Sunday, 9 December 2012

Copyright of text - what do you do?

Copyrighting your text  and how to prevent duplicaton of your content. - this week's blog is an intereresting one and born from the fact that this weekend I discovered it had happened to me.
Of course, copying is said to be the most sincerest form of flattery.  However, not if it damages your website!
I've written previously regarding the protection of jewellery designs - or any designs as an artist for that matter.  But what if someone's copied your text?

First of all - how do you know?

It was just by chance that I was reading an article regarding duplication on my own website and thought to run a check for plagiarism on my website by others - this is what I discovered.  (I've naturally hidden the name of the website responsible).

The text in pink is an EXACT copy of mine!  The image I have uploaded above the highlighted text is a way to protect your website to avoid this happening to you.  Here's the link to the website -


Input your web address and it will bring up results for your text for the page you have chosen to assess.
It is free to use for a few checks - after that, they do expect you to pay.  But use it 2 - 3 times a month and you can keep a weather eye on what's happening.

Then what do you do?
I immediately sent an email via the offending website's contact page advising them of their infringement of my copyright and requested a reply within 3 days to confirm when the text would be deleted by their webmaster.  I advised that if I did not hear back by this time, then I would put the matter into the hands of my legal team.

By the end of the day the offending text had been removed. 

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Complaints - what do you do if you get one? Small busines Tip

Business Tip
If you're in business, you will have received a complaint.  If you haven't then that's not necessarily a good thing!

Complaints help you develop and if you've never received any it might mean that your customers are voting with their feet and walking away from you. Unfortunately, they say that if a customer's happy they will tell one other person, if they're unhappy, they'll tell 10 other people!  Not good if you don't even get the opportunity to resolve their complaint.

The UK is renouned for 'grumblers' who never do anything about their grumble, hopefully we're beginning to see an improvement with a rise in complaints and if should you get one - think of it as a positive event.

There might actually not be something wrong with what you've done, but if you customer thinks there is, then it's great that they've contacted you and they do have a legitimate complaint.
  • The first piece of advice would be to put yourself in the customer's shoes and don't take it personally.
  • Be calm!
  • Apologise - there's nothing better to take the anger out of  a situation than saying the word 'sorry'.  If you feel that you've nothing to apologise for, then there's no harm in saying "I'm so sorry that you feel that......" and summarise their complaint.
  • Tell them what you're going to do to resolve their complaint and get them to agree that this is ok
  • Apologise again before finishing the exchange with your customer.
  • Finally - DO what you said you were going to do.
There will be something you can learn from the complaint - was it a service problem? a product problem? was it the customer misunderstanding something?  All these can be prevented in the future.  For the customer misunderstanding something - does it mean you haven't explained it well enough?

The customer who would have potentially told 10 people about how disgusted with your company they are, is now likely to tell 10 people about how they had a complaint and how well it was resolved.  

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Do you want free publicity for your handmade craft?

Are you a craftsperson who loves what they do?
If you are, you've no doubt enjoyed making your craft, whatever it may be, lampworking, silversmithing, cardmaking - the list could go on and on....  but will have got to the stage where you saturated your friends and family with gifts from yourself and still want to carry on making.  There is after all, a finite amount of items that you can keep for yourself.

If this is you, I'm sure you will have turned to making items to sell and if you're wanting to turn it into a viable business - to make items to sell at a realistic price.  No doubt you'll see items everywhere that have been handcrafted by people selling them at cost because they've enjoyed making them - but you simply can't compete with that and nor should you!

If you handmade craft is now a business your prices should be paying you an hourly rate.  However, we all know that handmade goods are / should be more expensive than inexpensively manufactured machine made goods. The edge is the fact that your products are different.
This is  abracelet made using purchased beads which have been manufactured. Now take a look at this lady's website  Judith Johnston and you will immediately see the difference with not only the quality, but the beatuy.

So, given that your product is so different from the norm on the high street, you have an edge when it comes to publicity!  Many journals are happy to run articles COMPLETELY FREE OF CHARGE about artisans and their work because it is newsworthy.

If you're participating in an event, take time out a month or two before and research your local magazines - just see how many of them have articles about local people.  Find an angle for a story about you and write a precis and send it to the editor (email as many as you like with a precis as some may not be interested, but if you get a reply from more than one saying they'd like to run a story about you - you can choose which would suit you best).

