PaperKrane - A stallholder PT 1

21 March 2013
Tags: craft, kids , Little people, market day, Papergoods, stall holders, Stitch

This article was written by  Kate from PaperKrane.  Kate is a regular stallholder with us and is SUPER KEEN to make her business better and better each and every day.  We hope this motivates you to take a look at your business...


Hey there! My name is Kate and I am the driving force behind PaperKrane, a small handmade business based in Melbourne. I design and make hip fabric baby booties and origami mobiles. I also do all of my own product photography and editing, so things are generally pretty busy around here! I‘ve also made the decision to make this my full time job, and take on each role within the business. (Having a supportive husband has helped!)

PaperKrane has been up and running for about a year now and there are some things that have been important to me along the way to keep it going. (I‘ve initially chosen to do business in two main ways, online through my website , and also at various craft markets around Melbourne.)

The way you interact with your customers is one of the most important things in keeping a business going, this is how I go about it!

Interacting with customers - From behind a market stall and online:

-When behind my stall I always have a smile on my face, not because I‘m trying to project ‘happy‘ to my customers, but because I‘m actually having a great time and am embracing the chance to have face-to-face interactions with the ones actually buying my product. Something you don‘t get to do when you just have a Facebook page or website. It is a golden opportunity to get feedback and have conversations you otherwise wouldn‘t have.

- I‘m always as helpful as I can be. Sometimes things that seem easy to me - like my origami gift boxes - are not so clear to customers, so at markets I take the time when packaging booties up, to show them how to open and close the box. It only takes a few extra seconds but you are building a relationship with your customer, and helping to form that all important first impression. And, online I send them the link to a Facebook album that has step-by-step instructions on folding the box.

- If someone has a request, I will do my best to accommodate it, within reason. I‘ve seen a lot of businesses (online and at markets) complaining about their customers, about how difficult they can be, or how they want discounts for things, or free postage... etc. I always think that if a customer takes the time to ask a question then they must be interested in what you‘re making, although some can be a little cheeky about it! So I will always reply with the intent of helping them fulfil their request. And, sometimes that means the customer gets a great deal that goes more in their favour than it does mine! But again, I‘m aiming to build a relationship with my customers and at the end of the day a happy customer is more likely to spread the word about my business to their friends. (And that is free advertising.)

- PaperKrane wouldn‘t be anything without its customers, so I do my best to look after them every step of the way. This is done through quick and friendly email communication, and taking the utmost care in packaging and presenting my product. I also go out of my way to help whenever I can.

My business is still in the early stages, just one year in! I have some plans that will come to fruition over the next couple of years, and that will take time and money, and some of the things I do now will change. But at the core of running this business,  looking after my customers will still take precedence over making millions! That‘ll come later, and not at the expense of what I hold dear.

TOMORROW - Branding...


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