This week we’re talking to Jo Whitehead from Folksy shop Glass Primitif
Could you describe your shop?
I like to think that potential customers can instantly recognise my work as the Glassprimitif style (although I may be flattering myself)! Everything I sell is fused or stained glass, designed and created by me and I have a passion for bright, in-yer-face colours. I like to keep my range small – magnets, dishes, decorations and jewellery – and affordable without being “bargain basement”.
Who does your Folksy shop appeal to?
My customers are looking for a gift for someone they love or to indulge themselves with a little bit of bright colour. They may be looking for a dish for a friend or a fun magnet for themesleves. Whether it;s for themesleves or a friend, I always include a small gift as an “extra”.
Is this your day job?
I sometimes wish that glass was my day job but, in reality, I never have enough time to devote to it. (One day I’ll change that). Instead I have a business called Artists in Business. I provide support and opportunities for designer-makers and artists such as organising handmade events, creating community arts projects, sending artists to work in schools, holding art exhibitions and delivering business seminars and creative workshops. http://artistsinbusiness.blogspot.com
Have you been into craft and the handmade lifestyle for long?
This is going to make me sound really old (!) but I used to have a stall in Portobello Market in 1980 selling “kitsch” (now called vintage) and then a stall at Covent Garden selling patchwork. I went to art school to study textile design in 1982 and have always supplemented my day job with some arty or creative project or other. I started selling fused glass on Etsy and when a friend introduced me to Folksy I absolutely fell in love with it. I think that folksy has helped me to see Handmade as a lifestyle.
Where do you promote your shop?
The usual suspects – blogging, other people’s blogs, Facebook Page, Twitter, Handmade forums, UKHandmade, craft fairs and events.
Do you have plans to expand your business in the future?
As I have just invested in a brand new kiln at huge expense I have sort of promised my Other Half that I will get serious and recoup the cost of the kiln in sales but I have put that on hold for the moment. Instead, I am concentrating mainly on Artists in Business, which is beginning to have some success. In five years I intend to have a premises for workshops including a ceramics studio and glass fusing studio so that emerging artists and designers can develop their own artistic practice.
What advice would you give to someone thinking about opening up a shop here on Folksy?
Unlike some social selling sites the Folksy Forums are your friends. Don’t be afraid to talk to people because Folksy is a both a professional and non-competitive place to sell. I see selling on Folksy as relationship selling rather than just a transaction.
We’d love to hear your comments on this great Folksy shop!