Sunday, 9 October 2011
I popped into Handmade today and decided I'd try and figure out what my top five favourite items currently on sale are. Kirstin then suggested I write this guest blog post about them, so if you're sitting comfortably...
It was a really tricky task to pick just five things with so much talent represented in the shop. Choosing twenty would have been so much easier. But in no particular order, here they are:
Knitted Sandwich Purse, by Sarah Harwin, £14.
I've been into these for so long. I cannot believe how much work has gone into these for such a low price. Filled pitta breads also available!
Printed Fabric Badges, by Vickeh, £2.
Apparantly these are a new addition to this talented designer's range, so if I were you, I'd hurry and snap some up before they sell out. I bought two (a letter and some scissors) for Christmas presents. I normally wouldn't think about Christmas so early but these were screaming 'BUY ME' so I racked my brains to find a reason to obey!
'Eric on Brighton Beach' Postcard, by Kirstin Stride, 50p.
In my opinion, this is the most perfect souvenir postcard. I've sent a few of these to friends who live abroad in thinly veiled attempts to lure them to Brighton to visit me!
Birdie Shorts, by Charlotte Haggerty, size 8-10, £55.
Charlotte Haggerty is making a real name for herself in the UK fashion scene, so it's really exciting to see some of her creations in the flesh. I love pretty much everything she makes, but these shorts are such a clever design they really stood out to me. As a sewer myself and therefore pretty obsessed with these things, I was quick to discover that the finish of all her garments is absolutely phenomenal. These shorts are going to make someone very happy!
Gallion Print, by Fox Fisher, £35.
It was so difficult to select my favourite print from all that are stocked in Handmade. I have a bit of a weakness for nautical imagery, and I love how this traditional illustration is juxtaposed with the multi-coloured ink effect. Total limited-edition genius for just £35!
Monday, 3 October 2011
As you may know, we have a rather lovely and useful basement space at our disposal here at the Handmade Co-op shop. Last month we hosted our ‘Selling for People who hate Selling’ symposium in as well as a regular photography workshop. We also have other plans in the pipeline to facilitate cool new discussions/workshops/exhibitions/classes for creative-minded locals to get iinvolved in. This will also attract more attention to the work of the artists and designers that is stocked in our shop. And as a non-profit co-operative, any funds that these events can generate will help cover overheads and insure we are able to support those artists and designers for longer. Win-win-win.
One particular set of plans that I am very excited about could do with a little helping hand to actualise. We aim, starting very early next year, to provide expert sewing assistance and access to sewing machines and equipment to people without the often-preventative cost and commitment needed to sign up to a standard sewing class. The sewing sessions will be user-directed, so the sewing experts can be on hand to help with whatever the individual wishes to learn, rather than following a set ‘making a skirt’ or ‘making a cushion cover’ formula.
We have been offered use of a sufficient amount of sewing machines, overlockers and equipment, but we are severely lacking in surfaces to use it all on. Due to the non-profit nature of Handmade (and the make-do and mend nature some of us share!) buying a load of new tables isn’t an option. So if you have, or know of, any unwanted tables, desks or computer tables that could be used to sew on, please please prettiest of pleases, email handmade.co (at) hotmail (dot) com to donate them!!!!
Saturday, 24 September 2011
Two weeks ago we hosted an experimental event entitled ‘Sales for People who hate Selling’ in the basement space of our shop. The aim of the event, which was the joint brain-baby of Zoe from Brighton Craftaganza and Patrick Potter, a marketing and copy writing genius, was to find an alternative way to support the local creative community, aside from providing a venue at which to sell their work at the Brighton Craftaganza craft markets.
The free event took the form of a structured discussion breaking down and analysisng the four main sections of an ‘anatomy of a sale’:
- Opening communication
- Building Rapport
'It was all very welcoming, and mainly, not cheesy! (I've been to a lot of corporate training events, so this was a breath of fresh air - to be treated like a human and not a robot!). Would you like to see a different structure to this event? It was ideal for me, welcoming and intimate, and thankfully, no role playing!! (my pet hate...)' Kate Butler
'There was a lot of content and you had obviously spent time planning and thinking about it, which was amazing. I learnt a lot more than I thought I might.' Claire Munday
'Do you know, this is the first event I've taken part in that has actually even considered this subject?!' Marguerite Savan
A PDF containing much of the content of this discussion event will be made available for free download soon from the Brighton Craftaganza blog, so make sure you pop over there soon to see if you too can pick up some techniques and methods to improve your sales the next time you come face-to-face with the public!
