Let’s talk about Etsy first shall we?On Saturday I was invited to a Etsy workshop hosted by the leaders of Etsy Makers Northants at a venue I’ve never visited before, The Emporium at Nene Court Shopping Village, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire. I forgot to take pictures of the front & most of the ground floor so using the companies pictures of the place, the pictures don’t do the place justice, its such a wonderful place that I am considering putting some Bonfirecherry stock in there sometimes this year. The Emporium is a new home for small creative businesses in Northampton which you can find about here.
Huge thanks to my friend & fellow crafter Michelle from Magnificent Makes who gave me a lift over to the workshop, which we got to a bit early but helped out with things that needed sorting out before everyone else arrived such putting some lovely notebooks that the leader of the group produced for everyone to use to write down notes.
Shortly after everyone turned up, in total there was 21 of us there such as
- Fran from LittleStampstore whose shop contains Handmade Clear Stamps & Hand Carved Rubber Stamps. She is the leader of Etsy Makers Northants who produced the lovely Etsy Hub notebooks
- Olivia from LittleLapins whose shop contains Animal & Unicorn Headbands for Kids, Babies and Adults. Olivia and Fran were the ones who helped organise the workshop, huge thanks to them!
- Michelle from MagnificentMakesUK. If you love your superheroes, I highly recommend checking out her shop!
- Judy from HeartFeltJudy. Check out her shop for Felt creation
- Emma from DoMakeAndMend, where you can find Organic Children’s clothing
- Diane Carol from DaintyRocksUK which provides you dainty personalised silver & birthstone jewellery.
- Kelly & Toby from WhiteCottageWeddings (instead of their Etsy shop I have linked their website). They produce wonderful wedding stationery.
- Rebecca from BalloonYourRoom who brings you bespoke engraved gifts at affordable prices.
- Sue from BeadstormJewellery who provides you with Necklaces, Bracelets & Earrings.
- Joanne from JoLesleyOriginals. Check out her shop for Stained Glass For The Home And Garden
- Lisa from FrankieAndFlea provides Handmade Macrame Wall Art
- Fellow linocut printmaker Kat Lendacka with her Etsy shop KatLendacka, similar to me she brings you original hand printed linocut prints and cards. Funny enough, at the time I’m writing this post and the time it gets published both of shops are on a short break haha.
- Helen from WhiteStitchlane. Helen is one of the fellow Etsy Makers Northants members I’ve met a few times at previous Etsy meet-ups. At her wonderful Etsy shop you can find personalised, handmade fabric based gifts and accessories
- Kelly from WhiteCottagePaper whose shop contains splendid stationery and gifts from water invitations to hanging table plan flags.
- Aimee from CraftsbyBlossom where you can find quality crochet items for you, your home and family.
- Sally from KnotsewsimpleDesign where you can find a variety of macramé products such as a plant hanger to banners.
Lorraine from MemoriesandGiftsLtd, Her shop contains personalised gifts such as phone cases, chopping boards to compact mirrors
As you can tell our group has a huge variety and that isn’t even the whole group, I highly checking their Etsy pages out & supporting them on social media!
With that out of the way, lets talk about the workshop!
It started off with Pablo from Dantas Photography talking to us about how to take better pictures for Etsy & social media such as Instagram using your phone, briefly explained about the different types of product photography there are to choose from such as
Personally for me, since the start of this year I now use the flatlay method due to what are my products are like, but did listen to the other methods just in case.
The workshop was going over the basics of product photography which was ideal for Etsy Makers Northants as our group varies from people who have been running an Etsy shop & small business for a long time to those who want to set one up so this was a great opportunity to learn from the experts and re-learn skills you have forgotten about that you might want to try again.
Pablo was very informative when he came to explaining the different methods depending on your budget such as if you don’t want to spend any money and want to some good shots of your products, there is always using the natural light coming from windows that you can use to place your products on or near. If you don’t want to do that or want to spend some money for some shots, there is always the professional method of using a pop-up photography tent & lamps where you can adjust the lighting to the way that you want by moving the lamp closer or further away from the tent.
