Monday, 8 November 2010

Competition Winner

You may remember the fantastic competition we had over the summer months (I know it seems a very long time ago now).  One of the lucky winners, Christina Kennedy from South Yorkshire, very kindly sent us a picture of her enjoying some of her gorgeous goodies.

Well done again to Christina, and many thanks to our lovely sellers on Ugly Be Gone who donated such fantastic gifts!

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Ugly Be Gone Offers

Not long left to get fantastic discounts on the beautiful Megan Quinton range, country style goods from Ticketty Boo and creative notice board and coat racks from Mijmoj.

Offers end on 12th November so be sure to pick up a Christmas bargain before it's too late!!

Thursday, 7 October 2010

What's new on Ugly Be Gone - More Beautiful Gifts & Homeware.

Over the last few weeks we have had some fantastic creative sellers join us at Ugly Be Gone, adding to the growing list of exciting products you can find on the site.  From beautiful jewellery and funky clothing to quirky stationary and glamourous kitchen attire!!

Why not take a browse around to see what you can discover, here's a sneak preview of some of our favourites.

Red Apple Note Pad - £4.50

50 Vintage Airmail Wedding Invitations & RSVP Cards - £225.00

LadyUmbrella is Friends with Sir David Attenborough T-Shirt - £24.94

Mini Vintage Cooper Daisy Ring - £12.00

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Shop by Colour

Using stumble I um, well just stumbled across this Etsy feature allowing you to shop by colour.  Now for all you regular Etsy shoppers this may have been around for a while, but I have only just come across it and was impressed I must say.  

Check it out at, it's easier to take a look rather than me describing it!    

I think the idea is brilliant, and quite a lot of fun just swirling the mouse over the colour palate.  Once you have chosen a colour only a few products are shown, however this could be due to it being a new feature and therefore may need time to organically grow.  It certainly is a novelty and a great way to come across new items that you hadn't necessarily been looking for.  

Sticking to the subject of shopping by colour, I came across this lovely online shop the other day called Red Candy.  The whole shop is dedicated to selling red home furnishings and modern interior accessories.  Some of my favourites items include a red rubber washing up bowl, a clever kitchen sponge holder, luxurious red toilet paper and a beautiful butterfly clock.


Take a look at the website for lots of other stylish and quirky items and let us know if you have come across anything similar!

Thursday, 23 September 2010

This months Featured Seller - Dig The Earth

Kevin Connell is the talent behind Dig The Earth, a fabulous collection of affordable bold and colourful prints that would brighten up any home.  Come and find out what makes Kevin tick, how he got started and his plans for the future, in this 10 minute interview. Also why not take a look at his brilliant collection on Ugly Be Gone

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

National Cupcake Week 13-19th September

The popularity of the Cupcake has gone from strength to strength in recent years.  Especially since we witnessed Carrie, Charlotte, Samantha and Miranda enjoying a Cupcake or two from the now famous Magnolia Bakery in New York.

In order to celebrate the mighty Cupcake we are giving you the chance to win a Cupcake kit; including fillings and handmade decorations so that you can make your own creations at home.   We will also send  the winner 12 delicious handmade cake pops for you to share or nibble on whilst creating your Cupcake masterpiece.

All prizes are donated by the talented B Cake Studio who, we are happy to announce, will be selling personalised buscuits and cake pops on Ugly Be Gone very soon.  Make sure you keep an eye out for them. 

To enter simply join our facebook group and write on our wall what your ultimate Cupcake would be.

Good luck! 

Monday, 13 September 2010

Afternoon tea anyone?

There is nothing more delightful and quintessentially British institution than afternoon tea, and where better to enjoy it than in the elegant surroundings of Merlins at The Celtic Manor Resort.  
And that's exactly what I did last Saturday at my friend Sara's surprise baby-shower!  Relaxing on comfy sofas on a sunny afternoon, cakes, scones, sandwiches, a never ending supply of tea, and great company; what more could you ask for?

   Where to start...

Here's Sara opening one of her many gifts, I think baby Davies already needs an upgrade to a walk-in wardrobe!! 

Not only was Sara spoilt but each guest had a lovingly wrapped bar of Green and Blacks chocolate to take away, courtesy of the grandmother to be.  

