A Makeover…for the website

OK so we’re having a makeover.
Just touching up here and there on the website mainly, changing colours, moving a few things, hopefully to make it easier to find our products.

It’s never an easy task trying to organise over 600 products on the website. Over the last 11 years I’ve tried many ways and am still searching for perfection. Try as I might there’s always something that isn’t that easy to find.

In an attempt to make products easier to find, I’m going back to adding as much to the top menu bar as possible and then relying on drop down menus to provide quick access.

Here’s how it’s looking so far:

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I am restricted somewhat by my lack of coding knowledge and reliance on point and click website design plus of course the restrictions of this particular template! I’m working on updating the front page further although that will take a little time.

The main categories are covered and this week’s spotlight of Studio Specials can be found under Collections (plus there’s a link in the gallery images to that section).

The contact us tab has been added to the right hand side of the home page to make it easier to find (it’s in the About Us) section as well.

There’ll be further tweaks in the coming week I’m sure, and any feedback I’d love to hear.

Emma

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Shop update is now live…

Fresh from our Wonderwool Wales show in April we have some special products that launched at the show the are now available on the website. These include our:

Plus there’s still free 2nd Class shipping on UK orders over £10

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The latest mini crochet hook designs include Russian doll, Golden cat, Owl and Weeping Angel. From £5

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New Progress markers with Golden cat, Cult of Skaro, Tiger Eye, Copper Heart and Moon designs. From 99p.

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Trio Stitch Markers set – 3 sizes per marker, these make great gifts if you’re not sure which size to buy! £1.50 per set.

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Atomic Knitting at Wonderwool Wales

Wonderwool Wales 2017

Come and visit Atomic Knitting at Wonderwool Wales on 22nd/23rd April 2017!

Wonderwool Wales show is just 11 days away and I am so excited to be at this show again for the 9th year running.  The past couple of weeks have been a blur of creating lots of our individual products from stitch markers to Portuguese pins and everything in-between.

Atomic Knitting was also invited again this year to create the special gift for the FLOCK gathering at Wonderwool on Saturday evening. All will be revealed on the blog after the show! I hope to be posting updates about the show over the weekend on all Atomic Knitting social media channels, so do follow us.

If you are able to come to the show, I’d love to say hi at the Atomic Knitting stand (L1 in the main hall). It makes for a great day/weekend out in a lovely part of the world.

Next week the studio will be carefully packed up and transported to the Royal Welsh showground where the stand will be set up to showcase over 1500 products. As always, there will be some special stitch marker designs and other knitting/crochet goodies launching at the show. If there’s any left 🙂 these will then be available on the website in the week after the show.

If you can’t get to the show then the website will be open for ordering, although running a limited range of stock from Wednesday 19th April until the following Wednesday 26th April. Please note that all orders placed after Midnight on Tuesday 18th will be posted on Tuesday 25th April. Our wholesale shop will re open in May.

Here’s a quick rundown of our product range:

with best wishes

Emma

A day in the studio – Leaf stitch markers

February and March are always the busiest time of the year in the studio and it’s always at this time that my thoughts turn to the Wonderwool Wales show that is only 8 weeks away (22-23 April 2017). Preparation for this show (and all shows) begin some 3 months before the show with a long “to do list” that I dutiful review every week in my bullet journal, and often feel like I make little real progress on until the pressure begins around now (6-8 weeks before)! With over 2 pages of products to create, I probably should have started a few weeks ago, but hey, who doesn’t work well under pressure! Today’s post is about a day in the bead studio.

As you can see below it’s fairly time consuming to produce each batch of stitch markers, photograph the set and upload to the website.

Show Prep

This will be the 8th Wonderwool Wales that Atomic Knitting has exhibited at, and I feel that the stand together with the whole show has come a long way since those early days. For Atomic Knitting there are usually over 1500 products to get ready/create, package and price up ahead of the show, then all the loose beads, buttons and ‘special items’ that I produce just for the show. In between there’s the stand design to consider as well as the relevant marketing paraphernalia that needs to be ordered around 6 weeks before. This is all in parallel with running the website, writing newsletters, creating new products, making up wholesale orders, photography and social media to name just a few tasks.

I do love it all though and am thankful that I can spend the day in such a creative way.

A day in the life…Leaf Stitch Markers

Here’s how today turned out the studio.

9:00am  Coffee & BuJo

I usually start by making a list of what I want to achieve in the day, from creating new products to paying the bills, it all gets written down. I usually end up with about 5 or 6 things I want to accomplish, and I know I might only get 1 or 2 done today…the rest are there just in case!

