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Guest Blog – Setting up a craft business

Red Anchor Stamp

Setting up your own business is tough. It takes dedication, perseverance and a lot of hard work. And I’m only just starting to scratch the surface. I thought I’d share the ups and downs I’ve had so far in getting Red Anchor Emporium off the ground.

I knew from the beginning exactly what I wanted to do. I love sewing. I’d much rather be at home sewing from morning until night than be sat behind a desk in an office, which is the reality of my admin job working for the NHS. As a burlesque performer I’ve been creating my own costumes for years and had made handbags and other bits and pieces for myself and friends when I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for in the shops. The decision to sell the things I was making was a simple one really but after a while it really started to bother me how little time I had for actually making products while I was working full time. After lots of number crunching I made the decision to reduce the hours I worked at the day job and try and turn my passion into a viable business and more importantly an income.

The first things I needed were a name and a logo. The name came together pretty quickly (I love anchors and have a red and blue one tattooed on my arm, simple) and my good pal Charlotte Thomson-Morley drew up some amazing sketches for the branding. I had an idea in my head for giving all of my promotional material, stationary and packaging a handmade feel and stamps was the perfect solution. The artwork that Charlotte had done for me wasn’t compatible as a stamp design so it was re-drawn and sized correctly (thank you Charlotte for knowing what you’re doing). Ta Da…. personalised in a flash. I’ll be stamping everything now!

One of the most important things with any business, big or small, is promotion. How are you going to sell anything if no one knows who are you, what you do or that you even exist? I already have a Facebook account so I made a new page for the business and also opened another Twitter account to post my ramblings about buttons and fabric. Finding like minded designer/makers and people who are likely to be interested in my products is going to be a never ending job, you can’t rest on your laurels so keeping everything updated on a regular basis is going to be very important.

Getting my blog up and running is something I’m very excited about. I want to use it as my main website, where I can post about my products as they’re being made. I really like the idea of customers being able to follow the stages of creation and then being able to buy them when they’re finished. No doubt there’ll be a fair amount of glittery, feathery nonsense posted too! Blogs score really highly on search engines so they’re a great way for people to find you. Having contact details and links to any of your other sites is also a must. Get to know your fellow bloggers, post comments on the ones you read and link back to them through your own. You’ll find the favour is returned and your readership will grow. I posted links to a few of the craft blogs I follow on my last post here on Creative Nottingham.  I’ve listed some of my other favourites below, a little bit of vintage, a little bit of rock n roll, see if there’s something you fancy.

Super Kawaii Mama

Rock N Roll Bride

Retro Chick

Vixen Vintage

Casey’s Elegant Musings

Part 2 on Sunday…