Website of the Year

Home of Artisans

Belinda Hall, founder of Home of Artisans, talks about the online destination for timeless objects, made by artisans from around the world.

Home of Artisans is the destination for timeless objects, made by hand by carefully selected artists of craft from around the world. We catch up with Belinda Hall, founder and CEO, to find out more.

What was the inspiration for the site? The idea for Home of Artisans came from travel and collecting unique pieces by makers in different countries that didn’t have an online presence; combined with learnings and experience from a previous business

When did you launch the site? The website officially launched to the UK public in 2015. However, it has been live prior to this for the purpose of onboarding our makers.

What are your greatest challenges? Knowing when to switch off is my biggest challenge right now. I am so passionate and excited by my business; I get so much inspiration from our makers and positive feedback from our customers, that I find it hard to not think about the business 24/7!

What's your background? My day job for the past fourteen years has been working in creative advertising agencies in account service. My last role was Business Director working on a global brand with a leading UK agency in London.

During my advertising career I have gained experience working with local and global brands delivering marketing campaigns across all communication mediums and touch points. This role in advertising gives you the exposure to a variety of industries, organisational structures, managing corporate client teams mixed with very creatively-led individuals within agencies.

Who do you admire in business? There are so many people in business and life that I admire and that inspire me. I would find it impossible to pull out one single name!

I guess there are key qualities in these leaders and people in my life that I am drawn to, which would be:

• Creating a work-life that matches their values and living by this, not being swayed by influence
• Perseverance, good decisions and being naturally clever and good at what they do that has got them to where they are
• Knowing how to ‘live’, as well as work and deliver
• Exuding an infectious energy that inspires others around them

Please recommend a really useful website that helps you run your business... All the standard social apps are great for driving the conversation for our business. Campaign Monitor is brilliant for managing our email marketing and subscriber lists. And for knowledge and sound bites, I find SmartUp really interesting.

What is the best piece of business advice you've been given? When I was twenty, my advertising boss told me that I needed to go and work in London... so I did after a few years! And, I’m still here after eleven years, and now I am a British citizen so I guess I like it. I have met some pretty interesting, inspiring and clever people from all over the world in this city.

What is your motto? Carpe diem. Believe in yourself and what you’re doing... then let the magic unfold!

Where do you see the business going from here? We will continue to expand our collection of makers and beautiful unique handmade pieces, not only by makers in the UK but from around the world. We will have more pop-up retail events and perhaps even commission our makers to create bespoke ranges for Home of Artisans.

November 2015