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This month we talk to Kris and Mel Van Wellen, founders of Saffa Designs, creating and selling beautiful artwork and jewellery.

Saffa Designs LtdFacebookInstagram

 

We sell prints, framed artwork, personalised gifts and jewellery. My wife, Mel, designs all of our prints and I manage our website, online market places, business functions and marketing. All of our products are handmade to order and a lot can be personalised.

We want to provide the best quality products at a reasonable price and in an environmentally friendly way. We recently became carbon negative, as we plant trees and support environmental projects around the world to offset our own carbon footprint. It has been amazing, and something our customers love too.

“Before starting a family, our key priority was having a work-life balance that allowed us to focus on family first.”

 

Mel has always been artistic and passionate about home decor, and Kris wanted to utilise his digital marketing background in a more hands-on way, so we set up Saffa Designs to join these two passions. The business has allowed us to spend valuable time with our son and work around our family life. We do a lot of late nights but they’re definitely worth it!

Saffa Designs - Feb 2021 Client of the Month

Building traction took a while, but we are both quite impatient so it probably felt longer than it actually was. A lot of time has been spent developing the website, which is all done in-house, but luckily Etsy has been a great online marketplace that really sped things up.

“Working late into the night, every night was a big adjustment, as was working from home rather than a busy environment. Now we wouldn’t have it any other way.”

 

We have been lucky not to have faced many challenges or obstacles, and lockdown has been the best thing that could have ever happened for our business. We saw a huge spike in sales when the first lockdown began, at least quadrupling our previous monthly turnover and it has only increased since.

As people are stuck indoors, our customers are looking to enhance their home spaces with artwork, so we’ve been very lucky. We are now in our second year of trading and we have already exceeded the sales targets we once only dreamt about for our 5 year plan.

Feb 2021 Client of the Month Saffa Designs

Streamlining our printing and framing was the biggest priority as it was so time-consuming, which limited us from being able to expand. We made a great partnership with a company who now manage all of our printing and framing and have international production labs.

It’s allowed us to offer much larger prints as well as a range of hand-made frames. The quality is phenomenal and production is a lot faster, so it means we can focus on expanding our product ranges and growing the business.

“Accounting is one of the things I just don’t want to have to think about, I’d rather focus on the business and my usual responsibilities.”

 

After doing a lot of research, The Accountancy Partnership seemed like a no-brainer. It’s a full service accountancy firm that manages both our business and personal finances, as well as being extremely cost-effective.

Our initial phone consultation really impressed us with the scope of what is available to clients, and we’ve been impressed ever since! We now also use the payroll and VAT management services, which has been a lifesaver.

TAP make a confusing subject seem simple, they’re always there to advise and answer questions, and have helped us grow, letting us focus on the business rather than administration and accounting.

Saffa Designs Client of the Month Feb 2021

We are constantly growing our portfolio of print designs, as well as framing options. We’re also currently working on our new product range of jewellery and personalised gifts which is doing really well.

We are constantly working on our website to bring more traffic to us directly rather than via online marketplaces and provide a great user experience. We want to be the go-to store for all your artwork, home decor and giftware needs, so a lot of work still to do but we are definitely making good headway.

Visit the Saffa Designs website to learn more about their products and to shop online. Need accounting support with your business? Speak to one of our team on 020 3355 4047, or grab an instant quote online.

About The Author

Elizabeth Hughes

A content writer specialising in business, finance, software, and beyond. I'm a wordsmith with a penchant for puns and making complex subjects accessible.

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