Back in April last year I posted about a tiny bird purse I'd made. At the time I didn't list the purse but stored it away and promptly forgot all about it. Yesterday I was tidying my studio (a reluctant chore) and I found the tiny bird nestled in a drawer along with seven minature frames. This was the perfect excuse to stop tidying and so I made seven tiny purses to go with the bird. Fiddly to make but very sweet! The top frames are a mere 1.5 inches, so they are perfect for keeping a delicate piece of jewellery or just as a little keepsake.
A sample from my new product line, the written word printed silk clutch
Before Christmas I ordered some letterpress cards from Ragamuffin Press on Etsy. The cards arrived and were beautiful. What also struck me was the envelope that they arrived in. The postal address had been beautifully hand scripted with a traditional dip pen and it was absolutely charming, a delicious contrast to the usual Paypal shipping labels. I stuck the envelope on the wall and thought no more of it.
Chevron letterpress postcards by Ragamuffin Press
I must have thought about it on a subconscious level though, as I woke bolt-upright one night with an idea to personalize a clutch on the outside, in a contemporary way but using delicious script. The first thing was to scour the web to see if anybody was doing anything similar but I couldn't find anything. There were plenty of customised labels and embroidered names but nothing quite like I was imagining.
So, I contacted Beth at Ragamuffin and a plan was hatched. Before I knew it a fabulous envelope stuffed full of hand-scripted loveliness arrived on my doorstep. Complete with little side-notes and scribbles. A treasure-trove!
So, these have become the basis of my new range of personalised bridal and bridesmaid clutches, printed onto pure silk and completely customised.
Something a little different!
The coupon code to add at checkout for the Etsyversary sale is: Rubyis3
50% off every item in the Red Ruby Rose Etsy shop for the next 24 hours!
** update** this coupon code has now ended. Thanks so much to everyone who snapped up a bargain and in particular thanks for the lovely messages.
Yes, it's been a learning curve! This is the very first clutch I sold on Etsy, on 18th January 2008. As a huge thank you to everyone who has supported Red Ruby Rose over the past three years I'm going retro on my prices. From midnight tonight (UK GMT) I'm offering 50% off everything in my Etsy shop for 24 hours only. Woo-hoo! The coupon code for the discount will be posted here at midnight, also on Facebook and in my Etsy shop announcement.
Clevedon is one of those coastal towns that they forgot to close down. At least if you're a teenager and/or have a penchant for The Smiths. Personally I like the faded Victoriana, with blustery Sunday walks along the pier and a slippery scramble over the rocks.
Red Ruby Rose medium clutch bag, $65
Peacock palace, medium clutch bag, $65
Somerset seedhead medium clutch, $65
Mandala medium clutch bag, $65
I've been busy making some new items. These medium clutch bags feature my favourite original prints and come complete with sweet little chain or leather handles.
Morphos butterfly silk clutch bag, $105
The morphos butterfly design featured on my silk scarves is now available as a clutch. It's printed on to shimmering silk satin and lined in teal silk.
The pearlfisher leather and silk clutch bag, $85
The apothecary, leather and silk clutch bag, $85
Charcoal bloom, suede and silk clutch bag, $85
Rounding up this update, some new suede and leather clutches with silk linings. More soon!
A very Happy New Year and my warmest wishes to you for an exciting and creative 2011.
2010 was mostly a good year. In hindsight there may have been a little too much work and not quite enough play, but that's what self-employment brings and Red Ruby Rose is still my driving force.... more on that in a moment.
Aside from Red Ruby Rose, one of the nicest things to happen in 2010 was the formation of our Band Cue Fanfare from a two piece to a full four piece. When our previous band Santa Dog had dissolved the previous summer, the last thing on my mind was launching another full band. This was partly out of respect for the others in Santa Dog as the split hadn't been perfectly lovely. Hence Robbie and I played as a duo for the remainder of the year until we met up with Alan and Holly from Schnauser and the Cue Fanfare band formed.
We've had a lot of fun since then, releasing an EP with Kingem Records in Italy, playing Aeon Festival in August and supporting Scottish indiesters Haight Ashbury here in Bristol in November. We rounded things off this year with a post-Christmas, pre-New Year gig with Schnauser and Billy Whizz. In 2011 we'll hope to lark around some more..
Cue Fanfare playing Aeon festival
For Red Ruby Rose, 2010 was mainly lovely. I launched my own website and introduced a few new lines including printed silk clutches and silk scarves. On a slightly more negative note, I noticed more Etsy sellers copying the peacock clutch.
Silk peacock feathers clutch, Red Ruby Rose on Etsy
I've had such a love-hate relationship with this clutch! I remember when I first set eyes on the fabric back in 2008, and almost couldn't bear to cut the roll of silk when it arrived as it was so beautiful. When I made the very first clutch I thought it was the finest bag I'd ever made and I was so proud to sell it. It was about a year before the first copies started filtering through on Etsy and I was so upset. At one point I considered withdrawing the style altogether and even started to secretly hate it a little. Now I've stopped sulking about it and accept that other sellers will make similar clutches, possibly underselling on price to compete, and actually that is absolutely fine. I know I made it first (which is an important point of principle to me) and am delighted to still be making it more than two years down the line.
Thanks also to Naomicayne and Etsy for the treasury that made it to the front page on the 31st December featuring the gold version. So delighted to see that!
There is just one additional thing I need to mention as we enter the New Year. Due to the spiralling costs of raw materials I've had to put my prices up. Silk and printing prices especially have gone through the roof and because of this I've voluntarily registered for VAT here in the UK. This means that from January 4th, buyers on Etsy from the UK and EU will have an additional 20% tax at checkout. This won't affect international transactions from my customers in the USA, Canada, Australia, etc but I do anticipate this additional tax may sadly reduce my European customer base on Etsy. However, as I move towards wholesaling here in the UK, VAT registration is a necessity.
Oh, and finally, I'm working on a new range of customised bridesmaid clutches which I can't wait to share. Sneak previews in a couple of weeks!