James or Emily
0751 7372093 (strictly press enquiries only)
Folksy is the largest marketplace for handmade work focusing exclusively on UK designers and makers. The service launched in summer 2008 and has risen to become the pre-eminent retail outlet for handmade gifts as well as handmade craft supplies. In summer 2011 we took investment to scale Folksy, to realise our ambition of growing Folksy to compete globally and enable talented UK designers and makers to grow their businesses.
Folksy HQ is in Sheffield (Flickr photo map) and there are a team of ten full and part-time people involved in Folksy.
Statistics (as of May 2012):
- Active shops 10,200 (Nov 2012)
- Average order value £17.30 (Nov 2012)
- Number of items for sale approx 120, 000 (this changes daily - see the recently listed page for the exact amount now )
- Sales value (GMV) in 2011 was over £1million
- Average page views per month 3.5 million
- Unique visitors in the past year 2.4 million
- Unique visitors 320,000 (Oct 2012)
- May - improved browsing with recently listed items and most popular shops
- June - the Folksy Plus account, a tiered account package
- Sept - Twitter “follow me” buttons alongside revised shop pages
- Sept - Improved categories
- Strength in numbers. We believe that professional, portfolio and hobbyist designers and makers can reach a mainstream audience, test markets and grow their business more effectively together with Folksy than through costly galleries and boutique shops.
- Cottage Industries are the future. Small scale production and handmade goods offer ways to manage resources effectively and support local economies. Craft also produces a more skilled and satisfied community (we’re with Richard Sennet on this one). So, we’re not anti-corporate, we just want a thriving cottage industry too
- Meritocracy is good for everyone. Folksy is not a juried site. We allow all designers and makers to list their work as long as it is hand crafted (no vintage, for example). This creates a meritocracy where great work from hobbyists can rub shoulders with the best from established professional crafters. The work should stand for itself.
Background to Folksy
Folksy was launched in August 2008 by James Boardwell and Rob Lee. James had been researching early social networks in 2000 in his role at Future Media and Technology at the BBC. This research led to crafters sharing tips and ideas through blog networks in the US, Australia and the UK, a creative outlet but also a means of support for suburban young mums cut off from traditional familial and social networks. This, combined with his family background in textiles and crafts in north east Lancashire, around Colne, fostered a desire to create Folksy. Rob, expert at architecting large scale web services brought his own passion for electronics and geekery into the idea for Folksy and an early prototype was built in 2007 before launching properly in 2008.
Hi-Resolution images of James (click on the image to open a hi-res version in a new window).