When I had a pendant featured in Vogue magazine, I wrote to 5 magazines.  3 didn't reply, 1 wanted me to have a paid advert as well as running a feature and the 5th  - she loved the story!  I have since had half a dozen articles written about me - from a pargagraph or two to a double page feature in their glossy magazine.  All it has cost me is a little time in keeping in contact with the reporter - and in actual fact we got on so well, we've kept in touch because we like each other!

If you were a shop on the high street, you can almost guarantee that you'd be requested to run an expensive advert at the same time, but handmade workers have the 'edge' with newsworthyness because it's not about the 'shop' per se, it's about YOU.

Why not give it a go?

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Protect Your Ideas and Designs - Handmade Business Tip of the Week

Looking after your original designs for your handmade craft.

As a crafter you will have plenty of ideas and designs - some of which you put into practice, make and then sell online. If you're selling online who do you know that these designs aren't being copied?

Well, in all honesty you don't!  However, if you spot a design that you know you created what do you do?

1) When anyone is viewing your product, it's important to advise them that the design is protected from copying. The item is your intellectual property.  The originator of the design owns it, unless they created it whilst being employed to make that design, in which case the employer owns it.  So, if you have a website, why not put a note in the footer to state that your designs are protected and should not be copied. Selling on Etsy / Folksy - put a note at the bottom of each handcrafted item you upload.

2) Keep proof of when you designed the item.  For instance, with my handmade silver jewellery - each photograph I take is dated and I also print the page when it was uploaded online together with full notes of how it was made.  Therefore, the proof of the date is available if it is required.

3) What do you do if you see someone has copied your design?  Send them notification that this is your design and that you have proof and they must desist or pay you a proportion of their sales in commission (the choice is yours).
If they don't respond send another notification to advise that you will take legal action.
If they don't respond to that - then the answer is to carry through with your threat. 
Take a look at this link to the UK Copyright Service which relates specifically to Designs and your rights. Of course every country will be different, but the idea is the same no matter where you live.

Your Handmade Craft and Design Protection

Saturday, 3 November 2012

How do you sell your handmade craft?

Give good advice

A good tip to help sell your handmade craft might seem slightly odd, but if you tell people who you've achieved your success then they will want to know more and sharing your expertise will boost your own business.

Your own craft probably has dozens of associations or oganisations where you can blog and share your skills.  If you offer your skills in your particular area, it's a great way to reach new customers and show your leadership in your particular field.

Articles in the form of tips, best practices in how to achieve the results you have and writing on blogs is a great way to deliver your ideas.

Question and Answer sessions with people who want to know more will find you and appreciate your knowledge. 

Take a look at Lesley H Phillips - Blog and you'll see that I have written a series of articles to help jewellers (and not only silver jewelley - as I've used a lampworker as an example) to develop their websites. 

Lesley H Phillips Join me on Google +

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Do you want to sell more from your online shop? Business Tip

Have you got an online shop?  Perhaps you're running your own website or have decided to upload your products to a site which will showcase your work on their site?  Because I am a handmade worker, my knowledge will be in relation to the craft websites such as Folksy or Etsy, but this blog offers information which does carry to other small businesses - even if they don't make their own products.

Have you heard the phrase SEO?  It stands for Search Engine Optimisation and aids your website / online shop to get placed higher in the search results when anyone searches for the products you offer.

I've written a series of articles which are currently being run on the Guild of Jewellery Designers website.
The initial article took the form of an overview of SEO and the topics to be covered.  Over the last 2 weeks they've been releasing them in bite sized chunks for you to digest.

When I first started with SEO nothing made sense to me - however, over the years I've finally been able to get to grips with the topic and I've written the articles in what I hope is a plain and understandable form.  I've used examples of jewellery - but the examples naturally carry forward to any product.

If you enjoy the articles and find them informative, I'd love to hear your comments on my Website Blog

Today sees the release of sections  8 & 9 - so there's plenty to keep you entertained already!

Saturday, 20 October 2012

A Week in the News

This last week has been an interesting one.  A bit like buses - nothing for ages and then they all come along at once!

It started off when I received an email from the Guild of Jewellery Designers to advise me that a bracelet of mine was featured for their Autumn/Winter Trends

Then, having written some articles for the GOJD regarding jewellers optimising their websites - this week they began their publication.  So, when I looked at the home page of the GOJD's website - I seemed to be taking over!
Then I received a lovely email from Naomi (part of the Next Blogger's network) to say that she'd reviewed a pendant of mine and it was featured on her blog.  What a lovely write up - she really couldn't have been nicer - thank you Naomi Take a look at One Heel Forward (17th October)

And as usual - this week's business tip for all small businesses out there!
Keep up to date in less time
It's important if you're in business to know what's happening in your industry.  Sign up to Google accounts and set up 'Alerts' with your name and specific words. You will then be sent emails advising you of all the latest mentions on the internet.  This allows you to track topics of interest and also if you're being mentioned in the press.

