How Design In Focus got started

Introduce your Etsy shop and tell us your story. How did you begin and decide on what to sell on Etsy, and how do you create your products?

We are a family business based in Bristol selling a huge range of handmade cabinet knobs and pulls, as well as a selection of beautiful homeware, hand picked from around the globe.

We've always traveled a lot and really wanted our shop to stock those real treasures you find when you are away and keep forever.

We work really closely with our stockists, who make and decorate the door knobs by hand. We often develop designs together, and are always happy to hear from our customers if there are any designs they'd love to see.

Favorite items

What are your favorite items? What makes these so special? Why do you think these items might be selling well?

Our handcrafted animal themed handles sell very well, as there really is something for everyone. We offer lots of different styles which we can also customize for a different finish- silver, gold, copper or bronze, and if a customer has a more unusual color request we will always try our best to accommodate this. They are so eye-catching and perfect for bringing a new lease of life to old furniture.

Our Solid Stone and Marble listing is also extremely popular and one of my favorites, as they are all so unique!

Getting sales on Etsy

How long did it take for you to earn your first sale and how do you currently attract customers to your Etsy shop?  

Our business on Etsy has gradually grown over the last four years. We were lucky to have sales as soon as we opened, and have been adding to our product ranges ever since, ensuring that we are selling the kinds of designs that our customers want to see.

We love our Etsy customers and work hard to answer questions and solve any challenges really quickly - for us this is really important. We absolutely love it when customers stay in touch and share photos of their upcycling projects with us, it's amazing to see our products used in such creative ways.

Managing Design In Focus

How do you manage your shop? Are you running solo or do you have any team members? What tools or services do you use to run your shop and how do you handle fulfillment?

We're a small family business so I tend to manage most aspects of it - from sourcing new products, doing the accounts to organizing our shelves! 

My sister-in-law, Charley, does most of our customer service - she's the person you'll be messaging with any special requests or inquiries. My dad gets involved with some of the woodwork and we also have Ross on a part-time basis to pick and pack our orders.

We pack and send everything from our office in East Bristol and use various couriers and the post office for shipping. We also hand deliver locally.

The future of Design In Focus

What goals do you have for your shop in the future?

We've just set up our own Instagram account which is really exciting. Please give us a follow on @green_ivy_homeware 

We'll be sharing images of our beautiful products, of course, but also showing some of the amazing upcycling projects from our customers. We also have some brilliant giveaways lined up and will be sharing some exclusive design ideas with our followers before they hit the shelves.

We are also hoping to develop some environmentally friendly and bespoke packaging for our products. Watch this space!

Advice for new sellers

What’s your advice for a new seller starting an Etsy shop?

Firstly, make sure it's something that you're passionate about. At first it can be a real labor of love - so you really need to love what you're doing!

And always keep talking to your customers and keep listening! We always test out small runs of new products to see what people think, and will always try our best with any bespoke orders and ideas.