We're now all anxiously awaiting the arrival of baby Davies and another excuse to celebrate.  All the best to Sara and Ryan, we can't wait to meet the new addition!!  xxx    

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Fun alternative to wrapping paper!

Great little video on how to re-use unwanted material as wrapping paper and impress your friends.  Watch to the end to see a clever and easy way to make an over the shoulder bag.  A great trick if you want an easy to make bag in a specific material/colour!

10% off Becca Williams Jewellery

Wirksworth FestivalMakers Market
Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th September

Becca's taking her work on the road this weekend to the lovely Wirksworth Festival in Derbyshire. She'll be in the Town Hall as part of the Maker's Market, a fair of contemporary craft with everything from jewellery to ceramics via handbags and cards. It's a super event and to celebrate Becca's giving you all the chance to get 10%* off a jewellery purchase from her stand! Just print out this voucher and come shopping!  Have a look at the full Festival programme on the Festival website here, with craft, Open Studios, music, street theatre and comedy it's a fun weekend out and a shopping opportunity not to be missed! Don't forget to print your voucher and pop by Becca's stand to say hi!

Visit the website for further information.

*Please Note:
Vouchers are only valid on purchases from Becca Williams at Wirksworth Festival 2010
Vouchers are not valid online and do not apply to any other sellers at the event

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Selling Handmade Products Online - How to Stand Out From the Crowd

Over the last few weeks there has been a growing focus on a new breed of entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs who run their businesses around full time employment earning them the title of the 5-9'ers.
Through technology development and the increasing ease of creating online ecommerce websites, setting up a business to generate a supplementary income has never been so popular. Especially in these turbulent economic times and with wide spread uncertainty in the jobs market.
Emma Jones founder of Enterprise Nation (an online resource for home workers in the UK), states that over 5 million people are now generating some sort of income from home run businesses, and this figure is likely to grow over the next few years.
One particular area that has been popular amongst 5-9'ers is the handmade market, where people are using forgotten hobbies and skills to make money. The handmade market has grown due to customers' increasing demand for value for money, alternatives to mass-produced goods, concerns over environmental issues and people's desire to support local British businesses. Handmade jewellery, homeware, and the handmade gift market has certainly seen an increase in demand, but as demand rises so does the competition to supply these items.
So if you're a 5-9'er in the handmade industry, what should you do to make your products stand out?
Image Is Everything!
To sell your products successfully on line you need to ensure that every product image is of a very high standard. Do they say 'buy me' to the customer? If not it's likely that you will lose that potential sale. Images need to be crisp, clear and in focus, with the use of good lighting limiting shadows. Remember the customer can't see or feel the quality of the product so they really need to get a feel for the item from the image.
Also think of the background you use, if your hoping to get your products in quality press they will often require your items to be photographed on a plain white background. Getting your products professionally photographed is the ideal option, but for many small businesses this is a luxury they just can't afford. There are some great on-line guides available, and with a little hard work and patience you can get some great product shots from an ordinary digital camera. Image editing software is also recommended to get that professional finish.
Know Your Market
It's a good idea to get a feel for who your target audience is likely to be, once your clear on this you can then tailor your communications, image, website etc accordingly. Think about the channels you sell through, do they reflect your business values and target the right customers for your product offering? There are many great websites out there that help small business promote and sell their products, however you need to pick the right site(s) for you.
For example: - Ebay provides a great marketplace to sell pretty much anything, whether you're a skilled designer selling quality items, or someone who has created something just for fun or as a hobby. Alternatively you have sites such as Ugly Be Gone whose ethos is more handmade than homemade. Sellers have to apply to sell through the site so the product offering is much more targeted. Think about what's right for your products and concentrate on the sites that you think are a good fit.
Market Trends
Keep an eye on changing trends, fashion and interests and use this to your advantage. Smaller businesses can be much more flexible in adapting products to reflect emerging trends compared to large companies who usually have to plan months or even years ahead.
Accurate Product Descriptions 
In addition to clear product images you should always provide a customer with accurate product descriptions e.g. colour, size, material, special features and anything else that is relevant to the item.
Added Value
Clearly communicate the added value of a handmade item. Tell the customer about the background of the products, any distinguishing features, where the product is made, the materials used etc. When a customer is buying handmade they are also buying the products story, your story!
Many people like to purchase from small businesses as they feel they receive a more personalised service. Ensure that you maintain and exceed this expectation by adding personal touches such as a thank you note, free gift wrap, professional and prompt customer service etc.
I think it's safe to assume that most customers who purchase handmade items expect to pay a premium, compared to the mass-produced goods you can find on the high street. However customers are still looking for value for money and getting the price right can be the difference between your business becoming profitable or not quite making it. Mary Portas (Queen of Shops) highlighted this point in her recent response to UK Handmades 'Mary Portas Handmade needs you' campaign. You need to strike a balance, you don't want to undervalue your products (you need to factor in the costs of supplies, materials and your time), on the other hand you don't want to price yourself out of the market either. Is your item realistically priced compared to others in the market? If a customer feels that your price is over inflated, or doesn't recognise the 'added value', then you will find it difficult to sell your item no matter how well it's presented.
Do a little research into how much the item would cost to purchase on the high street? How much are other handmade suppliers charging? Attend exhibitions and fairs and use them as a good opportunity to ask for real and honest feedback. Use this feedback to position your product appropriately, and as mentioned above ensure that you clearly communicate the product's 'story'.
Use social networking sites to promote yourself and your products. Whether your selling through your own website, through other websites or both, make sure you create awareness of your products and the places they are available. Update your networks when you add new products, are offering discounts, or to simply remind people that your are still there. Participate in community discussions/blogs and where possible include links to your shop(s).
Although there is a lot of competition in the handmade market, it is also a lucrative market for those who get their offering right!