Search for your blogs and news sites which have a similar interest to your own and join them.  Sign up to the RSS feed which will mean you'll receive updates as they happen

Friday, 12 October 2012

Put your Heart into Handmade - and a Business Tip

Putting your heart into handmade - this is undoubtedly what our crafters do, but if people were to think this way with their purchases then many small businesses with their talent and flair would do exceedingly well!

So, bearing in mind my theme - I'm going to feature a wonderful selection of hearts this week.  All drawn from a handmade website and I hope that those who are not crafters will love them as much as I do.

1.  Screen Print - Yeahnoyeah
2.  Stonewear 'pebble decorations - jo lucksted ceramics
3.  Patterned silver pendant - Handmade Silver Jewellery
4.  Keyring - Polka Dot Sky
5.  Driftwood, pebbles and shells - Free Range Designs
6.  Liberty Print Brooch - Buttercup Boutique
7.  Handmade Cushion - apple bloom crafts
8.  Bleeding Heart Flower - littlelensphotography
9.  Aluminium and Steel Sculpture - CK Automata
10.Notelet with Paper Buttons - Stuff N Nonsense

All the images have been reproduced on this blog, but remain the property of the artists concerned.  The Design Rights to the items pictured are also attributed to the individual artists. Any misuse of these rights could result in court action.

Business Tip for the Artisans

When you're listing your items you will notice that you are asked for keywords.  Do make sure that you make the most of this opprortunity.  They have recently changed policy to enable the http:// address of your listed item to remain the same even when your item is sold and you update with another one.  This means that you are far more likely to be found by a random search within Google or other search engines. By adding keywords to your listing, this gives the title of your item more 'pulling power' within the search by your potential customers. 

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Business Tip of the Week & Competition

This week's business tip is aimed at any small business, but naturally, me being a small business making handmade silver jewellery, it's also suitable for those people who handcraft their wares.

Pay per click advertising
Are you getting very few hits to your website?  Have you considered pay per click advertising?
Google Adwords or Bing Advertising offer these services.  As a small business, it can sometimes feel quite daunting paying out money daily for adverts with obviously very little guarantee of a return. 
So, start small!
You can set your budget on a daily basis and you can also set the budget for the cost of each click. Do bear in mind, that if you set the budgets too low, then a) you'll only get 1 or 2 hits to your website or b) your advert will be so far down the list that it won't be seen .

Make the most of the number of words for the script that you'd like the customers to see and choose your keywords carefully.  Broad keywords may well get lots of hits, but perhaps it's better to choose specific words in relation to your products - that way there's more of a chance tha a customer will purchase from you.

Win with Handmade Silver Jewellery

Take a look at my website and try and solve the riddles!  Competitions are added on a regular basis and are being run through my facebook page:  Handmade Contemporary Silver Jewellery.  A £5 gift voucher is up for grabs to the person who gets the answer correct.  Solve the puzzle and work out from the clues which product I am referring to and you too could be a lucky winner.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Competition to win a Gift Voucher

Here's an opportunity to win a gift voucher for Lesley H Phillips Jewellery
It's running on my facebook page - Handmade Contemporary Silver Jewellery

What am I?  You will need to search the website and follow the instructions on the status on facebook.  To join in there, click on the badge and it will take you to my 'links' page.

I am full of class,
I am also round.
Near your neck
Is where I'm found.
I could be old,
But this is a tease
I am very current
If you please!

Good Luck!

Saturday, 22 September 2012

What's New? Jewellery and Fashion

A change to my usual blog this week with an update of all things new.
Also, a refreshing piece of news that men are becoming more sophisticated - in the world of jewellery that is!

The first new feature on my website is the Gift Voucher Section.  A perfect present for someone who likes to choose their own jewellery or for the purchaser if you just keep getting it wrong!!!

Secondly, I am now an International Wholesaler following a Company in Hong Kong placing orders for their 3 retail outlets.

The news on men?  The tide is changing inasmuch that men are losing interest in leather jewellery, skulls and such like, preferring now to choose more sophisticated, styled jewellery.  This is perhaps supported by a recent commission for a pair of solid silver cufflinks, designed by the client and reflecting a lava trail on a mountain side.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Do you want to improve your business? - Handmade Workers

Every week I offer tips and hints to help handmade craftspeople improve their business.  There are so many quality items produced by the home workers, beavering away in their studios or spare room - but so often they just don't know how to market it.  There's only so much that can be made without the need to sell some of your wares - and this is where my handmade silver jewellery blog will help.

