Makers Not Marketers

by | Sep 18, 2015 | 13 comments

The English Woodworker Spoon Rack Series

Most people who like to make things be it furniture, tools, cake or whatever, are far more interested and therefore far better at the making part than the selling. Richard and I fall in to this category and given the opportunity Richard will try telling customers that they don’t need his workbenches, or talk himself in to extras for free to make a bench even more special for them. (When we were making furniture he was an absolute sod).

With our video series neither of us will try and talk anyone out of buying because we know that you’ll learn far more than the asking price suggests, however we did still do a lousy job of creating any marketing plan. We were too busy obsessing over every detail and pushing ourselves and our modest equipment to create a series we could be proud of.

The full series is now available to binge and we’ve had a fantastic response and couldn’t be more proud of the feedback we’ve received. But the praise has come with an overwhelming message that we haven’t sold ourselves well enough. We’ve had numerous customers explaining that they bought the series to support us, but they had no idea that it was going to be so good, and that they would learn so much. Apparently we need to make this clearer so for the first time on this blog I’m going to boast; here’s some great reviews that we’re very proud of.



I give it a hearty thumbs up! If you are new to hand tool work, you could not find a better introduction… If you are an experienced woodworker he takes you back to some fundamentals that can make a marked improvement on the way you work… I know it has changed my methods at the bench and all for the better.”  – ‘By Hand & Eye’ Author, George Walker. Read The Full Review Here.



Richard is a great teacher. He’s clearly thought these things through and thought about how to present them to others… the flow of the videos is perfect. You don’t feel like things are rushing by nor do you feel like this thing is droning on. The videos are very clear, beautiful, and totally entertaining. If you haven’t purchased this yet, I highly recommend you do. The value is far beyond the investment.”  –  Joshua Klein, Publisher Mortise & Tenon Mag. Read The Full Review Here.



Watching Richard work is an education itself… In just a few videos in Richard’s Spoon Rack series, I have picked up 5 or 6 of these little tricks. If I can borrow a bit of British, I’d say the whole series is simply brilliant.” – Shannon Rogers, Renaissance Woodworker Read The Full Review Here.



Forget ‘tricks of the trade’, this IS the trade… This is probably the best ‘ordinary fundamentals of the craft’ instructional video series I have watched, no egotism, no nonsense, just proper knowledgeable instruction at a sensible pace.” – Matthew Platt, Workshop Heaven. Read The Full Review Here.


I’ll be adding more customer testimonials to our sales page shortly along with photos of spoon racks which customers have already completed. Read Full Details Of The Series Now


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About Helen Fisher

About Helen Fisher

Helen seeks to explore ways to live with greater joy & sustainability for both ourselves & the planet. Concepts which have led to the launch of her second business We Are Carbon. As the producer of our videos, Helen brings a unique perspective & injects life to our education ensuring it is both a pleasure to watch & easy to follow & learn from. Learn More About Helen & The English Woodworker.


  1. patrick anderson


    I certainly agree with you about those who are makers are usually pants at marketing/selling. I’m a fully paid up member.

  2. Len Aspell

    Well done to you both.

    It was so much more than how to make a spoon rack – it was a complete woodworking course in just a few episodes. Each week I learnt some new tips. Not only was the woodworking itself superb but the presentation and editing were also brilliantly done Helen. I also loved the music choice and Richard’s sense of humour and turn of phrase.


  3. Ken Haygarth

    Jobs a good-en guys. 😉

  4. Derek Long

    Plug on, you rightly deserve it. The spoon rack series was very informative, educational and damn entertaining.

  5. Simon Hillier

    I feel the praise is rightly deserved.

    As a new woodworker I could not fail to learn from each and every little detail that was imparted through the series. Equally as important is where Richard explains how time can be saved by not agonising over the unnecessary.

    I really look forward to any future series happy in the knowledge that the production is extremely professional yet also has a feeling like you are chatting to mate over a good brew or pint.

    In a nutshell you cut out the rubbish and don’t lay down the ego, which is hugely refreshing, you should both be very proud of your work.

    Many thanks.

  6. Douglas Coates

    Team! You’re better at this marketing lark than you let on. I believe the bench business grew mainly through reputation (and getting out there at shows etc), and The English Woodworker will grow the same way. So you do have a strategy, and it’s probably the most powerful of them all. Don’t change nowt 🙂

  7. David Dougherty

    Well done you two. I knew I’d struck gold the first time I stood before my newly assembled Little John workbench and used it for the first time. Now, after watching your first video series, I feel like I’m dipping the gold right out of your purse. The value is astounding. It all goes to show that you don’t need today’s sledgehammer approach to marketing. Your reserved, thoughtful, tour de force approach to your craft and your wares are enough to draw the kind of crowd you want and deserve. You’ve made a mouthpiece of me and, I suspect, others and there’s no better marketing engine than that. I am very much looking forward to the next series and to continue supporting your outstanding work. ~David Dougherty, Portland, Oregon, USA

    • Len Aspell

      Hi David

      Very well put. You clearly thought very highly of Richard’s work to have your Little John workbench shipped all the way to Portland, Oregon. Speaks volumes about the workmanship and the value. Also what a delightful city to have it shipped to – I have only been there the once but it is high on the list of places to revisit as we had less time there than we had hoped due to a delayed start of our holiday to California and Oregon due to the Icelandic ash cloud curtailing all flights. Had to put our plans back by about a month so had no option but to cut down on our itinerary.

      Like you I am also an advocate for Richard and Helen and am spreading the word whenever I can. As you say the best sort of marketing. All the best


  8. Barry lowis

    Hi all. Let’s get behind Richard and Helen and do all we can to help promote their wonderful initiative!

    I have already posted my project onto my website with links to the English woodworker.
    Also to Facebook and google+ is next. Followed by emails to woodworking crafts magazine.
    An email to the editor of your favourite magazine may also pay dividends.
    Another way we can help is to encourage our friends to sign up.
    If we each add one subscriber that will double the number, obvious really 🙂

    So lets all say thanks in a big way to Richard and Helen and help get this train a rollin’ ?

  9. Michael

    It is very Wise not to be boastful at oneself; all bosting of someone should come from others in support of the Gifted!

    I have been very proud to boast of the people who have this website “The English Woodworker” and all that goes with it, that includes you the participants’ also, keep the good work going-on friends!

    It took me 5 years to get established in business back in 1980, and that was without advertisement, I think advertising can be a waste of money and time for someone like me.

  10. DonP

    Don’t forget not only are the videos educational and entertaining – American viewers get the bonus of learning a foreign language.

  11. Laurence Pylinski

    Richard is the real deal.
    I live by the motto “A man is not measured by what he can do, rather by what he has done”!
    Richard goes well beyond that and shows you how to do what he has done.

  12. Stefan

    Unfortunately my project list is long enough, so I didn’t actually find time to build the Spoon Rack. But I will – it will be my future saw till.
    I believe an important way of marketing is by word of mouth. That in mind, I found time to do a small review about the series on my Blog.
    For all who are interested in, please feel invited to have a look:
    Just my two pence.



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