When did you start your Folksy shop, and what drew you to selling online?
I’ve had my shop for a couple of years now. I’ve lived all over the UK and moved around a fair bit with my previous jobs. One of the things I really love about having an online shop is that is gives me a huge amount of flexibility about where I live. So now I have been fortunate enough to relocate to a village on the south coast of Cornwall. I love my life here!
You used to run an award-winning design agency. How does that compare to working as an independent jeweller?
It’s really similar in a lot of ways, except that now it’s just me in charge. I think that previous experience has really helped me. The experience I’ve gained with customers in the past has taught me to be very attentive to customer service and the importance of being 100% professional and reliable. I also worked at Dyson for 10 years, and during that time I developed a really strong work ethic.
Gun Cufflinks, £85
How and where do you sell your work?
I sell mostly online now, but I do sell my work through a few galleries and boutiques, mainly in Cornwall but some in Ireland and some in south-east England too.
How you promote your work?
I use social media. Sites like Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest are crucial tools for sellers these days. But what’s really important to me is the customer experience. I have lots of returning customers because I really think it’s crucial to get customer service right. I work hard at that.
Do you have a formula for pricing your work?
Yes, simply put I calculate the cost of materials, postage and the time it takes me to make a piece. It’s fairly straight forward really.
How do you balance being creative with the demands of selling your work? How do you split your time?
For me, something will always come up that allows me to be creative. Commissions are a good example. Clients often want something unique and will have a specific idea about what they want, so I work with them to design and make that special piece of jewellery. But the main part of my business is making my more popular items, and I would make a point of saying that you should never be distracted from that side of your business. It is a balance, but both sides of the business are important to me.
Will works with clients on commissions, especially for wedding jewellery like this Diamond and White Gold Engagement Ring, £6,200
You’re a full-time jeweller and artist. Have you found it possible to earn a living from making alone?
Yes I have, but it’s taken me two years of hard work to build up my profile, my client base and to gain experience of the jewellery trade. I am still learning.
Have you got any tips for other Folksy sellers?
Definitely! Firstly, be really professional at all times – for example, be sure to answer questions from customers really promptly. Another really important thing is to take great photos. Both are crucial to selling online. And finally, keep tweaking and improving every aspect of your online shop – just like the head coach of the British Cycling Team at the Olympics, keep working to improve every detail of your shop. It’s a recipe for success!