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The independent designer- maker community tends to be a strong, supportive network; is this something that you encourage and if so how? We want to create a network of independents in the UK, but this starts with the indies themselves. It’s tempting to drop in a birthday card with the weekly supermarket shop, but I would urge indies to think, who does that support?


If indies shop with other indies, or at least consider doing that first, we start creating a large support network in terms of sales. We ask our indies to recommend us to other designers that might do well - when we grow, everyone has the opportunity to grow with us.


Have there been any surprises regarding yourindies along the way and what has been the biggest learning point for you so far? Everything takes longer and costs more than you initially think it will! It took a year to build the site and


88 | ukhandmade | Spring 2012


we are still developing. We believe in ‘living life in beta’ which means that we will always adapt and change as we move forward. We like to include indies in the dialogue and we always listen to ideas about what we are doing. I think the biggest learning curve was building the delivery part of the site. It nearly melted our brains! We think it’s now the best in the market. For example, if you order 1 card, delivery might be 50p, but if you order 2 cards the delivery is still 50p, as no-one should pay double. If you order a chair and a card from the same indie the card should travel for free. It took us 4 months to get it right!


What are your goals for developing yourindies in the future? This year the big push will be on photography. It’s great images that makes yourindies beautiful and keep shoppers coming back to the site. We will be firming up some of the photos on the site and making sure that all products are shown off to their best!


We will offer a low cost photography service to everyone working with us. Photography can be too expensive for many indies and hard to justify but we can create those amazing images for them.


What inspires you personally and keeps you motivated? I love what I do- yourindies gets me going in the morning (along with the coffee). The indies that we work with are some of the kindest most amazing people I have met and being an independent business myself, I know what it’s like to be looking for a share of the marketplace.


I think overall, there’s a feeling within the team that we are doing something good. I think that our ethos is really winning through as our message gets out there, so remember....support yourindies. com!


For more information visit: www.yourindies.com Images courtesy of yourindies.com


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