Paul, the owner of the emporium (pictured above in the cool shirt) gave some good suggestions too such as getting sample wallpaper from B&Q as a back drop. I didn’t really have the time to chat to him during the workshop, as it would be cool to hear more about how the business came to be as from what I’ve seen/heard and be told from numerous people he’s a cool guy. There is going to be another workshop soon about social media (that I have offered to help out with, when it comes to advice about using twitter) so I will make sure to have a chat with him then.
Pablo did show off mobile lens, small photographic lens for mobile phones that I never thought about using for product photography A mobile lens are better than using zoom on your phone.
While the workshop was going on, Fran (as mention before, the leader/captain of Etsy Makers Northants) was recording the event live via Instagram alongside Pablo’s wife who was doing the same I believe, I found it funny in a weird way to see two livesreams going on at the same time.
Pablo did recommend some cool camera apps that are ideal for product photography (usually the way, these weren’t free but the best most of the time aren’t) such as for iPhone there was an app called Manual – RAW Camera (£3.99).
Before Pablo finished his Product Photography workshop, many members of Etsy Makers Northants took the opportunity to ask questions like what’s the best way to photograph their products, their problems with lighting and problems taking photos of glass etc.
For whose who are interested about product photography, Pablo from Dantas Photography runs a Smartphone Photography School (SPS) which you can find more about here.
After Pablo finished, Olivia from Little Lapins took over to talk about uploading photos of your products to Etsy.
It is recommended to take up all 10 photo slots when adding a listing to Etsy, I personally try my best to but very rarely get up to 10.
Before the workshop began, everyone who attended received a variety of things part from the notebook such as a few sheets of paper about getting found on Etsy which Olivia went over with us. Such as the basics of adding a new listing eg listing titles, descriptions and tags which when it comes to Etsy search algorithm is very important in standing out on such a big site, even you have been on Etsy to years its good to change if certain products don’t sell as much as you hoped as Etsy’s algorithm always changes.
How I took it with the Etsy changes, we are now selling our items to machines first then the customer second.
When it comes to checking out how well your shop ranks on Etsy or how popular the tags you use are, check out Etsy Rank and Marmalead.
The time you will be reading this my Etsy shop will be on break, using the advice I learnt from this workshop you will see a few things different when it re-opens on Sunday. As explained a few times in the past already, things will change further soon after my current stock goes. I will do collections/themes as it was suggested in the workshop. I will go more into collections/themes closer to the time.
I think that’s it for the Etsy workshop at The Emporium, I did plan on talking about the Bonfire Banter podcast next as originally planned to record episode 6 of the podcast with my friend/co-host Dene but now recording the new episode next Sunday instead.
So with that, we are talking about Etsy again with a Etsy Makers Northants meet-up at Magnificent Makes UK HQ on Monday evening!
I got to Magnificent Makes HQ early, which was good so I could have a drink & cool down as it was hot yet again (as it has been for many weeks in the UK which is rare) and I don’t do so well in the heat.
I took the time getting to the meet-up early to have a good chat with Michelle before Jenni from TheCraftFantastic and Heather from Heathers Cafe (Heather will be opening an Etsy shop soon) arrived for the meet-up. There was supposed to be a few more people at the meet-up but due to reasons there was only us 4, there was another meet-up planned for Thursdays at Heathers that they might attend but as you will find out, I won’t be in Northampton I will be in Cornwall.
Really there isn’t a lot I can say in this post about the meet-up as we were going over upcoming plans for Etsy Makers Northants that we are keeping between members til we can confirm what are going to do etc, all I can really say is that we are planning some exciting stuff.
This is what an Instagram story looks like, saved it and shared it on my twitter
With all the Etsy stuff out of the way, lets talk about Bonfirecherry’s trip to Cornwall aka #BCCornwall (I know how original to go with #BCAmsterdam, #BCtraintrip & #BCHoliday) but I like to use the hashtag to keep the posts and pictures/videos together. I used the time away as a small social experiment to learn something from the Etsy workshop and one thing that Olivia from Little Lapins said which was to use Instagram stories a lot more. I use Twitter, Facebook and Instagram quite a lot as it is but the stories option on Instagram not so much but starting to use it more and more and with the holiday I want to use the top to get into the groove of using stories a lot more and some people are mainly check other peoples stories and often don’t go through their feed etc.