Listen to what your customers want
Why not ask your customers what they think about your products?  Try doing this every six months and ask them what they think are the good and bad points. You can contact them by email or at the events you attend.  Conduct market research to see what you should change.  Then take action!
Not only is this a good way of improving your products, but it makes your customers feel that their opinion is valued and they are more likely to want to do business with you.

All business is not necessarily good business!
Whilst you might want to please all the customers you have conducted market research with, you don't have to.  If a customer has stated that they would like something that will take hours and hours and hours to make, but they wouldn't be willing to pay the price for your time - then can you afford to do it?  If you're trying to turn your hobby into a business, then the answer must clearly be a resounding 'no'. 
Customers and projects which are causing you sleepless nights should be reviewed and you should decide if you want to put yourself under that pressure.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Handmade Saturday Showcase - Business Tip for crafters

What is it about handmade work that people like?  Most of all it's the individuality of each item - for genuine handmade craft no two pieces can ever be the same.  Secondly the buyer knows that much love and care has gone into it - Can money put a price on it?  In all honesty it's most likely priceless to the artist, but I have trawled the UK and found some exquisite items which ARE for sale and I have compiled a showcase of these items here today.
Does anyone want to try and guess my theme ?

1.  Bird cage tidy - Pin and Pen
2.  Hand dyed cotton art - Downland Originals
3.  Owl cushion - Charming Jewellery and Accessories
4.  Butterfly keepsake box - Kippers Keepsakes
5.  Cotton print handbag - Ann Chandler Originals
6.  Pin cushion - The Home Made Boutique
7.  Silver pendant - Handmade Silver Jewellery UK
8.  Bowl clock - Wonky Fox 
9.  Oak Tamper - Works-in-Wood
10.Hand thrown deep bowl - Epple Bay Ceramics

The designs for the items featured remain the intellectual property rights of the artists who have made them.  Any infringement of their rights could result action being taken.

Business Tip for Crafters
Donate your expertise
Your chosen skill probably has plenty of associations / organisations which distribute newsletters or have blogs. By offering your opinions and expertise  by writing an article or being a guest blogger is a great way to boost your business.  It will attract new customers and show that you are a leader in your field.
Articles offering hints and tips, best practices, questions and answers or case studes always prove interesting to the reader.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Do you have your own online shop? Then read on....

Do you have your own online shop?

If you do, then you'll want to read this.....

If you have your own website, are adding products to a shopping system, such as Etsy or Folksy or even advertising your online shop this is a blog for you

Tips to improve and to gain your customer's attention

Proof read what you have written

You know what it's like when you see typing errors on a website, an ad or an article - the author loses credibility.  Don't make this mistake! 
When you are writing, make sure it is grammatically correct and error-free.  Automatically read it back and often read it out loud to yourself to ensure it sounds correct too. 

Even a small mistake can cause mistrust and lose you a shopper.  If you take the extra bit of time to double check what you have written then your customers will have more trust in you.

Improve your SEO

If you don't know what SEO is, then you most definitely need to read this next tip!
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation.  You could have the best website / online shop in the world, but if no-one can find it then it's all a waste of your time.

Increase your chances of being found with potential customers search online by reviewing your page titles for every page of your website or shop.  Keep the following in mind:

  • When customers search, your page title appears in the first line of the search results, so make them interesting enough for customers to want to click.
  • Ensure the search engines can find them, by making them descriptive and including terms within them that you'd like to be found for
  • Write a different page title for every product in your online shop or for your own website

My experience of SEO stems from having my own website and online shop for my handmade silver jewellery and developing my knowledge over the last 6 or 7 years whilst I have been running it. 

Saturday, 25 August 2012

A handmade gift guide - business tip for craftspeople

This week's handmade gift guide
Each week I choose a theme and select the handmade items I love the most.  This week from around the UK, I've found some treasures...  Given that we've not had much in the way of sun this year, I do feel that my theme is quite apt.  Wasn't it lucky it stayed dry for most of the Olympics.  Let's hope it follows the same pattern for the paralympics.  Anyone want to have a guess what the theme is for this week?

Do enjoy my chosen items - all of which would make perfect gifts or even to say thank you for a gift -  or just because you'd like to treat yourself!

