Welcome to the blog for Ali's Craft Studio by Alison Lloyd. I am a crafter of peelable stained glass designs & handpainted keyrings and I look forward to sharing with you my news direct from Kent (the Garden of England)

Make sure you visit the shop at www.studiocrafts.net to purchase your own handmade decorations to bring fun and colour into every corner of your home

Friday, 6 January 2012

Happy New Year - Its January: Time for a Sale!

Well, I thought I should write something as we are now in 2012 so here I am ...

Firstly, can I wish you all a very Happy New Year.  Be honest now, have you all taken down your decorations like good boys and girls?   You don't want to start the year with bad luck by leaving them up for too long, do you!!   I hate this part of the festive season as I really love all the lights and sparkly stuff!  So (reluctantly) I boxed everything up yesterday and have the cuts on my hands from the Christmas tree fighting back to prove it... (OK, I admit it - I still haven't actually put them away properly back in the loft for the rest of the year but they are safely stored and ready to be put into hibernation when hubby is able to be home to help).

January is traditionally the time for sales and, not wanting to miss out on this tradition, I have a sale on my website right now!   It only lasts for three weeks and some of the designs may be discontinued to allow room for new ones so head on over to see what is on offer.    There are no 'seconds' or 'shop soiled' items, if the ones ordered aren't in stock, they will be made fresh as usual but I like to use January to go through and have a stock 'Spring Clean'.

I am also really excited to have just published my first proper Newsletter.   You can sign up for free via the website (there is even a QR code provided for you to sign-up via your iPhone or smartphone if you wish - Ooh, check me out - I'm embracing the 21st Century!!) or you can sign up here

It would be great to have you sign up and I will send my first newsletter out to you.  Don't worry, I won't be bombarding the inboxes of my members with messages - after all, you all know how infrequently I blog, add in another thing to write and.... well, you get the picture!!

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I am always looking for new ideas and new directions to take the designs I create and sell - musical instruments seem to be a popular request at the moment so I am looking to develop this side as well as making some larger size everyday designs after the popularity of the Extra Large Decorated Christmas Tree (I have had some wonderful feedback on this design - don't forget to order early if you want one yourself for this year & look out for more extra large Christmas decorations a little nearer the time!!)  Stock development is always a tricky one as it is so easy to stick to the same themes as you never know what will (and won't) sell.  I wish I could make a crystal ball for handmade crafters to be able to see what people are looking to buy - I could retire on the sale of those alone!!

I received a number of orders last year for larger,  modified versions of standard designs which makes me think that it makes sense to develop this side of things.  Some were simply for larger versions of standard designs whilst some requests called for specifically adapted decorations to work in awkward or large spaces such as the customer who ordered this large sailing ship which needed to be made in a specific size and framed to fit a round porthole-style window:

Original Design

Specially Created Larger Circular Version
I really love being able to help a customer solve a decorating dilemma, especially as the solution to the problem has sometimes been eluding them for years!!   I just need to work out how I can display these at fairs - we struggle displaying enough of the smaller ones!

I would love to hear what designs you would like to see in the future in my shop - I make designs that I really like but it is so important to get feedback and ideas which can often take me in other directions.

I feel sure that 2012 is going to be a good year - not without its own challenges, but I am looking forward to getting stuck in!   

At the moment I have three fairs sorted out for the year...   No, I haven't suddenly made the decision not to attend them - I will still be booked in nearly every weekend eventually - it is just taking me a while to get my head into booking (and paying for) stalls mode and out of pass the wine and sweeties mode!!

Now, where's that bottle of Rosé??!!! 

5 comments:

  1. Too late I've drunk it already!!! Just waiting for the fish pie to cook now.Hoping that 2012 will be a better yr too.Not for selling as I only make to give away but health wise with all the family. Good luck with all your new ideas. Have you thought about mermaids.
    Hugs Mrs A.

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  2. Thanks Mrs A.

    I do a couple of mermaid designs but that is one thing I will be looking to make more of...

    Ali x

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  3. Have you thought about maybe approaching small shops and offering to do their logo? It would be great advertising for yourself too as loads of people would see it. Best of luck for 2012. x

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  4. I have done a few logos including 100 of a design for one company which they sold to visitors in their shop. I also supplied a shop with various decorations (such as bespoke 'Sale' signs, etc) but sadly they fell victim to the recession.

    It is a great idea to approach small shops but most seem to be really tightening their belts at the moment (one to keep in the pipeline for better times for sure though!)

    Thanks for your feedback.

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  5. Happy New Year to you too, I started doing my first post of 2012 but have been sidetracked by reading other blogs I follow!
    All my Christmas things are boxed up for another year.
    It's difficult to know what trends will be popular, if you find a crystal ball that works please send it over to me :o)

    Jan x

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Thank you for taking the time to comment on my blog xx