Wednesday, 17 July 2013
Kickstarting Business: HandmadeHour
For those Twitterites amongst you who read Life is Peachy regularly, you may be aware or even have taken part in the awesome #handmadehour hashtag session. Every Wednesday between 7.30 and 9.30pm, the crafting cream of British crop gather together to tweet their wares and show support for handmade businesses up and down the country. It really is an inspiring hour, I've already met lots of really talented people - many of whom have appeared or are due to appear on the blog soon. Plus, it will be my go to twitter account for help marketing my crafts when I set up my shop, to run alongside Life is Peachy, in the coming months.
But the creator of HandmadeHour, the lovely Owen Birkby, has gone one step further and has set up a crowdfunding campaign to launch a website promoting handmade businesses and he needs YOU!
What had started out as providing help for small businesses on a budget, when Owen's wife started up her own business Neverland Creations, Owen helped to market the business through Facebook and, today, the business continues to grow successfully. Owen set up his social media management company, SocialHighs, from this experience and then Handmade Hour became another platform to support small businesses on Twitter. The gap in the market, it seemed, was an easy marketing platform for people who dreamt of turning their hobbies into businesses, but were short on time.
Cut to 2013, Owen and his handmade accomplice, Becky Doggett, have decided to set up a crowdfunding campaign to create a website space for handmade businesses to showcase their products and a hub for resourcing relevant support and advice. There are plans in the pipeline for membership deals and events - but Owen does keep schtumm about some things, after all, it is very early days. On the back of HandmadeHour's twittering success, they already have an ever-growing list of retailers looking to stock handmade products, not to mention the thousands of Twitter followers who may be one step closer to making their dreams a reality.
And it doesn't stop there. Owen and his HandmadeHour team are looking to bring deals from all over. They are currently negotiating with a PR firm for a cracking percentage off deal and they have already agreed a deal with @Popupstall for businesses to have 50% off room hire so they can run their own workshops! It is early days, but they are looking to do more with other businesses to bring similar deals both within the business sector and outside!
Need to hear any more? Let me leave you in the company of Owen himself, who had this to say:
"We do not have the funds to pay for the website ourselves. We're not in this for the money, we want something that is beneficial for the small and handmade businesses that use it. We're just working really hard now to raise the funds through membership sales and advertising sales. We're working around the clock with business partners to negotiate some pretty fantastic deals. We really appreciate all the support, both financial and words of encouragement that we have received so far but there is still a lot of work for us to do. We are determined to make this a reality and help support all the amazing talent that there is out there!"
For more information on Owen and Becky's campaign follow the link here --> http://www.gofundme.com/3crtbk
For an array of wonderful handmade businesses why not give @HandmadeHour a follow on Twitter and get involved with the Wednesday hashtag #handmadehour to find out more.