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One year after celebrating its tenth anniversary, the site is now one of the biggest online marketplaces in the world for small businesses, representing some 5,000 of them, and last year its transactions amounted to £158 million.It has fulfilled – beyond its founders’ wildest dreams – its mission of connecting artisans in far-flung corners of the UK with ‘conscious consumers’, those who hanker for quirky, ethically produced goods with a story behind them.Because my business is driven by social media, it can also be a challenge for me to switch off from my constantly buzzing phone, but it’s important to take a break for the sake of sanity!A customer may have chopped down a tree or have some old furniture, and they’ll ask me to make something with the wood. I was lost in my last job and dreamed of working like this.Not surprisingly, it is predicted that by 2020, 50 per cent of the working population will be self-employed.
Social media sites such as Instagram and bloggers hungry for content also means ‘free advertising’ for creative enterprises with ‘Instagrammable’ offerings.
The world may have gone digital, but people still like to hold something handmade. People love the idea of this, but we live in a world where we’re all used to the speed of Amazon and people want things immediately.