Case Study – Ocean Arts North Devon

Ocean Arts North Devon make gorgeous surfboard clocks and tide clocks with a finished design burnt into the wood using pyrography with a ocean/sea/beach theme like surfers, hibiscus flowers and vw logos. He also makes gifts from driftwood, reclaimed and recyled wood and materials and other rustic style clocks.

He contacted me recently with this message:

 I have been selling my crafts for nearly two years now, I tick by but have been working hard of recent to get more sales and increase interest. I sell online but things have been a bit slow of late, I opened an Etsy shop nearly two months ago as I thought it would be more specialised for what I do but nothing as yet which I don’t know why? I have a page on Facebook which has brought in some orders and im on Twitter and Pinterest but I have not seen any increased interest? I have a few pieces at a local craft shop but that too has been slow Any advice? I primarily make surfboard clocks and tide clocks with a finished design burnt into the wood using pyrography with a ocean/sea/beach theme like surfers, hibiscus flowers, vw logos etc I also make gifts from driftwood, reclaimed and recyled wood and materials and other rustic style clocks which you can see on my face book page at Ocean Arts North Devon. I even approached a national surfing magazine who were willing to sell my surfboard clocks but they wanted to take 50% commision which if I had added my percentage to make a fairly reasonable profit it would have just have made my product very overpriced. I don’t really know where to go from here and need a bit of help with the business side of promotion. Thanks Mark

Within this blog post I will offer advice that I have used to build my business, please note that all businesses are different and although these techniques have worked for my business they may not work for you.

First Up…


Surboard Hawaiian Hibiscus Flower Design Wall Clock Surfing Aloha! Handmade with Carved Fin VW CamperLove Heart Hand Crafted Desk Wall Clock Driftwood Shabby Chic Wedding Gift

Your products are stunning and very saleable! Remember to check your costings out to insure you are selling at the right price – Know the difference between your cost price, wholesale price and your retail price (and make sure you charge enough for your time / labour – I charge £25 an hour).


You mentioned that a national surfing magazine are willing to sell your surfboard clocks but they want to take 50% commission, That is great news – You will find that galleries etc tend to take 40 – 60%

Research how much similar handmade items are selling for – look at how and if you can reduce costs. Or how you can add value – personalisation is popular.

Make sure you have a variety of price points.

Selling Your Crafts Online

I see you already have an etsy shop which is great! Look at your pictures as your customer would see them… Your products are lovely, but the first thing a prospective buyer can see is a cropped image – once you have listed your product used the image selector to move the image and so the customer can see the full product, or a closeup detail. The customer will not see the full image until they have clicked on your product.

Other tips for etsy include listing daily to keep your listings at the top, also keep upto date with trends popular on etsy and make your products fit these – use all 13 tags and make sure the most important keywords sit at the beginning of your title, also use in description and then tags.

Once you have listed on etsy use social media to publicise… facebook, twitter, pinterest and google plus. Remember to use hashtags between 2 and 3.

You can join teams on etsy to build your profile.

Build a website for your crafts See my post here. and then blog.

Building a Following on Social Media

You are already on Facebook, which is great – try and post once a day, and add a hash tag when appropriate. Network with different pages and let them know about you and your profile will grow – See this post about different networking pages 

Twitter is much faster moving that facebook – post 3 times a day if you can – make sure you add 2 or 3 hash tags and join twitter hours and #ff (see post here!)

Great start on your pinterest page! Add more boards – fill them up – use keywords in your descriptions and board titles and so people can find you! :) Group Boards are great to join aswell (I notice you all ready belong to one). Price your products in the descriptions, and make sure your selling board is just of products.

I would recommend blogging to help build a regular following.

I hope this is of some help! It is all about networking and telling people your business exists.

If anyone would like me to do a case study of their business to offer tips to help build your business please contact me currently this service is free of charge! :)

If you would like some focused feedback and advice, please message me your questions and I will do my best to answer – if you need more help I can offer one on one tuition – via video feed (don’t worry I can help set that up for you!) :) This is charged at £25 an hour


I make porcelain home decor, accessories, jewellery and buttons in Gunnislake, Cornwall. My work is inspired by the countryside surrounding my home in the Southwest.

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