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Featured Seller - Seren Hand Crafts

This month I would like to introduce you to Sarah Jane Hyde creator and founder of Seren Hand Crafts.

In this 10 minute interview Sarah talks about her background and interests that inspire her collection of fabric corsages and rings and her plans for the future.

Flower Fabric Brooch in Bright Red - £9.00

Cream Satin Fabric Cocktail Ring - £9.00

Pink Tulle and Purple Feather Brooch Pin And Hairclip - Alligator Clip - £20.00

Monday, 9 August 2010

Ideas on Using Twitter for Business

We really can’t deny the fact that businesses are testing out Twitter as part of their steps into the social media landscape. You can say it’s a stupid application, that no business gets done there, but there are too many of us (including me) that can disagree and point out business value. I’m not going to address the naysayers much with this. Instead, I’m going to offer thoughts for people looking to use Twitter for business. And by “business,” I mean anything from a solo act to a huge enterprise customer.

First Steps

  1. Build an account and immediate start using Twitter Search to listen for your name, your competitor’s names, words that relate to your space. (Listening always comes first.)
  2. Add a picture. ( Shel reminds us of this.) We want to see you.
  3. Talk to people about THEIR interests, too. I know this doesn’t sell more widgets, but it shows us you’re human.
  4. Point out interesting things in your space, not just about you.
  5. Share links to neat things in your community. ( @wholefoods does this well).
  6. Don’t get stuck in the apology loop. Be helpful instead. ( @jetblue gives travel tips.)
  7. Be wary of always pimping your stuff. Your fans will love it. Others will tune out.
  8. Promote your employees’ outside-of-work stories. ( @TheHomeDepot does it well.)
  9. Throw in a few humans, like RichardAtDELLLionelAtDELL, etc.
  10. Talk about non-business, too, like @astrout and @jstorerj from Mzinga.

Ideas About WHAT to Tweet

  1. Instead of answering the question, “What are you doing?”, answer the question, “What has your attention?”
  2. Have more than one twitterer at the company. People can quit. People take vacations. It’s nice to have a variety.
  3. When promoting a blog post, ask a question or explain what’s coming next, instead of just dumping a link.
  4. Ask questions. Twitter is GREAT for getting opinions.
  5. Follow interesting people. If you find someone who tweets interesting things, see who she follows, and follow her.
  6. Tweet about other people’s stuff. Again, doesn’t directly impact your business, but makes us feel like you’re not “that guy.”
  7. When you DO talk about your stuff, make it useful. Give advice, blog posts, pictures, etc.
  8. Share the human side of your company. If you’re bothering to tweet, it means you believe social media has value for human connections. Point us to pictures and other human things.
  9. Don’t toot your own horn too much. (Man, I can’t believe I’m saying this. I do it all the time. – Side note: I’ve gotta stop tooting my own horn).
  10. Or, if you do, try to balance it out by promoting the heck out of others, too.

