Saturday, 17 September 2011

1st week on Etsy.

Im still finding my way around Etsy and I must admit its slightly overwhelming. I have joined a few teams, mostly UK sellers, who have all been lovely, particularly the SHHIM team, although I have just noticed that the name has changed to crafy folk This is where alot of the sellers from Folksy are, so I do know quite a few of them, but over the week we have been joined by a few American sellers which is wonderful.
The team is run by the lovely Lillys Night Garden assisted by Flonightingales and Squintessentials Hopefully we will continue to get talented makers and build the team.
A quick sample of the variety of talent on offer.

Think I may have to try the pomegranate soap.

Id also like to do a quick promotion for a friend of mine Quirky Jen, an amazing photographer, check out her facebook page.!/quirkyjenphotos    She also does weddings.
And good luck to one of my brides, Katie who is getting married this weekend.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Folksy fury.

Over the last week there has been a bit of disruption on the Folksy site, resulting on some sellers leaving totally, and others placing their shops in holiday mode.
Folksy have not changed their criteria but have decided to tighten up on 'unacceptable' items. which has meant that some sellers who have been on Folksy since the beginning, are now deemed as unsuitable and are being asked to either change their style or leave.
These sellers have spent many hours promoting, finding out what their customers want, and promoting their own shops and in turn Folksy.
Now while I dont disagree that Folksy should follow their 'vision' and tighten up, I do disagree with the way that it has been handled by Folksy, and that it should have been done sooner. Its almost as if Folksy wanted as many sellers as possible regardless of what they sell, to build the site, and now they are at a point where they can dismiss these sellers as they dont fit the long term 'Vision'
I have been deemed acceptable by Folksy but have placed my shop in holiday mode while I decide what to do, these are my reasons

1. Folksy have been talking about tightening up since they were in Beta (a year ago?). During the conversations that took place then, Folksy were asked to do this sooner rather than later, so people didnt continue to promote and spend money on their businesses if they werent suitable.

2. Because no1 was not enforced people have continued to spend money, and promote their business. Working hard to find the items that customers want, and building up a customer base over the last year. Only now to be told that they do not fit the criteria and therefore are not welcome unless they change there style. Therefore they have to start from scratch rebuilding a customer base.

3. Im not sure that any of us are fully aware of what this ‘vision’ is that Folksy has. It appears that the goalposts are continually moving. Some peoples items are classed as suitable, while others that are very similar are not.

4. I have concerns regarding that direction that Folksy is taking, and would like reassurance that this situation is not going to happen again in the future. That Folksy are not going to ‘tighten up’ further in a years time, excluding a lot of sellers that they are currently saying are suitable.

5. I think the whole situation has been handled appallingly, the sellers represent the ‘Folksy Brand’ and are asked to behave appropriately on their forums, and when discussing Folksy. Yet this respect has not been returned to the sellers. On Twitter, Folksy have not represented themselves well, and have been quite dismissive of the upset, and distress that they have caused to us their customers.

6. Folksy fees are higher than other similar sites, and are being increased come November. My sales figures on Folksy are very similar to Misi, but all of my promotion has been for Folksy, so is it really working. I have had an empty Etsy shop for the last year, which I have begun to stock. Maybe now is the time to go international and compete with the big guns in the Button Bouquet world.

Please excuse if I dont respond to comments, Im having problems with this and have emailed blogger to find out why.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

End of The Wedding Season.

First I must apologise for not blogging during the summer, its been a busy summer! This time last year, I was wondering if this whole bouquet thing was worth the effort and money that I had put into it. My folksy shop had been open for 7 months, and I had only had a couple of orders. This year has been an entirely different experience and very much worth it. Ive had far more orders, and had the pleasure of working with some amazing brides (and mother in laws, and chief bridesmaids). Ive also opened my own website  Below is a selection of some of the bouquets Ive made this year.

But I have to say the two bouquets that posed the biggest design challenge and Im most proud of are Rhonas vintage lace bouquet, and Fionas vintage glass bouquet. Both ideas came from dicussions with the bride, but when I suggested the ideas, I hadnt actually worked out the logistics of how I would achieve it. So I then spent many hours of agonising, fiddling, putting together, taking apart, the odd little bit of swearing, and in the case of Fionas bouquet the breaking of some stunning vintage glass buttons that nearly made me cry

I have since made another glass bouquet for a fellow folksy seller, (cant show you yet, as her wedding is a couple of weeks away) and have perfected the design a little, but still broke quite a few, they are soooo fragile!
So the wedding season has been quite busy, and I am currently starting on Lauras bouquet (giveaway winner) and a couple of orders for early next year. Yes I already have orders for next year, so get in quick brides, cos I can see it being another busy summer, but this time I planning/hoping to stay a few months ahead of myself.

