Shaking up the Handmade Scene

Founder is such a big word….. makes me want a polished brass name plate and maybe some of those snazzy, executive toys on my desk. Truth is, most of that is just codswallop! I’m just Sara, the face, heart and soul behind the Silk Purse Guild.

Sara

Founder and Menopausal Partridge

Why did I start the Guild?

It all began in my friends tiny kitchen, over a cuppa and a box of Kleenex. She had just received the bill for her quarterly Etsy fees, in a month with zero sales, and she could’t afford to pay it.

I remember listening in stunned silence, as she explained that Etsy was not, as I had previously assumed, free to sell on, but instead came with endless fees, commissions and charges. Her account was more complicated to read than an energy bill from the 90’s, and it annoyed the snot out of me!

I’d been selling online for years, and doing well as a freelance web designer and cake artist. I knew all too well how hard my friend was working on her small, handmade business and I was convinced that there must be a better way.

So I set out to build it…….

This will be easy……..right?

Have you ever started something, only to realise pretty quickly that you may well have underestimated the task at hand. Kinda like hiking to Everest, only to realise that the 2 week hike to basecamp often proves more than enough for most mortals!

I spent 2 years studying, any and every course I could lay my mitts on. I quit my job, and secured a new role that would allow me the downtime to work on the website, which I built from the ground up a grand total of 7 times.

I changed hosting companies like a hooker changes knickers and finally, after 2 years of hard work, no sleep and way too much gin…… the Silk Purse Guild opened……

On March 12th………..2020! Well who saw that coming?!

A Blessing in Disguise

At first I was heartbroken, as my plans to get out and about, meeting likeminded creatives fell flat on it’s face!

The days felt like months and with the lockdown came the horror of watching small businesses close their shops and websites, due to stress and uncertainty. Ploughing on though, I realised that with a small shift in perception, this weird new reality offered a once in a lifetime change to turn the volume down and really focus on the detail.

People were also really open to answering my questions. I think we were all just desperate for any situation that allowed us to talk to another human being!

This made research really easy, and I spent 2020 gathering input from the creative community, on what is was that they needed from an online marketplace.

Grab a dollop of Secret Sauce!

Running a Handmade business means that you have to wear multiple hats.

You need to be a product designer, photographer, graphic designer and marketing expert. I can honestly say that nearly every small business owner I spoke to, raised the issue of marketing.

Small marketplaces offer no help with marketing what so ever, and Etsy charges through the nose, for offsite ads, and only once your shop has reached a certain turnover. No one seems to be offering you help to get there.

I set out to design a marketing program, called the Secret Sauce, that is super easy to use, and fun to take part in. The Sauce literally takes 10 minutes per day, and runs for 1 week. We’ve seen some astonishing leaps in reach and engagement on the Socials, some as high as 2300%!

The Secret Sauce is available, for FREE to all Guild Members and you can learn more about it here –

Click me!

Want to join the Guild?

We’re always on the look out for talented Artists, makers and creatives, to join  our merry band of misfits! If you think you’ve got what it takes to open a shop with us, get in touch, or fill in the application form onsite.

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2 thoughts on “Shaking up the Handmade Scene

  1. Rachel's Cosy Corner says:

    Loved reading this.
    I am so fortunate to have been able to have my little shop in the silk purse guild from the beginning. You are an inspirational, motivational, hard-working and beautiful human being. I do sometimes wonder if you are actually human… personally, I think you are superhuman :). I hope that the silk purse guild skyrockets you to the top of your wildest dreams. much love Rachxx

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