Sellers Spotlight #1 by Ayla Paul

Welcome to our first post in our new series of ‘Sellers Spotlight’ where we will invite a member of our Oxford Etsy Team to tell us more about themselves, their work and design process and what they are most proud of as a small business owner. We will run this series every last Friday of the month. This month we kick off with Karen from Mrs B Designs!


NAME: KAREN BRUMFITT

LOCATION:  OXFORDSHIRE

ETSY SHOP: Mrs B Designs Ltd

 

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF!

I’m a lover of all things creative, even as a young girl I spent my pocket money on felt pens, glue and card, I’m still a stationery addict. I am Yorkshire girl living ‘down south’. I’m very proud of my roots, but left home to do a BA in Fashion & Textiles and then moved to London, to start what was a highly successful career as a buyer.

About 5 years ago I took a year out, had a rethink and decided to put my creative energies into a new business, I got married at the same time and Mrs B was born. I gained a great work life balance and a lovely step daughter.

Most of all I like a laugh and want to make products that make you smile!

My current obsessions are vegan food, why our pet rabbit Jennie is making little squeaking noises, and when it is a good time to get a dog? Oh and dreaming about when I can retire!

Dachshund cushion  by Mrs B Designs

Dachshund cushion by Mrs B Designs

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED ON ETSY?

Purely by chance! I found Christina O’Hare on Facebook, through a post about a pop-up shop in Abingdon. In order to sell in the pop-up, I needed to be on Etsy, Christina encouraged me to do it and I joined the Oxford Etsy Team, the rest is history! I started with 4 listings, I now have 62 listings (just about to add more), 361 sales and 66 five-star reviews!

Notebook  by Mrs B Designs

Notebook by Mrs B Designs

TELL US ABOUT YOUR DESIGN/MAKING PROCESS

I’m an animal and slogan lover, so my designs revolve around these topics. My favourite artist is Matisse and in my final degree year I worked on his ‘cut out’ era as one of my themes, I still work like this today, except if I’m working on slogans, then I use my iPad!

When I have a collection of designs ready, I head off to the printers, where my designs are plotted onto acetate and exposed onto a big screen, all ready for me to screen print at home. I’m very lucky to have an understanding husband (nicknamed ‘Ronnie I just carry’ by another Etsy team member). I screen print in “our” garden studio, sew in “our” attic room and pack orders on “our” dining table!

Karen at work screenprinting

Karen at work screenprinting


WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF IN RUNNING YOUR OWN BUSINESS?

Having the courage to leave my high paid, high powered but high stress job, to start again. It’s easy to forget what we small businesses achieve every day, every week, every month, so take a few minutes to look back and be proud of what you’ve done so far.

Another one of the lovely  notebooks  from Mrs B Designs

Another one of the lovely notebooks from Mrs B Designs

SHOUT-OUT TO A FELLOW ETSY SELLER?

OMG what a question to ask?! There are so many talents, but it must be Christina O’Hare from Christina Made It. If it wasn’t for her encouragement, support, and her no flap stay calm attitude I wouldn’t have an Etsy shop. I’ve also ordered some fabulous personalised Jewellery from her, just stunning!


 You can find Karen and her lovely work here:

FACEBOOK: www.faceboook.com/mrsbdesignsltd

TWITTER: www.twitter.com/Karen_MrsB

INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/mrs_b_designs

ETSY: Mrs B Designs Ltd

Guest post: Gearysworld by Christina

I am not sure what I would call my art. I am self taught and throw everything at a drawing or painting to get the final effect. But this I means I will paint in acrylics, inks and watercolours to get the final outcome. I also use pen work to add detail. I think you will agree my final outcome is very vibrant colours.

 

I have done my best to promote on social media and researched photos, I’m not sure they are completely perfect photos but I don’t think they will put people off buying.

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I am very new to Etsy, but I have a passion for drawing and painting and I hope this reflects in my work and people will want to hang it on there walls.

 

In recent years a lot has changed, I have been made redundant twice, one job I had been in for many years. So I decided to take some time out this year and concentrate on promoting my art, I don’t expect this to be easy!

