How to create a best-selling Mother’s Day gift – ideas, inspiration and marketing tips
Mother’s Day is one of the biggest occasions in the retail calendar, with more people spending money on Mother’s Day –traditionally known as Mothering Sunday in the UK – than on events like Easter, Valentine’s Day and Father’s Day (according to Mintel). It’s a time when people want a way to express their love, thanks and appreciation. They’re looking for something special for one of the most important people in their lives, so as a designer and maker it’s a great opportunity to create something particularly meaningful to those giving and receiving, and also to be found by buyers who might not otherwise see your work.
In the UK this year Mothering Sunday falls on Sunday 31 March 2019
In many other European countries and in the US, Canada and Australia, Mother’s Day is Sunday 12 May 2019
Some interesting figures to bear in mind when you’re designing, marketing and selling your Mother’s Day range are that around 60% of people in the UK buy a Mother’s Day card or gift, and the average spend on Mother’s Day is around £41 for men or £29 for women (these figures are for 2017) – although the fact men spend £12 more on average could be because they leave their buying until the last-minute and end up paying more (which also shows how important it is to offer fast postage and make sure all your postage settings are clear and up to date!).
It’s also useful to note that people spend more on Mother’s Day than they do on Father’s Day, with some reports showing that the average spend on Mother’s Day is three times as high as on Father’s Day. Whether that’s because, as one consumer psychologist suggests, most of us simply think our mothers deserve better or bigger presents, because of changing demographics (read more here), because it’s seen as a more authentic and important occasion, or because women are easier to buy for, Mother’s Day is one occasion when people are willing to spend more to find a special, meaningful gift – and that’s where you, as an independent designer and maker, can come in!
Featured image: Miniature House in a Box Mother’s Day Gift by Emma Verner
Personalised Branches Cluster necklace by Claire Gent – find it here on Folksy
Design something personal, unique and meaningful
One way to create a Mother’s Day gift that fits the brief of being both meaningful and special is to design a product that can be personalised, for example by incorporating initials, names, birth dates or birth stones. But think about ways you can make yours different and unique. There are lots of Mother’s Day gifts available which can be personalised with a name, and although these are always popular, is there something else you could do to stand out? The more meaningful, the more likely it is to appeal.
One jeweller who does that well is Sarah Hoare, aka Bird and Monkey on Folksy. Send Sarah a picture of a child’s drawing and she can turn it into a necklace, brooch or ring. This is a clever idea which is perfect for Mother’s Day as it gives the recipient a beautiful piece of jewellery designed by their child or grandchild, or even adapted from a picture their now grown-up child drew when they were young. Sarah’s idea encompasses the things most people want in a Mother’s Day present: something thoughtful, unique, meaningful and an expression of their love.
Bespoke jewellery from children’s drawings by Sarah from Bird and Monkey – available on Folksy here
Top Tip: Our new variations feature makes it even easier to create and sell personalised products on Folksy, as you can add custom text or offer a variety of options – we’ve intentionally designed this feature to be as flexible and adaptable as possible so you can use it in a way that best fits your products. Find out more about variations and how to add them to your products here – How to use variations on Folksy)
Find Joanna Wakefield’s Spirit collection and more of her silver jewellery on Folksy
Use themes related to motherhood as inspiration
There are, of course, other ways of creating special meaningful Mother’s Day gifts without going down the bespoke route. You could design pieces that relate to stories, lyrics or poems which have love or motherhood at their centre (just be sure you’re not in breach of copyright) or you could use a quote about motherhood that resonates with you as the jumping off point for an idea. Try Pinterest for ideas – or your lovely local library!
You could also create a Mother’s Day collection around traditional symbols of love or family. An example of this is Joanna Wakefield’s ‘Spirit’ collection, which is based on the meaning of the circle: eternity and protection. Joanna’s concept works well for Mother’s Day, but is not just limited to that occasion, so could still sell well for the rest of the year too. Likewise, there are probably pieces in your current collection that could work perfectly for Mother’s Day even though they weren’t designed with that in mind. Adding a few words to their title, description and tags that relate to Mother’s Day will help those appear in any searches people make for Mother’s Day ideas.
