Blacksmithing is one of the oldest traditional crafts, dating back thousands of years. Owen Phillips puts a modern twist on blacksmithing and brings it online for people around the world to see, buy and learn.
Blacksmiths are a rarity these days, but Owen wanted his business to stand out. gate foot forge Positioned as a one-stop solution for blacksmithing. This business offers artisanal metal handicrafts and homewares, repair services, and blacksmithing workshop packages, all of which can be booked online.
Owen has previous experience with various hosting providers and found Hostinger just before starting his own business. This was the perfect opportunity. This way he was able to build and scale his website with the right provider from the start.
Prior to Gate Foot Forge, he was a graphic designer in the events and hospitality industry. He was also building websites for clients.
“It’s a hobby that’s gotten out of hand,” Owen explains when asked how he got into blacksmithing.
An outdoor enthusiast, he wanted to make a bushcraft knife for himself. It turns out he enjoyed the knife-making process.
“I learned from very good books for beginners. There were also quite a few very old traditional books. ,” Owen elaborates.
He continued to experiment and made more steel products with the mini-forges he made.
“The blacksmithing community is very helpful. Just send them a message and they will draw you a diagram or send you a photo or video to show you how to do it,” Owen says. “There are no secrets in this field.”
After Christmas a few years ago, Owen started taking this hobby seriously. Some people mistook the trinkets he forged for gifts as products from his new business venture. .
He wondered that his family and friends had received gifts. So why not blacksmith a few days a week and see how it goes? “
And that’s what he did.
feed the fire
The rise of Gate Foot Forge coincided with the outbreak of the pandemic. A number of graphic design projects Owen worked on were cancelled. He pivoted to the road of hammers and anvils, and what started as his hobby became his main source of income.
Owen’s web design and development background helped him start marketing his business. He started by designing logos and brand identities. After that, he created his WordPress website, set up social media channels and set up an Etsy account.
“Our first sale was through Etsy,” says Owen. “It’s a huge marketplace for people looking for handmade things, so I’m glad it started.”
He shared his products and work processes on social media, helping spread the word about his work. This went hand in hand with positive word of mouth from Owen’s satisfied customers.
Additionally, Owen launched Google Business. Now when someone searches for a Blacksmith in their area, Gate Foot Forge will show up as a result.
“I find it interesting because when people come in, they never know what the job will be. Sometimes people came with all sorts of broken things. It’s great to be able to fix that and extend the life of the product.”
The Campfire Cooking Tripod is by far Gate Foot Forge’s most popular product. “At first it was requested by a friend in Wales and now he has sold nearly 500. We have shipped them all over the world, from Singapore to the United States,” he says.
shape your online success
Gate Foot Forge had a website from the beginning, but Owen later realized it would be better to focus on selling on the website.
His main problem with Etsy was the sizeable fees. Owen knew he was entitled to all the proceeds by selling directly from his website.
He also saw other things the website could do, such as better branding opportunities. “I’d rather have ‘gatefootforge.co.uk’ than a long URL with a slash next to the pickup and a link to my account. Easy to remember.” People can go there and buy things,” explains Owen.
The website also makes it easier to connect with customers, as people visit the website dedicated to Gate Foot Forge. There’s also more space for stories about Blacksmith and what he’s going to do – his audience loves them.
Most importantly, the website helps set Gate Foot Forge apart. Since the blacksmith community is mostly offline, moving the business to the Internet has increased brand awareness.
Setting up the Gate Foot Forge website with Hostinger was easy. Owen emphasizes that he never had to speak to customer support.
“The process was quick. It was really refreshing to be able to manage hosting, domain names and SSL certificates in one place. The migration process was also very easy,” he smiles.
In the future, Owen plans to expand the workshop. I also receive commissions, so I would like to take on large projects such as sculptures and gates. He hopes to start using larger machines soon to diversify and increase production.
“Right now, we do everything by hand. Nothing puts us at odds with our neighbors like having a power hammer next to us,” he laughs.
He is also passionate about teaching blacksmithing to the younger generation. He noticed that there are many children who are interested in handicrafts. Owen wants to give lectures and blacksmithing demonstrations in schools where he feels many traditional crafts have been forgotten.
“People used to think blacksmithing was a dying profession, but there are about 1000 blacksmiths working in Britain, as much work is done that is shared only among a relatively small number of people. , the scene is actually very busy. We’re running out of blacksmiths here.”
He wants to help fill this gap. For now, Owen does it by offering blacksmithing and knife-making workshops through his website. We want people to know that it is possible, especially with the power of the Internet.
“What I am doing now probably wouldn’t be possible without a website, or at least it would have taken me a very long time to get started. I want to turn my craft hobby into a successful business. So let’s just do it,” laughs Owen.