Saturday, 21 February 2009

Recession! What Recession?

Don't let the recession doom and gloom stop you treating yourself! a girl needs a little indulgence in their lives no matter what the current economic climate is telling us.
Ive compiled a list on a few of my favorite rece
ssion friendly indulgences :)

Treat yourself

Beautifully handmade purse made out of turquoise felt, knitted flowers made out of pure felted wool.......£4.50

One for the children:

Pretty girly dotty grosgrain ribbon lined alligator hair clip with layered felt flowers and satin centre ..........£1.50 each

Pretty little notecards

A set of 4 tall, slim notecards in a gorgeous shade of pink with a subtle embossed flower design...............£0.80p

For the Home

Handmade crocheted and felted 100% wool bowl. Would be great for keys or bead storage...........£2.50

More Treats

Antique silver horse charms dangle from a Tiger eye gemstone Beads. These are inclusive of P&P and all proceeds go to charity!..........£2.00

See... who said you cant afford a bit of indulgence? Plenty more on you can now search through all categories by price!!

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Paulines Candles on Selling Crafts Online

A huge thank you to Pauline of Paulines Candles for sharing with MISI blog readers an insite into the world of selling crafts online.

Pauline makes the most delightful candles, that smell good enough to eat! A must have for some serious girly night therapy, I can highly
 recommend Paulines 
Irish cream candles!

Could you give me a short introduction to yourself and the products you sell?

Hi I am Pauline the creator of Pauline’s Candles; I am 55 and have 3 children, 7 grandchildren and 1.5 Great grandchildren. I have been making candles/melts
for awhile but it was only at the beginning of last year that I finally gave in to pressure from family and friends and started to sell them.

What makes your products unique?

I make the usual Pillar andles but also enjoy making the
 more unusual candles and melts like my Cup Cake candles/melts or my Rice cake melts or my Candles in a Glass Collection which are made with Gel Wax 
or Soy Wax. I prefer to use Soy Wax as it is environmentally friendlier than Paraffin Wax, the only things I add to the wax is colouring and Fragrance Oil. My Fragrance Oils are the best I can get and come originally from the US. Below you will find a list of benefits that you will discover is pretty impressive.

• Soy Wax burns 30% to 50% longer than paraffin
•Soy wax is water soluble. (No more messy cleanups)
• Soy wax is biodegradable. Little or no soot is produced from burning soy wax.
• No carcinogens are produced from burning soy wax.
• Soy wax is non-toxic.
• Soy wax holds colour and scen
t better than paraffin
• Soy wax will not discolour your walls or furniture from petroleum by-products
• Soy wax is a renewable resource, petroleum is limited.
• Soy wax is comparable in price to paraffin
• Animal fat is not an ingredient of soy wax

What made you decide to sell online?

I believe that in the future, most people will be using the internet for shopping more & more. The Internet is the way to get noticed and hopefully remembered plus I can reach more potential customers than just selling at Fairs/fetes etc. So it made sense to me that this was the place to be.

How did you find out about MISI?

I found out about MISI through an email I received from the proprietor, Emma Hogg. I went and looked around and liked what I saw very much so I joined there and then and never looked back. I love the sense of family and community that as been established between us all including Emma. Everyone is willing to help one another in any way they can and we all know MISI is going to be a big hit with the online shopping community.

How does MISI compare to other online selling platforms you have used?

I sell my Candles/melts on EBay and a couple of oth
er online market sites but MISI is the best out of the lot. 
Firstly it is for Crafters set up by a Crafter. It is easy to set up your shop which is free, the cost of each listing is only 20p and 3% of the sold price, but the listings do last for 5 months which at 4p a month is a fantastic benefit for the shop owners. The listing template is very easy to understand and use, within minutes your item is listed. You can even add your own Logo’s to your shop to personalize it to match you website. The layout of the whole site is inviting and welcoming and kept up to date not only with the latest additions but with special events like Valentines Day and Mothers day. The other outstanding benefit is that Emma is always available if she is needed either by email, personal message or even a posting in the forum will bring an answer sometimes within minutes.

How else do you market your business?

As I said previously I sell at a few online sites, also at Craft fairs, School fetes, Indulgence Evenings that sort of thing, I have a couple of adverts on an online free advertising site, My website/MISI shop address in my email signature and in the signatures of any forums I belong too. I belong to Facebook and have a Fan page and a Group Page; I am on Twitter, Stylehive, and Tagged. In fact anywhere and everywhere I go online my shop is always brought in to the conversation.

Do you have any advice for fellow crafters starting up in the world of online selling?

Take time to think about what it means to start up a business, how your going to finance it, (by yourself or with a loan) I finance my business myself everything I make is plowed back into the business. Don’t expect to make any sort of profit for the first couple of years and also don’t get despondent when sales are slow to come. If doing Craft Fairs/Fetes etc be prepare for some long cold days standing behind your stall (not all halls are heated). Starting your own business is hard work but very rewarding you meet new people and even returning customers. I suppose the main thing I would say is don’t let it take over your life (believe me it is easy for that to happen) always make time for your family. Involve them in helping make or prepare your items, helping out at fairs/fetes gives you a one2 one time with your partner/child in between sales (must admit I love this time with my daughter). But what ever you decide always remember to have confidence in yourself and your products.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Happy Valentines Day from MISI!

