Monday, July 21, 2008
Featured Artisan: www.qbranchltd.etsy.com
Q Branch Ltd. at http://qbranchltd.etsy.com is a shop that features a husband and wife who are both craft artists. The shop features a variety of work representing a small sample of the art that these two artists have been producing for over 25 years. Each works in a variety of mediums. Each with training in art and other professions, their work is displayed in galleries, museums, exhibitions, at craft shows and on the Internet.
The shop name goes back to the early 1980's when it was Q Branch and it designed and sold software for a very new home computer market. At the time the name was chosen from the gadget makers in the James Bond movies and the business had the slogan, "Let Q Branch Keep You Equipped!" Over time the software business stopped and the name evolved to a new business of selling crafts. The business incorporated and added the Ltd. corporate designation to its name.
When we started on Etsy we were listing only the main crafts that we do for sale - woodturnings - the wood turned jewelry that is still sold on the site - and small teddy bears. Sales were not as anticipated and we started to list more of a variety of items. As supplies are always the best sellers on Etsy, our neckcords and our ACEO mats were introduced and have become two of our most popular items. We are both living history reenactors and have demonstrated the lucet that we make at history events. This was introduced to our shop and has also become popular. We continue to make and sell woodturning, teddy bears, and dolls in other sales venues, aside from Etsy. The work that we sell on Etsy is as fine a quality as any that we have sold or displayed anywhere. The same attention to detail is paid to the least expensive item as is to items that we make and sell for hundreds of dollars. We both pride ourselves in providing the best customer service that we can and our shop is often complimented on our communication with our customers, our prompt shipping, and of course, the quality of what has been purchased.
Handmade is always a hard sell, many people who are not artists do not appreciate the time and effort that goes into producing craft art. Many are spoiled by mass-produced discounted items and it is difficult for them to justify the price that handmade craft must cost. We have been selling at craft shows for over 25 years and have had a number of experiences, both positive and negative. We share some of these on our site - http://qbranchltd.blogspot.com. We are also currently working on a book to help others get started in selling at craft shows which will be published at a future date. Our best advice for anyone getting started is to know that what you do is good and not allow comments at craft shows to discourage you.