1.   Thank you gift cards - photography & design
2.   Wading birds - LouMay Books
3.   Water Ripples - ElisaMAmorCreations
4.   Village Print - Janice Jong Art & Illustration
5.   Compact Mirror - The Clockwork Jewel
6.   Drink Champagne - Deliart - Beautiful Art Block Prints
7.   Anemone water colour - Oakapple & Rose
8.   Aquamarine waterfall pendant - Handmade Silver Pendant UK
9.   Knitted hot water bottle - selvage
10. French beaded lily -  Corbin Handmade
Please be aware that the artists who have made and designed these items hold the copyright and design rights to them.

And Finally....... A small business tip
Look after your existing customers
Did you know that 20% of your existing customers will buy from you again because they already know you and trust you?  So create a reason why they should buy from you again.   Offer products which complement each other in a product range.  For example, if they purchase a pendant do you have matching earrings or bracelet?  If so, show them these when they're buying the pendant or let them know that these are available when you contact them in the future.
Alternatively, you could offer a small incentive for your existing customers, say 10% off their next purchase.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Go Green! - plus a business tip

The birthstone for August is Peridot - a stunning green gemstone. So, drawing inspiration from the month we're in - I'm running a green blog this week.  How many people thought I was running an eco friendly blog this week then?

I have delved into handmade items from around the UK to find my favourites in the colour green.  Enjoy!

1.   A collage - Loganberry Photography
2.   Green Man - Daves Woodcraft
3.   Flower Studs - Grass Fields
4.   Gecko Picture - Handmade by D.
5.   Humming Bird - Rustic Green
6.   Cushion - Courtyards Crafts
7.   Peridot Earrings - Silver Jewellery
8.   Felt Rosette - Hooperhart
9.   Original Fabric on Canvas - J.A. Wilson
10. Hand knitted Dress - josknits

All the items which I have chosen to feature are the property of the  designers who've made them.  As such, they will own the rights to their designs and this prohibits any copying - accidental or otherwise.

Business TipFor the craftspeople who are running their own business - I hope you find your weekly business tip useful.

Do you have a tough decision to make?  If so, go and do some exercise!  Sound odd?  Well, studies have shown that people who work out regularly are better decision makers. One study tested 80 people over an 9 month period and results showed that the exercisers ability to make complex decisions had increased 70% over those who weren't exercising.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Sensational Saturday the Second - A Handmade One! - Weekly Business Tip

Following last week's Sensational Saturday for Great Britain at the Olympics (wow! wasn't it gripping?), I'm now ensuring we have a second one featuring sensational handmade Olympic items - well, what else could I feature in this week's blog?
Mo Farrar running Saturday 11th August with the hope of yet another GB Gold resting on his shoulders Tom Daly diving, 2 British boxers qualifying for the final on Sunday 12th - definite silvers to add to the ever increasing medal tally, it certainly makes you proud to be British.  So, I'm now showing just how great we are in everything that we do!

1.   Olympic Lavender Sachet - GingerBeer Designs
2.   We Were There... Sign - Signs For Every Occasion
3.   Red, White and Blue Silver Earrings - Handmade Silver Jewellery UK
4.   Flag Bib - Dribble Drool Bibs
5.   Britain Heart Keyring - An Owl to the Hollow
6.   Union Jack Felt Flower Brooch - Sew Crafty
7.   Olympics Cake Toppers - Charlotte Jane Cakes
8.   British Pincushion - Spindleberry
9.   Inspire a Generation Card - Dilley Crafts
10. London Map Cushion Cover - KateModern

All the items pictured are the property of the people who designed them and as such, own the property rights to their original designs.  Any infringement of their rights could be pursued in a court of law

Weekly Business Tip for Crafters
Eliminate the time wasters...
What do you do that wastes your time?  Take a look at your day and begin a list and review what you do that could make you more productive and takes up unnecessary time. Here's one example: clutter on your workbench /desk?  How often do you spend looking for something which if you tidied up and had all your equipment in a known place would save you time? 

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Olympic Ideas - Business Tip

From: Handmade Silver Jewellery UK

This week (and next), I won't be running my usual feature of handmade items from fellow creative artists as I'm going to be participating in the Dorset Arts and Crafts Association annual exhibition.  It runs from 3rd August - 7th August (click the picture for further information)
I therefore thought this week I'd provide a couple of business tips for fellow artists. Plus, with the Olympics and the gorgeous sunshine - who going to spend hours at their computer?  So, quick business tips will be 'just the ticket' to read and keep in mind for when you have more time to think about doing something with them.