Wednesday, 31 August 2011
It’s no secret that most creative people hate selling. It’s awkward and embarrassing to sell in a face to face situation to people you don’t know. This is especially true when selling stuff you have made yourself. We are such critical ‘parents’ that we forget that the stuff we make is UNIQUE, PRECIOUS and LOVINGLY HANDMADE and therefore stupidly, tremendously, staggeringly VALUABLE. The paradox is that selling more stuff is brilliant for makers. The more you sell, the more time you can spend making more stuff. It is a positive cycle.
So, what can you expect from this ‘Sales for People who Hate Selling’ symposium? Well, it will start with a structured discussion about the values and motivations behind creating and selling so we can all learn about why we as individuals want to sell and how we would ideally like to do it.
There will then be a presentation on how to use basic selling theory to open communication, build rapport and communicate just how special and desireable your work is and, finally, some basic strategies to CLOSE THE SALE. This presentation will be brought to you by Zoe Edwards of Brighton Craftaganza, Patrick Potter – Content Marketer & Copywriter and Anthony Appleton – Sales Trainer.
The presentation will be followed by group discussion in which everyone, from those who are already excellent sellers of their creations to those who are totally new to it, are welcome to share ideas, thoughts and feelings.
This symposium will give you an introduction to sales theory and a whole load of super-stimulating conversation with really interesting peers looking to achieve the same things you are.
SO… how can you sell more stuff in face-to-face situations? You can start by coming down to the symposium on SATURDAY 10TH SEPTEMBER at the basement space here at the Handmade Co-op, 106 St James Street, BN2 1TP (next to the Saint James pub). It will start at 5pm until approx. 7pm. This event is free and tea and coffee will be provided, however we ask for a voluntary donation of £2 per person to assist us with the overheads of hosting this event.
If you are interested in coming along, please leave a comment on this post or send Zoe a quick email to craftaganza (at) g mail (dot) com to give us a rough idea of numbers. Please feel free to use that email address also if you have queries.
Hope to see you there!!!!
Tuesday, 16 August 2011
We now have a collection of work at the shop by Sarah Julia Clark, I now own one of her lovely birchwood badges of a gentleman with a fine moustache - he's great!
She's also posted a lovely piece about us on her blog. Click here to take a peek...
Saturday, 23 July 2011
Friday, 22 July 2011
For those of you who haven't managed to see it yet you've got one week left! we have opened up the shop basement for a small exhibition:
Thursday, 9 June 2011
Tuesday, 31 May 2011
When did you start making things?
When I was little I was obsessed with drawing, painting and making things, then when I was about 15/16 I began making jewellery, really kitsch stuff like tape-measure brooches, and earrings made from toy shoes and guitar plectrums. I decided to start selling on eBay and had weekly auctions for quite a while. I also sold through social networking sites like Livejournal and Myspace. I’ve gone off on loads of different tangents since then, so have ended up with an extremely eclectic collection of pieces that I’ve made over the years!
How did you find out about Handmade?
I took part in a couple of the Handmade Brighton craft fairs, which I found out about online. I’d also taken part in some other local craft fairs but the Handmade one looked particularly creative and interesting. I wanted to take part in the shop as soon as it opened, but was working day and night on my degree (fashion design) so had to wait til after I’d graduated.
What do you find is the most inspiring thing in your life? (person, place, object, etc)
I know it’s really boring to say this, but it can be anything! I love pattern, shapes, lines, details and colours, rather than a particular ‘style’. So I often find inspiration in the details on parts of buildings, natural forms, surfaces...things like that! I love art deco patterns and I also love the detail in world crafts/artworks, for example Indian textiles and tribal patterns. I did a print design internship in Jaipur, India, which got me really into print and pattern.
What is the song you just can’t get out of your head right now?
Thanks to Spotify I’ve been listening to loads of bands I haven’t heard in years so lots of nostalgia! Loads of cheesy metal and 90s pop too. One song that’s been stuck in my head recently that’s actually by a new band is ‘I’ll Be Alright’ by a Brighton band called White Light.
