Shop Talk: Charlotte Macey

Charlotte Macey, Shop Talk interview

Textile designer Charlotte Macey sold her very first item on Folksy way back in the summer of 2009, before her business was even officially launched. Since then, she has built a name for herself as a British homewares brand with a rural English aesthetic combined with simple Scandinavian design. She’s achieved this by a creating quality products and photographs, maintaining a strong, consistent style, using Facebook to grow her fanbase, exhibiting at trade fairs, targeting stockists she feels are the right fit for her textile designs, and having a team of friends and family at hand to help her at busy times. We spoke to Charlotte to find out more…  

Can you introduce yourself?
Hello! My name’s Charlotte and I am a textile designer and maker, and the owner of homewares brand Charlotte Macey.

When and how did you start your business?
I officially launched my business in May 2010. I already had a website that I’d been selling my embroidered artwork on since I finished university, so I updated it with the new products I had started making. I also discovered Folksy, so opened up a Folksy shop to give myself an extra platform to sell through. I still remember the feeling of excitement about my first sale!

charlotte-macey-interview-shop-talk

Is Charlotte Macey just you or do you have a team of Charlottes?
Charlotte Macey is me and my ‘mini team’. My mum helps out with a lot of the making, and I have a few friends who help out with snipping when things get a bit crazy – particularly in the lead-up to big fairs and the run-up to Christmas. My dad also makes all the bookends that we sell out in his workshop – a true Cotswold craftsman!

Charlotte Macey

My mum helps out with a lot of the making, and I have a few friends who help out with snipping when things get a bit crazy.

Do you think your experience working for a textiles magazine helped you when it came to running your own design business?
Yes I think so. I started as an intern at Selvedge Magazine and then stayed on as an office assistant. I think that experience helped me become a lot more competent in a range of areas. The range of tasks that I would complete in any one day was so varied, and that’s how each of my days are now – from design to admin, to customer service and accounts… let alone the sewing side of things!

How do you find stockists for your textiles?
When I first started out I would email small shops and galleries that I thought looked like the right fit for my products. I now also go to trade fairs and get enquiries through my website.

Charlotte Macey

I started small at the Country Living Fair, sharing a stand with a fellow maker, and I’ve gradually increased the size of stand as time has gone on.

How have the trade fairs worked for you?
I started small at the Country Living Fair, sharing a stand for my first year with a fellow maker, and I’ve gradually increased the size of stand as time has gone on. I think you need to start small and work on building what you have.

How do you promote your work?
I generally stick to using our Facebook page, which is also linked to our Twitter page, so it’s a great time saver on busy days! I also send out one or two newsletters a month, with special offers, new products and details of any fairs we are going to throughout the year.

 

Shop Charlotte Macey on Folksy >

Read our Meet the Maker interview with Charlotte >

 

Social media links:
Charlotte Macey on Pinterest
CharlotteMaceyTextiles on Facebook
@CharlotteMacey on Twitter
@CharlotteMacey on Instagram

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