The Haven Studios

Handwired Black Heart entwined with swarovski crystals & bugle beads on red ribbon.
Handwired Black Heart

Natalie Richardson

Made with scrap or re-purposed fabrics and filled with homegrown lavender these little hearts will make your room smell wonderful.

Hanging Lavendar Valentine Hearts

Country Kitchen Candle

This heart soap has a white, pink and dark pink layer and has added shea butter to moisturize your skin. It's approx 3" wide. Perfect for valentines day.

3 Layer Heart Soap

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Craft away the credit crunch blues!

Everyone could do with a bit of extra cash each month, especially in the current climate. If you have broadband at home and a modicum of crafty talent, then the solution could be closer than you think.

1. Assess your abilities
What are you good at? It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a crafty qualification behind you. If you have a creative head use it to your advantage.
There are plenty of tutorials, magazines, crafty books from your local library and crafty social groups you can join. Have a search online or visit your local library to find your local Craft Crop or Knitting Circle. Make whatever takes your fancy!

2. Use your resources

Craft supplies can be costly and can take a good chunk out of your profit. Look out for things that you can user as cost effective and environmentally friendly craft supplies and increase your profit margin. If you can’t find anything around your home that you can reuse, then visit your local charity shops. They’re treasure troves of materials, beads and scrap booking supplies. Vintage is “in”, so don’t be afraid to cut up a pair of 1950’s curtains. You can market your new creation as ‘Recycled and Vintage’ the two words of the moment that are bound to bring the consumers flocking in.
Think creatively!

3. Dare to be different
Don’t be afraid to expose your creative uniqueness to the world. Crafty consumers are often looking for something unique for a special gift or to treat themselves. Who knows - your unique idea might be the next big trend!

4. Know where to sell

MISI (“Make It Sell It”) is a great place to start. It’s an online Craft marketplace where you can showcase your work in your very own store. It’s free to set up and a product listing will then set you back just 20p for a five month run. When your item sells you will be charged 3% commission.

5. Marketing your crafty store

Get blogging – Blogging is a great way to get your name out there. If you update it on a regular basis and get a good following it can prove to be an excellent free marketing tool.

Social networking - Create a fan page on Facebook, tweet about your crafts on Twitter, chat on forums (using a link to your craft store in your signature) and submit your crafts to Style Hive. The more social networking you do, the higher exposure you will create for your crafts.

Spread the word – Don’t forget to tell your friends and family about your new crafty venture. Make sure you provide a link to your new store in any business cards you hand out or emails that you send.

6. Make sure its legal

As with any online selling, you should inform the Inland Revenue about your new crafty business. The last thing you need is to end up with a hefty fine after all your hard work!

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

MISI Loves...........

Valentines day is fast approaching and to get us in the mood Ive chosen my 5 favorite picks for valentines day from MISI

1. Cute Designs: Amigurumi Purple Love Blobite

The Blobites have arrived on MISI to spread the love which also happen to be trained in pin cushion techniques!

2. Janes Jems: Romantic Swarovski 
Heart set in sterling silver

I loves Jane's Swarovski pendents at the best of times. However Jane has excelled herself with these beautiful valentines adaptions of her design.
Well done Jane they are just stunning 

3. JoJo Jewellery: Silver Spotty Heart Stud Earrings

JoJo Jewellery is a newcomer to the world of MISI, she launched her store just last week. With these wonderfully simple yet charming silver wares. I know I have my eye on her shop...

4. Clara Bows: 'Roses are Red' Vintage teacup candle

Ditch the conventional red roses! What about setting the scene with these rather glam vintage tea candles from another new Misi'an 'Clara Bows'

5. Blue Fairy Designs: Lucky Hearts Fused Glass Bowl

Blue Fairy designs has been busy this valentines launching her valentines range. What a great centre piece this would make for a romantic meal for two. All it needs is some love hearts!

On the blogging bandwagon

Well MISI (Make it Sell it) is quicky approuching the 1,000 seller mark
and to celebrate I felt it was about time we entered into the world of blogging

MISI (“Make It Sell It”) is tipped to become the UK’s biggest online craft marketplace. Home crafters use the website to set up their own online shops and sell their creations. MISI has grown to more than 950 sellers and is now generating more than 4,000 unique visitors every week.

It’s free to join. Sellers can choose to either create a whole store of just sell one-off items. Charges are 20p per listing (irrespective of the quantity or price of the item) plus 3% on sale of the item when it sells.

MISI’s mission is to challenge the role of the high street by introducing the people who buy directly to the people who make. It is the brainchild of keen crafter and web developer Emma Hogg.

Emma explains: “Home crafting touches lots of topical themes and it is taking off in a big way! Buyers enjoy finding high quality, good value items with a personal touch.”

MISI sellers are already offering everything from jewellery to furniture, with prices ranging from a couple of pounds to a couple of thousand pounds.

What might you create that you could sell on MISI?
Misi Facebook Group