Frankly, The Folksy Magazine


Shop Talk – Popsey, Heather Langton

by Emily. Average Reading Time: about 4 minutes.

DoorstopOlive

Here are Folksy we are drawn to shops that have a strong brand theme, consistent product photography and a range that shows great design and quality craftsmanship. Popsey represents all of those things so we had a quick chat with the designer behind the brand, Heather Langton.

Describe your Folksy shop?

Popsey is where I sell hand printed fabric made into something lovely. Affectionately called Popsey as a child by my Grandad – my badge is now my label and I strive to maintain a strong identity for my products and shop.

At the moment I make accessories and homewares – doorstops, peg bags, phone and kindle covers. In the coming months I will introduce new items including kitchen textiles, bags and a few pieces for the kiddywinks.

Happy up to my elbows in ink, all fabric used to make the items in my shop is designed by me and printed by hand using a stencil, stamp or screen with water-based inks. These processes make every piece of fabric that little bit different, I love the variations and what they represent – the effort put into creating them and that human touch. The sewing then begins and I get excited that the product I’m making will soon have a new home.

Popsey Products
Popsey Products

How do you manage your Folksy shop?

I am relatively new to selling online and think Folksy is a great place to be – I feel part of a community full of talented crafters. I am learning what customers search for and ultimately what they buy – I have google analytics linked to my shop which means I can monitor page view statistics. Setting up a Folksy shop is easy to do and I’d encourage anyone thinking of giving it a go to just do it.

I work full time as a graphic designer and I am aware of my sales through email. I would love to see a Folksy phone app introduced to alert shop owners of orders.

My evenings and weekends are Popsey time and this is when I make my products and spend time online.

Popsey Equipment
Popsey Equipment

One of my biggest pet hates is bad customer service – I spent a good few years in retail and know how important it is to make a customer happy. I try to provide as much information as possible to buyers, I include terms and conditions of sale, payment and refund or exchange information. If a customer asks me a question or has a query I will answer or resolve it very quickly.

I never underestimate the power of social media and how it can bring new people in and I take up offers like the Moo / Folksy business cards recently featured because this also promotes my shop.

How do you price your products?

I have good awareness of the price of comparative items online – I do a lot of browsing! I think this is as important as working out material and labour costs.

The time taken to print my fabric is factored in – I have to complete this before I can even cut a pattern out, it is a huge part of my process and what makes my products different to those using fabric purchased from retailers.

Popsey Printed Fabric
Popsey Printed Fabric

How do you decide what to make for your collection?

I started making things for myself three years ago when I bought my own home – lampshades, cushions, blankets, doorstops that kind of thing. It was so good to get back into printing textiles – this is what I gained my degree in at University.

To my delight visitors admired my handy work and I started to make for them. I have featured items in my shop that people have asked me to make – phone and kindle covers being particularly popular and the plan is to introduce lots more this summer.

Popsey Printing
Popsey Printing

Do you have any online selling tips?

Good photography is important, keep lighting as natural as possible to give the most accurate representation of detail and colour. Customers buying online can’t feel the weight, smell the scent or touch the item so good descriptions are crucial too.

Include less expensive items in your shop as well as the higher priced ones, be aware of what others are selling and aim to make yours different.

Folksy is all about craft. Buyers want to purchase things that are a little bit special and have a story to tell, it may not always be obvious to them so if you can give that information it is a big selling point.

Look out for seminars near you. I attended ‘Selling Art & Craftwork Online’ at LCB Depot in March 2012 where amongst others James Boardwell from Folksy gave tips on selling online, these events are informative and a great opportunity to meet other artists.

And lastly, interact with your customers, keep them informed of where their order is at. I always send my own order confirmation addressed to customers by name and like to write a little thank you on my packaging.

Popsey Packaging
Popsey Packaging

 You can browse & buy the full range from Popsey here.