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Visit www.thebadassbusinessmum.com for free resources, a regularly updated blog and E-courses and Workbooks for new Business Mums and Work at Home Mums upping their Business games from Blah to Badass!

Visit http://www.thebadassbusinessmum.com for free resources, a regularly updated blog and E-courses and Workbooks for new Business Mums and Work at Home Mums upping their Business games from Blah to Badass!

Brand your packaging on a Budget! 8 creative tips for Etsy sellers.

Everyone knows branding is important. And when you run an online shop your packaging is a great way to help your product stand out and re-inforce your brand message.

How to brand your packaging on a budget: 8 Creative tips for Etsy sellers

8 tips for Etsy sellers on how to brand you packaging on a budget

And the good thing is, it doesn’t have to cosy a fortune! Here’s 8 tips on how to make the most of your packaging for Etsy shop.

Why you need to include your packaging in your branding process

Branded packaging helps to create a streamlined and cohesive shopping experience.

Your customer will be aware of your brand’s message (possibly subliminally but it will have made an impact!) from first finding your Etsy shop through to purchasing your products. When your package arrives, with the same branding, it will re-inforce the message still further. Your customer will know instantly who their post is from and, along with first rate customer service and a quality product, that will keep you at the forefront of their minds when they need (or want!) more of your products.

Branding your packaging makes you look professional.

Yep, if you want to look like a ‘proper’ shop, branded packaging will definitely help. Online shoppers have certain expectations when it comes to their shopping experience and if you can match (on a small scale) what the big retailers do, you are showing you know what you’re doing.

A little extra effort goes a long way.

How to brand your packaging on a budget: 8 Creative tips for Etsy sellers. Use labels, ribbon and twine to spread your brand message to your packaging and display your care and attention to detail

Attractive branded packaging send a message to your customer of professionalism, care and attention to detail.

You know what I said about matching the big retailers…. what about surpassing them? Your customers are purchasing from you because you are selling one of a kind, handmade goods. They’re not going to be wow’ed by you just lobbing it in a an envelope. Make your packaging match the uniqueness of your products and you’re showing your customers how much care and attention you put into all aspects of your Etsy shop.

8 ideas for branding your packaging on a budget

    1. Use labels to ‘seal’ your envelopes or packages. You can purchase blank labels to print yourself or you could get them professionally printed from a company like Moo. You can simply print your logo on them, or a fun message like ‘open me’ printed in your business colours.
    2. Use ribbon or baker’s twine to ‘wrap’ your parcel. I love baker’s twine, it is the perfect complement to handmade products and comes in a wide variety of colours. You can use twine or ribbon to hold multiple items in an order together, attach a tag or just tie it in a bow to make your package look like a parcel.
    3. Wrap your products. Making your product wrapping look like a parcel adds to the experience of shopping for a unique handmade item. Especially if you sell gift or luxury items. Wrap it in tissue paper or handmade wrapping paper in your brand’s colours to continue your shop’s branding through to your packaging.
    4. Include a hand written Thank You. A hand written thank you note really shows you’ve taken a little extra time over packaging your customer’s order and really appreciate their custom. Write your message on a swing tag for the full on parcel vibe for your packaging.
    5. Include a business card. The ultimate in including your branding in your packaging. But don’t just chuck it in the package and hope your customer keeps it. Use it as a call to action for your social media accounts and email newsletter by getting these details printed on the card. If you want to include a Thank You but your handwriting is terrible use your business card as a thank you tag and attach it to your packaging with some baker’s twine or ribbon. Foster repeat business by including a coupon code for a discount or free shipping on your customer’s next order. (Free tip: make it time sensitive to encourage quick repeat custom and stop people storing their coupon ‘somewhere safe’ and forgetting about it!)
    6. Brand your address labels. Include your logo on your return address labels and your customer address labels. Printed labels look professional and using the same fonts as your logo and website keeps your branding consistent.
    7. Make your packaging consistent with your brand ethic. Do you pride yourself on your eco friendly products? Then use recycled packaging. Do you sell luxury jewellery? Box it up in a heavyweight box tied with a gold ribbon. Do you sell art prints? Get your art turned into cards for sending out as thank you notes. Your brand is not just your logo, colours and fonts, it’s the story you want to tell about your business.
    8. Include your branding on your outer packaging. It’s quite easy to make your inner packaging attractive but what about the outer packaging that has to be functional above all else. One simple way is to get a custom stamp made, either with your logo or a relevant message to stamp the outer box or envelope. Don’t go overboard, you don’t really need to do this if your address labels have your logo on but it pays to have your shop name in as many places as possible. Who knows, someone at the post office might sneak a look at your shop if they’re having a quiet day as well!!