Bovington, Dorset. 3rd August - 7th August
 Business Tips

Re-evaluate your products
When was the last time you thought long and hard about the designs of the products you offer? Do they still meet the needs of your customers or do they need an overhaul? As technology, competition and your customer’s fashion change over time; be sure your products keep up!

Test before you roll out your handmade craft
Wondering if a new product idea will sell? Consider testing it out before making several. If you attend craft fairs – take along just a couple of variations and ask customer’s opinions – ask for their thoughts and would they like to see something different within your item?
Online cost-effective testing vehicles include email marketing, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising like Google AdWords, and social media like Facebook and Twitter. PPC advertising is one of the fastest and easiest ways to test a new market niche or product, but you'll need to invest a bit of time writing your ads
For the creative people – this market research is a worthwhile task and you'll learn a lot about your customers thoughts and your markets in the process.  A good time to test is now, ready to have some lovely tried and tested ideas for the Christmas season.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Saturday Showcase and a Small Business Tip

This Saturday's Showcase of UK handmade goods is here!
For the people who appreciate that with handmade comes quality - you're really going to love this selection.
For the artists amongst us, who appreciate handmade because you know just what goes into it - take a look at my tip for small businesses at the bottom of the blog.
I hope you enjoy my amazing selection this week.

1. Brooch - iCandy Crafts
2. Card - Zuleikha's art
3. Hair Clip, Fimo - Pretty Little Tings
4. Beanie - Rainbows'N'More
5.Bag - Crafty Bags
6.Glossy Print  - Crystal MoonCat
7. Silver Pendant - Handmade Silver Jewellery UK
8.Pincushion - RuthDesigns
9.Cushion - MinXures Clothing and Accessories
10. Head band - Zoe's Shop

Business Tip of the Week
People buy from small businesses because they often receive a personal touch. They buy from handmade artists because they know that overall the product is better!  However, all businesses make mistakes - we wouldn't be human if we didn't.  The key is not to compound your mistakes. Delivering good customer service means quickly and accurately fixing those mistakes and you'll earn loyalty.  On the other hand, compounding one mistake with another is a sure fire way of driving away your customers.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Support Handmade in the UK

This week's blog is for all to guess my chosen theme.
Once again, I've search Folksy and found some stunning items - but at least this week they're still all for sale as I haven't beaten you to it and bought one of the featured items!
So what's the theme? - send a comment telling me what you think it is

The talent in the UK is amazing and for people who don't craft - there's some real delights for you to see this week.

Considering that the artists who make the items each week all run their own small businesses, I'm adding tip each time for which will I hope prove useful to the artisans too.

1. Sailing cushion - Jenny Harris Designs
2. Felt picture on Linen - Dollydoo
3.Silver Boat  Pendant - Silver Jewellery
4. Badges - CraftsCouncil
5. Canvas Bag - Handmaid
6. Art Photograph - Paradici
7. Vintage Fabric Picture - LouTonkin - Artist
8. Art Card - Megan Claire
9. Coaster - The Mosaic Garden
10. T-Shirt - Rusks and Rebels

Tip of the week
Respond promptly to requests for information / posting your sold items
Many large businesses lack the personal touch and this is where small businesses have the upper hand.  However, the key is to ensure that you don't leave your customers waiting.
When customers request information/ have bought one of your items, they expect a quick response.  When you fail to to do - due to poor organisation, incorrect contacts or a busy schedule - customers are left feeling abandoned and most likely won't do business with you now or in the future.

All the work and designs on this blog are copyrighted to the artist and any infringement of this could result in action being taken.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Brightening up your Day....

It sure is pouring down with rain in the South West of England, so I decided to brighten things up a little this week with my choice of the ten artisans this week.  Again, going to be fairly obvious what my theme is - but I'm not sure if anything can brighten the floods down this way!

I do hope if you're a fellow artist you enjoy my choices and if you're a non crafty person can see the love and dedication which has gone into every piece that I have selected for my blog this week

Number 6 is particulaly apt at the moment and is absolutely gorgeous! So much so, that I've just bought it, ha, ha - I'm sure you'll find some other lovely things from Handmade by suqiz in the shop as I've amended this link so you can visit the main page for this artist.

