Flextiles on Etsy

scarf-turquoise-geometricOne of the reasons I’ve been rather quiet on the blogging front is that I’ve been taking part in Etsy Mentoring Month with Makerhood.

I’ve steered clear of online shops in the past because frankly I was a bit overwhelmed at having to find suitable packaging, calculate postage and not least take decent photos (hah!). Or maybe I’m just lazy. 🙂

Besides, I like meeting people at fairs and markets and talking to them about my work, seeing what they pick up and what questions they ask – all good market research!

However, the opportunity came up to work with a partner for a month, helping each other critique existing shops or set up a new one, with weekly meet-ups to share experiences and problems. So I thought I’d take the plunge and – ta da! – here is my Etsy shop.

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It’s looking very blue at the moment, as the only packaging I have is for scarves and fat quarters, but I’ll be adding some more colourful felt at some stage. 🙂

I also need to work on the photos – I’m finding it particularly difficult to photograph the larger scarves, and I need some “lifestyle” shots of the scarves actually being worn rather than just laid out (if I can find a willing model).

fq-stripes-circles-angleWorking with a partner under the mentoring scheme has been great, and knowing that you have to report progress each week is a real motivation – if I’d been left to my own devices it would inevitably have gone to the bottom of my “to do” list.

And I’ve learned an awful lot about photography, tagging, writing descriptions and shop policies, branding… in fact, I’ve learned that if anything I underestimated how much work it would be!

With more than 1 million new members joining Etsy every month, heaven only knows how anyone will find me or my work (which explains the importance of tagging and SEO).

I’m not going to stop doing real-world markets – my scarves sold well at the Summer Tumblr at the Garden Museum, and I like meeting other makers as well as buyers.

But if you have any tips or advice on selling through Etsy, do let me know!

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Flextiles uses shibori, ecoprinting and felting to create original, one-off upcycled pieces. Extending the life of a garment by an extra nine months reduces its environmental impact by 20-30%.

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