Sunday, 8 January 2012


We've decided to join in and have our very own January Sale. So until the end of the month we're giving you 25% OFF all of our ART.

Starfish Quay release Clock Rock....

In November (2011) Tim had the idea of turning classic Penguin books into clocks. We went to a local charity shop and bought a couple that we could try with, to see if it worked.
It did, and they looked great. We immediately added them to our market stock for that weekend, and sold out of all the book clocks we'd made. They sold so quickly we didn't even have time to put them on Etsy! Tim made some more, but in the run up to Christmas, we sold out again. If you would like to get a book clock please check back at our Etsy shop in the coming weeks, we will be making some more!

It turned out we loved making clocks and our customers seemed to love them too! We had some spare movements that we had bought for making driftwood clocks (now to be a new project for 2012) so I suggested we turned some of our records into clocks. We've got hundreds of records at home, having collected them for many years, and have some absolute classics. They were just sat there, some having never been played (too collectable!) and it seemed a shame since they are so beautiful. We went through them, and put a few aside to turn into clocks. We concentrated on the song, rather than just the fact it was a record, and picked out some hits.

As with the books we put them on the market stall that weekend, and sold out of them as well. It seems we had really hit on something! We ordered some more movements (local supplier) and made enough to sell on the stall and online. They clearly make great gifts and in the run up to Christmas we sold out. They weren't all gifts for other people mind, one chap went out of his way to tell me it was going on his wall!! We needed to make more.....

.....or rather Tim did! After much consideration went through our very collectable, limited edition coloured vinyl and picture discs. They look amazing and the great thing with them is that because they are in mint condition, unplayed and in their original packaging, they maintain their collectors value. The process we use to make the clocks doesn't damage the records, so you're buying both a collectable record and a clock :) I was so happy to see these beautiful records on display, and that they will be on peoples wall, being appreciated makes it so fulfilling.

If you would like a record clock, they are available on our Etsy shop ( and on our Bristol market stall.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Starfish Quay - A Year In The Making! 2011 - The year it all started!

After making different products and trying to develop products we thought would sell, we joined Etsy ( on 14 April 2011. It took quite a while after that to photograph and list our early products, but we got going and decided to try a few local markets. Unfortunately, there are no good markets in Exeter (except a Farmers Market on a Thursday - which is just food) so we had to look around. Totnes was probably closest, but the market is full and the waiting list closed. We looked for other markets around Devon, there are lots of pannier markets, so we tried Barnstaple. The above photo is of our first real market. We had done a couple of summer markets at Porthleven in Cornwall, a delightful little market and well worth a visit if you're holidaying in Cornwall ( They have events throughout the year, and it's a great location! Alas, for us it was too far to travel to make it viable in terms of business. Barnstaple Market turned out not to be the right type of market for our products, selling mostly day to day household items rather than craft or arts products.

We then did a few weeks at Croyde Bay market which runs throughout the summer. This was a lot more successful than Barnstaple Pannier Market for our products - even though a lot of the products were similar to that of Barnstaple Market, the location (above - right next to Croyde beach) and sunny weather helped people get in the holiday spirit and want to take souvenirs home to family and friends. As we were local, making products found from the surrounding beaches, our products flew out and our confidence grew. This was the start of us really thinking this could become more than a hobby, and we started researching a more serious way to sell our products. Throughout the first markets, we were continually adding items to Etsy, taking better photos and reworking the descriptions, and were getting a few sales. Our serious options for a reasonably stable, profitable income would still be at markets since they represent an opportunity to trade with low overheads and full design capability. After much research we discovered our best option for a market was Bristol Nails Market.
We have been trading fairly regularly at Bristol Nails market since August, mostly Saturdays, with the odd Friday. We really enjoy trading at Bristol, since we used to live there we know it well! We will continue to trade at Bristol most Saturdays throughout 2012, as often as we can get a spot! We have also done two markets at Camden Lock Market - a long way to travel! Was it worth it? No! The first time was at the beginning of October and was reasonable successful. The guys running it were helpful and even gave me money off the price of the stall because they liked our products. It made it worth my while - the 5 hours travelling each direction - however, the second time - the week before Christmas was a disaster! It was the first time in the entire year we actually lost money. There were no people there, and to make it worse the price of the stall had gone up to £50 (for Christmas!) - which no-one felt the need to tell us. Not as helpful this time, and the last time we will bother to venture there. I would caution any trader who does not live within London about trading there, it's very fickle!

For the rest of December we traded at our familiar Bristol - absolutely worth a visit for handmade, local, or quirky items ( and different foods from around the world! It was the perfect chance to get our  Christmas range out there, which we were please to note went down well - especially as we had only been trading 'outside' since June :)

During the week before Christmas, we also traded for two days at Hestercombe Christmas Craft market. It's a lovely little market, in a great location. They had an ice-rink, Santa and many activities for families throughout December. It's worth a visit all year round though, set in lovely grounds for a fabulous walk, see for yourself at

We spent the 23rd and 24th December at Bristol Nails market in the torrential rain storms and wind! It was still fun and we look forward to 2012!
Hope you all had a great Christmas, and that 2012 will help you fulfill your dreams, aspirations and goals. Thank you to all our customers and supporters - we look forward to seeing you all again!

Starfish Quay

The beginning of a New Year - Welcome, 2012!

Happy Birthday Sherlock Holmes :) Also time for an epiphany - so we shall look out for that today :) It's going to be a full month since it's National Blood Donor Month, National Hobby month & Hot Tea month! Better get the kettle on and think about the rest :)