I bet you’re feeling inspired now to go the extra mile with your packaging for your Etsy shop. So, here’s a little shopping list (with suppliers). Because I’m super helpful like that!

Shopping list and suppliers for branding your own packaging

  • Labels. You can purchase clear or white labels to print yourself at Label Planet. Templates are included for (fairly) easy set up. If you want printed labels head to Moo. Their ‘printfinity’ technology means you could have all your labels printed with something different on if you liked!
  • Custom stamp. Check out Etsy for custom handmade stamps made to order. I love supporting other handmade businesses to help me run mine.
  • Business cards. Head to Moo. You won’t be disappointed!
  • Handmade wrapping paper. Etsy is always my first port of call for special packaging supplies
  • Twine, ribbon and hang tags. The Lemon Cat Shop is a UK Etsy shop that I can personally recommend. The service is great and the range of packaging and craft supplies is huge!

So what do you think? What’s your favourite way of branding your packaging? What impresses you when you get packages in the post? Share your thoughts in the comments…

Facebook page tips for Vintage and Upcycled sellers

Facebook has received a lot of negative press recently for changing the way business pages are seen in a user’s newsfeed and I have seen lots of grumblings about Facebook ‘being mean’ and ‘forcing people to pay for ads’. Whilst I don’t believe that Facebook is being mean and deliberately forcing small businesses out of business it’s certainly not easy to  get noticed as a small business on Facebook any more.

Facebook page ideas: What to post on your Facebook page to improve engagement for vintage and upcycled sellers

The aim of your Facebook posts are to improve engagement with potential and current customers

To be honest, I have thought more than once, ‘why bother with facebook any more?’ The thing is though, there are over 1.3 billion active monthly facebook users. And I bet most of your friends are on Facebook – I bet more are on Facebook than they are on Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram. My point being – Facebook is where the public is!

What you might have to do is change your approach to your Facebook page. The key to great things on FB is engagement. Which means you have to get your likers to interact with you and your business. If you post something, your most engaged likers will see it, if they like it or better still, comment on it, some more of your likers will see it and so on…

Facebook has become more about the quality of your content than the number of likes you have. So how do you engage your likers? I’m glad you asked, here are some ideas……

The 80/20 rule.

Just in case you haven’t heard of the 80/20 rule – 80% of your posts should be useful, entertaining, helpful posts (relevant to your niche) and 20% can be sales related. You don’t have to sell at all from Facebook, you could use your 20% ‘sales’ post to direct likers to your website, blog or newsletter subscription – wherever you want them to be to convert them to buyers.

Tell a story

As Vintage and Upcycled sellers, I think you have so much scope for telling interesting stories about your products that catch your liker’s attention. Where did you get an item? What did you have to do to it to make it sellable? What is its history? What was it used for? Is it used for something different today? You could share a tutorial on what works best to clean antique jewellery, share some gruesome facts on the time period a piece of furniture was made. People like to share helpful posts. And things that make them go eurrgh!

Post photos or videos.

People are more likely to stop and look at a photo or video and video is a great tool for getting people to remember you. So get someone to film you doing a short ‘how to’. Or film someone else doing it if talking on camera is too scary (it is for me!!) When taking photos make sure you take good photographs of your products. Take them in natural light, make sure they’re in focus. You could show a photo of the product in use or a close up of the detail.

Solve your potential customers’ problem

When you are doing your sales posts don’t just tell your likers what it is you’re selling or what it does. Tell them how it will improve their lives or solve a problem they have. That the gorgeous vintage necklace you’re selling is the perfect gift for great aunt Mildred. That the little upcycled table will fit in that weird little space behind the door in the hallway. Use language that makes them imagine them using your products.

Include all the information.

When you are sharing your sales posts, make sure you add clear descriptions and prices to  them, including on any photographs you upload. Include a ‘call to action’. How do they buy it? Do they PM you? buy from a website? People online are lazy, the more information they have to ask for, the less chance there is of making a sale.

I don’t think it’s time to write off Facebook as a marketing tool just yet, just remember quality over quantity. It’s about building personal, lasting relationships with your likers and no longer just about the ‘like counter’.

Over to you…. how do you use Facebook? What works for you to engage your customers? Leave me a comment and let me know.

