Orkney Crafts Association (OCA) has launched an online shop in a bid to boost sales of locally handcrafted goods, throughout the UK.
Visitors to the OCA website now have the opportunity to buy everything from jewellery, textiles and knitwear, to art, photography, woodwork and pottery.
The shop is a first for OCA, with ten of the association’s members offering online sales through the recently re-launched site as an initial step. More OCA businesses are expected to come on board as the retail element develops over the coming months.
Heather Croy, chair of OCA, said: “Whilst many of our members already sell goods from their own websites, we felt it made sense to offer a kind of one-stop shop for Orkney crafts. The new OCA website is proving to be a popular showcase for our wonderfully diverse crafts sector and we’re very keen that it continues to evolve. The shop is a logical progression for the association and a good way for members to capitalise on the site’s increasing visitor numbers. We’re certain it will help generate many more sales for our members, from throughout the UK.”
Edgar Balfour, development manager for Orkney food, drink and crafts, added: “We’d always envisaged adding a sales element to the fantastic new OCA site, so I’m delighted to see the online shop go live this week. We’ve worked closely with the site’s developers, NB Communication, over the past few months to ensure customers enjoy a fast and efficient shopping experience and we’re confident it’ll be a great asset for the association. With online shopping now bigger than ever, it’s certainly the way forward for many of our crafts businesses.”
Although the new online shop is initially for UK orders only, customers from further afield can obtain goods through direct e-mail contact with vendors.
The OCA website is part of the Orkney.com network of sites – including Orkney Food and Drink, Visit Orkney and Orkney Marine Renewables – supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Orkney Islands Council.