SALE! SALE! SALE!

I have been really lucky to have one of my Buttercup Brooches, in this month’s Country Living, not something I was necessarily expecting.  Despite it being used as part of a photo shoot and so not given the prominent spot that the Mouse Egg Cosy had in last month’s Emporium pages it has led a lot more traffic to my shop – hurrah! I am struggling a bit, though, to explain to some of the lovely interested people who call, that I don’t have a catalogue or brochure and that my work is only viewable and available to buy on-line at my shop (though I do accept cheques when pre-arranged).  It doesn’t help that some calls have arrived whilst I’ve been at a busy Mum moment, like on Sunday when I was cooking lunch and there some dreadful cartoon was blaring out in the background, I should have looked at the caller ID and let it go to voicemail but I stupidly picked up the phone.  Hey-ho, I’ll learn. It is interesting though, that the brooch is so much more popular than the egg cosy, I am not surprised as my own sales reflect this.  I have spent quite a lot of time recently thinking about what does and doesn’t sell for me and getting a plan together for the Autumn/Winter products and the shop in general.

As part of this I have decided to (reluctantly) get rid of all the larger products that take up valuable storage space but don’t sell as well as smaller items, the ‘Cushions’ section disappeared a while ago (storing cushion pads is a pain, I have to be honest, plus they are a nightmare to pack and post) and I am adding all remaining Linen Cats & Bunnies to the newly revised SALE section of my shop.

We recently stayed in Yorkshire (over Easter) at my Sister’s cottage in Burnsall where she has two linen boys residing on her sofa, they are part of the first batch I ever made, in fact the first product I designed along with butterfly lavender bags (now long gone) and I do love them so but I think it’s time for a possible re-design, certainly for the existing stock to go. I am also adding the last few lavender bunnies, they are a nightmare to stuff with lavender (which is always done to order for all my lavender bags) and a few lavender birds that need to make way for future colour versions, some little felt birds and the odd egg cosy. Out of interest, just in case you are actually interested, the products that sell the best for me are (in no particular order):

  • Lavender Bags, Birds in particular
  • Little Bird Decorations
  • Flower Brooches
  • Monster Purses
  • Tweed Bunny Purses
  • The seasonal softies that I make (such as Foxes, Special Linen Mice etc), which often fly out of the shop.

It’s taken me forever to get the final cats listed, I realised when I came to check stock that only a few where even photographed and I had some half-stitched in my project draw.  As each is individual, they take quite a long time to list.  I should say now, though, I am in LOVE with create.net, who I host my on-line shop with.  I just used their SALE shop function for the first time and it took me about 5 mins to set up and fill this category.  Got to love anything that makes me life this much easier.

I have a few new things in the pipeline, I just need to get sewing again, some have been ‘in the pipeline’ for well over a year now!  I haven’t really been in the studio for about 5 weeks, partly because of the school holidays but also because I’ve simply been taking a break after panic re-stocking for the April Country Living issue, I am now very aware I only have one term left to get my Autumn & Winter stock started before the boys are on the long holiday and as M plans to be away for a lot of the time, I will be very busy with the boys.  Time to get my act together.

20 thoughts on “SALE! SALE! SALE!

  1. I need to see more tweed bunny purses!! – I think brooches are more popular than egg cosy because you can use them more often and is easy to give them as a present. You should promote your bunny purses more, they are very nice. I love the green one in the picture with your tweed travel bag and I believe Chimmy Choo shoes?? (shoes again!!!) I do remember that picture vividly.
    Ps. I must ask for forgiveness now and in the future if my English is weird sometimes. I am Spanish and sometimes I found very hard to write.
    Have a nice weekend. I hope this Sunday doesn’t rain, is my birthday and I would love to go to Colombia flower market in the morning. Why am I telling you all this! I don’t know. May be because is Friday and I am very relax.
    Lx

    • Hi Lola,

      You don’t ever need to apologise for your english writing, I have never once noticed a mistake and wouldn’t have thought for a moment that english wasn’t your first language, you write it so well. I say this as someone who was most embarrassed to call the Chia Mihara studio in Spain and have to ask the worst question at the start of the conversation,”Sorry, do you speak english?” which of course the nice lady did and she laughed a lot at my asking.

