Marian @ Krysan


Planting golden seeds in Northumberland, Tyne & Wear, and Durham



Memories R Us - Enterprise Revisited


DILLY DREAM & Her Dream Team 2

The Thinker and Female Figurine from Cernavodă: Marius Amarie/National History Museum of Romania, Bucharest


18 March 2011

Dear Soulmates


I'm sure that all you decision-makers out there will know that feeling of overwhelm we all experience when there are momentous decisions to be made. It's bad enough if it's your own future that's at stake, but should it be someone else's then it's even more of a challenge.

With this in mind, I landed on my friend's doorstep the day-before-yesterday.  And, we got down to the nuts and bolts of developing 'the business idea'.  Fortunately, the nuts had been laid down over forty years of careful stitching; it was the bolts that concerned us today.

Most of the 'Folk Art' that was to be 'The Product' had already been professionally photographed and catalogued some years previously (though never priced).  Now, was the time to revisit and reassess the market and the plan was to proceed with extreme caution. 

Internet selling (so we two elderwomen understand) is a tricky business hiding many a pitfall for the unwary/uninitiated and so we went looking for websites already trading with apparent success.  This is an extract from an email that had already by this time become an essential part of our market research.

13 February 2011 

Dear Friend 


This is what I saw on the Internet (Yahoo) today.  I think it might be of help to you in selling your beautiful folk crafts.

If you're crafty…
Etsy has taken the craft world by storm. It's like an online craft fair where you can sell anything handmade — think jewellery, art, ceramics, knitting, furniture - the list is pretty much endless. You can also sell vintage items, which need to be more than 20 years old, and have 'vintage appeal'.
Etsy is the biggest player in this market, but it is based in the US. So the downside for UK crafters is that the site operates in dollars and you'll need to factor in the extra cost of shipping to American buyers.

The UK alternatives are Folksy and Coriandr. Both are smaller than Etsy, as they're pretty new and still in development stage. But this could work to your advantage because you'll face less competition in your chosen craft. Misi (Make it Sell it) not only offers an online community for craft-lovers, but also an opportunity to make some money from your pastime.
Once registered, you can build a profile and 'shop window' with your products, and you get your own web address. Both are free to join, but charge 20p to list an item, plus commission of 5% on Folksy and 2.5% on Corinadr on any sale you make.

Progress?  I hope so.

Love & light,



The above bit of free advice from Yahoo was a great starting point and we were to note with more than a passing interest that the UK alternatives to the big American player Etsy are pretty new and still developing.  Good news!  Hand-made goods are entering the marketplace as viable alternatives to mass-production and standardization.

Whatever 'the product' (goods or services) you intend to sell, it's always policy to do some market research to find out who else is trading in your line of business.  Indeed, such close attention to the competition is 'an essential'.    

I've already hinted that we were not going in on a wing and a prayer - no way - too much at stake.  Remember, those forty years of stitching!  I had a private viewing of The Collection and  was bowled over by the quantity, the quality, and the absolute genius of it all.  This was truly a 'labour of love' from 'good hands'. 

Like everything else, fashion comes and goes in cycles.  To our way of thinking, the trend for minimalism has had its day.  The modern interior designer will (without a shadow of doubt) be looking around for a superior hand-made and unique product to grace the walls of her house, that apartment, or even a chain of hotels.  

Colour, artistry and beauty are back.  Trust us ...  

My friend has The Product and in spades

“To be, or not to be: that is the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles…”

Harrods - look out! 

On-line craft fairs are undoubtedly the up-and-coming 'in thing'.  For someone wishing to go it alone (my friend), two websites are perhaps called for. One for the upper luxury end of the market; and the other for the lower end - for bits and bobs.  That means sourcing a reputable web designer with business nous and whose charges won't break the bank.  Someone local, enthusiastic and homed in on your wavelength are more essentials.

So, decisions, decisions, decisions. 

This idea of my friend's is rapidly turning into a reality.   Watch out for the next instalment in a couple of week's time.  By then, she will hopefully have dreamed up a new business name which does justice to her talent, her enterprise, and her vast collection of tapestries and other hand-made goods.  Capture the essence. 

Meanwhile, I'm off to tweak my own business interests. As for my friend, there is much else to do before we meet again.  Maybe (just maybe!) we two elder women have given you an idea or two ... or three ... or even four ... But, remember ideas are simply ideas until coupled with a bit of action.

Stop dreaming; start acting.

Join the Enterprise Culture - this is the Enterprise Challenge.

Oh! and with regard to pricing, a good rule of thumb is to charge 'what the market will bear'.   Remember to factor in the cost of all those overheads and keep those receipts safe.  It's a long haul to the ultimate goal of profitability - so don't sell yourself short.  Remember, it's not rocket science.  

Enough said ... 

If you're serious about selling goods or services of whatever description, do register with HM Revenue and Customs for tax purposes. They're just a telephone call away and registration as a sole trader is as necessary as it is easy.  Trust me.  

The wonderful business advisors at Business Link are also just a phone call away, and that applies wherever you are in the country. Check it out!  I did and I know my friend will, too. 

Costs nothing ...

Magic (!) 

Now, 'phone a friend' ...


Dolly Parton - Workin' 9 Till 5

The Legend Dolly Parton Lyrics To Workin' 9 Till 5 


(Gold standard) 

Stiffen the sinews ...

Become resolute and purposeful.

From the celebrated 'Once more unto the breach' speech from Shakespeare's Henry V, 1598:

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our English dead.
In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility:
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood...



1,756 hits as at 2015-11-17

Marian & Friend


©2008 Krysan. All rights Reserved. Terms & Conditions Privacy Policy Creative Business Support & Website: