FICH is coming to Not On The High Street!

Yep, you heard that right, FICH will be coming to NOTHS soon! I am so excited about this opportunity, hopefully this blog post will make you as excited as I am if you’re not already buzzing!

 

So, what is Not On The High Street?

 

NOTHS is a curated online marketplace whose primary focus is on personalised, thoughtful, unique gifts. I particularly love the photography of the high-quality products on the site. It is very succinct and clean, making it easy to navigate and find what you’re looking for. I couldn’t believe it when they got in touch, I cannot wait to get my storefront up and running!

 

What can you expect from FICH?

 

Hand-thrown pieces are very personal because each piece is made by hand. This is evident when a piece is finished, there are usually maker’s marks on the piece or when you put your finger in the inside curve of a pot or by holding a mug, it comfortably fits your hand because it’s come from mine. There are always more ways to make a gift more personalised and this is the aspect of my business I have been wanting to develop for a while.

 

I’m imagining fun sayings, quotes or a couple of words that can be generalised like a plant pot that says “Mad About The Plants” or just a simple “I Love You” on a mug. There will also be the option to have your name on a piece, I can imagine this is especially appealing to those of you who have an alternative spelt name, looks funky but you cannot find your name, spelt the way you spell it, anywhere! This has obviously come from the struggle to find “Fiona” on personalised bookmarks at the garden centre when I was a kid.

 

My one goal for selling with NOTHS, will be to create a unique gift for you to give the one you love that’ll make them smile. Pretty simple really.

 

How can you help me?

 

I want to make my pieces FOR YOU, therefore if there are any words or sayings you’d love to see, then please leave a comment below and I will do my best to make these and put them in my shop!

 

When?

 

I am hoping to open my shop at the mid-end of February and it will be filled with gifts for Mother’s Day so you can find the perfect gift for your mum! Please follow me on Instagram if you’d like to know when we are officially open for business at @FICHceramics or alternatively you can sign up to my newsletter, you can do this by popping over to my website at www.FICHceramics.co.uk.

 

Please be aware that to start with I will only be selling within the United Kingdom, but I will be looking to sell internationally eventually.

 

Take care,

 

Fi x

FICH colour palettes

Guys, I need to tell you something, but shh, it needs to be kept between us as our little secret..

This is the first place that I am announcing the release date of my Autumn Winter colour palette 2018, say whaaaaaaaaaat? That’s right, by the end of this post you’ll given a date that you’ll be able to put straight into your diary.

But first, a little introduction to what the FICH colour palette is all about. 

The FICH colour palettes have been created to give you contemporary hand-thrown ceramics, coated in the colours from the latest trends. They also allow you to pick a collection of colours that seamlessly work together, rather than having to stick to one colour out of uncertainty of whether they will compliment each other.

Autumn Winter 2017 was the first colour palette FICH ceramics released, this palette looked like this;

IMG_8836

This colour palette was released on 13th October 2017, making it nearly a whole year since the first colour palette was released at the time of writing this post, time flies! With this palette I wanted to capture the essence of what the English Autumn and Winter feel and look like. The warming tones to represent the warmth of being inside with the fire on alongside contrasting tones representing the coldness of the outside.

The second and current [at the time of writing this blog], FICH colour palette for Spring Summer 2018 was released on the 1st March 2018. I was blown away by the response to this colour palette, I was glad everyone loved it as much as I did. In this colour palette we saw the introduction of three brand new glazes; the forest green, mustard and speckled.

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Finally, the moment you’ve all been waiting for…

This leads us nicely to the release date of the BRAND NEW FICH colour palette Autumn Winter 2018! I have decided to bring it forward a bit from last year and release this palette on the….

duh duh duhhhhhh”

27th September 2018!!

The time of the release will be confirmed nearer the time, you’ll be able to hear it first through my newsletter by going onto my website, if you would like to be one of the first to know please sign up. I will also be announcing it through my social media pages, you can follow me on Instagram and/or Facebook.  You can also follow me on Pinterest which may give you some hints on what to expect from the FICH AW colour palette.

 

I hope you’re all excited as I am!

 

Your Questions

I asked people on my social media to ask me some questions for my last blog post of the series. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading some of my previous posts, if you think of a topic you’d like me to cover feel free to comment or send me an email to info@FICHceramics.com.

 

Right, lets dive into it shall we?

 

 

How have you developed over the last year?

 

After going over everything I’ve learnt over my first year for this series of blog posts, it’s shown me how much I have developed. Most of all it’s my state of mind which has changed, I’m feeling a lot more confident about what needs to be done, when. I also understand that making my business a success is not just about making and selling, it’s also about looking after myself by going to the gym and finding out when I am working most efficiently. That’s what makes working for yourself so great, you can literally mould your business around you.

 

What has been your most successful achievement?

 

I am going to make this short and sweet, biggest achievement is that I’ve managed to stay afloat for a year, woop! (This also ties into my proudest moments)

 

What do you enjoy doing most?

 

My favourite parts are throwing and teaching people to throw. I absolutely love throwing, and being able to share my passion with others during the pottery lessons is such good fun.

 

What’s been the hardest thing about running your own business?

 

Probably judgement mainly of myself but also what other’s may or may not be thinking, which I know is totally stupid. I have learnt along the way that it is important to understand how I work and realising that it’s ok. It took me a while for my mind to adjust to different working times, because it’s been drummed into us that it is 9 to 5 is when everyone should work, there’s even a song about it! So, realising that it’s ok to go to the gym in the morning and then start working 10:30/11 because I know that I will work the hours and I will get everything I need to do finished. Listening to a particular episode of Sara Tasker’s podcast Hashtag Authentic, really helped with this realisation.

 

What are my proudest moments?