Personalised Crochet Champion art print by PhotoFairytales – available on Folksy here
Think about your audience and values
Every shop window in the run-up to Mother’s Day is bursting with flowers and cliché images of a smiling mum surrounded by her archetypal 2-parent, 2.4-children family. But is that view of motherhood right for your audience? Imagine you are one of your customers. What do you think they value about motherhood? What do YOU value? Would a gift that was tailored to their mother’s passion, her spirit, her independence, her talents or humour work better? Could you reach new customers by creating a product that really resonates with them, and one that they haven’t seen anywhere else?
We’re so used to seeing saccharine cards and gifts for Mother’s Day but it doesn’t have to be that way – meaningful doesn’t necessarily mean sentimental. If you can get this right, you could build a mini marketing campaign that generates a buzz around your concept, enabling you not only to sell to your existing audience but also pull in new customers who identify with your message and perhaps even garner some press attention.
Spring Flowers Bone China Mug by Hannah Madden – available on Folksy here
Get the word out about your Mother’s Day range
As always, telling people about your designs is just as important as making them. So don’t just create a product and list it – work out the best way to get it in front of people. It doesn’t have to be a complex campaign of epic proportions, but think of different ways to get it out there. For example:
- get your followers invested in your concept and involved in the making process right from the beginning by polling them in Instagram Stories or asking for their experiences of motherhood on social media
- while still designing your products, give people an insight into the new Mother’s Day range you’re creating by posting work-in-progress pictures on social media (there is a #FolksyWIP hashtag you can use on Instagram and Twitter so more people see them)
- when your product is ready, take time to get the photography right – think about how you can style it to appeal to your audience and make it immediately recognisable as a Mother’s Day gift
- then, when listing your product on Folksy, make sure you use relevant keywords like ‘Mother’s Day gift’ in your title, description and tags
- once listed, tell us about your products in our Mother’s Day Gift Ideas thread on the Folksy Forums – https://talk.folksy.com/t/suggestions-for-our-mothers-day-guides-add-your-items-for-2019/9907/1144
- tell your email subscribers about your new Mother’s Day products – make sure they are the first to hear about it or have the opportunity to buy, and think about offering them something special if they order, for example nice gift wrapping or free personalisation so they feel valued. Read our tips on how to write a great newsletter here – https://blog.folksy.com/2017/10/03/newsletter-ideas
- share your finished products on social media but remember to “tell not sell” – aim to make your posts interesting for your audience, not just a post advertising a new product
- don’t be afraid to share your products and range multiple times across multiple platforms. Only a small percentage of your followers will see each post, so maximise your views by talking about it again and again – just try to find a new way to do it each time with a new photo and a different caption that tells them something they don’t already know or catches their interest
- tag us in your social media posts so we can see and share them – and make sure you link to your Folksy shop in your profile!
- think of ways to encourage your friends, fans and fellow Folksy sellers to share your new products on their social media channels – possibly by doing a giveaway on social media or compiling your own gift guide or Pinterest board with your favourite Mother’s Day gifts (featuring your product alongside others) that they might then share
- consider sending your Mother’s Day product as a gift to journalists or influencers who you think might be interested. If you do try this route, do your research and really think about who to send it to and why you think they might like it. Make your approach personal and thoughtful. Read more about working with influencers here – What is influencer marketing and how can it help your craft business?
- create a Pinterest related to your Mother’s Day range on Pinterest but don’t just pin your product – think of it like a magazine where you’re curating a beautiful gallery of images on a theme or concept
- blog about your new range – and explain the story and concept behind it, linking back to your Folksy shop so people know where they can buy it
- use the Shop Announcements feature on Folksy to highlight your Mother’s Day gifts, collections or offers – read how to use the shop announcements feature here – http://blog.folksy.com/2016/10/12/new-shop-announcement-feature
These are just some ideas – you can read more marketing tips for makers here – https://blog.folksy.com/category/seller-tips/marketing-for-makers
This is interesting and I enjoyed reading it :-). However, one quibble. The British name for the day on which we celebrate Mums is “Mothering Sunday” not “Mother’s Day”; it is a different day from the US etc. day. As Folksy is a British site I think it is worth being a bit careful to recognise and value the uniqueness of British culture on points like this.
You’re absolutely right, Cherry, and we did consider using the term ‘Mothering Sunday’ but ‘Mother’s Day’ seems to have become the more commonly used term and we wanted this article to reach as many people as possible, we decided to mostly refer to it as Mother’s Day here. We will add in some references to Mothering Sunday to clarify the point. Thanks for flagging this up and making us think more carefully about the terms we use.
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