortly to discuss things and I feel better equipt to ask more serious questions – I guess I’m pretty naive when it comes to these kind of things.

        She has offered to put me in touch with previous sellers to get a better feel for things, but as my boyfriend pointed out, she’s hardly going to put me in touch with ones that had a really crap time!. There is also a sellers opportunity to visit the Hall in October to get a feel for the stand layout to help with our planning / visual etc.which seems to be a good idea.

        You are right about the jewellery I think – I have been trying for ages to come up with something less expensive that fits with the general ethos of the brand – I think the pins are ok, but the pearls less so and I won’t be making any more.

        I love the idea of dog exploitation, the lurchers have seen it coming for some time and are getting used to yet another camera shoved in their face each time I try something new – the newsletter is a great idea, I just need a ghost writer or to give up the day job. It is definately something I intend to pursue.

        Finally – oh my gosh, I’d forgotten the Tweed Run – what a fantastic event and something to infiltrate I think … just come up with another way of exploiting Silas.

        I have just started to work on a new prototype inspired by something you suggested months ago on my blog ( I do actually listen!) photo’s on Facebook now and blog shortly, hope you like where It’s going.

        Thanks for advice as ever, Sarah

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