Sunday, 9 September 2012

Doing it right.....

Hey Crafty-Bitz'ers,

Over that last few weeks I have been reading various posts on Facebook which have left me dumbfounded.  The amount of Facebook pages which are obviously trading, yet don't seem to know or choose to ignore the laws that businesses have to adhere to, is scary.

Now I don't claim to be completely knowledgeable about the ins and outs of running a micro business, but I do know the basics.

1.  If you intend to sell, even if it's for a hobby, you NEED to register with HMRC.  Many people say they're running a hobby business and do not make enough to pay tax on.  This is not your decision to make, you need to send a return.  Even Charities have to do tax returns. Find more details here.

2.  Make sure you know and understand all of the Distance Selling Regulations.  These are  found here.

3. PLI - Public Liability Insurance.  Whilst this is not a legal requirement, I believe it's vital in today's litigious society.  Could you afford to pay someone out if they filed a claim against you?  It's not that expensive if you look about.  If you're planning to do craft fairs then many will ask for a copy of your PLI insurance before they'll let you have a stall.  Also if you're planning on organising your own fairs then you will need appropriate insurance also.

4.  Make sure you label your products properly...for example, if you make collectible dolls, you should state that they are not suitable for children to cover yourself.  If you sell bath and body products I believe you need certificates to prove they've been properly tested.  I think if you sell food products you need certifications too...(please feel free to put me right on this) as well as correct labelling for allergies etc.

A few months ago a friend of mine made a comment on a Facebook Page pointing out that the person had admitted selling without being registered.  The said person then tried to retract that saying the page was just for showing off her hobby,  (however there were loads of comments regarding prices and delivery times that suggested otherwise).  My friend then got a barrel of abuse from this pages likers....she got called jealous, a hater and all sorts.  People were telling the person that it was ok to sell if it was only her hobby etc.....then when it was pointed out by others that this was not the case, more abuse was thrown.  All my friend was trying to do was point out that HMRC visit Facebook and websites to check for people trading without registering.  Another argument that came out was, 'Everyone else is doing why shouldn't I?'  This doesn't make it right.  It's also hugely unfair to the thousands that are trading legally having registered and who have to factor this into their prices.  These people who break the law and are able to sell cheaply are undermining the creative talents of those who 'do it by the book'  and I don't like that.

This post may not make me popular, but if you're selling your wares, you need to be doing it right!  I am hoping that it will not apply to many, but if it helps one person who didn't realise what was needed then it was worth my while :)

Please do let me know your thoughts.....

Don't forget to check out Handmade Monday over at Handmade Harbour

Take care
Sarah xx

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

April Showcase Announcement!

Evening all,

As promised yesterday, here's further details for our next Showcase which will be in April.

Friday 27th April to Monday 30th April

Where? and

We've decided not to have a theme as such this time instead it's BEST OF CRAFTY-BITZ!

How can I join in?
Instead of submitting your 3 photos with links and descriptions by email what we want you to do is submit up to 
6 of your favourite / best items 
and upload them directly into the specially created photo album on the crafty bitz website called "The best of Crafty-Bitz". Please make sure you upload them into this album otherwise your fab products won't be include!
For detailed instructions on how to do this simply email:

How will the showcase work?
From there WE will choose 3 of your items to put in the showcase so you need to make sure that when you upload your photos they are of the highest quality, have detailed descriptions with links to where people can buy them directly.

When is the closing date for submissions?
As with previous showcases, the deadline for submissions is 7 days before the showcase so 
Midnight Friday 20th April

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Sneak Peek Mother's Day Showcase

So...our second showcase for fab Mother's Day items is fast upon us!

So fast in fact that it's only 2 DAYS AWAY

We've had some fantastic entries so far so though we'd give you a sneak peek at some of the items that will be on offer from 
Friday 2nd - Monday 5th March

Don't forget to check all the lovely gifts on offer on

Sunday, 29 January 2012

What a week!'s been all systems go this week at Crafty Bitz towers preparing for our first ever showcase and we must say we're really pleased with how it's gone!

We received some amazing photos, sold a few things, received new likers, a few new members, members taking part received some new likers too and not to mention all the sharing that's been going on.

So a MASSIVE thank you to everyone who took part, shared the album and popped by for a visit!

We've already discussed our next showcase for Mother's Day which will take place from Friday 2nd - Monday 5th March which isn't too far away really. So get your thinking caps on and get creating as we'll be opening application for the Mother's Day showcase in a few weeks time :)

Handmade Monday Blog

Just in case you're not aware of it and you have a blog then you need to check out the 1st unique gifts blog

Every Monday they have a Handmade Monday blog where people can submit links to their blog for other people to pop along and have a nosey at. They just ask that you mention the blog in your blog so word gets out!

