This week we’re talking to Liz Foster from Folksy shop Liz Foster Design
Could you describe your shop?
Yes. It’s modern and bright. I’m focussing on making cushions for now, but will be expanding into other areas soon…so watch this space! I’ve only been on Folksy for two weeks so feel like I’m still setting up shop. I love using beautiful fabrics, like dupion silk and also have some vintage fabrics which will find their way into my designs too.
Who does your Folksy shop appeal to?
Hopefully, anyone who appreciates contemporary design and traditional craftsmanship. I want my designs to be accessible, yet I want my customers to feel that they are buying something special that they can’t get anywhere else. I imagine my designs finding their way into relaxed but design conscious homes and becoming part of the family.
Is this your day job?
It’s more 5 to 9 than 9 to 5. I gave up work as a full-time art teacher when I had my little boy (2 ½ yrs ago now!). I was really ready for a change and decided that I would try and develop a business idea that I could work on from home while being a mum. Having a kid was the push that I needed to leave full time employment, and no, no regrets. It took me a while to decide on what to focus on and to develop my skills, but it’s been worth it.
Have you been into craft and the handmade lifestyle for long?
Well, I studied for a degree in painting at Art School and have pursued my career as a painter since then. Over the years I’ve become increasingly interested in textile design and ‘making’ as well as painting. I’m a total magpie for new techniques and methods. As a teacher I had to set up a Graphic Design course, which is where my obsession with typography began. I started working in a much more mixed-media way, incorporating appliqué text and images into my painting and eventually it’s led me to this. It’s been a very organic progression for me.
Where do you promote your shop?
At the moment I have a link to Folksy on my own website and I’ve just set up a Facebook page. I’ve signed up to do my first run of craft fairs later this year (first in July), so hopefully I can use that to promote my online business. At the moment I sell through one gallery too. Other than that, word of mouth.
Do you have plans to expand your business in the future?
Yes. I really want this to be a viable business and not just a hobby. At the moment I‘m looking for someone local to help me out with the sewing, to ease a bit of the pressure of being a one-woman band. Later on I want to expand into printed designs & wallpapers too. I’ve recently created my logo and had labels & tags made to help establish my brand.
What advice would you give to someone thinking about opening up a shop here on Folksy?
I think the main incentive is the low set up fees, so you don’t need to invest upfront in your own website if you don’t want. It’s also really easy to get going. It’s nice being part of a group, especially if you work from home, as that can be a bit isolating. In terms of tips, I’d recommend looking at other shops to give you an idea of what’s out there. And get organised! Work out standard postage, text content and photography, this will save you masses of time in the long run.
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