Friday, 17 October 2014

Something Pinteresting For The Weekend...

Happy Friday!

Aren't these pretty? I thought I'd share a blast of colourful papery goodness to help see us all into the weekend nicely!

I found these images on pinterest of course, and you can find them nestled in amongst my pinterest board called 'Oh You Pretty Things'  (the name is obviously inspired by my love for Mr Bowie).

The top image of the 'Color Cloud' is by artist Bonnie Gammill and the source comes from a site called

The image below originates from the Style Me Pretty blog and the photography is credited to Cameron Ingalls

Have a splendid and colourful weekend everyone!

Best wishes

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Stocking up and preparing my online shops...


The days are flying by and so is this year and the past couple of weeks has had me knuckling down and getting my 2015 calendar and wallplanner designs finished.  It's also been a time where in between commissioned work I've been adding and updating all my online shops in preparation for the run up to Christmas...

My Society 6 shop in particular needed a bit of updating and my newly set up Bespo shop was looking bare so that needed to be addressed to...

This year I wanted to be able to offer a broader range of items with my designs on, but without a limitless budget for stock - or a vast amount of storage space to hold the stock, I decided the best way to go was to add my designs to sites such as Society 6 and Bespo, where the items are made to order and I earn a commission for sales of my design.  That suits me fine, I'm happy with that arrangement, it also means that I can offer my designs on a wide variety of items shipped worldwide from both here in the UK (thanks to Bespo) and also from the US (thanks to Society 6)...

So now you'll find more of my designs on all sorts of items from placemats and coasters to cushions, mugs, tote bags and phone covers...

It's not ideal having my designs scattered here and there all over the internet, so to make things simple and easy to find, I've created a brand new section on my website called 'gift ideas'.  There will always be a link button on the home page to this section.  This section has links to all the places you can find gift items (like cushions, mugs etc) and is clearly labelled so you know whether you are linking through to a UK or US based site, or just another page within my own website.

I really want to make it as easy as possible for my customers to find what they are looking for, so I highly value any feedback about how my website is set up and how you find the experience of using the site....

I've still lots to do - my Etsy shop needs some attention next, but I am gradually getting there.

I hope you are all having a productive week too.

Best wishes

Angie :)

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Tea & Tips: Advice from a PR Expert on How to do Product Photography...


This Wednesday’s advice post from my PR expert friend, Rachel Burks, is about product photography.  Rachel is Managing Director of Porcupine PR, a local agency I work with and who I also often commission to take some of my product photography for me – especially my full greeting card range images as they have an in-house photography studio in their offices fully equipped to do that job properly.  If you missed the first three posts in this mini-series of advice from Rachel, you can catch up by clicking the link here:

This week, let’s hear some great tips about product photography:

Rachel: “Product photography is vital for any e-commerce site. It needs to be done well in order to show off your products and sway consumers to buy them rather than those of your competitors...

You need the very best images of your products on your website because customers will only buy items they like the look of and no matter how brilliant your product is, if it’s not shown in its best light then it will not sell. After all in a shop a customer can pick up a product and get a really good look. Online they need to see it in all its glory.

Here are a few of our agency’s top tips for taking product shots: 

First thing’s first – background

This needs to be plain and simple – plain white is best but obviously necessarily if your product is white. You don’t want a busy background that takes the customer’s eye off the product. We would advise that you use the same background for all your products so there is some consistency...

Lighting is important
You do need to think about this carefully and it is one of the most important things. Sometimes natural light can be the easiest and most effective. Beware shadows. Poor light will produce grainy pictures too.

Lifestyle and close-up photos
For some of your products you may want to feature them in lifestyle settings so people can get a feel for how they would look and work in real life. Think about your product and where would be the most natural place for it to be seen and the kind of style vibe you want to push too.

It is good to have lifestyle photos but also remember you will need close-up photos of the product so people can see it clearly and in detail. Publications do often like cut out shots too so if you want PR coverage be prepared...

Product options
If your product is available in different colours it is vital that you show consumers the variety of options on offer. People will want to see the exact colour and not just have a list of them. It is also handy for people to see the product from different angles and to get an idea of the scale if applicable.

