News

A FERAL FUTURE

Right now it seems everything is up in the air and situations change every day.  My online shop is open, and I wanted to let you know about some adjustments I’ll put in place in the coming weeks. My independent online shop, feralstrumpet.co.uk will remain open and orders will go out once a week.

Many of you know about the recent changes at Etsy, the latest of a series that have put pressure on small makers selling on the site.  These have come as the share holders of Etsy stock have demanded deeper profits for themselves. The increase in fees are about to be implemented at a time when all small businesses are struggling to survive.

Etsy’s latest change involves mandatory ad payments “for the lifetime of my shop.” The cost will be steep, and combined with all the other fees and the Value Added Tax charged on these fees, it will amount to at least 25% of each sale that comes through an ad. This will be on top of the free shipping to the USA that Etsy has demanded sellers worldwide must provide if we are to appear in the highly competitive search algorithm on Etsy.

I work with many other small makers and suppliers, trying to keep my sourcing accountable. They are hurting too, and some may go out of business altogether. Right now I’m trying to figure out how best to weather these challenges.

As a customer, I know none of this is your problem. I want to make and source beautiful things that tell a story, and this should be a joy for you to shop on my site. I want people to feel a connection with me as the maker and know that they are supporting a micro business.

Etsy was once a genuine community of makers. In its rush to please share holders, Etsy management has forgotten who built the site and gave the brand its integrity. Etsy wasn’t always like this; it was not always a public company. I have been selling on the site for nine years, but have been a customer since its inception. I was dreaming about what I would do for my ten year Etsy shop anniversary next March, something I fear will not happen. This is not because of the chaos of COVID-19 but Etsy’s corporate greed, which makes it more heartbreaking. For almost a decade I have been connected with customers and other makers and many have become dear friends. In many ways I and sellers like me have been instrumental in building the trust in the Etsy brand, and now we are treated as expendable. There has been so much outcry about this and always Etsy’s answer is the same dismissive, cut and paste response. When Etsy sent out a bulletin saying how they were supporting makers during these challenging times, its number one offer was the “promise to roll out offsite ads”— something many sellers, perhaps the majority, do not want.

I plan to put my Etsy shop in “holiday (vacation) mode” for the foreseeable future.  I hold out hope that maybe things will change again at Etsy, making it a good place for small makers like myself.  In the meantime, please stick with me through these changes by continuing to come to feralstrumpet.co.uk, my independent shop, even if it is just to browse and look at pretty things. Beauty is useful. As I am always working to make this site the best it can be, I will be unveiling a new and improved shopping experience there very soon! I would love to know the kind of work you like to seeing from me. Let’s go into this new future together.

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TO ALL MY FRIENDS AND SHOP SUPPORTERS

These are uncertain times. I hope all my friends, shop supporters and customers are well and safe. I would like to say it’s business as usual at Feral HQ, but of course it isn’t.  As we work from home and live in a somewhat remote, rural area, self-isolation is a norm. We have the luxury here to do this without much change, but some of my suppliers have been affected by the Shelter in Place Order in California. I collaborate with many other small makers and businesses and they are all affected. We are in this together. 

Like many of you, I am one of the vulnerable with multiple pre-existing, chronic conditions one of which is life-threatening asthma that is triggered by respiratory infections. I’m grateful to everyone who is self-isolating too. I know not everyone can. I think the terms “social distancing” and “self-isolating” might describe the physical reality of these actions but really they are deeply communal behaviours, protecting the weakest and most vulnerable. In the words of one of the many memes on the subject, “The one that stayed away saved the rest.” One of my friends said that it feels like the quietest general strike.

I love that. We are quietly striking for each other, for life. Things are coming up in the quiet, too: kindness and birdsong, the steely warmth of hope, the sun on the daffodils, new nettle shoots. Spring is here.

