This week we’re talking to Paul from Folksy shop ‘Shop of Navarone’
“Shop of Navarone! – Do not be scared…”
Wonderfully abstract and highly collectible. These pictures will make a great conversation piece for your home – of course Dobermen lead to houseboats! Paul should probably charge people just to browse this shop, the descriptions are very entertaining.
Could you describe your shop?
My Folksy shop is fairly new and contains illustrations detailing the inner workings of dangerous animals, silhouettes on what my mothers professions were, and a strange abecadarian called the dark alphabet. Most of the pieces are box frames comprised of vinyl on glass with vintage mixed media behind. I’ve also just started making lots of small black and white greeting cards and prints of my drawings. I like to make dark, silly or bizarre little works.
Who does your Folksy shop appeal to?
I think my shop would attract people who enjoy light hearted work or items surreal enough to maybe make you look twice. Some of the work is fresh, warm and colourful so as to be great for children and other work is dark and weird enough to appeal to people looking for something a little different.
Is this your day job?
Yes, making stuff is my day job now. I worked as an industrial engraver and signwriter for 8 years but over the last year I’m trying to get back to designing and making things for fun, getting my work into quirky one-off shops and maybe trying to sell at craft fairs. I’m loving being self-employed, I’m a bit poorer but a lot happier.
Have you been into craft and the handmade lifestyle for long?
I have always enjoyed making things, I went to art school and loved it, but like a lot of people felt slightly lost when I left because I still didn’t know what regular job I wanted to do. The recent surge in the handmade movement and lifestyle, and seeing so many other people making a variety of things, made me realise it might be possible just to do what i enjoy more seriously and make that my job. I should have realised that sooner, it just strangely didn’t occur to me.
Where do you promote your stock?
I’m not very good at promoting my shop, It’s something I should work on, but I do have a twitter account under paulofnavarone where I gently force my work down peoples throats. I have also just made fancy labels to stick on outgoing parcels. I’m hoping to get a lot of business from bored postmen, it’s my latest business strategy.
Do you have plans to expand your business in the future?
What advice would you give to someone thinking about opening up a shop here on Folksy?
Hmmm well, I’m fairly new myself, but i would say if you are thinking about doing it, be confident in your stuff and do it, because it’s good fun most of all. If you are new to making your stuff I would say force yourself to be organised and business-like even though the most fun part is the creating stage. Learn what time of day you work best and exploit it. Make a rough assembly line from the first step, right through to packaging and have as much prepared in advance and to hand as you can because making things run smoothly is important for your own growing confidence and the quality of the product. and i suppose just try to get people their item as quickly, with as little fuss as possible and maybe give them a little more than what they thought they were getting.
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