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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.