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I have had a collaboration by Wonderfunders published. This was a world war one graphic novel anthology that was my brain child. 32 people from around the world came together to produce this book. All proceeds are going to the charity War Child. The book is called Memorial The Great War Centenary, I did approximately 30 pages for this. It is available from Drivethrucomics and  Indy planet.

 

I Have been drawing since as far back as I can remember. I was influenced by the Sci-fi and fantasy films of the 70’s and 80’s. This is where I still get most of my inspiration from. I am hoping to transport this world of imagination into my etsy shop.

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Coming from the Cotswolds I love observing the abundant wildlife around here, so I love painting animals which I also want to put into the shop. So these are two brands and I hope this does not confuse the buyer. You can be sure though that you will get some well thought out images that I hope you enjoy them for years. I do try to, in the bigger paintings hide things that you will keep discovering.

Christopher A Geary

You can find Christopher’s Etsy shop here:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/Gearysworld 

Pop Up Shop up until Christmas! by Christina

We are very excited that we are going to have our Oxford Etsy pop up shop in the Didcot Orchard Centre until Friday 21st December. And from throughout October, November & December we will be open 7 days a week. The new opening hours are:

Monday 10am- 5pm

Tuesday 10am-5pm

Wednesday 10am-5pm

Thursday 10am-5pm

Friday 10am-5pm

Saturday 10am-5pm

Sunday 11am-4pm

The shop is located in the new expansion of the Orchard Centre in Didcot - Unit 47/49, Orchard Street, Didcot, OX11 7LG.

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Finalists for New Business Awards by Christina

New Business of the Year Finalists!

We are very pleased to announced that the Oxford Etsy Team was nominated for the Vale 4 Business: New Business of the Year award and were chosen as FINALISTS on March 9th at an event at the Crown & Thistle. We are up against three other local businesses in the Catergorgy:

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Childrey Stores

EMFcomp Ltd

Oxford Etsy

Tap Social

This is a huge achievement for us even to have just been listed as finalists. The winners will be announced on May the 18th at the Williams F1 conference Centre, wish us luck!

You can find out more information about the Vale 4 Business award here: http://www.vale4business.com/v4bawards/new-business-award/

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Abingdon Young Farmers build the furniture for our shop by Christina

We put a call out for help on the Thursday, on the Sunday we had 10 volunteers from Abingodn Young Farmers turn up with power tools and materials ready to build us some furniture for the shop. Everything was created from pallets and scrap wood donated by the young farmers.

Building a book case

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Attempting to prevent any spliters from the table

And the finished results before they head to the shop to be filled with wonderful handmade items...

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If you are looking to join a social club and are aged between 10- 16 (juniors) or 16-27 (seniors) we strongly recommend the Abingdon Young Farmers Club - you dont have to be a farmer to be in Young Farmers. For more details visit; www.abingdonyfc.com

Pop-up Shop coming to Abingdon! by Christina

Something exciting is coming to Abingdon!! From Saturday 4th November - Sunday 17th December Bury Street will have it’s very own, first ever, Oxford Etsy Team pop-up shop! We are soooo excited, follow our progress as we attempt to create an entire shop in just 18 days [for enquiries email: oxfordetsy@gmail.com]

 

 

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Making a Ring by Christina

The Abingdon members of the Oxford Etsy Team came along to the Abingdon Silver Groups open evening where they each learnt to make a silver ring. They all managed to produce some really impressive pieces.

Measureing the silver

Measureing the silver

Cutting the wire

Cutting the wire

Ready to solder

Ready to solder

Using the blow torch to solder the join

Using the blow torch to solder the join

Safety first!

Safety first!

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And the finished results

If you would like to learn how to make a ring get in touch with the Abingdon Silver Group via Facebook & they can arrange a session for you.

Etsy Workshop by Christina

Christina Made It is hosting an Etsy workshop for new Etsy sellers. Etsy Educators: Getting your Creative Business Online'. You can find out more about the workshop here: http://www.christinamadeit.com/blog/2017/9/8/etsy-educators-getting-your-creative-business-online

Join the Facebook event

Saturday 7th October 2017
Thomas Reade School, Abingdon, OX14 3RR
10am-4pm (lunch is included)
£45 per person

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Christina was invited up to the Etsy HQ in London and was selected by EtsyUK to be an Etsy Educator. She got to meet the lovely ladies who all have their own very sucessful Etsy shops.

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