Product features
If in your product description you talk about for example, the embellished detail on a dress it is important to make sure you have a close-up image of this for the customer to see. People like to see the unique features and finer details.”

Thank you for sharing those useful tips Rachel. I’m already looking forward to next week’s post – it’ll be the last in this mini-series for now and will be all about commercial videos, an ever growing medium for marketing businesses, and an area I must confess I know very little about.  I hope you can join us next week and lean a few tips with me.

Best wishes


Friday, 3 October 2014

Something Pinteresting For The Weekend...


Friday has arrived again - so here's another little something 'pinteresting' for the weekend.

Today it's a joyous, lino cut card by Whoa There Pickle from their Folksy shop.  This appeals to my sense of humour and shone out of my pinterest feed, which is why I'd like to share it with you today.

You can find this card here on Folksy:

For more 'Gorgeous Greetings' like this one, here is a link to my pinterest board:

Have a lovely weekend.

Best wishes


Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Tea & Tips: Advice from a PR Expert on keeping your friends and fans happy when social networking


It’s Wednesday again, which means the third post in my mini-series about sharing business and marketing tips from my PR expert friend, Rachel Burks, Managing Director of Porcupine PR -  a local PR agency that I frequently work with and where I glean lots of business and marketing tips when I visit them for a tea and a chat.  If you missed the first two posts in the series you can catch up by clicking the link here:

This week, Rachel shares some sound advice about how to keep your friends and fans happy when social networking:

Rachel: Most businesses are keen to interact with and sell their products to their followers but many don’t realise that constant promotional messages can cause a negative reaction. Social media must be viewed as a ‘social’ activity like going to a party. You don’t just talk about yourself, you listen to others, you don’t try and sell your products and services, you form a relationship, and what’s the best way to form a relationship? Be interested in your friends, fans and followers, make them laugh and be knowledgeable and informative.

Consumers will stop purchasing items from companies and unfollow them if they have an irritating online presence. Have you ever thought hard about what you’re posting on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook? Could it be seen as annoying by your existing and potential customers?  The last thing any business wants is to lose lots of followers, so back at our agency, we’ve put together some tips on how to keep your friends and fans happy and your reputation intact.

Show your personality

No one wants to follow a faceless organisation, so showing some personality behind the profile picture is a must.  We’re not saying you should become best friends with every one of your followers but it is a good idea to write in a more chatty way. Ask questions and gather opinions. Getting into conversation with your followers is important, as interaction is key.

Think quality not quantity

Too many tweets can be exhausting for the recipient. Also there is nothing worse than repeating the same message constantly. Try to focus on the important content of your status update or tweet, keep it short and sweet and if you really do have to repeat yourself, give it a few hours between posts.

Equally, over-sharing for the sake of frequency can be equally off putting.  Some things aren’t really appropriate in the context of social media, and in some cases can lead to trouble.  We’ve all heard horror stories, or seen with our own eyes, online disputes get out of hand.  A few vital moments of thought before making any post will avoid any regrettable situations.

Listen to your followers

Social media is about interaction and your customers/followers will no doubt make contact with you at some point.  Never ignore people. Thank them for their comments. If they are asking for help or complaining then you do need to get back to them in a timely manner. Respond to their queries as best you can, that way your followers will know that you care and you’re there to help. Transparency and exemplary customer service are key.

Being ignored is infuriating, we have all experienced this at some point, and your followers are more likely to hit unfollow if they feel let down by you. They are also more likely to ensure their friends and family know all about it and it is amazing how quickly a social media comment can travel around the world unchecked. Much quicker and easier than a word-of-mouth complaint - and therefore much more deadly.

Give something back

If you were asked to do something you’d want something in return. Your followers want something in return too.  If they value your brand or company they’ll happily re-tweet your tweets or share your statuses with their friends, so it’s nice to give something back every now and then.  Why not hold a giveaway or offer your Twitter or Facebook friends a special deal?  It will work in your favour as they’ll continue to share and tell everyone all about your competition or offer, bringing in new followers and customers!”

Thank you again Rachel – next week she will be sharing some Tea and Tips with me about how to do product photography, I hope you can join us.

Best wishes