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Brexit won’t break Etsy say Leeds traders


Leeds City Museum, which will host the Etsy Made Local event this weekend

By Terrileigh Wilkinson

TRADERS WHO are preparing for a big handmade crafts festival in Leeds say they feel confident Brexit will not affect their businesses.

The Etsy Made Local market is returning to Leeds City Museum on Saturday and Sunday (December 3 and 4) following the success of last year’s one day event, which attracted more than 6,000 visitors.

It is one in a series of nationwide events which showcase the designs of small online traders.

Chloe Green, of By the Lock in Leeds, who makes accessories from handpicked fabrics, said a possible increase in export costs when Britain leaves the EU will probably not impact on her sales.

“I honestly don’t think Brexit will affect me at all.  Obviously it’s hard to predict what will happen when, so I’ll make adjustments if I need to when those changes do come.

“But I ship to America with fairly large shipping costs frequently and have never had a customer mention the costs.

“I think if someone wants something unique and handmade they often don’t take postage into account,” she said.

But Anna Urwin, the owner of House of Bats in Leeds, who makes alternative jewellery, said: “I’m hoping that Brexit won’t put too many customers off.

“Currently about a third of my Etsy orders are from outside the EU anyway and so the higher shipping costs don’t seem to be much of a barrier, but only time will tell.

“It’s difficult to predict, but shipping within the EU is cheaper than shipping outside of the EU and so I would perhaps expect my shipping costs to increase.”

More than 70 stallholders are expected to showcase their crafts at the event.

Anna added: “The Etsy Made Local event that they held last year was a massive success so I wanted in on the action this year.

“Events like these are as much about getting your name out there as selling.

“It can be very difficult to be noticed when selling online as there are so many businesses out there, so meeting people face to face is fantastic.”

Samantha Flavin, principal keeper of Leeds City Museum, which is hosting the event, said: “We support Yorkshire artists and makers in a number of ways, and Etsy Market gives local artists and makers a showcase which Leeds Museums and Galleries are very happy to support.

“We also support shopping locally, which this market enables people to do.”

What do you think?