      There is more tweedy purse goodness due in Autumn, just need to get my making hat one and get on with it.

      I hope you had a lovely Birthday, there has been lots of rain here, I hope it didn’t spoil it for you and that you had a lovely day.

      Bethx

  2. Hello dear Beth,

    CongratuIations on your beautiful work appearing in those fab places, so well deserved! I adore your work, and I have said this many times earlier already but I also admire your analytical take on your work – that’s a must every now and then to keep shelves stocked to not too full. Happy designing and sewing!

    Yours,
    Mia

    • I was explaining (again) the other day to my OH why running The Linen Cat is so important to me, it really does keep me sane, I think it’s about having a little control on part of my life as well as something just for me, I love being a Mum but I’d go bonkers without my sewing and designing. I am maybe a bit of a control freak in general, in an out of control (ish) household of boys 😉 Bethx

  3. Congrats on Country Living two months in a row Beth! 🙂
    I love the way you think everything out and it obviously works for you and I’m very happy to own two of your best sellers!!!
    Have a lovely weekend,
    Vivienne x

    • Thanks V, perhaps my luck has gone now and I will never grace the CL pages again….I am hoping not and that once you’ve been in you get remembered. Bx

  4. I too admire your planning Beth.The brooch looks beautiful in the magazine picture and I’m not surprised it sold well. It sounds like you’re having a spring clean of products, which will make space for new ideas. My favourites are the bunny and monster purses,and the auricula brooches. Flissx

    • I think they might be my fav too, I am making new monster purses right now, it’s just taking me forever to get the linings stitched in (I quite like the Mr Foxes as well). I think I am naturally a planner, but it helps to keep me sane, I am the kind of person who likes to be prepared, especially since I had the boys as they add and extra challenge to everything. Bx

    • Sleep’s for wimps.

      Actually I shouldn’t joke about that, M is about to go on a loooooong work trip so I’ll be doing all the night ‘nightmare’ wakes on my own, I may need a large supply of matchsticks, coffee and chocolate. Bx

  5. Well done re the mag photo shoot – that is fantastic! I know what you mean about calls at difficult moments, little sweetpea keeps answering the phone when people ring about our apartment rental :-s oohhh a sale, I have just tweeted it for you – by the way when are you going to get your bum over to facebook and get a page, your items would sell really well there x

    • Thanks 🙂 Oh you’re brave, mine haven’t realised they can answer the phone…yet….hope they don’t work it out soon! Thanks for the tweet and I know you are right, I need to check out FB selling. Bx

  6. That’s great about another Country Living feature! And yeah, phonecalls with little ‘helpers’ in the background are a special kind of fun, ahem.

    • Thanks 🙂 I love my boys, but one was shouting ‘can you wipe my bottom’ over and over when I was on a call to the electricity company the other day. Nice! Bx

  7. Hi Beth, I think everyone’s style evolves with time. I would even add that it often improves. It was great to hear of your success with your lovely brooches, I’m not surprised at all, your certainly have a gift. Enjoy your new designs.
    Jane x

    • Thanks so much Jane, I feel happy with where I am at now, I recently managed to separate out all my sewing/shop photos from family ones and looking back on things, I’m really pleased with how my work has progressed. Bx

  8. Love your Buttercup brooches, well done on getting them in the magazine 🙂 I’ve been thinking a lot about what sells too. I really like your style and think that everything you make is really nice. It all has a very proffessional feel to it. I’ve realised though that there is a difference between making something beautiful and making something that sells. Personally, I’ve found that it’s often comes down to price and how much people are willing to spend and what they feel is value for money. You obviously have the talent to make lovely stuff and I’m really glad that people love it as much as I do. Looking forward to future designs!

    • You are so right, I am sewing acorn caps right now on felt acorns, when I add up the time it takes to stitch all the chain stitch caps I could never price the finished brooches so that I would get even near minimal wage for my time. Still, I love them so I shall make a few, but I do really need to see what scales and what doesn’t in all my designs. There’s no point making things people wont pay the ‘correct’ price for. Really glad you like my work so much, thank you for saying so. Bethx

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