Saturday, May 3, 2014

The online shop that's selling Dorset to the world

The Dorset Shop logo
When Chris Wilson visited Scotland, she was impressed by how easy it was to buy locally-produced foods and craft goods. She realised that the same could not be said for Dorset produce. Despite the county being well known for high quality food, drink, arts and crafts, there did not appear to be an easy way to access a variety of goods from Dorset producers.

Chris decided to address this by creating The Dorset Shop, an online retail outlet bringing together a mix of local artisans. The Dorset Shop first went live around 18 months ago, offering local producers a new channel through which to sell their wares.

The website operates on a subscription model for artisans, with each one paying a small fee to be listed. Many small producers struggle to find the time to market themselves, when they would rather be making. Having a listing on The Dorset Shop site helps to solve this problem by putting their products in front of a wider audience.

Chris takes responsibility for promoting the site through blogging, social media and networking. Sales through the site are handled by the producers themselves, meaning she does not need to carry a stock of all the items on offer.

At present, the producers listed on the site include jewellery, jams and pickles, cards, stationery and photography. Chris is hoping to add more in the near future as The Dorset Shop website becomes more established.

For more information about The Dorset Shop, visit the website or follow it on Twitter or Facebook.