There are some big changes happening on Etsy where sadly corporate greed has finally taken over completely. Until I know how their new changes will affect sellers, I must put my Etsy shop on indefinite holiday mode, but everything will continue on here at feralstrumpet.co.uk. If you need a pleasant distraction of pretty things to look at, come on by. I’m making orders and photographing a lot of vintage I’ve recently sourced. I plan for regular shop updates to go out also because beauty is useful, always. What would you like to see from me?  What can I do to lighten these times a bit for you?

Please keep in touch– my customers and my shop supporters are my community!

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WITCHY VINTAGE AND OOAK, NEW IN.

This week we have a lovely collection of vintage, ooak and easy to wear earrings, all with a witchy vibe. Only here at www.feralstrumpet.co.uk. Click on the image above to purchase them online.
Plus, everybody’s favourite anthropomorphic root veg, aka the Littlest Mandrake, is back in stock! Click here to go to my online shop to purchase him.
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VINTAGE SCOTTISH DESIGN FOR FERAL MEN

We have a fascinating array of vintage pieces new in the shop this week, from Baltic amber poppets to classic Scottish design, and a few lovely finds for our Feral men in between. Go to the What’s New section at Feralstrumpet.co.uk to find them.
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A MENAGERIE OF COMPANIONS JUST IN

This week in the shop we have a magnificent menagerie of new necklaces inspired by adorable companion creatures and totems. Plus I’ve made another rutilated quartz pendant as well as a beautiful frothy green  chrysoprase that might call to you.  You can find them all in the What’s New Section at Feralstrumpet.co.uk.
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VINTAGE FOLKLORIC BEAUTIES IN THE SHOP THIS WEEK

Spring is in the air, though it is still very chilly here in the North of Scotland. Mike and I have just returned from a walk in Wrack Wood where the snowdrops carpet the ground all around. They are my favourite flowers– full of the fire of the waking earth.

This week’s shop update we have several vintage horse brasses, each with a fascinating history. These small magical objects make beautiful altar decor and and also accent small corners or spaces in your home.

I’ve also found the sweetest little pewter bat pin back. She is waiting to flutter her way onto your jean jacket or dungarees!

Plus, there’s a new colour in the ever popular fairy drops design. The rustic amber has beautiful colour variants.

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BIG AND BOLD WITCH LIFE EARRINGS

 

Bold new pentagram earrings with romantic Celtic accents are in this week’s shop update.  Look in the Witch Life collection at feralstrumpet.co.uk and find other pentagram and moon-sister inspired necklaces to pair with these statement earrings.

I love wearing pentagram earrings because they are unexpected. They frame the face with this protective, devotional symbol and are a sign to fellow witches that you are and ally walking a parallel path.

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NEW IN THIS WEEKEND

Brilliant new necklaces and earrings are back in. Shop updates happen every Friday so there is always something to check out in the What’s New section at feralstrumpet.co.uk.
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“THE CAILLEACH OF THE BOREHOLE” AT THE BOTTLE IMP

at the Dornoch Witches Stone

Some of you may know I am currently engaged in a project writing about the witches monuments of Scotland. I’m excited to have my piece on the witches stone of Dornoch “The Cailleach of the Borehole” in The Bottle Imp, the online journal of the Association for Scottish Literary Studies. You can read it here: 

https://www.thebottleimp.org.uk/2019/12/the-cailleach-of-the-borehole/

You can read more about my ongoing project here: 

https://www.patreon.com/Allysonshaw

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MY SHORT STORY “GALD” IN LUNA STATION QUARTERLY

Luna Station Quarterly Issue 40 cover by Anna Steinbauer

I’m excited to have my short story “Gald” included in this magnificent anniversary issue of Luna Station Quarterly. The beautiful cover is by Anna Steinbauer. “Gald” is about a mysterious Pictish potion and its use in a dystopian future on the north coast of Scotland.

This issue is packed with brilliant stories of potions and makes great holiday reading–curl up with your animals and a cup of mulled wine and these magical stories!  Purchase the issue here: 

http://lunastationquarterly.com/issue/issue-040/  

and support an exceptional journal that has published women writers for TEN YEARS!

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