1. Yellow Skies, Mixed Media  - Sue Coo Art
2. Yellow Finch, Paper - recycled found and purchased - Rae Welch
3. Yellow Rosette - Hand rolled Felt - Hooperhart
4. Yellow Flowers - Silver and Epoxy Resin - Handmade Jewellery
5. Yellow Rose - Sinamay and metal hair clip - The Millinery Studio
6. Yellow Duck - Card - Polymer Clay - Handmade by suziq
7. Yellow Peas - Linoprint  -LaLishDesign
8. Yellow Bear - Crocheted -  Monique Boutique
9. Yellow Light - limited edition print - Betty bay design
10. Yellow Shawl - Chrocheted - Pushek

Please be aware that all the rights to the designs belong with the artists.

Saturday, 30 June 2012

The Colour of Summer

Having finished Dorset Art Weeks Open Studios (a 16 day long event), I finally have my life back and can continue with my weekly blog.
This week I'm sure the theme won't be at all hard to guess and I've found some stunning items on Folksy again for your delight.
I'll look forward to hearing from my fellow bloggers with their ideas and creativity.  There is some really amazing quality handmade and handcrafted items in the UK and I only wish I could bring them all to this page - but each week, I'll endeavour to bring just a few for you all to enjoy.

1. Handmade Tutu - Strawberry Annie's
2. Cardigan - Niftyneedles
3. Handcrafted Card -  Something Special by Mars x
4. Lace Gauntlet - Tricot Treats by Helen Dey
5. Felt Owl - Mousey Makes
6. Nu Baroque Mug - Russell Paige Ceramics
7. Handcrafted Earrings - Lesley H Phillips Handcrafted Silver Jewellery
8. Fibre Felt Purse - by sally
9. Personalised Face Cloth - K G Designs
10. Patchwork Handbag -  Handbags by Helen

Please do note that all the designs featured on this blog are the designers own work and as such they hold the Design Rights to them.  Any breach of these Design Rights can result in pursual by the artists concerned.

I'm sure you'll agree that this week's array is a wonderful example of the talent that we have in the United Kingdom and I'll wait to hear from you as to what you think the theme for this week is!

Saturday, 26 May 2012

I'm not going to be able to run my feature of British handmade craft for the next 2 - 3 weeks unless I suddenly find some time from somewhere! - so it might be a surprise appearance, because I'm particpating in Dorset Art Weeks 2012 from 26th May - 10th June Open Studio and Venues event. I'm running mine from my business address which unfortuantely doesn't have a reliable connection to the internet and absolutely no signal for mobile internet.
However, if you are interested in having a look around - do take a look at Dorset Art Weeks on Google - over 600 artists and crafters in Dorset have opened their doors for the duration.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Going Green with UK handmade items!

And so to a very worthwhile theme this week.  Making the most of items which otherwise would be discarded.  Recycled items at their best, hand crafted and made into something beautiful for those that care about the environment or just simply because they love something a little quirky or different!

1. Recycled Bunting - peony and thistle
2. Recycled Cushion - Slowlane Made
3. Recycled champagne bottle - Abundant Glass
4. Silver Recycled Torque - Lesley H Phillips
5. Wood Mouse Recycled Card - Ethel and Iris
6. Floral recycled lace brooch - Recycled Bird
7. Recycled Bridal Fascinator - Borganic
8. Recycled Comic Paper Chain - Lucie Kate & Hazey Jane
9. Recycled pussy cat doll - PollyKrafts
10. Recycled Record Bowl - RescuedRags

Please do note that these images and the designs are the property of the designers and makers (named above), they own the property rights to them and any infringement of their rights could be pursued in court.

I think you'll agree that I've chosen a great selection of recyled items this week - I love them!  I hope you do too.  If you wish to purchase any of the items they are for sale on the above links.

Naturally as I have an interest in recycling, I have a little selection within my Green Collection too!
Handmade Silver Jewellery UK - Green Collection

Saturday, 12 May 2012

AHOY there! Sail away with this wonderful handmade craft

Take a browse at the marvelous handmade items that I have discovered this week.  If you love what you see then do take a look further by choosing the number and seeing the artist who's made the item. There is a wealth of creativity in the UK and I'm finding it for you to enjoy.

7. silver-Boat-Earrings
8. Three-Little-Boats-Cushion
10. /

Next week the theme is all about recycling.  So if you like what you see and feel that your items would look great in the blog, then do join in and let me know about your products.  Obviously I can't promise to feature them but I can't if I don't know you're out there!

Saturday, 5 May 2012

UK Handmade - Blooming Marvelous Craft!

I've been back to Folksy again this week as it proved such a popular feature and have picked some great products for you to see.  It would be great to hear what you think of my choices.
Blue Flowers Cushion
3 Flowers
Wild Flowers
Flower Mirror

Flower Wreath

Flower Bag

Please note that all the items are copywrited to the artists above
Of course I make flowers too!

