Setting up a Business-The Design Bit.
I guess I’m pretty lucky in terms of the whole design side of the business (I’ve done a graphic design degree and my boyfriend is a designer http://weareclubhouse.com/ and I have plenty of creative friends willing to help) so it’s never been a scary thing trying to set up the website, do the photos etc. But I’m sure a lot of people find this bit a massive sticking point with this in mind I’ve put together a few ‘cheats’ tips.
1. The website. You don’t have to go all out and hire a designer to create some flashy site not only could that be massively expensive to create in the early days but also if you don’t know how it works and something goes wrong that’s potentially an extra cost to rectify. I’d recommend using a platform where you can use their template (and if you want add a bit of simple coding in here and there you can do) my all time favourite is bigcartel http://bigcartel.com/.
2. Packaging. There are ways you can make your packaging cost effective and easy to produce. I’m a big fan of http://uk.moo.com/ you can buy stickers to brand your envelopes and I use the smaller business cards for inserts to tell my customers how best to care for the product. For inspiration in this area pinterest is your friend.
3. Photos. So here’s the bad news this isn’t an area you can really cheat on ESPECIALLY if your business is purely online. Sorry to state the obvious but it’s the photos that sell in the product! With this in mind go buy/beg/borrow a decent camera and get yourself on a course (you can find lots of inexpensive courses at local colleges-just make sure you get the most out of them i.e if your product is jewellery learn how to take close ups and learn how to take photos of things that shine!)
Now go and create! And make it beautiful!
Setting up a business
I’ve been running this little jewellery business for just over 2 years now. It’s not been easy, I’ve worked a full time job during doing this, so evenings/weekends are often used to pursue building and growing it but it’s what I absolutely love. With this in mind I’m going to put together a series of business posts together on stuff I’ve learnt to date. The first being ‘starting off’ here’s a few tips to think about when wanting to turn your ideas into a reality.
1. You have to LOVE it, not just like it. There’s no point in doing something you don’t love, the hours won’t be worth it and you’ll not want to push yourself to get up early/work late. (which FYI you’ll probably have to do especially in the early days).
2. Learn the finance bit. This isn’t something I’m too fond of but it’s really important. Make sure you’re set up with HMRC have all the insurance you need and keep note of all you’re in goings and outgoings (trust me come your TAX return date you’ll be so thankful you’ve been organised).
3. Please don’t create an amazing product then surround it with awful branding, it will be the first thing that let’s you down. From your website to your packaging to how you compose emails everything needs to shout ‘my brand is great’. I’ll be doing a branding post in the next few weeks so look out for that one.
4. Things take time. So you’ve made your product and the website looks awesome just sit and wait for sales? Erm no this bit (PR stuff) is something I struggle with but need to get better at, you need to tell people about your work, wear it, sell it in all the time, talk to the press, talk to bloggers. NEVER EVER stop selling your work. It can be massively uncomfortable but you need to over it to really grow your business.
5. Keep learning. Is there a better way to take photos, are your costs right? Just because you’ve done something already doesn’t mean you can’t change it. Every few months I evaluate my brand and look at ways to not only improve the product but also the branding, the packaging etc. Being a young small brand means I can do this, I can be reactionary.
Things I’m currently loving
Bumble and Bumble City Swept-really good for adding texture and a ‘lived in’ feel to freshly washed hair.
Tom Ford lipstick in True Coral-a great vibrant colour to perk up your face if you are feeling a bit sleepy.
Real Techniques-This foundation/buffing brush is fantastic helps blend away pesky tell-tale lines.
Nuxe lip balm-I can’t praise this lip balm enough, quite a matt texture on the lips, not too shinny. If your lips are ever in need of a bit of care then you have to pick this up.
And finally a Some Beautiful Place necklace works with everything.
Nick Mulvey – Fever To The Form
Iggy Azalea – Fancy
New stamp = New Packaging
Words to live by
Ah if only I had the money then these would be snapped up straight away;
Topshop boutique jumper-I always love stripes for a classic look
Sophie Hulme bag-any bag!
Benefit Push up liner-trying master the art of a cat eye rather than my usual scribble
Wonderound shirt dress-I discovered this beautiful classic brand on Calvert Avenue (London) last week can’t get enough of their stuff
It’s that time of year again that whilst the Sun is shinning (disclaimer it’s actually pouring with rain as I type this) I start to think of winter and planning the new collection. My work has started to evolve a lot throughout the past 2 years (to the point I cringe to look at some of my early pieces) of doing this little business and I want to carry on evolving for the next season.
Summer for us was all about bold shapes and bright colours, I’m still wanting to carry that theme into winter but I’ve been experimenting with deeper gem tones and mixed metals. I’m also looking to change my packaging (but more of that in a later post).
Anyway check out my inspiration thus far for A/W 14
Newness alert! Here’s something I originally created as a bespoke piece but I love it so much I’ve had to open it up to selling a few on the site-available now on a limited run!
PR’ing I just thought I’d share a little insight into what we’ve been up to lately-I’ve been working on our PR and created a little package to send to some lovely journalists, complete with a pair of sunshine drops. If you’re a journalist/blogger and would like a pack get in touch and I’ll be happy to send one out