Good luck to my September brides, Stacy, Zoe, and fellow folksy seller (wont say her name cos she doesnt want people to know that she is having a button bouquet). Good luck girls, have an amazing time.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Body Image

As the mother of an 11 yr old girl, her body image seriously concerns me. She has the figure of an adult woman, and is very concious of this, covering it up with jumpers etc. The most recent problem has been her preoccupation with the scales, how much she weighs, and comments that she is fat.
We have had long chats about this, and the fact that a lot of her friends havent started developing yet, so have very slim, boyish figures, whereas she is very curvy, and always will be. We have made an agreement, that she is to eat what she wants, when she wants it, and is to stop weighing herself. In return I will tell her if I think that she is putting on too much weight, and needs to eat a little more healthily for a while.
I do think that fashion industry has a lot to answer for, the stick thin models that are used in photo shoots are not promoting healthy body shapes to young impressionable girls.
Today on Twitter there was a link to the new Vera Wang collection, gorgeous dresses, but I was more concerned that the models needed to eat something.

Im sorry but they dont look like healthy women to me.
So to combat the images that the fashion industry ram down our young impressionable girls throats, today me and my daughter have spent time watching videos and looking at pictures of healthy women who are celebrated for their curves.

Thank God for amazingly sexy women like J.Lo, and Beyonce who have curves, and arent afraid to flaunt them.

Friday, 24 June 2011

More Wedding Pics

Im having a few problems with the blog since I changed it to BlueButtonBride, so sorry for the delay. But here are a few more pics, including table decs and handmade invites etc. Are you ready? Cos there are loads of them.:)
The invites were done in an efficient production line of me, the bride, my sister and my mum.

Usher and bridesmaid

Centre pieces

Those pressies look beautiful. I wonder who wrapped them? ;)

Top table

Sweetie table, huge success. It was refilled many times.


The doves wouldnt fly!

Little madam!

The best man has started partying already.

Pageboy up a tree.

Groom with a very drunk chief bridesmaid, and his new sister in law.
Just need to marry her off now, but Im not sure if anyone would have her! ;)

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

The Wedding Day :)

I know I said that I would update yesterday, but the weekend was extremely busy, and I was shattered, still am. But it was also fabulous. The perfect wedding with tears and drunken fun.
Now to the dress. The posts below explain the build up, but I promised photos, so here we go. The dress was a veromia dress designed by the amazingly talented Jason Jennings, and is stunning. But my niece didnt want a train and wanted the train used to make ruffles at the back of the dress, to make it more like the front.

This was how the dress maker interpreted "ruffles down the back please"

Not right! So this was unpicked, and the shop assistant had one attempt at it, and then asked us to leave the changing room, so her daughters future mother in law could try on an outfit, saying "you know what she wants, you do it", and left us to it.  Please keep in mind that at this point the wedding was a week away! This was what me and my sister came up with in a few minutes.

So the dress maker attended and said that couldnt be done, and came up with this.

By this time my niece was so fed up she agreed to it, left. After sleeping on it, by this time it was Saturday, we both decided that it wasnt right and rang the dressmaker to ask her to stop, but couldnt get an answer. We finally got the dress back on Tuesday, most of the alterations had been done, and as we (me and my sister) were unsure if we were going to have to sew the dress we decided to leave them, and they had taken care of most of the train. We spent a coupleof hours on Tuesday evening pinning the dress into ruffles, and it looked quite good. I dont have the pics of that as they are on my nieces camera, sorry.
So the following day my sister took the dress to the Haberdashery shop in Dover, to speak to the woman who had said that she may be able to help, at this point we were unsure if she could do the whole thing, or just finish off the train, once it had been ruffled. She took one look at the dress and said that she knew exactly what it needed, but she would have to take out what the previous dressmaker had done, because that type of stitching didnt belong on a wedding dress.
The woman was amazing! We all love her so much for what she did. The dress was perfect, better than we ever imagined.

Totally gorgeous.

The bride and groom.

The wedding party, a few flower girls are absent, I think they were off playing.
The whole wedding was perfect.
Congratulations to Matt and Becky, love you loads.xx

Friday, 27 May 2011

Happy Dress Update!

Yay! I have good news.
I woke really early today, so thought I would give you a quick update on my nieces wedding dress. We got the dress back on Tuesday, and the shop owner was a rude and dismissive as she had been on previous occasions. When we unwrapped the dress, we noticed that most of the alterations had been done and looked alright(ish) but nothing special. (the photos of that bit are on nieces camera, so will have to ask her to send me them) So we decided to leave the alterations in, as they had taken up alot of the train and we could work around them. The next 1 1/2 hours was spent pinning the dress, and we managed to achieve a look that we all really liked.
On Wednesday my sister took the dress to the little local Haberdashery shop in Dover. She had spoken to the owner on Monday, and she had offered to help, saying that she always keeps a couple of slots free for emergencies, and if she could do the job she would. The dressmaker spent some time looking at it, and said that she knew exactly the look at we had tried to achieve, but had to take out what had been done by the previous dress maker, as it belonged on a curtain, not a wedding dress. The dress was left in her hands, and many fingers were crossed!
She spent wednesday night unpicking and repinning the dress, and yesterday the bride went to try it on. She is over the moon! She says that she never imagined it could look that good, and has fallen in love with her dress all over again. :) My sister said that she cried with relief that someone had actually listened and understood what she wanted. The wonderful dressmaker is now spending the next 2 days completing the dress for her to walk up the ailse on Sunday.
I now cant wait to dress her on Sunday, it was a job that I was dreading doing a few days ago, but Im really looking forward to it now.
Pictures to follow on Monday, and if anyone wants to know the names of the two shops involved Im happy to tell you in a private email.