(Just a few "blogs" there for you teehee)

The Crafty Network

We contacted Linda at The Crafty Network over Christmas to see if we could work together to support each other and we're pleased to say she's on board. The Crafty Network has over 2,500 likers on facebook and is used on a daily basis by people advertising their goodies. Been going since May 2011 and we're looking forward to working with Linda for everyone's benefit.
On that note, do take a look at the Valentine's Showcase over there too check it out here

You'll see some of the fab items we had in our showcase too so do bob on over

Handmade For You UK

Just like with The Crafty Network we're also showing mutual support for Handmade For You UK.
Maxine does a fantastic job running the facebook page and website by herself and her latest mechanism for facebook pages is photo album categories where you simply tag your business under any relevant albums
Check it out here
Handmade For You UK shared our showcase a few times over the weekend which was fab!


If you haven't heard of CRAFTfest it's a week long craft fair organised by the lovely ladies over at Creative Connections.
Here's how it works:
You join the creative connections website where you can update your profile, find friends, make ones, upload pics etc
Your stall works by adding your photos to an album which you call "Shop name's CRAFTfest stall"
Each photo has a description, price and link to where people can buy that items from
Once you sign up you get assigned a team leader who is there to support you and guide you through the process.
For full instructions visit this dedicated site

It's a fab way to meet new people and hopefully sell some of your items at the same time. This is the 3rd CRAFTfest and each one gets bigger and better so don't miss out as for £5 it's fab!

And that's it for now, don't forget that becoming a member is and will always be free and we'll never charge for showcases! If you're interested in being one of our member interviews for the blog please get in touch.

Thanks again for your ongoing support

Sarah and Natasha :)


Sunday, 22 January 2012

Valentine's Day Showcase...not long to go!

Evening all,

Apologies we've been a bit quiet on the blog front we've been super busy sorting out the valentine's themed showcase!

We've had 30 entries which has exceeded our expectations massively and the quality of the goodies we've received is amazing so in a nutshell we're REALLY excited about it!

So here's what you need to know

Make sure you visit our website and 
our facebook page from 
7pm on Friday 27th January which is next Friday!

We've have approx 90 photos of valentine's goodies for you to peruse at your leisure! The photos will remain on both facebook and the website for the rest of the year but we'll be promoting them heavily over the weekend. 

We'll be tweeting about it, blogging about it, sharing it on our facebook page, on our own individual facebook business pages, on networking pages, and wherever else we can think of!

We also need your support to make this a success so if everyone could share it at least once over the weekend hopefully we'll reach a huge target audience and possibly get some sales in the process!

If you have any questions / queries do get in touch.

Unfortunately, it is too late to enter for this showcase however we're already thinking of the next ones so keep in touch to find out more!

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Creative Connections & CRAFTfest

Evening all,

As you may know we have links with Creative Connections so though we'd tell you all about them and their fab CRAFTfest...

Predominantly run by Anna not only does she run the Creative Connections website, co-ordinate the CRAFTfest events, edit and publish an online magazine every quarter and run the Professional Crafter's Guild, but she also runs her own business too!

Natasha first joined Creative Connections in Aug 2011 after signing up for the September CRAFTfest. For those who don't know CRAFTfest events are online craft fairs. The 2011 format was run over 2 days but for 2012 they're going on for a whopping 7 days for just £5 each. It's a fantastic way to meet other sellers, gain some of their knowledge and bounce ideas off them as you're put into advertising groups and given a team leader. I was a team leader for the November event and going forward am more of a co-ordinator between Crafty-Bitz and Creative Connections. 

Natasha has also had articles published in the December edition of the Creative Crafting magazine and will be submitting various bits and bobs throughout the year, including a feature on Crafty-Bitz.

So going forward you'll see reminders about when to submit content for the magazine, deadlines for joingin the the CRAFTfests and lots more.


To sign up for CRAFTfest you first need to become a member (which is free) on their website

Then everything you need to know to join is on this seperate website here, which is totally dedicated to CRAFTfest events

But here's a quick summary!

10th - 18th March
You can showcase as many products you like via your online "stall" on the website
This stall is then linked to a front page in your chosen category
£5 to sign up
Dedicated team leader to support you
A wealth of knowledge from your fellow team members
Weeks of potential advertising and selling before, during and after the event

The deadline for signing up for a stall is 20th February but the sooner you sign up the higher up each category you go :)

If you have any questions Natasha will be happy to answer them if she can.


Sarah and Natasha

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Valentine's Day Showcase

Very pleased to announce our free Valentine's Themed Showcase coming to Crafty-Bitz website and facebook page 27th - 29th January!

To join in you first need to be a member of

Then each member can submit up to 3 photos of their Valentine's themed items to before 21st January with the following info:
  • Links to where people can buy the item from (online shop, website, contact page)
  • Brief description of the item
  • Cost of item and potage and packing
We look forward to seeing your fab items on the 27th!