Three Benefits of a Craft Fair (even if you don’t make much money)

Craft Fairs can be a bit hit and miss when it comes to making money. I have done one where I just about covered my £5 table fee and then another one where I made over £200 in one day. But they can be useful for your business in ways other than making money. Here are three benefits of attending a craft fair even if you don’t make a lot of money.

3 benefits of attending a craft fair even if you don't make a lot of money.

A craft fair can be a positive experience even if your sales aren’t great

Exposing the public to your products and brand

I had a very interesting conversation at one craft fair I attended with a lady who had bought one of my original drawings a couple of years previously. She told me she had seen it at an art show but didn’t have the funds at the time to buy it, and was delighted when she saw it again at a different exhibition and purchased it then. This was an eye opener for me and made me realise we are making an impact even when we don’t see tangible results straight away. People cannot always purchase from you the first time they see your work but if they really like it, they will remember you and look out for you again, either at another fair or find you online. Having business cards easily accessible on your table is great for future customers to take away with them. Make sure to include your website, blog and social media addresses so they can keep in touch.

Feedback from customers and potential customers

Use Craft Fairs to chat to customers and get valuable feedback for your business.

Use Craft Fairs to chat to customers and get valuable feedback for your business.

When you sell online you rarely get in depth feedback. If you do its generally in the form of a few lines in a review and while it can be helpful it’s not the same as being able to have a face to face conversation. By chatting to the people who look at your table you can find out what they’re looking for and if you don’t have it, maybe you should? I normally end up with a little list of art subjects that people ask me about at craft fairs to include in my next paintings. Do you spend your whole time answering the same questions? Perhaps you should include the answers in your table signage or literature for people to take away. Sometimes it’s as useful to find out why people don’t buy as much as why they do. It’s also just very nice to have people tell you how talented and clever you are! It is a excellent confidence and enthusiasm boost.

Your local craft business community

It’s good to talk, especially when most artists and crafters are self employed and work on their own. It’s great to get out and chat to other creative people. Most are very friendly and happy to give advice. You can find out about other events in your area, which ones are worth attending and which ones to avoid! You can pick up useful tips and tricks for displaying your work. I was admiring another stall holder’s display boxes at a fair I attended and she kindly gave me the details of where she’d got them from. It’s also great to just have a chat. If you do local fairs you will see some of the same faces at the different ones you go to and form good friendships.

Do you attend art or craft fairs? What benefits do you take from the experience?

5 Ways Pinterest is like Chocolate!

I am a huge fan of Pinterest and a huge fan of Chocolate (I even have a Pinterest Chocoholic board!). And as I sit here stuffing my face whilst fanatically pinning away it occurs to me the two are remarkably similar! Not sure what I’m talking about? Let me explain….

5 ways Pinterest is like Chocolate. On Create || Flourish || Succeed blog

What do you mean, you’d never noticed the similarities between Pinterest and Chocolate?

1. They are both highly addictive

Have you ever managed to eat just half a bar of Chocolate? Have you ever managed to spend ‘just 5 minutes’ on Pinterest? Precisely. Me neither.

2. They are both full of sugar

We know that Chocolate is full of sugar, which is bad for your teeth. Well, so is Pinterest. It’s full of ‘internet sugar’! You know what I mean, pictures of cute kittens and puppies, cute babies, cute couples along with a cute couple quote…. those sorts of things that make you feel a little bit nauseous but still can’t get enough of. On the plus side internet sugar won’t make your teeth fall out!

3. Both get you motivated…

Chocolate – epic sugar rush leading to ye-ha energy levels! Pinterest – look at all the pretty pictures, motivational quotes, inspiring stories and totally do-able projects! How can you fail to become an expert in making cakes that look like real life animals….

4. ….Or make you feel like an epic failure (depending on your mood pre ‘Chocolate and Pinterest’ session)

Chocolate – OMG I just ate a whole 1kg bar of Dairy Milk and now I feel fat and a wee bit sick. Pinterest – Oh why do I even bother, everyone is already doing everything 100 times better than meeee! (Insert ‘woe is me’ pathetic wailing).

5 ways Pinterest is the same as Chocolate. On the blog at Create Flourish Succeed


5. Both are bad for your ‘healthy lifestyle’.

Chocolate – full of sugar, will make you fat, you know the score. Pinterest – you know that hour you just spent pinning healthy recipes and fitness programmes? You could have gone to the gym, or a bike ride, or even just a walk!

So, there you have it, 5 ways Pinterest and Chocolate are similar! Don’t complain I never tell you anything useful on this blog!

