Have you seen The Best of British Handmade - a new site promoting products that have been handmade in the UK? It was launched in late July 2012 and is "dedicated to supporting and promoting UK based, designers and makers".
I was lucky enough to be featured in their August and September showcases and am loving the site so far. So I thought I'd have a chat to Jenny who set up The Best of British Handmade to find out a bit more. I'll let Jenny introduce herself:
"I am married to Paul and am Mum to 3 Boys and 1 Little Girl. Currently I am a stay at home mum, but I have plenty to keep me busy. I have also just started to learn about working with Metal Art Clay."
|Say it music notebooks featured on the home page|
I asked Jenny if she could tell us about why she set up The Best of British Handmade and what her hopes for it are. She says:
"The idea for The Best Of British Handmade came about because of my passion for handmade. I think that there are so many talented people who produce such a wide range of hand crafted items, I wanted to set up a website that could promote and advertise individual designers, whilst showing the variety of items that are available. There are a few sites out there but often the high fees associated with advertising are too much for the smallest businesses.
I wanted the site to be available to everyone, from those that have trained in their crafts to the smallest, self taught designer, I wanted to be able to treat everyone the same. There are only a few of "rules" for people that want to be involved with us. 1. They must be in the UK. 2. Their website or shop must comply with the Distance selling Regulations. 3. We are looking for a factor that makes their work stand out from the crowd, that could be that they only use sustainable materials or their unique designs, traditional craftsmanship. That "factor" will be different for everyone."
There are a number of different ways that you can get involved with The Best of British Handmade. You can get your website or shop listed in the directory for FREE. There are categories for different types of crafts, as well as supplies, courses and events. You can even get your craft blog listed. Then for a small fee you can apply to be in their monthly handmade showcase or be one of five featured designers, with a photo of one of your items on the front page. Jenny works hard to promote you if you sign up, with plenty of tweets and facebook posts linking to your website sent out to her growing number of followers.
|September showcase at The Best of British Handmade|
You can also get involved with the Best of British Handmade blog. Jenny is currently looking for sponsors for the site who will get their button displayed on the blog, and for bloggers who would like to write a guest post about some of their new products, craft tutorials or a special event.
Is it worth getting involved? I was curious to find out how much interest Jenny has had in the site so far.
"I launched the site in late July 2012, and so far it has grown massively. We had over 1500 visitors in August and we have already matched that for september. We have added over 100 sites to the directory so far and we get new applications every day. I would like The Best Of British Handmade to develop as a community, everyone working together to promote British Handmade."
I would say that's pretty good for a site that's only two months old! For August and September The Best of British Handmade was my 8th best referral site for the say it folksy shop, only being beaten by sites that I use to actively promote my shop such as twitter and facebook. I'd definitely recommend getting involved and supporting The Best of British Handmade.
Many thanks to Jenny for taking the time to share more about her new venture. I'm looking forward to watching the community grow.
Website - http://www.thebestofbritishhandmade.co.uk/
Blog - http://www.thebestofbritishhandmade.co.uk/the-best-of-british-handmade-blog.html
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/TBOBHandmade
Twitter - http://twitter.com/tbobhandmade
Looking for more interesting blog reading? Why not hop over to Handmade Monday - Wendy's got some news about giveaways today!