Some Sanity For You

  1. You don’t have to read every tweet.
  2. You don’t have to reply to every @ tweet directed to you (try to reply to some, but don’t feel guilty).
  3. Use direct messages for 1-to-1 conversations if you feel there’s no value to Twitter at large to hear the conversation ( got this from @pistachio).
  4. Use services like Twitter Search to make sure you see if someone’s talking about you. Try to participate where it makes sense.
  5. 3rd party clients like Tweetdeck and Twhirl make it a lot easier to manage Twitter.
  6. If you tweet all day while your coworkers are busy, you’re going to hear about it.
  7. If you’re representing clients and billing hours, and tweeting all the time, you might hear about it.
  8. Learn quickly to use the URL shortening tools like TinyURL and all the variants. It helps tidy up your tweets.
  9. If someone says you’re using twitter wrong, forget it. It’s an opt out society. They can unfollow if they don’t like how you use it.
  10. Commenting on others’ tweets, and retweeting what others have posted is a great way to build community.

Friday, 16 July 2010

Summer Lovin'

Well seems the weather has taken a turn for the worse, I thought I'd bring a touch of summer to our screens with some summer / beach themed products available on Ugly Be Gone.

Nothing shouts summer party more than some lovely bunting.
By Ticketty Boo

Carnivals are the essence of summer days, keep that feeling with you by wearing this gorgeous carnival necklace. 
By Jewellery by Vanya

Beach huts...need we say more?
by Elli Moody

This lovely textile beach picture will conjure images of summer beach fun.   
By Ticketty Boo 

Let us know what gives you that summer feeling! 

Friday, 9 July 2010

This Months Featured Seller - Lulu & Boo Organics

This month we would like to introduce you to Lulu & Boo Organics.  A fabulous range of organic skin and body products that are available on Ugly Be Gone.

 Dry Skin Try Me Bag - offer price £16.95

Although a fairly new brand, Lulu & Boo has already been nominated, shortlisted and won some prestigious awards.  With a diverse product range there's something suitable for every skin type, founder and creator Claire even has plans for a mens range, so watch this space!

Claire receiving an award for Best Organic Baby Product at the Natural and Organic Awards 2010 in London.

  Baby Bottom Balm - £12.60

Take a look at the interview with Claire to see a great example of how female entrepreneurs are out there chasing their dreams and making them a reality!  The interview not only gives us a sneak preview into the world of Lulu & Boo, it also reveals some interesting facts about what Organic really means, and what we should be looking for if we wish to buy truly organic products.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Hi and welcome to Ugly Be Gone's first post!

The sun is shinning and it's a Friday afternoon, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to sit down and immerse myself in the world of Blogging!

It's certainly been a whirlwind over the last few weeks, as went live just three weeks before I jetted off to the South of France to get married! Are you mad I hear you ask...well maybe, but as with everything in life is there ever a perfect time?

Yes a very busy couple of weeks indeed, but looking back things have gone to plan (both wedding and launch you will be pleased to know), but as expected life continues to be pretty hectic which is great!

You may be wondering what Ugly Be Gone is about.  Well UBG is a beautiful website that showcases unique and creative gifts, homeware and lifestyle products from a range of independent businesses from all over the UK. Why not take a look to see what a creative and talented nation we are.  Take your time to browse around the gorgeous items and find out about the clever folk who lovingly made them!

Well (although short and sweet) it seems that I have now dipped my toes into the blogging world.  Please do keep checking back for updates and news on sellers old (if you can call them that) and new. Talking about old sellers (well she has been on the site for nearly 7 weeks now!)  Why not take a look at our featured seller article about Lola from Wee Sparrow Jewels, who has an exclusive collection of jewellery that is only available on Ugly Be Gone.

Wee Sparrow Jewels - Click here to see 10 minutes with Lola.

Speak soon.