Four Years of Chloivia

Gosh where have the last four years gone? Chloivia was four years old on the 23rd of August. It’s been such an inspirational four years.

I thought I’d write a blog to reflect back over the last four years.

Things I’ve learned over the last four years are;

  • There are a lot of creative and talented people in the world
  • Being passionate and creative doesn’t guarantee business success, this requires a different scale altogether.
  • There will always be negative voices around you.
  • I’ve learnt how to build a website. (www.chloivia.biz) Shameless plug 😉
  • I’ve learnt and I’m still learning about social media, it’s a minefield out there!
  • Everyone is busy! Some just know how to be more productive weather with that time.
  • Over the last four years My business has grown from making and sewing just hair accessories to making and selling a wide variety of crafts, creating craft workshops and parties and now launching craft membership boxes.
  • I’ve also learnt how to network and become a networking host for Bizmums Stafford.
  • I’m looking forward to the future of Chloivia and hopefully it will continue to grow over the years to come.Best wishes
    Becky

Chloivia Craft Creations

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Tuesdays top five – top five tips for selling online…

What? Where? When? How? Why?

What?

There are a lot of what’s when it comes to selling online; what is your product? What is your niche? What is your price range? Etc…

You need to decide what you are going to sell? Have you found something unique that isn’t already on the market? Or have you found a gap in the market for something? You need to find something that is exciting, and something that will make you money. Once you have found what you are going to sell you will need to decide what your price range is.

Some people know exactly what their niche is.  For others it’s a little bit more work to discover exactly what space you’re trying to fill (what value you’re providing) with your product or service, and who your target audience is. Finding your niche is an important step in building and growing a successful business.

Where?

So you’ve decided what you’re going to sell, and what your niche is, and what your price ranges are.  Now you need to decide where are you going to sell your products.? Are you going to sell them online at craft fairs in shops at markets?

How?

To try and market your products, you will need to come up with a solution of how your products can solve problems.  I know this may seem a bit strange but it does work.   A solution for one of my products is, the Button Art and Butterfly Canvases I sell, solve the problem of a bare wall – it transforms plain wall into A beautiful feature wall!

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How are you going to market your product? Are you going to produce leaflets, Newspaper article produce a newsletter or use social media? When using social media you will need to be consistent with your posts. I newsletter would help to build a customer base.

 

When?

When are you going to market your product? If you’re thinking social media, there are ways to find out what time of day will give you the most optimal results for your posts.

Why?

Why have you decided to start selling what is the reason behind it because if you don’t know why there will be no passion and no reason for you to keep on going with your new venture.

CE Testing…

af9dd85e-f958-4daa-9264-cea7e024295aIn the early months of starting my business, I wrote a list of all the items I wanted to make, one of those things on the list were sock monkeys.  I did some research, bought loads and loads of socks, found a tutorial online and got to work.  I thoroughly enjoyed making them and they proved popular at craft fairs.

One day I was searching the internet and came across a sock monkey page and it said “All sock monkey’s are CE Tested”.  I didn’t fully understand what this meant. So I did some research and found out what the CE symbol means.

What does CE marking mean?

CE marking is a visible sign that the product complies with all relevant product supply laws, and its presence together with the declaration of conformity, gives the product to which it is affixed, presumption of conformity with relevant product safety Directives.  Something a lot of people don’t understand, is that all toys or handmade products supplied in the UK, must meet a list of essential safety requirements, which are set out in the Toy (Safety) Regulations 1995.  To prove all these requirements are met, all toys must also carry a CE mark.

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After reading reading about the CE marking and CE testing I had so many questions!

Right ok- so my monkeys need to be tested? How do I do that??

I spent hours trawling through the internet, trying to find out what  I needed to do. It was extremely difficult to find out anything!

I decided to stop selling my sock monkeys until they fully conformed.  I now know this was the right thing to do!

If toys do not carry a CE mark or they have not been tested the producer can be found guilty of a criminal offence.

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The best advice I can give you is to do as much research as you possibly can before you start making your items.  Have a look at www.cemarking-handmadetoys.co.uk. There is tons of information and you can buy a CE testing pack which can guide you through.

Your toys can be sent away to be tested; but this can be very costly. The most cost effective way for handmade toys to gain CE marking is to self certify your products. I used a pack from here. This pack has a lot of helpful information and has a step by step guide to CE testing, certificates of compliance you will need to collate for all your materials (which need to be kept in your technical file) and templates for all your paperwork, which is required by law for each type of toy / material which is manufactured.  Once you have completed self certification, you will be able to add the CE logo to your profuct.

I could go on forever about what is required and how to test etc, but you are better off getting the pack, and reading it through thoroughly until you are sure you understand it.

CE testing is not an easy process and anyone who tells you otherwise is not being truthful / or they’re not doing it properly!

there is a lot of hard work involved, but once you get your head around it, it does get easier.

Websites you may find useful include:

www.cemarking-handmadetoys.co.uk.

www.conformance.co.uk

www.gov.uk

Or if you’re interested in purchasing a sock monkey, they are available on a special made to order basis at chloivia.biz.

DISCLAIMER: PLEASE NOTE;                                                                                                               Whilst I can inform you of my personal experiences with with CE marking, it is not and should NEVER be taken as a replacement for information from toy safety experts.  Please research the EN71 Directive yourself, it is your responsibility to do so.

Chloivia takes NO legal responsibility for the content of this blog post, or further advice given.

The information given is based on my own personal experience, self certifying my own handmade toys for their CE Mark.

 

 

My dream and where I want to be in 10 years.

Most people’s dream is to have lots of money, a big house and flash cars etc.
This isn’t my dream at all!
My number one dream of all time is to be happy – anything else is a bonus, and at this moment in time I’m living the dream, because I am happy.

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The next item on my dream, list and where I would love to be in 10 years time is in our own home, with a little bit of land (enough for a few animals) I would also love to be able to run a B&B only a small one maybe 3 or 4 rooms!  At the moment this isn’t looking likely to happen but anything can happen in 10 years… I can make it happen!!!

To make my dream come true (hopefully) I will dive into blogging which will hopefully get my business name out there which will hopefully drive people to my online shops – I’m feeling quite hopeful – can you tell?

My plan at the moment is to carry on what I love doing – crafting and writing; see where it takes me and go from there.

As they say Rome wasn’t built in a day; it’s the same for a business, it takes time for a business to establish and grow. At times it’s extremely frustrating  but I just have to stop and think! A lot of patience is needed to say the least.

I’ll write back in 10 years and let you know if I got my dream 🙂