Saturday, 31 March 2012

NEW addition to the shop!

After what seemed like an eternity, well it always seems to take longer when you're harboring a  secret, we can now let you in on the big news!
From this April you will be able to hire sewing machines by the hour in our lovely little Wood Street studio shop. At just £4 an hour you can pop in and use our "Husqvarna" machines to sew up your you'll get your very own loyalty card and the 7th hour is free.
It's our way of saying "Thank You" for coming to our little crafting oasis. Also you'll be able to buy tea by the pot so you're nice and watered during your sew-a-thon!

*Please note that you must be able to use a sewing machine though we are happy to help you thread the machine, lend you a bobbin and some thread should you need some though please bring your own thread and whatever you need for your project.
Scissors are available for your use as are a few other tools.

Husqvarna E10...we've got some and they are nifty, easy to use machines.

P.S. We've kept quiet basically because we were waiting to hear from our sponsors but they came through so thank you Husqvarna-Viking UK!!!

Monday, 26 March 2012

Shoppe on line...

Because we like to make your life easier we've now updated our web shoppe to include a few select items by some of our designer makers. This way even if you can't make it down to our shop you'll be able to buy your crafty fill in our web shoppe!
Chose from jewellery, oyster card holders, gigantic knitted biscuit cushions to bakers string sold by the meter.
Also you can still purchase our Zines and a few craft packs as well as that you can book your self onto our workshops!

Custard Cream Cushion by Sarah Kerry. Available to buy online!

Friday, 23 March 2012

Book your spot...

Booking your spot on one of our Work Shops is now easy peasy! We've updated the website so now we have under The Guerrilla Shopping page a whole section entitled "make with us" where you can book to you're hearts desire!
Lots of new workshops will be added so sign up for our mailing list or visit the "make with us" page!
Also on the right hand side of our blog we have a "Work Shop" link so... click on it for a direct link!

Also drop us a line if there's anything you'd like us to cover...

e-mail us:

Late night Lindy Shopping...

It's with great pleasure that we are announcing the next WOOD STREET Late Night Shopping event courtesy of yours truly, Anja Jane Illustration & Coffee, Jerome Anderson and Tony Tunes!!!

As part of the Wood Street regeneration project the market management team have asked shop holders to curate monthly special events to help Wood Street SWING into action....
and speaking of SWING...

Join Jerome Anderson from 7 pm for a dance lesson so you can Lindy hop, skip and dance your way to some mighty fine shopping including vintage clothing, shellac 48s, second hand records, home wares, collectables, art, illustration, jewellery, craft and lots more!
Tony Tunes will also be on the decks cranking up the music to get you in the mood while Anja Jane gets the Cocktails flowing in her café gallery. 

Plus Craft Guerrilla are hosting a very special Vintage inspired craft workshop from 7pm so come down to Wood Street and dance your way into some fab late Thursday night Lindy shopping!

Here's a little bit more about the workshop:
"Anti Air-craft" Workshop starts at 7pm, £10 per person includes tea and home baked cake.  
In the spirit of make do & mend philosophy we're doing a very special "Anti Aircraft" project. Make your very own Anti-moth hanging heart to keep your vintage threads in tip top shape. See what we did there? Gypsy/ Tiger Moth air plane...moths as in the insect eat your clothing type of air craft!
Hearts will be stitched and filled with a special blend of herbs which you'll be able to make, take home and USE! Made from up cycled fabric and made with a lot of LOVE by you!

Please pre book your tickets here...
dance lesson: 

craft workshop:

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Finding the wood from the "two red trees!"

You'd be forgiven for thinking it was a Circus Act or a name of a new Clothing Brand but it is in fact a brand spanking internet selling platform!
Designed to showcase and sell hand made items "Two Red Trees" charge a very agreeable 20% commission and so far of what I've seen there is a pretty good selection on there already.
We do need something very BRITISH (quirky, original and cool!) that stands out and unfortunately nothing has quite filled that gap yet.
So could "Two Red Trees" be the selling platform that stands out and takes on our American cousins? Well lets just say that in order for that to happen UK designer makers need to get on there and make it fabulous! I think "Two Red Trees" still has a long way to go but it has potential!!!

For further info please visit:

Thursday, 15 March 2012

The importance of pricing!

There's not a day that goes by that I'm not met with people's lack of conviction and knowledge when it comes to pricing.
Many designer makers start up their own creative "businesses" because they find intense pleasure or refuge in making which is brilliant but most of them hardly touch on the business running side of things when they're setting up or considering their business plan. Not everyone is a "Richard Branson" power house so hardly surprising!
We've all had to learn so in Mr. Branson's absence I hope my words can help you go through that road a little bit quicker and make you more aware of the "do's and don't" as well as realizing the importance of pricing your goods correctly.

So when it comes to pricing why is it that many of us get it so wrong?
One of the basics of business whether you are running a company which supplies goods or offers services is to have a clear image of who you are selling/providing to, what you are selling and what price you are selling it for. No need for pie charts or long exhausting surveys but just have a solid idea in your mind of what you want to achieve. It's easy to forget the business aspect and just get on with the fun creative side.

When it comes to hand made products there really is no other way to put this but...if it's hand made it should be more expensive then mass produced! It's as simple as that! Unless you're making "hand made" items on a conveyor belt and have a room full of Asian children stitching on your beads for you then I really do not understand how you'd think it would be OK to charge so little.

Not that it is OK to charge so little for products made with foreign labour either or to have rooms filled with Asian Children stitching anything for anyone... you should know by now that one of the foundations of our manifesto is the challenge to wean people off mass produced tat and that we find worker exploitation an absolute no no!