Do you prefer to work alone or with others? Why?
I did love living and working with friends from my course while I was still studying my degree, and I enjoy having company and someone to chat to while I’m working. But particularly when I’m working on a new idea and I need to concentrate, I love being on my own and listening to really loud music while making things! I’d like to collaborate with people in the future though, could be fun…
What was the best meal you’ve eaten in the last week?
I attempted making some crispy spicy tofu and that went pretty well…also my friend cooked an amazing home made pizza the other day.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Unfortunately I haven’t won the lottery yet so I have to work in a pub to pay the bills! So really I’d say I do all my jewellery making/designing/researching in my spare time! Also love music and live gigs, watching films, and catching up with friends. How cheesy!
Thanks very much Rosa!
Monday, 30 May 2011
Thursday, 26 May 2011
Hey guys! Guess what? In June we're going to be taking part in a great event at the Green Door Store in Brighton. Handmade will have a pop-up shop, the Brighton Sausage Co. will be there selling some sausages, and Susie Clarke will be performing. Click here to check out the facebook event for more information.
Tuesday, 17 May 2011
If you’ve popped into the shop over the past month, you may have noticed that there’s some new clothing all up in here! We currently stock a range of skirts from the label Blatant Self Promotion, the brain-baby of recent Brighton immigrant, Zoe Edwards.
A-line skirts in a palette of red, grey and black feature hand-appliquéd leather bird motifs and satin stitched lettering to wearable graphic effect. A wider range of styles from this label will be hitting our rails imminently, but if you wish to snap up one of this first batch, you’d best hurry as they’ve been selling steadily since they arrived.
Since her arrival to Brighton last August, fresh from a two year ‘adventure’ in Barcelona, this self-confessed sewing obsessive has been a busy creative lady. She landed her dream job at Traidremade, the refashioning and upcycling wing of the charity Traid. Outside of work hours, she co-organises Brighton Craftaganza, a fantastic craft market held at Fabrica. The first was held in March this year, and provided an exciting platform for local designer/makers (including many of the designers stocked in Handmade) to sell their wares and add further prove that handmade goods rival and surpass mass-manufactured goods in quality, originality and sustainability.
An member of the online sewing and sustainability communities, Zoe has also organised a number of world-wide handmade clothing challenges, the latest being Me-Made-June ’11 which aims to encourage sewers, knitters, crochetters, etc. to wear the fruits of their labours for the duration of the month. Check out her blog to find out what she’s been up to lately.
Tuesday, 10 May 2011
Saturday, 7 May 2011
Monday, 18 April 2011
Wednesday, 6 April 2011
Thursday, 31 March 2011
Monday, 28 March 2011
-when did you start making things?
-how did you find out about Handmade?
I did a few of the Handmade fairs at the Komedia, They were always filled with gorgeous things and great fun. When it became a shop I jumped at the chance to be involved. You can find me working in there most weeks.
-what do you find is the most inspiring thing in your life? (person, place, object, etc)
Wow there are just too many things! I’m obsessed with Weimar Berlin, Religious Iconography and early cinema but my all time inspiration is my grandmother. She’s an amazing woman who tells the most wonderful stories. She has always encouraged me to pursue my art and her house is absolutely filled with my creations.
-what is the song you just can't get out of your head right now?
Song in Blue by Les Paul & Mary Ford
-do you prefer to work alone or with others? Why?
I’ve always had pretty strong ideas of what I wanted to do creatively, so I prefer to work alone. That said, I’d be open to collaborations in the future!
-what was the best meal you've eaten in the last week?
Marmite Rice. Boyfriend speciality.
-what do you like to do in your spare time?
I spend pretty much all my time drawing, watching bizarre films, fussing cats and reading books on mad old silent film stars.
-is there a favourite piece of your work you would like to share?
‘Her Warm Embrace’ It’s piece about loss. Each little part of the picture has a personal meaning for me.
Friday, 18 March 2011
Monday, 28 February 2011
Hey guys! It's Angela. I'm gonna try keep up the blog as best I can, and I hope to feature some of our current designers and makers. For now, have a look at some of the work that's in the shop. Click their name to be taken to their websites for more information and pop into the shop to get yours hands on it before it's gone! 106 St James Street, Brighton