Phat Fiber is the brainchild of Jessie Booth. As Jessie says on her webpage “Phat Fiber seeks to bridge the gap between talented online artisans and consumers hungry to support the independent small business.” .She manages this by selling a new Phat Fiber mystery box every month containing a wonderful mountain of samples donated by many talented independent fiber artists. The boxes contain samples of fiber batts, roving, yarn, small tools and occasionally tea or soap or jewelry items. What a treat! These boxes are so sought after that knowing the exact date they go on sale is a necessity. They are sold on a first come first served basis. You can sign up for this critical information on the Phat Fiber website. There has been a surge of new independent spinners, dyers and weavers who market their products on the web and what a great way to see these colorful and carefully produced items close up before investing in larger quantities.
Jessie was here in Texas earlier this month teaching a seminar on marketing on the internet for independent artists. Peggy and I were fortunate to attend. The seminar was held at WC Mercantile in Navasota and was well worth the drive up there and back. We talked about developing your mission statement, vision and business plan and discussed separating yourself from your peers, identifying your niche and creating your customer base. Heady stuff. Then we talked about the nuts and bolts issues….. inventory tracking, shipping supplies and location and how to make your shipments special with handwritten notes, little additional gifts like sachets. And then there were the internet issues… creating banners and avatars, writing your profile and shop policies, taking excellent photographs and how to provide the kind of customer service your customers will remember. It was a very full day.
Many of the things Jessie discussed we have already done since we already have our website up and running. But there were many more things we could be doing. For example, we have our etsy.com shop set up but haven’t ever added any products.
We have just joined the Phat Fiber group so we will be contributing samples of our hand dyed fiber and hand spun yarn to the Phat Fiber Sampler Boxes in the near future. And we expect to learn a lot by joining this active, productive and successful group of independent entrepreneurs.