Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Introducing: Sarah's Sparkles

Hiya lovelies!  Today I'm taking a little break from normal posting to briefly introduce you all to the other nail-related part of my life - Sarah's Sparkles.  Now, some of you may already know this (If you're friends with me on Facebook you may have seen it linked on my profile, or even just heard me mention it in a polish related group), but many of you won't know, that I also run a very small business selling hand painted false nails....................

What? Huh? When?

Believe it or not, the business actually came first! Around August 2012(ish), I was really starting to get into nail art in my spare time, and I bought some false nails from ebay to practise my designs on.  I wasn't doing anything too complicated, just animal prints and gradients - things that I was quite confident I could learn.  At the time my fiance and I were working for recruitment agencies in warehousing jobs, and the work was trickling through a few days at a time, with jobs ending after just a couple of weeks.  This did leave me with a bit more spare time to play with my pretties though, and after encouragement from family and friends who I had shown the nail sets to, I listed a few completed sets on ebay for about £3.50 each. We were hoping that maybe one or two would sell and give us a few more pennies to play with.  

Well, they did sell, and people who left feedback seemed very happy with their purchases, so I kept making a few more sets and restocking what I could, when I could.  
The agency work was coming through slower and slower, so when one of the places we had worked at offered my fiance a permanent position there he had to take it.  This left me in a bit of a pickle though, as all the jobs we had were at least a couple of towns away, and he's the only one that drives.  There's literally like one or two warehouses in my town and they weren't taking on new staff.  After much deliberation, we decided to see what would happen if I focused on Sarah's Sparkles full time.  It was very slow going at first, but Sarah's Sparkles has now been open for 2 years now, and I've had over 2000 sales on ebay so far.


  So, as I mentioned before I have an ebay shop, which you can find here.
A couple of weeks ago I opened a second shop over on Etsy (here).  I've only had 2 sales so far, but I'm really looking forward to seeing how it goes over there in the next few months.
I also have a Facebook page for Sarah's Sparkles.  (find it here)
I do have an IG too, but it's still a work in progress.  (read: I need to get into the habit of logging in and out of my 2 IG accounts haha) @sarahssparklesuk

What took you so long to tell us?

I figure at least some of you, if not all, are probably wondering this! :D  It's pretty simple though - I wasn't really sure how blogging would suit me at first, and whether or not it would be a passing fancy that I got bored of after a while.  Since the business was already up and running, I decided to keep the two of them separate to begin with.  The plan was to link the two together if and when I'd been blogging for a year.  That ship sailed though, as my blog turned one months ago, and it's taken me this long to actually get around to it.  Since I've been dipping in and out of blogging recently, I did briefly reconsider, but when I haven't posted for a week or so I find myself really missing it, and I keep trying to squeeze a post in when I can, so I'm kind of feeling like I'm in this for the long-haul now. I guess you're all stuck with me haha :p

What kind of designs do you do?

All sorts!  Just like the blog, I don't really follow any particular fashions or "key trends" - in all honesty I kind of hate the fashion industry, but that's a different post all together haha.  The only real restriction I put on myself is that I have to be pretty good at something before I'll use that technique in the shop.  I'd rather do a simpler design that sells for a lower price, than attempt something I haven't quite got the hang of yet.  I just wouldn't feel right charging for what I see as a sloppy attempt at a design.  Don't get me wrong, there may be a tiny imperfection here and there, but I do try and make them as close to perfect as possible.  In that sense, you'll probably notice that the mani's I do on my nails are my experiments/practise, and some techniques you see me try on here will be completely absent from the shops.   
I do take custom orders though, so if someone wanted something they'd seen on the blog, and they were happy with the standard of my mani, I would be perfectly happy to make a set for them.  

Here are a few of the designs I have sitting in my stock cupboard right now:

Some of them you've already seen on my nails, others you won't have, but as I mentioned earlier, I'm always open to doing custom orders for people too.  I've had a couple of custom orders where the customer has sent me a picture of a dress they're wearing out, and I come up with something to go with it.  Those are always a lot of fun! :D

So, I think that's all I was planning to tell you about Sarah's Sparkles........

I'll be adding a shop page to the blog very soon, although I'm not sure what to name it just yet - I don't want to just go with "Shop", but the only other idea I had was "Penny Pinching Press-ons", which is way too long.  Suggestions are very welcome :p

*And finally, the second reason I wanted to introduce you guys to Sarah's Sparkles, is to ask you all if you'd like to see the designs I do for the shop (that never make it onto my own nails), on here?  If so, how often.  One design at a time, like I do with blog posts, or maybe a weekly or monthly round up?  Or not at all?  I just don't know!  I don't want  you guys to feel like I'm constantly advertising at you by posting too much about the business, but at the same time it doesn't feel quite right only showing you some of the nail art I do.  I'd really appreciate your input here my lovelies.  What would you prefer????

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