Sometimes we get so caught up in all these lovely products, we kind of expect you all to know what we do without really explaining what / who we are and what we do here at From Home.
I'm Lizzie a co-founder of From home, and along with Jeanette, we make the up the whole unit. I'm an artist specialising in British wildlife, and Jeanette is a maker of fabulous home wares. Before we opened From Home, both of us had used markets and craft shows as a way of selling our work. As you can imagine in this weather, when you see only a handful of people all day, it isn't exactly joyous. However, that's not to say that we didn't enjoy it, we got to meet new people and makers and if the weather was nice, stand outside selling the things we'd made / drawn. But, there were occasions that you'd be on your feet all day, and people would come to your stand telling you how lovely your things are, but walk away empty handed, and you pack up at the end of a long day, your feet are numb, you sit down in your car to drive home, without having taken a single penny.
I realise this sounds quite doom and gloom, not every time was like this, there would be days when you expect to sell nothing and then someone comes to your stand and you get the little butterflies in your tummy as they walk away with something of yours in their hand. There's that smile that doesn't stop and you feel almost infantile about the whole thing.
When this shop came up for rent, we both separately looked at it thinking, 'oh, wouldn't it be nice to have a space to sell our work', but I guess neither of us had the confidence to do it alone. But one night in the pub, after an hour long chat, it was decided that we would create a shop that would be a hub for local creatives to display and sell there work, for a fair price. We both know the difficulties of trying to compete with mass produced products, they're cheaper, they arrive next day if ordered online and overall are probably a bit more convenient. But we think you will all agree, no heart has been poured into these products.
As a maker, you're not only fighting against the big companies, when you approach shops, some want to take a nice big juicy cut of your overall takings, through whatever reasons they might give you, you ultimately end up with half of what you'd take if you sold it yourself and cant justify that, so you don't sell in that shop or you risk not having the exposure that shop might give you and you take the cut in your prices, either way, not ideal. Now thats not to say that all shops are like that and you have to be mindful that they're selling your products for you and shops have rental costs, staffing and all other bills.
What we wanted to achieve here at From Home was to stock products that are all hand made within 20 miles of the shop and to make sure we took as little commission from each stockist as possible, so they could continue doing what they do, without worrying that we would take too much. Every maker knows that you will never get back the time for the work you produce, because it makes the product too expensive and 'nobody will buy it'. So you have to come to a price which kind of seems reasonable for what you've done.
There's a big movement toward eco friendly shopping, shopping local and hand made, we think From Home is a perfect example of all that, we care about the people who stock our shop, we care about where it's come from and we care about what our customers might want and your needs.
We love this little shop and we want to say a massive thank you to you all for supporting us and making us feel like what we're doing is worth while.