Monday, 7 November 2011

Things British.

A couple of months ago, I was sent a message from 'Things British' which was a new shop opening in Carnaby Street, in London ...and that they were specialising in selling handmade goods to the public.
I've often been emailed similar things before, but never paid attention due to lack of time. However, as this shop was going to be in London and in a great part of it too...it certainly peaked my interest! The deal was very simple - I would pay (a very good price) for shelf space, and that was all! I was set on involving myself with this, but found it very hard getting the time to prepare things for it as I was at the busiest period with my full-time job!
I didn't want to miss out on the opportunity as shelf space was going fast, so I decided to just dedicate a few hours over the weekend sorting it all out. There was so much to consider as apart from selling online, I hadn't really experienced any other selling method! I had to think about how I was going to package everything, label/price them...and most importantly, how I was going to display it!!

I decided to get some oversized postcards made via Vistaprint (very happy with the outcome!) as I offer such a variety of things that wouldn't fit on the shelf, so I hoped that people would take one and visit me online too!
Onto the hard part, packaging! As all of my charm necklaces are supplied with a matching pouch, I couldn't decide whether to leave them out or to package them in cellophane...I decided on the latter and popped a business card (made from MOO.com) into each one. I roughly laid my jewellery, some books and writing sets out on my table and took a quick snap oh how I hoped it would be merchandised on my shelf.
The evening before I had my shelf booked, I took everything to Things British in a box and with no time to merchandise it myself, hoped for the best! The shop was also so lovely and in a great location. There is an abundance of things to look at and I was pleased to notice the products of some fellow Etsy sellers there too!
It wasn't until another 2 weeks that I was able to stop by again to look at my shelf for the first time and it definitely didn't look like how I had hoped! It was exactly how I had displayed it at home, but it unfortunately did not look the same on a shelf. It was clear that I had much more to learn about Visual Merchandising and I found a new appreciation for the skill. 
My shelf just looked boring and I felt there was no personality...and if I was a customer, I don't think I would hang around my shelf for long! I also thought it was quite flat and made a mental note of getting some more acrylic display stands into place! 
Darrell, the Director, also gave me some good advice on how to improve my shelf and feedback on some of the things I had sold. So regardless of how I felt about my shelf, things had still sold, which was a positive! I just knew I couldn't leave it how it was...and coincidentally had taken a week 'holiday' off work and decided to utilise some of this time to sorting it out properly!! An update on this will be published soon!
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