Describe your Folksy shop?
Clootielugs is where I get to work and play and I cannot tell one from the other! I am inspired by nature and in particular our native woodlands. The animals, birds, trees and plant-life are magical to me. I love the secret world of the woods too; the bits we often don’t see or notice! The fungi, the underground root systems, the tree-tops, the tiny insect life at my feet and in hidden crevices of tree bark.
I have recently been exploring the dark origins of European folktales, in particular the story of Little Red Riding Hood and have had lots of ideas I’d like to play around with when I get more time! Although I mostly work with fabrics, occasionally I have a little foray into the world of art. I particularly enjoy bold painting and illustration. I am really excited by work that combines these crafts!
How do you manage your Folksy shop?
Managing my shop; Clootielugs, is a bit of a juggling act currently as I have recently begun working part-time at my local University. However, as my job is term-time only, I can look forward to devoting a large chunk of summer to my Folksy shop!
How do you price your products?
A couple of people have suggested that my pricing is on the low side, but as nearly all my fabrics are reclaimed or recycled I can keep costs lower than if I bought all new textiles. I am careful that my prices do take into account the time I spend both making and designing, so, although I may have to look at putting them up at some point, for the time being I am satisfied that my Clootielugs prices are fair to both customers and myself.
How do you decide what to make for your collection?
I don’t decide what to make in any meaningful way….what I mean is that I don’t set out to fill a niche or make an item because I’ve spotted a gap in the market, but rather I wait impatiently for bolts of inspiration! I go walking with my beloved terrier, Lucy, as often as possible because, with a busy household of teenagers and children, being out and about is my best chance of finding peace and quiet…..it’s also when those elusive bolts strike and I get the opportunity to do my best thinking! I usually find that once a bolt has successfully struck that plans comes together pretty quickly!
Do you have any online selling tips?
My one big tip for online selling is to set aside a portion of time each week specifically for online promotion! Promotion can feel like a chore and I struggle with both facebook and twitter but the dividends of time spent on cyber marketing are manifold!
My other tip is to stock items of a varied price range…this way, customers may be attracted by a low price item – perhaps an impulse buy - but they may also be tempted by what else you have on offer, either there and then or at a later date. Return customers are a great ego boost – and provide reassurance that you must have done something right!
See more from Jill Kitson in her Folksy shop Clootielugs.