NOTHS nonsense

You may have heard of If you have been eagle eyed, you might have spotted its sporadic yet polished TV adverts. If you like unique, handmade products you may well have even bought something from the site.

noths logo

I have been a seller on NOTHS from its inception in 2006 and I remember its founders Holly and Sophie coming round trade shows looking for interesting makers to promote on their site. Over the years I felt the emphasis change from an organisation which supported its makers to a slicker operation which exploited them. These two women built their business on the backs of craft makers like me and made themselves millionaires in the process.

The business was sold in 2015 and it then appointed the chairman from …. wait for it…. Poundland. For me, that was the writing on the wall.

Sure enough the email came on the 31st January this year saying that I had not brought my products in line with their curation policy and so they were closing my storefront on the NOTHS site.

Unfortunately I was a little distracted as I was due to give birth that day, so I wrote to them asking for an extension to the deadline. I was given an extra few months to update the products in my virtual storefront so I took the time to read their curation policy


Frankly there was nothing in there that I wasn’t already doing – I had my brand story, I had good quality photographs, my products are not mass marketed. What it seemed to boil down to was the accompanying document that was intended to be a guide to trends.

And oh Lord, do I wish I had taken a screenshot of that while I could!

The nonsense that comprised their trend guide was a master document in the art of marketing bullsh*t and encapsulated everything I hate about our consumerist culture. Nebulous themes such as ‘Family’ were illustrated with images of young models interacting as though they might vaguely know each other, and these were asserted to be the upcoming trends for Autumn/Winter 2016.

What?! As though somehow ‘Family’ was cool this season but we’d all be over ‘Family’ by next season! As I say, total nonsense.

So I wrote to them to ask for some clarification.


NOTHS wrote back with this advice – and I quote verbatim – “I would suggest increasing the amount of newness you add”. In the context of all the other documentation I took this to mean: “Make new products that we tell you to make”. 

In that moment I decided that I was having none of it.

I want no part of an organisation whose only language is marketing-speak. I want no part of an organisation which prides itself on its unique product offering, but then issues edicts based on mass market trends. I want no part of an organisation that builds its reputation off the hard work of makers whom it then screws with punitive financial constraints while its shareholders make their millions.

So after 10 years of selling my glassware on Notonthehighstreet, my products have been withdrawn from the site. I would suggest that if you are keen on unique handmade craft, you also withdraw your custom from the site. And tell your friends to do the same.

And for anyone who is still shopping there, I urge you to look at the Axed Nothsters page on Facebook to see just how many makers they have done this to.