Anyway we started off Tuesday morning by arriving at Northampton train station just before 10.30 to get the first of three trains to get us to Cornwall, with the first to Birmingham New Street Station at 10.55 which we got to around 12.05 I believe. Didn’t have a lot of time to admire the amazing and huge station as we had to run from Platform 2 that we are arrived on to Platform 11 as we are only had a few minutes to get our connecting train to Plymouth, thankfully the train was delayed by 10 minutes so me and my mum (who I traveling to Cornwall with, her brother lives there whose house we would be staying at) could catch our breath and chill for awhile.
On the way to Portsmouth now. Taking the time to write up the cherry post etc, currently not moving and stopped at a random place because there is a problem with one for the carriages. #BCCornwall pic.twitter.com/Ylpymio7jG— Matt (Bonfirecherry’s personal account) (@BurnTheCherry) July 24, 2018
Got on our train to Plymouth without any problems at 12.20, well there was one small problem when we got on that there was a woman sitting our seats despite it saying it was reserved for our journey to Plymouth. After she moved we could relax, well only for a few minutes as the train had to make a random stop as there was reports of steam coming from one of the carriages but thankfully it was nothing.
It was a pretty long journey from Birmingham to Plymouth which had some excellent views towards the end going past Exeter and other amazing places near the coast.
FINALLY got to Plymouth at 4.30, 40 minutes later that expected which made us have wait for our third and final connecting train to Liskeard which was at 5pm, just wanted to get to Cornwall already.
Compared to all 3 journeys, the last journey was the shortest and we arrived at Liskeard at 5.40pm, to say me and my mum was relieved was an understanding. We were guests to my aunty and uncle (my mums brother) who met us at the train station who took us to dinner before going to a place called Minion (would you believe it, the sign has minion stickers all over it) where I took some pictures at before heading to their place.
On Wednesday we travelled to Penzance, there was a fact that my uncle said about the train station there but the time I’m writing this (Thursday morning) I’ve forgotten it but anyway on the way there we were going across the beautiful Cornish coasts along the way and just getting blown away by the beauty of it all. The pics I took at Penzance didn’t do the place justice as we parked down at one end and there was so much more to see.
Afterwards we travelled to Marazion just opposite St Michaels Mount, it was so beautiful (again like anywhere in Cornwall really, if I won the lottery I would honestly move Bonfirecherry down here) .
We then traveled The Lizard where I have to say I had the best ice-cream I’ve ever had in quite some time, you just can’t beat Cornish Ice-cream!
With that, what’s your favourite ice-cream flavour? Comment below!
Our next destination was a place called the devils frying pan but we just couldn’t find it, with the journey trying to find it we did find two cool places sadly didn’t catch the name of either place, any help from my Cornish followers/fans/supporters will mean a lot. At the first place we didn’t go that far that down as we didn’t think it was the frying pan.
The second place took awhile us awhile to walk down to, wasn’t the frying pan either but damn it gave us an impressive view to look, it was amazing to see how clear the water was too. A place I might want to do some prints of, will have to wait or see or I can be commissioned to some just for you 😉.
Headed back to my aunty and uncles place after that, on the way back we did stop at some impressive monuments which I took some pictures of for inspiration.
Thursday was another fun and beautiful day, we actually went into Devon to Dartmoor National Park where there was a lot of hills (this tested the travel sickness pills Ive got, not a big fan of windy roads haha), streams & huge rocks. Stopped at a cute café which had some cute peacocks walking around.
After we travelled more into Dartmoor where we some huge rocks, which I climbed and ripped my shorts on (being my only pair of shorts I brought on the trip with me due to mistakes when packing the suitcase) but brought some impressive views!
Took a fair few pics around Dartmoor and its surrounding areas before traveling to Tavistock to get some new shorts & some lunch.
A place I was looking forward to visiting on this trip was a possible visit to Looe and that’s what we got for the rest of Thursday. Loved Looe the last time I visited Cornwall back in 2015(?) so was looking forward to it again. It was perfect due to the wonderful weather we had (cooler here than back home due to near the sea).
Here are some of the pics/videos I took in Looe, will have to turn some of them into designs.
I think that’s everything for this week’s Cherry Post, this won’t be all for #BCCornwall as I’m not back home til midday on Saturday so there still be some Cornwall featured next week among other things.
Thank you for reading!