And so that brings me to my point...
You wouldn't exploit a third world worker so why would you exploit your own labour?
We need to be realistic and understand that by offering quality hand made goods at a fraction of similar mass produced items that it's a bad economical move.
Photograph: Getty Image
You're not the High Street, you're not a factory and you're certainly not a chain shop so get away from the idea that you need to compete with these market forces.
What you're actually doing is pushing down the market value of other hand made goods. By adding poorly priced goods onto the hand made market you are cheating not just yourself out of a descent wage but also cheating every other designer maker which is trying their hardest to do things by the book!
These seemingly innocent actions affect other designer makers as you're pushing the hand made market into a spiraling ebb and forcing it into competition with the mass produced market! Lets face it, there is no comparing/ competition so why put it in the same bag?

So when it comes down to it and you're ready to take the next step I think it's important to decide which you are doing... is it a business or a hobby?
The times I've heard " It's only a Hobby so I don't need to make a living from it!" makes me question people's need to make or actually more precisely their need to sell.
It's not to say that a "hobbiest's" goods aren't of quality but because it's not a business they can afford to sell at lower prices and undercut other designer makers.
If you are crafting because it's your hobby why not make those same items for a charity where they can sell them in their shops to raise much needed funds for their cause? It would be a much better and healthier alternative plus you'd be doing lots of good for your chosen charity and finding a creative outlet for yourself!
But how to get it right and where can you find that information?
If you'd like to learn how to price your items there are plenty of resources on the internet that will guide you through it step by step.
Also you're local borough or council might have groups like "Women in Business", a charity run "Start Up Advice Centres"  or business course for residents and traders.

The same goes for work shop providers...price them accordingly at the going market rate. You may feel that it's in your interest to price it down a little due to location or disciplines/projects on offer which is fine but don't give it away for free. You need to work out exactly what your are using including waste material, travel (if applicable), lighting, space rental, tutor fees and even time you've spent on line adding your event to advertising web sites.
I despair when I see work shops advertised for silly money. A perfect example is after school Kid's craft work shop which I've seen priced at £2 per child which I'm sure doesn't even cover basic material costs.
If you are a charity or a social project it makes sense to have a "concession" price and a "normal" rate to cover costs and to raise funds as there might be a time when your sponsors will be less generous due to an economic turn down. If you are a charity capitalize on that! Make it obvious that you are because the people who can afford to pay the full price will be happy to do so because then they'll know their money is going towards a good project. If you serve only the targeted audience then you miss out on a whole other costumer base!
Be it goods or services...
by offering unrealistic prices it means that in the long run you're pricing yourself out of the market and everyone else too. Please think before you price!

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Craft your way to a better, more sustainable life...

Karishma Shahani’s Upcycled Fashion

It may seem like everyone's going on about the economy, the climate, the end of the world, the effects of solar flares on humanity and in general reminding us of just how fragile our little lives are on this beautiful rock we call home.
After reading an article on solar flares (and no this is not a new Jean Paul Gaultier range of leg ware but it did make me think of jeans as you'll read further along!) I began to think on just how important it is for every single individual to take responsibility of their impact on our planet's environment.
The sun is huge and I wouldn't dare point my scrawny finger at it but even though solar storms are massively away Mr. Sun, I ain't arguing with you!
However I think we do need to take action. Good old,  positive, WW2 kind of black and white, "we're in this together" propaganda poster, couples staring out to the distant landscape kind of determined action! It's not enough to put the recycling out for collection in the mornings or join a group on face book which promises not to buy clothing for a year, because we both know that's pretty impossible, but what it does is high lightens the need for us to be a bit more creative and responsible about what we buy and where we buy it from.
What I'm trying to say is that maybe we could all make a pledge. A simple one like every time we walk into a shop and see a "must have" item of clothing to ask ourselves : "Do I need another pair/dress/shirt?" and "Is it worth buying?" 
It may be pretty and your heart might swoon just at the thought of it but buying super cheap, poorly made garments wont last! Not that you need to buy designer clothing but a good pair of mid range jeans will last longer then any 6 "Primarni" pairs will ever last you. With that same money you could get a really excellent pair of jeans! OK you only get 1 pair but the difference in wear and space left over in your wardrobe is priceless. And it doesn't have to stop with clothing.
So let's  change our ways. Lets make do with what we have and mend what needs a second lease of life. Let's pick up an unrealised craft project and finally finish it so it has a purpose. Let's clear out our craft stash and arrange a swap-shop type of event where friends can trade haberdashery, beads, wool, fabric and so on to make something new. Let's up-cycle something which we were going to throw away and make it into something we can love again and enjoy using for years to come!
OK so...Who's in?

Here are a few ideas which you can make with odds and sods:

Upcycled Vintage tray chalkboard! Photo by Regina Moore

Nut and rope braided bracelet. Photo credit unknown.

Washi Tape table. Photo credit unknown.

Re used bird cage shelving. Photo credit unknown.

Doily Lamp shade:

Sunday, 4 March 2012

a little film...featuring CG!

by Sanyukta Shrestha PS you'll need to be signed in to Face Book to watch this. Sign in and open another tab/window for our blog...then you can see it! Sorry.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

More work shops added...

Craft Guerrilla have added a few new workshops to the diary so to get you making! It couldn't be easier to book...just visit our Guerrilla shopping page  , scroll down, add to the cart and pay via Pay Pal.
Nice and simple! See you all soon!!!

Crochet flowers. Perfect for a whole host of projects!

Paint your own Tea cup & Saucer! A chance to illustrate some beloved crockery!