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Discover Etsy: Sharing Stories with Helen Ribbons Home

Nov 4, 2019

by Emma handmade and vintage goods

This years #DiscoverEtsy campaign has introduced us to many corners of our community and introduced us to a whole range of sellers and products.

You’ve heard from our influencers on what their favourite Etsy bought items are, now let’s hear from the sellers behind those items.

Throughout November we will be shining a spotlight on sellers whose unique items have caught our attention throughout the campaign.

Winner of the first Discover Etsy competition, Helen Ribbons Home shares with us her journey as an Etsy seller and what her plans are for the future.

Helen makes beautiful and unique hand woven gifts and creations for you and your home. From rainbow wall hangings and macrame plant hangers to hand woven statement jewellery.

So let’s hear more about Helen and her wonderful shop.

Helen Ribbons, Owner of Helen Ribbons Home in her studio in Billericay, Essex.

I began dreaming of a new career after I had my daughter in 2014. I wanted to spend as much time as possible with her and schlepping in to my office job in London every day just wasn’t working for me anymore. 

But it wasn’t until 2017 that the stars aligned. I gladly accepted redundancy from a job I did not enjoy, and I was four months pregnant with my second child. It was definitely time for something new. I booked a weaving class as I’d discovered a love for woven wall hangings via Pinterest and thought I’d give it a go myself. I was instantly hooked. From deciding on a design and colour scheme, to choosing yarns, to the methodical back and forth repetition of weaving, then finishing and hanging a piece on a special branch, for instance – it has the beginning, middle, end, creativity and ownership that I’d been craving. 

Set of 3 rainbow tree decorations £29

I was ready to open my Etsy shop in 2018 and I started with wall hangings. I then learned macrame and added plant hangers, coasters, jewellery and now rainbows. Helen Ribbons Home is a collection of ‘hand woven fibre art for you and your home’. A collection of those special finishing touches which add character, and they feel special enough to be given as gifts or as a treat for yourself. I’ve just launched my first range of Christmas decorations which includes mini rainbow tree decorations which I’m really excited about.

I especially like designing rainbows as they’re quite a quirky decoration. I like to think they’ll be a talking point in someone’s home, and who doesn’t want to be complimented on their decor?

I have ready to buy rainbows and also the option to design your own to make something truly unique. I like to add lots of different textures and a few of my favourites are sari silk, banana yarn and merino wool. I’m especially excited when a customer contacts me asking for a custom piece. I’m only too happy to listen to their brief and help create something truly unique for them. 

Golden Rainbow wall hanging £76

Fibre art has a wonderful textural quality which is so important in interior design. When designing a room, I think the finishing touches come down to glints of eye-catching interest and comforting reassuring texture. Wall hangings, rainbows and plant hangers help give that layering quality and uniqueness that completes a room. 

Handwoven bookmark £16

Set of three white and gold tassel decorations £10, Set of 3 rainbow decorations £29

My tips for selling on Etsy would be to work really hard on your images. I like to include plants in my images – my favourite is my string of hearts plant as it has personal meaning to me.

I also work hard to promote my products on Instagram and Pinterest to drive traffic back to my shop which has good results.

When designing a new product, I want it to have a function, a decorative quality and be suitable as a treat or as a gift. I try to use a yarn or colour scheme across a few products so they can be bought and matched together if necessary.

I try to think about the season I’m creating for. I like to imagine my customers wanting to update their decor for the season and I keep an eye on trending colours. But I always fall back on pinks as a personal favourite.

L-R: Rainbow Wall Hanging £45, Tassel necklace £16, Blush plant hanger £22
Rainbow Wall Hanging £45

My goal is to create larger more bespoke custom pieces for clients. My dream client would be Fearne Cotton. She also loves pink, so I think I’d make her a dusky pink, gold and leopard print rainbow!

I really feel as though I’ve found my dream job and I’m so happy to be part of the Etsy community.

The End.

Huge thank you to Helen for her lovely post. Check out Helen’s Etsy shop here.

To keep up to date with the latest from Helen and her shop follow Helen on Instagram at @helenribbons.

Have you bought any of Helen’s homewares? We’d love to see them, share your images of Helen’s items and tag us using #DiscoverEtsy and @EtsyUK

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