Our First Christmas

Bit of a Surprise!

What Just Happened?!

Sara | Designer & Founder

It’s been a “Blink and you’ll miss it” kinda year, here at the Silk Purse Guild. We’ve seen some blinding successes in our first year. Our site is growing, along with traffic both and sales. Not bad, for a little business that isn’t even launched yet!

As I sit here, watching our first year quickly coming to an end, I can’t help but wonder……. “What the Hell was that!?

Huh?

The Silk Purse Guild went live for testing on March 12th, 2020….. who saw that coming, right?

Seriously, after 3 years of work to get this off the ground I found myself sitting in front of the daily briefing, watching Boris with a mounting sense of panic and wondering if this dream had just been ushered out of the door, faster than Johnny Depp from an Anne Summers party!

We dropped the “Coming Soon” screen on 12th March 2021, still in full PPE and huddled together (virtually) with a handful of awesome sauce early adopters, who were willing to give this dream a chance…….

My Biggest Fear….

Literally EVERY ONE told me not to do this…. “No one will sign up”, “you will launch with an empty shop”……..

Talk like this has never worked with me. In fact, battling the naysayers became even more entertaining than Boris, who seemed determined to turn up to the briefings looking like he had brushed his hair with a party balloon!

As it turned out, the Silk Purse Secret Society became a refuge for all of us. A place to meet up, chat business and escape the never ending emotional rollercoaster. I can honestly say that we Guildies are made of tough stuff!

To Hell in a Hand Basket?…..

Not quite so…

In fact, we’re going from strength to strength, with new members joining every day. This first Christmas may not have been exactly what we expected, but I am going to mark it anyway, because considering the frazzled nerves, isolation anxiety, raw hands from scrubbing and constant “aroma de sanitizer”, this has been the best first Christmas EVER!

HUGE thanks to all the Guildies, and here’s raising a glass (or 5) to the New Year……. stick around, it’s gonna be EPIC!

How was it for you? Emotional wreak? Slight twitching of the left eyeball? Hoarder of bog roll and gin? We’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences from 2021, so hit us up in the comments below.

So we can look back at this blog post in a few years and marvel at how well we did, under the weirdest of circumstances.

Want to join the Guild?

If you think you’ve got what it takes to open a shop with us, come on over, say hi and shake your makes at us!

Secret Society

5 thoughts on “Our First Christmas

  1. Esme Marshwitch says:

    I can’t pretend I’m sorry to see the back of 2021, but I wasn’t ALL bad.

    After a brief foray on to one of the many MANY new platforms that appeared in 2020, I had retreated to my own little website and shop, hopefully signposting people via my Facebook page. There was absolutely no way I would go near a certain well-known platform, cashing in on its no longer deserved reputation as a handmade marketplace.

    At some point in the year, I got this message you see, from some bird talking about yet *another* new marketplace. I was a bit bemused, to be honest. Why on earth was she contacting me? It’s not as though I’m particularly prolific, or indeed, all that good. Very strange.

    But she talked at me and genuinely seemed to like what I was doing – which was a pretty major boost to a confidence level that is not, you may have noticed, particularly high.

    I listened a bit more, and I was so impressed by the genuine desire expressed by this person, to offer UK small businesses a helping hand in an increasingly packed and pricey market. Not only that, but someone who was determined that only artists and makers would be allowed, and that overpriced resellers of cheap tat, or shameless copyright flouters would be firmly shut out.

    So. What was there to lose? As it turned out, my ecommerce plugin was about to quadruple in cost, and I’d been considering winding the whole lot down because it just wasn’t cost effective (I am often shouted at for my pricing). So I thought I’d give it one last whirl.

    As it turned out, best move I’ve made in a long time. Not just because of the sales – but the support and encouragement I’ve had from ALL the guildies. I honestly think that my creations have improved as a result, even if my pricing still drives people to distraction.

    Christmas was fab and I am looking forward to what happens next ☺

    • sara says:

      I am blown away by your work Esme, the only 2 good things to come out of 2021 was the silk purse guild & meeting you, I look forward to collaborating with you again in 2022

  2. Rachel says:

    Awesome is the first thing that comes into my head…. you, the guild, the guildies, the learning, all off it and I am so glad you took that leap of faith and didn’t listen to the folk that said don’t…. you are an inspiration and a bloody good friend to boot. I am so glad that I spoke on the phone to that lady who I had no clue about and took a huge leap in more ways than she will ever imagine. THANK YOU Sara for all you encouragement, the laughs,, your knowledge and constant help. But at the very top thank you for being my friend. Here’s to the Silk Purse Guild and to better and better Christmases to come…

  3. sara says:

    Thank goodness you don’t listen to naysayers!

    I was in a very similar position to Esme in that I was so disillusioned by the big ‘handmade’ marketplaces (I use the term lightly) that were clearly only interested in selling quantity and not quality. I had a very expensive website, low confidence in my ability, and couldn’t seem to see how I was going to change anything when I stumbled across a post about the silk purse guild looking for handmade sellers. I have to admit the no fees for the first 12 months if you were one of the first 100 hundred shops to open was a huge incentive for me.

    I think I hunted Sara down via email, Facebook message, Instagram, in fact, I think I became a stalker lol. After talking to Sara at length, her enthusiasm, commitment, and skillset became glaringly obvious, I couldn’t wait to get started.

    As for the fantastic academy, the help, and guidance, the Facebook support group, the amazing fellow guild members who are so extremely talented I’m amazed I was allowed in.

    2021 was a tough year for most people, with Sara’s help and guidance 2022 is going to be a year to remember, thank you Sara for everything, I really can’t thank you enough.

  4. lucillescott says:

    I wasn’t here for Christmas, I arrived a teeny bit too late…..I’m only just setting up my shop now but I can already see all the amazing dedication that has gone into getting the Silk Purse Guild going. I know how much work is involved in getting people, never mind artists to fill in forms and there is no doubt you are trying your best to get us on track as efficiently as possible with the wonderful videos explaining everything so clearly. Give me a week and I will hopefully have as shop, give me a year and I will tell you what my first Christmas (your 2nd) was like! Cheers to 2022

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