Every Wednesday The Folksy Blog will be finding out a little bit more about one of our sellers in this new series called ‘Shop Talk’. This week we’re talking to Flora Jamieson from Folksy shop ‘Through the Round Window’
“Through the Round Window – Stained Glass”
‘Through the Round Window’ is bursting with colour, which is exactly as it should be for a shop selling decorative stained glass. Flora has kept her shop front very clean and uncluttered with a simple white background for each piece. This not only shows off the fine detail of her work exceptionally well but allows the retro style she has adopted to really shine through. (excuse the pun!)
Could you describe your shop?
Small decorative stained glass items, hand-painted and fired in a kiln, with a Modern-Retro-Scandi style. I’m inspired by pattern, children’s book illustrations and the natural world. I try to use recycled glass where possible (bottles and glasses which I flatten out in my kiln) and Polish mouthblown glass, which comes in a vast array of colours and has little air-bubbles and striations, giving the glass a lot of “life”.
Who does your Folksy shop appeal to?
Anyone who likes colour and simple, unfussy design. I see a lot of stained glass “suncatchers” that are, frankly, a bit naff and I wanted to try and re-invent the idea of having a small piece of stained glass hanging in your window. To commission a full stained glass window for your house can be quite an expense and a commitment, but a small decorative item in handmade glass, designed with care and attention is accessible to anyone. Most people buy them as gifts, and a fair few come back to buy one for themselves!
Is this your day job?
Currently, my full-time job is being a mum. I have a 6 year old and a 3 year old, but somehow I manage to crowbar a few hours in the workshop a day. I also make larger windows and door panels to commission (www.stainedglasswindow.info) , so alas, my Folksy shop can get a bit neglected when I have other jobs on the go!
Have you been into craft and the handmade lifestyle for long?
I started selling on Folksy just over a year ago. It’s been a great way to get my work seen and really convenient to be able to run a small-scale business from home while bringing up my children. Before I had children, I worked in London for a stained glass company in Wandsworth which was great fun, but when we moved to down here to Dorset there just wasn’t the same demand for decorative stained glass, so I’ve managed to find a way to carry on doing what I love.
When you’re not selling online where do you promote and sell your stock?
Actually, most of my business comes from the web. I used to advertise in a local magazine, but it was almost too effective! I had so much work on (mainly repairs and large quantities of plain leaded windows – I am not good at turning work away!) and it all got a bit stressful and not very creative. So now most of my big commissions come either from word-of-mouth or via the web. Apart from Folksy I also blog and tweet. I was a bit anti-Twitter to start with, but now I think it’s marvelous entertainment, as well as a quick way to update people.
Do you have plans to expand your business in the future?
Once my youngest has started school, I’m hoping to be able to spend more time making and promoting my work. I have been really thrilled with the response I have received from people about my Folksy shop so far, so would love to be able to dedicate more time to it. I’d also like to sell in a few bricks-and-mortar shops and galleries too. My fantasy would be a co-operative with a couple of other arty/crafty friends – a bit like Made In Hastings.
Monbretia door panels inspired by
the designs of William Morris. Taken from Flora’s Period gallery on her website.
What advice would you give to someone thinking about opening up a shop here on Folksy?
Well, there are all sorts of things I’ve learnt through trial and error over the last year, some of which I’m not always able to adhere to myself! Most important is to have good, clear, pictures and to try and keep a consistency of style to them. I shoot all my items on a lightbox, so that I don’t have to worry about what the weather is doing on the day I’m taking pictures. Don’t get too hung up on making a sale at first. If you have a good product and nice clear pictures, word will get out and you’ll soon find that people start to trickle through your shop door. Be friendly, have fun and be positive – success breeds success! Motivational pep-talk over ;-)
We’d love to hear your comments!