We were asked to make a trophy base for the Saint Cuthbert’s Way Ultramarathon Race by the organisers of the race, Trail Outlaws. They had purchased a lovely replica St Cuthbert’s cross made by Wild Goose Studio and needed a mount and base with plates for engraving.
Originally the base was supposed to be an ‘impossible wood’ design but unfortunately it didn’t quite work out and we went for this sandwich-style design instead. We both thought it looked better anyway. The woods are walnut and oak and are finished with Danish Oil which acts to protect and darken the wood.
Close-up detailing of the wooden sandwich effect made from walnut and oak
The stand itself has a uniquely-designed celtic style detailing, carefully cut with a mini scroll/fret saw. It is fully removable to allow for engraving to take place. A small dowel holds the cross in place.
Celtic detailing on the trophy stand
The oak stand for the Saint Cuthbert’s cross
The engraving plates and name plate are made of copper and hand stamped. The letters will oxidise over time and add a lovely effect. I thought about adding another couple of plates on the sides but it would have overwhelmed the design with the amount of copper.
Hand-stamped lettering on the front of the trophy denoting the name of the race
Copper engraving plates on the top of the base
To finish it off we added these little rubber feet.
We were both pretty proud of the result!
Congratulations to everyone who finished the 45 miles from Holy Island to Melrose along the Saint Cuthbert’s Way. We hope everyone had fun in the race and congratulations to Peter Gibson who came in first place and will be the first proud owner of this trophy … until next year!
So, in case you don’t already know, I, well technically we(!), have a little craft business on the side (one that is designed to be profitable rather than just a ‘hobby business’ as they say). We have the rather unusual business of making bespoke and different-to-the-usual medals and trophies.
We have made anything between 3 and 500! Get in touch if you are interested in what we can do for you!
I want to go through each thing I’ve done individually, but here’s my favourites so far:
What do you think? Would you be happy to receive one of these?
I collected data on 267 shops on Etsy which belong to the UK Etsyers group. I took a note of:
Number of items for sale
Shop start date
Number of reviews
Number of sales
Number of admirers
I found out some interesting things by looking at these numbers.
18% of shops had no sales: Over half of these had no items so could partially explain why they had no sales. Apart from one shop which had just opened all of these shops had less than 31 items. Also over 80% had less than 10 admirers. Therefore if you have no sales get more items and get lots of admirers.
23% of shops had no items and an additional 11% were on holiday: This means that at any one time 1/3 of shops aren’t trading. Think of this as less competition, but if you want to sell, make sure you keep your shop stocked.
Around a quarter of sales will get a review: Apart from one crazy outlier who had loads of reviews, this is a very strong relationship. So if you get 1 review out of every four items you sell, you’re fine.
Almost half of shops have less than 50 total sales: You will be in the top 20% of shops if you have sold over 100 since you have been open.
The average number of sales in the first 6 months of opening is 11.
The highest number of sales per day (as an average since the shop has opened) is 6: Sometimes I wonder for all your effort over the years, is it worth just 6 items a day?
More items = more sales
The more items you have for sale, the more admirers you will have
Year on year increase of new shops starting
Top: The percentage of shops for each category of the number of items which they fall into. Bottom: Percentage of shops for each average monthly sales category.
Increase your admirers and chances are your sales will increase too.
Increase your items in your shop and you will most likely sell more.
8. More admirers = more sales
9. March and July-September are the least popular months for opening shops: Half the number of shops are started in these months compared to others.
I wrote this post a while ago on another website but here it is again. I’m due for an updated form, but this will do for now. This link will give you an idea what happened in 2014 on Folksy. It gives a really nice summary of what has sold etc. There’s some nice stats here on Etsy too. When I get the chance I’ll aim to summarise everything for y’all!
“I’ve been considering selling on Etsy (www.etsy.com) and/or selling on Folksy (www.folksy.co.uk) for a while. For those of you who haven’t heard of these websites before they are both massive ‘handmade marketplaces’ where you can buy loads of different handmade goods from textiles to ceramics to clocks and from very beautiful items to well, rather weird and specialised. The main differences between the two are that Etsy is an American-based but very international site with sellers from all over the world whereas Folksy is a younger, primarily UK-based, spin-off of the same site. There are other sites like Etsy or Folksy including Misi, notonthehighstreet and DaWanda but I haven’t included these just yet.
What I have attempted to do here is create a quick guide using some numbers I’ve gleaned from across the internet (mainly from their press pages) in order to help you make a decision if you would like to sell on one.
* – I used today’s exchange rate of $1=£0.6577. Listing prices will vary according to this and what rate your credit card gives you.
** – please also note that banks may charge you extra because of the conversion of dollars to pounds and these fees may be significant.
Now like any good scientist lets discuss these results. Firstly you will notice that I have averaged everything. It is likely that some shops and/or products receive more hits/sell more than others. But once you look at the overall averages, Etsy is looking much more favourable:
1. You are likely to make 4x as much money, as an average.
2. You will receive 5x as many views in your shop and nearly 3x as many product views, as an average.
As a whole Etsy makes 346x more money than Folksy and has 131x as many unique visitors per month. But these are of course spread across many more shops and products – your product really does have to stand out to make it amongst the 18 million other products for sale. On the otherhand Etsy is a global website whereas Folksy is more UK-based. Therefore you may reach a much bigger market but if you are selling on Etsy, to make the most benefit from the site, I suspect you would need to make sure you are happy to sell and post your product globally.
It is interesting to note that as a proportion Folksy has a much higher proportion of unique visitors compared to total visits – does this mean that more people go back to Etsy after their first visit, or are more people learning about the presence of Folksy? However these figures do not tell the whole story so it is important that we look at some other facts. The key point here is that Folksy is a handmade and craft supplies marketplace whereas on Etsy you can also sell vintage. Those of you in the know, know that vintage is a huge market right now. As of today out of 20,317,078 listings on Etsy (wow), 3,392,646 are listed as vintage – that means more than 16% of items are vintage. Craft supplies make up nearly 15%. In comparison Folksy currently has 145,855 items listed and just 5% of those are craft supplies. The moral of the story? It is likely, although I don’t have figures, that sales other than handmade goods make up a good proportion of Etsy’s sales.
I do love this number crunching stuff.
Some other minor differences; Folksy uses PayPal, Etsy uses a credit card (initially) or you can then link your account to PayPal. Bills for Folksy are on the 1st of the month, Etsy on the 15th.The final thing that I have to end on is costs. Unless you are listing about 350 items a year, per item, Etsy is cheaper and their commission is a lot less when you manage to sell the item. Remember that PayPal also charges you but it will be the same whichever site you choose. This is currently 20p + 3.4%. As another point which I didn’t include initially and have now added in at a later date is that banks may charge you a fee to convert your precious sales from dollars into pounds and vice versa – so be warned as these costs may be significant.
So my advice? Well having never sold or even tried to sell anything on either site, I am going only from my figures above. If it has to be one, I would say Etsy. But I would suggest trying both for the four months for 10-20 items and go from there. It could be that sales in Folksy are spread across more sellers. Or you might find it hard to get noticed in Etsy while it could be easier in Folksy. So Folksy or Etsy? There’s only one way to find out….
The actual final thing I want to end on, is I want to hear from you – have you tried one or the other? Did you find one more successful? Maybe I’ll add a second blog on crafter’s experiences on these two sites. Please share this page!”