9:15am  Gather

First on the list today was the creation of new beaded leaf stitch markers. Once ready to begin the first product, I start by gathering together the beads, findings and tools that I need. In this case, leaf beads in multiple colours, Swarovski Xillion crystals in all available colours, seed beads, findings, rings, clasps, ribbon, card and packaging. I’ve had the leaf beads in stock for a little while and last week had a new batch of Swarovski Xillion crystals arrived that were sparkling away on the desk, catching my eye.

9:30am  Design

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It took around an hour to make up one of each of the seven designs that have been released today. Each marker is made using a leaf bead, a Xillion Swarovski crystal and seed beads. There’s a variety of gold and silver plated designs, and the Make Your Mark service is available on all seven designs.

 

10.30am Nettle Tea Break & Email check

The email check reveals a couple of orders have come in to be processed and dispatched later today.

10.45am Make

Now the designs are finalised it’s time to create multiple versions of each one including Make Your Mark sets. Markers to fit 4mm, 7mm, crochet and removable markers are made up.

Each set is ribbon tied on card and packaged ready for immediate dispatch.

12.30pm Lunch

 1:15pm Photo

Meanwhile the dark rain clouds had rolled in, at the time I wanted to get the photography done. I usually prefer to use natural light where possible in the product photography and that just wasn’t going to work today, so out came the full studio lighting rig and after about an hour, the shots of the seven designs were ready to go on the website. The last of these designs are also packaged up.

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 1:45pm Upload

Once the photos are uploaded, they are cropped and tidied up ready for the website. The final uploads of each product are now available to purchase here (or at Wonderwool Wales!).

 2:30pm Orders & Post Office run

The orders received overnight and so far today are picked, packed and dispatched (this was quick today as all product ordered was available for immediate dispatch!). A quick run to the Post Office then back to the studio.

 3:45pm Tea & Teacake

Naughty, I know but it was soooo cold outside and I really fancied something with a cup of tea!

 4:00pm Website

Updates to the front page carousel with a new picture of the leaf stitch markers.

 4:30pm Blog

Time to start writing the blog, collating pictures and publishing! Narrowly finished at 6pm ready to publish later. A quick review of the BuJo (not much to tick off today!) then a tidy up, finally closing up the studio at 6.15pm.

Phew – that was a busy day! I’m really pleased with the Leaf Stitch Markers and I always enjoy making them. Now time to head home and publish this blog and flip a pancake or two.

Emma

First charity donation to BHF

Last week I made the first donation from sales of our specific British Heart Foundation charity products plus 10% of sales from our mid February event.

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I couldn’t have hoped for a better start to our campaign as the Charity Deep Red Heart 4mm Stitch Marker set with Swarovski crystals – BHF sold out in the first 2 days, and our other products also sold well to enable us to raise donations in just a few days!

Very happily our British Heart Foundation Just Giving page now has a grand total of £35 towards our £100 goal. Wow! Thank you!

If you would like to help support through sales of Atomic Knitting Charity products, our shop is here. The shop has been restocked for immediate dispatch today. I will continue to donate on a monthly basis to our Just Giving page with donations from the specific products in the shop link.

A huge thank you to everyone that helped support this charity through Atomic Knitting. I hope with your help, we can make another fantastic donation next month.

Best wishes

Emma

For the love of charity

February is often associated with St Valentines day and typical images of hearts and flowers. This February at Atomic Knitting we have decided to add to our charity work by supporting the British Heart Foundation (BHF). We’ll be donating the proceeds of sales of a selection of our exclusively designed heart themed knitting and crochet notions, including heart stitch markers sets, a beaded heart progress marker and a red foil heart Portuguese pin.

Our Just Giving page has been set up here and we will donate to it directly every couple of months with the proceeds of these sales (in the same way that we have been doing for Cancer Research UK).

To kick start our campaign, from today until 15th February, 10% of all Atomic Knitting website sales will also be donated in addition to the sales of our specific BHF charity products to our BHF Just Giving page.

Our shop is now open here

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New this week

A New Year brought a resolution about business blogging and social media updates regularly. As an online business, both blogging and social media are important part of reaching customers and enabling the Atomic Knitting brand to gain more visibility.

With the help of my new bullet journal, I plan to have more consistency with social media postings and interactions. This year, my plan mission as far as the blog goes, is to write weekly blog posts (I decided the first week of January didn’t count ha!). Social media updates will become daily across the various platforms of Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook. Each day, depending on the topic, there should be at least one post on one of these platforms, sometimes on multiple platforms. It would be great if you could join me!

Find us here:

Facebook – Atomicknitting1

Twitter – AtomicKnitting

Instagram – AtomicKnitting

Pinterest – AtomicKnitting

Google Plus – AtomicKnitting

LinkedIn – Atomic-Knitting

Content will include shop updates, daily life in the studio and getting out and about. I’m sure there will be more along the way. That said, here is this week’s shop update. All available here although, the owl and cat are one off pieces.

Emma