Today’s challenge was writing my Etsy shop policies, and the about me page for my shop. I have tried to give a flavour of what my philosophy is and how I run my business. RainbowShed was always about so much more than a channel for selling my hand-made accessories.
When I first thought up the concept of RainbowShed it was as a platform for hand-made accessories, around the theme of Pride and diversity, something I have always been passionate about.
I combined that with my response to the feeling that we have moved too far away from an artisan approach to manufacturing. I remember as a child being fascinated by the idea that you could make anything you wanted. Anything was possible. It saddens me that many people have lost touch with that innate creativity and imagination everyone is born with.
My favourite books as a child were craft books that had photographs and drawings of things you could make, and instructions on how to do exactly that. As a child I was always encouraged to make things myself and to use books to find out anything I didn’t know, and extend my existing skills and knowledge.
I have always made first and bought if I couldn’t make, from clothes, bags, hats and scarves and jewellery to peg bags, cushions to duvet covers. A few years ago I made a huge indoor guinea pig cage complete with fleece bedding custom made to fit, and discovered what a lovely tactile and practical fabric polyester fleece could be.
Despite the punishment of 4 lady guinea pigs behaving in a very unlady-like fashion in the cage, a quick hoover to remove debris and droppings and the inevitable hair and hay was all it needed before washing on a low temperature and air drying to bring it up as good as new and just as soft and fluffy as when I first cut and sewed the fabric.
I was really impressed with the wash and wear qualities of polyester fleece, and the way it bounced back from pretty severe treatment. It never stained or ripped, in spite of 16 paws full of sharp nails frequently rushing around all over the 3 floors of the piggy palace for the 4 years we had our rescued guinea pigs until one by one they succumbed to old age.
I had also made a few scarves and hats for my family from polar fleece and found that they were well received. So my material choice was clear, and the first products were starting to take shape – fleece accessories in rainbow colours, with a Pride theme.
I have sold online before – on Ebay, selling jewellery findings and beads, with a lot of repeat customers and almost 16000 positive feedbacks given, and a feedback score of almost 10000, with only a couple of negatives, both given in error, so I have a clear idea of what my customer service policy would look like.
Apart for the legal requirements of distance selling, I want my policies to reflect how I prefer to be treated as a customer, and to be an honest reflection of my approach as a seller.