Updates and sparkly stuff
Howdy folks! Long overdue blog post incoming just to update y'all about what's been happening in the world of Twysted Roots.
First off ... directories! And a shout out to four fab ones. I joined the NOT ON AMAZON directory not long after it launched. I'd been in the Facebook group (which is currently archived) for a few months before plucking up the courage to share some of my work and I was overwhelmed with the response so joining the directory was a no brainer. Would highly recommend checking out some of the talent on there and also on the Facebook group too.
I'm also one of the admin for the My Helpful Hints directory which not only gives businesses / bloggers / services a directory listing, but a lot of support on social media too with dedicated Twitter groups. It's a lot of fun and I'm hugely enjoying the experience.
The third mention goes to vipmumsndads who not only have a free directory as a star member, but offer a range of packages for the VIP treatment which includes an advert on their website and promotion over social media platforms. It gives massive support to members and I'd recommend it to any business looking to get seen more online.
And the last one I'm going to mention is for The Crafters Directory which I've been a member of for at least a couple of years. I'm not too great at noticing time or dates or even years, but I know I've been on there for a while and they're another one that is a great support for crafters.
Next up ... Shipping!
I've still not reinstated shipping to EU countries because I've been hearing too many stories about packages, despite being labelled correctly, not getting delivered or getting returned. Also hearing from other businesses, how customers are getting surprised with customs charges which I knew was a thing but not everyone reads the details and unexpected costs are never nice to have. And then there's the VAT thing which I started to read about but as I'm not VAT registered (I don't earn enough), I'm not sure it applies or not. All in all it's just a bit of a headache so it's been easier just to keep it on ice so to speak. I will however do my best to sort something out if a request comes in for somewhere I don't currently ship to.
And lastly ... sparkly stuff!
I've recently learned that Swarovski are having a major overhaul of how and what they sell. After reading about it a lot yesterday I've gathered they've decided they're too good for things like clothing / nails / face embellishments and think that any small business that uses their crystal beads / pendants / whatever is producing low quality tat that doesn't profit them and they don't want to be associated with it. Of course you can apply for an official account with them but the minimum spend bracket is £100-299 a month. (links to online form from bluestreakcrystals.co.uk which is / was my current go to place for them) I don't even spend that in a year so that's me out. Even if I did spend that and was accepted, their terms are that you don't state or advertise that you use their crystals so why on earth would I bother forking out for theirs when I could choose a far less expensive alternative for practically the same result?
I've used them because I like the quality and it lets other people know I'm not just whacking up prices for the fun of it, after all they are a very well known brand associated with high standard. But this move reeks of snobbery and pretention, appealing to the "luxury market". Mate, it's sparkly glass not diamonds.
So the bottom line here is I still have a sizeable supply of Swarovski crystal pendants and beads which I will use in future trees (because it would be stupid not to) but I won't be able to say that's what they are. Future listings will be simply described as "crystal" and once I run out of what I currently use, I'll move over to some alternative that's either generic or doesn't have a hissy fit if you happen to say they who shall no longer be named. And that concludes my rant for that. Just as a final general infosplurge, I'm currently working on the biggest and heaviest tree I've made yet and it's taking up a lot of my time. Hoping to have it mostly completed within the next couple of weeks but until it's done I'm not going to be posting as much on social media and new listings will be a bit thin on the ground too but after the next commission I won't be taking any more on for a while until I've stocked up the shop a bit more at least. There are trees still listed - it's not totally bare! Can't wait to get stuck into the haul of new beads and gemstones that are sitting taunting me. So many ideas spinning round my head. Anyway if you've read this far thanks for taking a couple of minutes out your day and take care out there. I'd say I'll be back with a blog post soon but I'm not kidding anyone with that - it'll probably be in a few months again. Will see ya over on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram though!