Handmade Silver Jewellry UK
Forget me not flower stud earrings

I do hope you love this week's selection and it's really not hard to guess this week's theme is it???

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Business Tip - Small Businesses - Add a photo

This is a great way of reassuring your customers about who they're dealing with. Having a photo kick-starts a personal relationship with your website visitors, and it makes it more likely they'll get in touch. But it has to be a good photo; get a professional to take it.
 Not many websites include personal photos, so get this right and your site will be head and shoulders above your faceless competitors.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

New Shopping Directory for Craft People

I've been included on a new shopping directory for craft people.

It seems a great way for designers and artists, like myself to have a listing in several categories available, have a picture and a description just for putting one link on the site.  The best bit of it being it's FREE  And also that for the link on a home page, then as the directory is being marketed elsewhere the links are being distributed through the designers who are listed.  This means that we get the benefit of more links to our site, than just the one from the directory.
What a clever idea to get link building working for us as designers. 

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Craft and Design Newsletter

The lastest edition of the Craft and Design Newsletter is available to read on my website - Handmade Silver Jewellery.
An interesting read - with the design month of May fast approaching it's great to see what's happening in the world of Handmade Jewellery and all sorts of other mediums.
Prince Charles is featured in the March edition - do enjoy it!

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Jewellery Care - Cleaning Silver Jewellery

As a natural material, silver reacts with its environment, especially the chemicals in the air and, over time, silver can tarnish. (known as oxidation). This doesn’t mean that your lovely jewellery is defective, far from it, it just proves that your beautiful accessory is good quality silver.

* Perfume, soap, hairspray, salt water, water and heat, household cleaning products and perspiration all speed up the tarnishing process.

* Leaving silver unprotected in the air may cause the silver to lose its shine.  Preventable if not worn frequently by sealing in an air tight container.

* Please note that chlorine can seriously damage the silver.

Oxidation is an easily reversable process and the silver can always be cleaned to bring it back to its former glory, so there's no need to be concerned.  Cleaning the silver when it begins to tarnish will obviously be an easier task.  If it's left too long and turns completely black then it may require professional cleaning.

An inexpensive silver polishing cloth can be used to gently rub your jewellery or alternatively silver dip may be used (both are available from any high street jeweller).  Please ensure you follow the instructions on the pot if you use silver dip.  Do not use silver dip with purposely oxidised /drop cast/ enamelled jewellery or with gemstones. Gemstones that are particularly affected by silver dip are pearls, sodalite, malachite, lapis lazuli, white opals, turquoise or any soft or porous stones.  Some high street jewellers sell combination silver and gold polishing cloths and these are perfect for jewellery I make with the touches of 9ct gold. The specialised cleaning cloths are impregnated with cleaning and anti-tarnishing agents, so a normal soft cloth will not provide the same results.

It is advisable to ensure you don't damage your jewellery to remove it at night, when swimming, bathing or undertaking manual or domestic tasks.

Store your jewellery in an air tight container. Also store separately from other items as this will also prevent scratches from items rubbing together.
If you always remember to get ready first (make up, hairspray, perfume) and then put on your jewellery you can assist in keeping your silver jewellery bright and beautiful for many years to come.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

The Guild of Jewellery Designers - Guilded Gems

This last week was a busy one again.  Making jewellery, working on the new website and also a 'phone call from Jayne at Guilded Gems.  Having noticed my new website design she'd emailed me asking if I could participate in an article for other members of the Guild of Jewellery Designers.  She felt my website could be an inspiration to other members of the Guild.  It was launched on the 1st March and on 16th March we had our interview.
I spent in total 8 months designing and building this website and was very pleased that the desired results had been achieved when Jayne mentioned it looked 'luxurious'. 
We discussed the thought processes and the decisions I had made with regards to its build and most importantly the importance of SEO and marketing of it. Without which, there is very little point in having a website. She stated that she sees many Guild Member's websistes that have been built for them and not the customer and it was not only the look, but this factorshe liked. Mine is most definitely directed towards making the customer's experience an easy and nice experience to shop.
When the article is released, I'll post a link for all to read

Sunday, 11 March 2012

A fantastic opportunity for someone to win this amazing sterling silver necklace is available. A 100 club draw, so one in one hundred chance of winning it! Take a look at the competition page and see how you could be in with a chance of winning it (with a chain)
Not only that, to celebrate the launch of the new website all purchases from the Handmade Silver Jewellery site are available with £5 off the first customer purchase.