 

My proudest moments have been seeing my work in 91 magazine in the paper book version and a whole feature in their e-zine, you can still download it here. 91 magazine is a beautiful independent magazine about interiors and handmade work. Seeing my work in there felt amazing, a real achievement.

My pieces were also in the Stylist Magazine in the ‘Discover the under-the-radar female makers setting next season’s biggest trends’ article. It was such a total shock I couldn’t stop grinning for ages, I must’ve looked like a creep! You can read the article here.

Screen Shot 2018-02-26 at 19.00.31

 

Finally, seeing my pots altogether in the Style library’s showroom in Chelsea Embankment felt like such a great achievement. They had been put together in such way which made them look really effective (thank you Charlotte!).

 

 

 

Did you go full time for your first year of business or part time? Were you in a shared studio for this year?

In the summer of 2016 I converted my garage into a home studio so there wasn’t a need for me to share a studio space. Studio space is very limited around Oxfordshire so even if I did want to share I’m not sure how easy it would be to find a space or have the funds for one. It definitely depends on where you live because I know there are loads in London and Devon. Sharing studio space is great if you can get some, it’s amazing for networking, critiques and for minimising the feeling of loneliness. Obviously in the future when my business gets bigger I’ll probably have to look into sharing a studio space but  for now what I have got is ideal.

 

Thank you for reading guys! There is no future post planned yet but if you either follow this blog or find me on Instagram or Facebook then you’ll be told when I post again. As I said above, any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch on email or in the comments section below. You can read my other posts by clicking on their titles; My Etsy adviceHow to make the transition from making your hobby a full time job, a little easier.My 5 top tips on how to work Instagram as a maker and Me, Myself and I.

Till next time,

Fi x

My Etsy advice

Hello again,

 

I’ve realised that Etsy is a lot harder than I thought it would be. I thought it would be the case of uploading a picture of my product, putting a price next to it and a brief description. Oh how wrong I was. There are so many different elements to it, in all honesty I’ve found it hard to keep on track with it. When I first set up my Etsy shop I was planning on doing an update every month but that just isn’t doable. I thought I would do a list of everything I have learnt from Etsy so far, so if you’re planning on opening a shop, hopefully this’ll help.

 

These are the main lessons I’ve learnt from being on Etsy so far..

 

Some of the things to do when you first set up are;

 

  • Join your local Etsy team! This has been the best bit that has come from having a shop on Etsy because I’ve made some really good friends from doing so. The people in the team are going to probably be the only ones who can totally relate to what you’re going through and can give you quality advice. Even if you don’t do much with your Etsy shop it’s such a great support system, you end up chatting about things which have nothing to do with Etsy

 

  • Take decent pictures of your products – if you don’t have a decent camera or know how to take lifestyle photos it’s worth getting a professional to take some, the time you waste in taking photos would probably equate to the amount you would pay a photographer.

 

So these photos show you how my photography has changed on my Etsy shop. I know which pieces I would rather buy if i was a customer! You can see more here.

 

 

 

  • Write your ‘about me’ ‘story’ ‘shop members’ This is one of your USP’s (unique selling points) and will make buyers know who they are buying from, people love spending their money on a small business where £20 means a hell of a lot more to us than a big company.

 

  • Make sure to do your shop policies, Etsy have their own standard ones but it’s worth making sure you’ve covered everything in your area.

 

  • Make sure your descriptions cover everything about your product, try and think of every question a customer may ask and try and answer it.

 

  • Find 4 people who make similar products to you, see if your pieces are in the same price range because you don’t want to price yourself out of the market either higher or lower than your competitors.

 

  • Have a good old nosy over their shop, you can learn a lot from other people. By no means am I saying copy but It’ll make it all a little bit less daunting when you have an idea in mind of what other people have done.

 

  • Tags, tags and more tags. I hadn’t realised that the more keywords you have in your title the more likely someone will come across your products… sounds so obvious but I presumed at the beginning that ‘blue plant pot’ would make my products the top of every search list.. I even have to put ‘fish’ in my titles now because of Autocorrect!!

 

  • This next point comes with a warning… When I first got an Etsy shop, I joined lots of Etsy help groups on Facebook. On one hand, they’re helpful because you can ask questions to other sellers who have been selling on Etsy for years and you can see that other seller’s shops are facing similar hold backs. BUT, and this is the warning… They can actually make you worry about issues that may arise or tell you stories about nightmare customers. I for one have never had a horrible/difficult customer (touch wood) but I do worry that one is just around the corner and I don’t think that’s a healthy way to prepare yourself for a difficult customer. So by warning you, I’m just pointing out they are there IF you need them BUT try not to read about the horror stories because you end up worrying yourself that you’ll be next.

 

And just something which I had never considered before starting up an Etsy shop;

 

Reviews are SO important to us small businesses, a review which may only take 5 minutes to write will make our day. If you do buy something from our shops we’d all love it if you gave us a rating and write something even it if just a thank you. Reviews not only help future customers more likely to buy from us but they also help our SEO.

 

That’s all for today guys, please feel free to comment below with thoughts or questions, I’d be more than happy to answer them. If you’d like to email me them, my email address is info@FICHceramics.com.

 

Remember you can follow me on Instagram by clicking here. You can find my website at www.FICHceramics.com  and my Etsy shop here. Christina, one of the Etsy gals I was talking about earlier, does Etsy workshops so if you would like further help, you can reach her here. To read my previous posts, please click on the title you’d like to read; Me, Myself and IMy 5 top tips on how to work Instagram as a maker  and How to make the transition from making your hobby a full time job, a little easier.

 

Thanks again for reading my rambles, I hope I’ve said something useful which may be able to help some of you get started! 🙂

 

Fi x