About Me and Design Rocks!

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Hello and welcome. Here's a bit about me: I've spent my childhood and a lot of my life traveling. Places, colour and pattern are my biggest inspiration. I've surfed & lived in a tent in Cornwall. Sketched my way round Morocco. Designed from an antique textile archive in Manhattan (dream job!). Styled and written for an interiors magazine on the sleepy island of Malta. Now I live in Manchester, UK, where I run Design Rocks greetings cards. Whilst in Manhattan I amassed a large collection of vintage textiles. These were used as inspiration for my first card range, Vintage Rocks! We sell wholesale so if you'd like a brochure visit the website or get in touch. Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

A bit of chin stroking

I've done an intensive month of craft fairs and been observing a lot of what works and doesn't work. After much thought and deliberation (ok, and a little wine). I think there is a magi formula to successful selling as a designer maker.

A. The product - must be of quality and a good price, be original - do what you do best and concentrate on that. Don't try and do what someone else is doing because they're making sales. The only way to be totally unique is to develope your unique skills to the max. Don't go all craft ADHD (very common problem). Stay FOCUSED dude.

b. Your market - get the right venue with the right buyers - old biddies - forget it. What you need is middle class guardian readers with muchos deniros and an appreciation of your hard work. Look out for craft fairs in trendy city 'burbs with a little cool subculture of their own. Think about who buys your stuff and imagine what they do and where they live - that should narrow it down. If there isn't anything there then set up your own - it's not that hard, just start small and invite friends.

c. Your sales technique - you are your brand! You need to be an extension of your product. I sell cards featuring vintage patterns and I love pattern. So, I wear my best vintage frock, a huge smile, and I engage and chat to as many people as possible. I tell them about the designs, where the patterns come from, the process, my inspiration - I sell the cool image. It sounds cheesy but people are buying in to you as well as your products. Your nice personality should come into it's own here, just be your self and enjoy the time you have with people. This is also a time to get feedback on your customers faves and what sells best - that way you can develop your range in the right direction.

Ok, enough waffle. just want to try and work out how I seem to have made a success of this and share the wealth with you good crafting people out there. Hope it helps.

If you want more great info the ETSY sellers handbook is a real help.


Anonymous said...

Thanks, I am going to print this post out and put it on my wall! It is so easy to get distracted and also take on too much. My product range is still evolving but quality is always so important - the customers I have do come back. You have me waffling now! It is good to see your success though,any tips are appreciated! Kate x

designrocks said...

Great - I'm glad it was useful. I just think you need all the help and encouragement you can get in this field.
The indibiz group I set up a few months ago was a great help as well. I learn something new everymonth and it's nice to have a chat with others doing the same.
Keep me posted on any successes!
Cheryl x

artangel said...

Hmm - very interesting read (stroking chin myself here!)

Everything you say is true - I have definitely learned about b) in the last month!

meplusmolly said...

found your blog through Mrs B's.
great info and thoughts in this post, food for thought! ;0

designrocks said...

I think a pause and a chin stroke is essential to good progression!

designrocks said...

Hi Meplusmooly and welcome! I'll check out your blog too.

Jackie said...

Thats very useful advice. The only bit that worries me is the 'buying into you' idea as I too am an old biddy!