Friday, 6 July 2012
TODAY'S GUEST BLOGGER IS.....
I’m Madeleine and I’m this week’s guest blogger. Together with my husband Tom I run Craftsite which, as the name suggests, is an online retailer of craft supplies although we mainly deal in card making and paper crafting as that is what I know best and if some-one asks me a question I like to have the knowledge to answer it. You’ll find us at www.craftsite.co.uk
Before we had the website I used to make wedding stationery. I still make the odd wedding invitation but nowadays I do it to show brides how simple it is to make their own wedding stationery and how much they can save by doing it themselves.
We also supply many small businesses with the same high quality card I used to use in my own wedding stationery business. We try to keep the prices low and give quantity discounts so that those who do it as a business can keep their costs down.
I’m proud of the number of different cardstock available on the website. We have a vast range at www.craftsite.co.uk/papercard At any one time we have between 40,000 and 50,000 sheets of card and paper in stock in our paper store. Our flagship card is Stardream which we stock in both card and paper in 23 colours. Stardream card and paper is a double sided pearlescent and is ideal for wedding stationery or when you want to make a truly special card.
We don’t just sell card and paper but just about anything and everything that anyone needs for card making: embellishments, decorative stickers, rubber stamps, a vast range of inks (92 at the last count) plus loads of card toppers and die cut decoupage sheets, card making kits, pens, shimmer paints, embossing powders, masks and stencils, peel offs, and beads and gems. We have thousands of different lines. Whatever you need for card making we’ve probably got it.
My favourite tool is my Big Shot which stands permanently on the counter in the shop. We stock the Grand Calibur, the Cuttlebug, and the Big Shot and, although I’ve got all three, it’s my Big Shot that I use the most. Having 3 die cutting machines may seem excessive but about 50% of the queries that we get from customers relate to die cutting so if I can replicate what the customer is trying to do on the machine that she is using then the better able I am to answer the query.
I mentioned before the shop. When we were looking for premises 7 years ago we were mainly looking for a warehouse that we could use for the Internet business. The one we found came with a very small shop attached. A year later the shop next door became available and we knocked through to treble the size of our existing shop. The shop is a boon because I get instant feedback on products from customers.
We actively encourage feedback from Internet customers too. There is a contact form on the home page of our website where people can ask questions about products, ask about their orders, or just praise our service (the staff really love the ones that fall into the last category).
I wanted the website to be more than just an online retail store and very early on we set up the gallery. Ours isn’t just a “here is a picture of my card” type of gallery but a step by step card making projects gallery where instructions are given as to how each card was made. The instructions are printer friendly so anyone can print them off to have to hand when making their card and it is an extremely popular feature of the website. We have 98 different projects at the moment. You’ll find it at www.craftsite.co.uk/gallery Here are some of our projects.
I’ve always believed in giving something back to our customers. So 3 years ago I started the blog to inform card makers not only of new products but also how to start card making, how to get the best from a die cutting machine, making cards on a tight budget, making quick and easy cards and loads more. And if what you want to know isn’t on the blog, contact us and I will personally answer your query.
If you’d like to know more you can follow us on Twitter @craftsite or like our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/