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Shop Talk :: Glass Primitif

Fused Glass

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.
Glass Funny Face Magnet

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!

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Lynsey aka Swirlyarts June 8, 2011 - 6:52 am

Glad to see Jo here and yes Jo you can tell your style at first glance :) Jo is a lovely person to work with (craft fairs etc) and her stuff is gorgeous.

Kate Bowles June 8, 2011 - 9:17 am

Really pleased to see Jo on here! Her work is just lovely and her organisational skills amaze me, ditto everything Lynsey has said. Katex

littlewrenpottery June 8, 2011 - 2:59 pm

Great work, I love your vibrant colours really comes across in your photos.

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