This week’s featured shop is Peris & Corr, a small screen-printing studio run by Dyfrig Peris and Jennie Corr, whose collection of homewares, stationery and prints is stocked in around 30 shops in the UK. We asked Dyfrig and Jennie to share their tips and answer some of the questions often asked by Folksy sellers…
When did you start your business, and how has it developed since then?
We first started thinking about setting up the business in 2008. We were doing admin jobs in Manchester at the time. We both have degrees in Fine Art, and really wanted to do something creative, but we wanted to make work that was more accessible, or affordable, than paintings. So we started researching screen printing as we had both done a bit of printmaking at university. We knew that we wanted to use eco-friendly materials, so we spent a lot of time looking into materials and processes. Once our contract was up on our flat in Manchester, we moved back to North Wales where we could rent a cheap studio space, and set-up the business. We lived at our parents for a couple of years (thank you!) and worked part-time so we had some money to invest in the business. Everything has grown slowly since then. We now have regular customers that we do print work for, and sales of our own products are improving every year.
Do you work on Peris & Corr full time?
Yes, we do. There are two sides to our business: as well as making our own products we offer a screen-printing service. We really enjoy both sides of the business. The ‘making’ side is getting busier all the time, so we’re taking on fewer print jobs at the moment, especially in the run up to Christmas.
How do you promote your work?
This is the part that we aren’t very good at! We do a bit on social media, but that’s about it. Social media seems to be the easiest and quickest way of promoting our work. We’ve booked a stand at the Pulse trade fair in May next year and that will be a brilliant opportunity to promote our work to a new audience. We have a LOT of work to do before then!
How do you sell your work – online, wholesale, markets?
Online and wholesale mainly. We have around 30 shops that we sell to at the moment. Wholesale orders have been really good over the last couple of months. We finished all our Christmas range quite early and contacted shops with our wholesale price lists in the Summer – that has really improved our sales this season. Online sales are improving every year, and every weekend between now and Christmas is booked up with Christmas fairs, starting with Renegade in London a couple of weeks ago, and ending at Portmeirion on the weekend of the 7-8th December.
How do you price your work?
Exactly like Little Moxie explained on the Folksy blog last week. We have some items that have better margins than others and also some items that we don’t (or can’t) sell wholesale. For example, our clasp purses (pictured below) take too long to make so we can’t really sell them wholesale without making a loss, so we only sell them online.
Have you got any tips for other makers?
Try to be different. The handmade market is getting more crowded every year, so stand out by making original exciting products rather than trying to duplicate what’s out there already. And be patient, it’s not going to happen overnight. We’ve been to craft fairs in the past where we haven’t sold much and at the time it’s a bit disheartening, but try to look at it constructively and work on improving your display and products for next time. Finally, keep on top of your paperwork!