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  • How do I expand?

    I'm thinking at the moment about how I increase my sales to make my mosaics more of a business, with the potential to bring in a more substantial income. I'm not happy in my current full time job at the moment and would like to change but it's likely to mean going in to a job that pays less, so I could do with making more through my mosaics to 'top up' my income.

    At the moment, I sell mainly online through my Ebay Shop and on average am selling about 2 mirrors a week (although this is the 'mean' average, some weeks I sell nothing, others I sell 3 or 4). I have a MISI, Folksy and an Etsy Shop but I've only sold a few items through all of these put together so far, although I know these things take time.

    My website is almost finished so that will be another potential outlet when it's 'live'.

    I've done a number of craft fairs but tend not to sell at them - customer feedback has been that they like my work but that it's not something they would purchase on impulse. I do make smaller items such as coasters, photo frames and candle bases which I have taken to fairs but the only time these sold was when I was having a stock clearance and sold my old photo frames for a £1 each!

    I have thought about holding a shopping evening at my house, although I think I would need to have other crafts there as well as mine, to give a good range for people to look at and buy from. I know others have done well with jewellery parties but I'm not sure how other crafts sell at at home parties?

    I also feel like I'm in a bit of a 'catch 22' situation. I would like to sell more and build up my business, but at the moment I only just manage to make the orders I have. I spend all of my weekends and most evenings on my mosaics, so if things did get busier for me I'm worried how I would manage?

    Sorry, this is a bit of a rambling thread! I've just really typed my thoughts as I went along!
    Katian Mosaics

    ♥ My Ebay Listings ♥

    My Facebook Page

  • #2
    Have you thought of approaching an independent bathroom store? Some of them are quite exclusive and may welcome having individually handmade accessories?

    Or how about approaching some of the shops at somewhere like Trentham Gardens (I know you're Staffs but not sure where) as there are plenty of units there that may stock your mirrors and photoframes.

    Just a couple of thoughts of top of my head.

    Claire
    x
    "A house without a bear is like a face without a smile!" ME

    Web: www.pawprints.org.uk
    Misi: www.pawprints.misi.co.uk
    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Stoke-...104?ref=search

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    • #3
      You're obviously not happy with your job, so quit and it'll give you the encouragement to get out there and do something else! Ha, although saying that probably not the best thing to do...
      I think you're best option would be to sell your mirrors, try and get them into shops, join more forums etc. Then partake in some kind of education which you can fall back on, that way you're not solely relying on your mirrors and expanding your miiiind with new things.
      http://www.terrilowedesign.co.uk
      http://www.twitter.com/Hello_TerriLowe
      http://territriestwice.blogspot.com/
      email: [email protected]

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Erial View Post
        Have you thought of approaching an independent bathroom store? Some of them are quite exclusive and may welcome having individually handmade accessories?

        Or how about approaching some of the shops at somewhere like Trentham Gardens (I know you're Staffs but not sure where) as there are plenty of units there that may stock your mirrors and photoframes.

        Just a couple of thoughts of top of my head.

        Claire
        x

        You could also try garden centres and florists? They might be interested in a sale or return agreement?
        Design, not rocket science. Illustrator, graphic and web designer, mum of two, wife and self-appointed font police.

        Changing the world one crayon at a time.

        website: www.whoatemycrayons.com


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        • #5
          How about approaching Garden and interior designers and asking if they are interested in holding your details for any future projects they have that might need a custom made mirror or something?
          for bath bomb, soap & Skincare kits
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          • #6
            Try arighi biannci (not sure if thats how its spelt) in macclesfield, they have a massive bathroom/kitchen/interior show room and a gift shop part and cafe so they cater for all pockets really. Its quite expensive in the show room bit but I'd imagine the gift shop would be perfect for your mirrors.
            http://www.terrilowedesign.co.uk
            http://www.twitter.com/Hello_TerriLowe
            http://territriestwice.blogspot.com/
            email: [email protected]

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            • #7
              Upmarket garden centres sound a good option.

              What type of craft fairs have you tried? I have had a real mix of events, with some fairs only selling small stuff, but had a great Sunday (yesterday) at a stately home (a Farmers' Market and Craft Fair) where larger stuff was selling well.

              In terms of adding to your range, could you offer mosaic kits and/or instruction/classes? Are there any other smaller items you could add to make fairs more worthwhile?

              If you wanted to do parties, perhaps you could team with someone else and do bathroom/bedroom/kitchen interiors themed parties? Soaps? Fabric items?
              digital stamps for cardmakers: http://www.handmadeharbour.co.uk
              blog: http://handmadeharbour.blogspot.com
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              • #8
                It's very difficult to make a good living from any craft. Are there any other mosaic artists who could advise you on whether it's possible? I don't want to burst your bubble but this is probably the worst year to go full time.
                Best wishes
                Carole

                www.caroleallenjewellery.co.uk

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                • #9
                  What about contacting one of the home mags, ie.Good Homes, Beautiful Homes etc.
                  I read these and they have featured items pages and the like.People who read these mags love bespoke stuff and I have seen handcrafted items in there, they also did a bit on etsy once.
                  It may be worth a try??
                  Good Luck x
                  *I Love Handmade*
                  www.littlemillie.folksy.com
                  www.urbancraftdesigners.etsy.com
                  http://www.flickr.com/photos/littlemillie/

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                  • #10
                    Over time you're selling dozens of mirrors, so clearly there's a market there.

                    Two local thoughts:

                    1 - Why not approach some of the designer shops in Buxton.
                    2 - Why not have a look at the Knutsford similarly - that might be a place where hand made mirrors would sell.

                    I suspect that you would need to raise your prices, though, as retailers would want a good margin. Guessing because I don't know furniture and bathroom shops, they might insist on a 70%->110% markup, and you need room to cover that on top of your own costs.

                    A further thought is: are there local "lifestyle" magazines that you could approach for a feature (perhaps offer to write a draft article for them). Do these magazines live in hotel foyers and posh hair salons - not that I would know? Derbyshire Life?

                    Sorry if I'm telling you to do things you've already done.

                    Julian
                    Last edited by ferdinand2000; 01-08-2009, 01:23 AM.
                    Photographer, printmaker, cardmaker, craft supplies.
                    http://mrcello.misi.co.uk/
                    http://www.discountarts.co.uk/

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