So which one couldn’t you live without, Pinterest or Chocolate? Leave a comment and let me know!

How to decide where to sell your handmade crafts

You’ve decided you want to do this ‘small business’ thing, you’ve got some stock, where do you want to sell it? Good question, here’s a few suggestions on where you might sell your handmade crafts, and a few pointers on how to decide which one is for you.

4 ways to sell your handmade crafts and how to decide which one is for you

4 ways to sell your Handmade Crafts

Craft Fairs

A Craft Fair could be a small table at your child’s school’s Summer fete or a booth at a national event, though it might be an idea to do a smaller event first for a bit of practice even if you are aiming high.


  • You get to meet and speak to your customers and potential customers (please note, this can also be a con if you’re like me and the general public scare you)
  • You get to network with other local crafters.
  • Your customers get to look at / touch / smell your products in real life.


  • You have an initial outlay for display materials for your crafts and signage for prices and product information.
  • You need to have enough stock to make a decent display.
  • People will ask you bizarre questions about your crafts and might even be rude about the prices etc.

Online 3rd party website.

I think this is where a lot of makers of handmade goods start.


  • Websites like Etsy and Folksy make it easy to set up an online storefront and they handle taking the payments for you too.
  • You don’t need loads of stock, just sell what you have.
  • You don’t need a lot of technical know – how to set up shop.


  • Selling online can be hard when customers can’t see / touch / smell your products in person
  • Fees can get high when you take listing fees, final commission and Paypal fees all into account.
  • It’s not easy to be seen on the more popular sites like Etsy.
  • You need to be able to safely and efficiently post your products

Your own website.

Where you sell direct on your own website with no third party involvement.


  • You have full control over the design and functionality of your website.
  • There is no competition from other sellers. If customers are at your site, it’s your products they are looking at.
  • There are no restrictions on what you can sell. (Best to keep it legal though!)


  • If you aren’t technically minded (or married to or best friends with someone who is!) you will need to hire some help to integrate your shopping cart and payment processing software.
  • You are liable for the security and privacy of your website. Biiig responsibility when dealing with customer’s personal details and banking information.
  • You will need to market yourself very well to get your site seen.

Shops / Galleries.

Selling Handmade Crafts in shops and Galleries.

Do you see your Crafts as a perfect fit for a local shop?

Actual, physical, bricks and mortar shops, local boutique stores or galleries.


  • You get your product into a business that already has a customer base that is buying what you sell (assuming you’ve chosen the right shop to stock your items!)
  • You don’t need to deal with small transactions for one or two items that can be time consuming especially when selling online and having to package things up.


  • It might be difficult, as a new business, to get shop owners to take you seriously.
  • You will need to be able to meet large, wholesale order expectations.
  • You will need a start up budget to fulfill large wholesale orders.

You can of course aim to do all of them, especially when things take off and you’re doing well at one particular outlet you can try another one.

I’d suggest starting with the one you feel happiest with, if you’re a chatty, outgoing sort of a person who likes to talk to your customers, start with Craft Fairs, if you’re happier with your own company, then start online (you’ll still have to answer bizarre questions though!)

You’ll also have to take into consideration what you sell, handmade baby blankets will travel nicely through the post, handmade garden benches…. not so easily!

There are in depth looks at the different options coming up soon (a look at the different online options will be live on Friday). By signing up to the newsletter you will get a heads up on the blog topics coming up!

What are you going to try for your craft business? What are you already working at? Are there any excellent avenues I’ve missed? Let me know in the comments.

Wednesday Weekly Quick Tip: Creative Business Branding

This week’s Wednesday Quick Business Tip is about your approach to branding your business.

Handmade business branding advice. Your business branding is not just your logo. It's how you present your business to the public

Your Business Branding is not just your logo

Your branding is your business’ public ‘persona’. It’s how customers and potential customers perceive your business and because you are your business, it basically boils down to how people perceive you!

For instance, you may have a beautiful professionally designed website with a professional logo, eye catching photographs and product descriptions to make people drool, but if you then go on Facebook and have a wild rant about how ungrateful and annoying your customers are, people will very quickly lose their faith in you and consequently your business.

So my point is, remember clarity and consistency when branding your business. Decide what you want your business’ branding to say to the World and use this consistently. On your website, your blog, social media, packaging, how you deal with customer’s emails and comments, product descriptions and photography, any time you interact as your business, you have to be that brand.

Tell me about your business’ brand. What three words would you use to describe your business? Or if you have any questions, feel free to ask…