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.


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