“The internet provides significant information, competition and choice, but the downside is that the customer can feel lost in it all. I wanted one place to visit that would provide confidence in the end-to-end user journey.”
Crafty Mouse Interiors is a ‘one-stop shop for the lovely things that make a house a home.’ The lady behind this e-commerce outfit is Shelley Creswick, who runs the business from the comfort of her own home in Burley-in-Wharfedale. She both selects and crafts homeware items with a vision to provide the things she loves to people who will love them equally.
Shelley’s passion for purchasing and making luxury furnishings to make her own house a home was the first personal motivator in launching Crafty Mouse Interiors, closely followed by a desire to put her industry knowledge to use by helping other consumers to make their houses feel as homely as possible without some of the inconvenience that such a vast choice can present.
Whilst sourcing luxury homeware and soft furnishings for herself, she realised that at times it was difficult to see the wood for the trees as a result of the sheer choice available, and the ever-present problem of buyer trust was inhibiting in terms of the purchasing process.
“I wanted to be able to go to one place which provided me with absolute confidence throughout my customer experience: from where and who the products were sourced from, the quality of those products, the journey on the website as well as payment security, not to mention well-considered packaging and an efficient delivery service.
In essence, Shelley wanted a trusted, personal and high-quality provider of luxury homeware, soft furnishings, cards and candles. And so, through establishing Crafty Mouse Interiors, she just made her own.
“The homeware business is constantly evolving due to moving trends. From keeping up to date with relevant interior designer blogs, as well as being aware of the Pantone colour of the moment, I can make sure my stock is always relevant. I can also gauge where and how the market is moving from checking with my suppliers themselves.”
Shelley believes that to truly stand out to potential and existing customers, especially in the competitive online environment, you have to prove that you are different. Shelley chooses to engage with her customers outside of direct sales by using the power of social media. “I mainly use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to engage with my customers and occasionally run competitions and giveaways on these platforms as a purchase incentive. Above all, it’s about using imagery to allow people to visualise the items in their homes.” She also updates the Crafty Mouse blog to maintain relevance in search engines.
In terms of striking the right balance in customer relationship building, Shelley is still fine-tuning: “I’d like to engage with them on a more personal level, but it can be quite tricky to get the balance right. We’re still a new company so I’m sure it will come over time.”
We asked Shelley to define success for Crafty Mouse Interiors: “I would define this by the number of repeat customers and volume of continued sales. It may take time to build up but I am confident that with dedication and commitment it should be achievable in our third business year.”
Customer feedback is perhaps even more vital for a burgeoning, independent business and Shelley’s experience of positive reactions has been the most rewarding aspect of the whole operation. “I find it highly satisfying when we get emails or reviews from happy customers. At the end of the day, we just want to share our love of quality and thoughtful interior accessories.”
All businesses should have a unique selling point, and Crafty Mouse Interiors’ special touch is focussed on the packaging with a real ‘wow’ factor. Shelley individually wraps and ribbons each item and adds a personal Crafty Mouse card to thank the customer for their purchase. The packaging looks elegant and Shelley is confident that special little touches like this will ultimately lead to repeat purchases later down the line.
Q: If you could describe your business in 3 words, what would they be?
A: “Quality, dedicated and friendly.”
“If I could move the business anywhere it would be to somewhere with a larger warehouse and an on-site office.” Shelley currently stores and ships all the stock for the business in her house, sometimes even delivering door-to-door, face-to-face. “We’d be able to check all inventory at once and complete stock control in a more open fashion.”
It’s clear to see that Shelley is motivated by all things interior design and is truly passionate about what she does and how she delivers her business to potential and existing customers: “If I wasn’t running my business I’d definitely still be working in the interior design industry or anything in customer service.”
Q: If you could employ one person (dead or alive) to work for Crafty Mouse Interiors, who would it be and why?
A: “Definitely Tom Hardy… Just so I can look at him!”
Well, it seems like Shelley would be interested in having a Crafty Peaky Blinder on her team! If you love interiors and crafts or if you are simply just passionate about supporting local business. The links for Crafty Mouse Interiors are below.
Q) How did you end up doing what you’re doing?
By accident! I did a Media and Communications degree and didn’t quite know what to do with it so I actually started working in a pub. I got talking to people in there who just so happened to...
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