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This month we feature Rebecca Bailey-Price of Poppito.com A Christmas Market in Frampton - a Poppito venture
Why (and when) did you set up poppito.com? I set up poppito because I make handmade jewellery and wanted to have my own website; I thought by setting up an online marketplace I could reach a bigger audience as well as create a platform for other craftspeople to sell from. Poppito went live in May 2012.
What is the idea behind the business? The idea is that anyone that makes handmade crafts can open their own online shop and by being part of a bigger group they can reach more people. Something that poppito does that is unique is that we organise markets and run pop-up shops for our sellers so that they can reinforce their shop online with going to markets and viceversa. We also like to introduce our sellers to their local customers through our ‘local to me’ feature.
How has it gone so far? It has been really hard work but rewarding at the same time. I have learnt a lot about ecommerce and marketing but the more I learn the more I realise there is to learn! We have recently changed our site by changing from a credit system to a membership system which has been really nerve-wracking but what the business needed in order to move forward.
It’s an online venture. Is this the way to go for small businesses? I think it’s definitely an option small businesses have to consider but it really depends on the business. I think an online presence is vital for small businesses in terms of social media as this can help you reach more customers.
You’ve also got involved in craft markets. Are they well supported? Craft markets are a great way for people to see your products ‘in the flesh’ and give them an idea of the quality of your work which then gives them the confidence to buy from you online – that is partly why we run markets. Generally the markets are well supported by local people; usually the sellers at these markets are they themselves local people and buying from them benefits the whole community.
You have a venture in Yate this month which has taken a bit of work to get off the ground. Tell us more. During April and May we have been allocated an empty unit in Yate shopping centre to hold a pop-up shop. It has taken us a while (and lots of emails!) to get confirmation of the shop as there was a reluctance of the landlords to have such short term leases but thanks to the Manager at the Shopping Centre we have been allowed to be the first small business to trial this – hopefully this will become something lots of other small businesses can take part in if the units become empty. As well as stocking items from the poppito site we will be hosting various workshops and ‘Crafty Catchups’ in the pop-up shop. We will be having an ‘ask the experts’ session as part of our ‘Craft clinic’ series where craftspeople can have their questions answered by experts from various mediums such as marketing, publicity as well as Government. Having all these experts in one place will be an invaluable opportunity for craftspeople wanting to sell their products.
selecting items to go into the ‘Shop Window’ on our homepage. Also having 2 small boys the flexibility of the job is great and one of the main reasons we wanted to have an online business.
And the worst?! Probably the worst thing is that you don’t really ever feel like you have finished work. I work on some part of poppito every day and usually spend most evenings emailing, promoting us on social media or helping our sellers so it can really take over your life. I think when you have a small start up business this is normal and something you have to do if you want to succeed.
What are you hoping for in 2014? For 2014 I want to grow poppito locally by recruiting more sellers in the South West. We will be organising more markets and hopefully another pop-up shop later in the year – generally we want to keep promoting poppito, meeting lots of talented craftspeople and helping people find quality handmade items locally. ￼
What’s the best bit of your job? I love going through the products and
To advertise, contact Richard on 01454 800 120 0r 07815 201991.
Published on Apr 3, 2014