Tag Archives: community

Christmas and how you spend your dollars

Christmas, not only is it coming faster and faster each year, the retail push to spend, spend spend is increasing.

But before you pop down to your local big name retailer this Christmas have a look at the alternatives. Namely people like yourselves who are trying to get their small businesses started.

A solid Christmas sale can mean so much to an independent label. Not only is it valuable money the morale and confidence boost it can offer is far greater.

So take a look at

etsy

local markets (the Sydney Morning Herald has a quick round up across all states here)

and your local independent stores. You will find individual gifts that can be so much more exciting than the bland big corporate offerings.

So take a look around and see if you can make this Christmas a handmade Christmas.

image via etsy

Workshops with Home Industry

Our friends at home industry are doing a series of workshops to help teach people the basics of upholstery.

Their first workshop last weekend was a great success.

 

They have another one coming up this weekend so get in touch if you’d like to learn some new skills.

Taking the etsy taste test and what it can teach you

I’m trying hard to make more of my purchases from independent designers/makers and crafters.
With so many people from across the world supporting my small business I feel I should return the favour as often as I am able.
One of my favorite places to make purchases is etsy. While it can be a treasure trove of wonder it is hard to wade through or the less than inspiring designs and objects for sale.
Recently I have discovered their taste test tool. From a selection of images you select 9 which you like. This then generates into pages of goods for you to peruse.
The first night I did it was a bit dangerous for my bank account as I found this

 

And after that decided I should look and not buy just yet until I save up a wish list of special items.
Not only is it fun for shopping I think it’s a great way to connect with your target market. Take the test as if you are your target market and see what it suggests. Are there plenty of designers who’s offering is similar to your yours? Are you under or over pricing yourself?
So take the taste test and do some research ….and perhaps some shopping too?

Tell a great story it makes your products more interesting

It’s no secret that I love the story behind the creations. The who, the what the when it all makes the product more human and more interesting.

So say your selling t-shirts with logos on them, not a great story you think? Wrong. Take a look at Howies Printshop and how they turn even the most day to day jobs such as printing into fascinating photos that tell a great story.

Helping independent labels

Last week I spoke about my disappointing trip to Oxford st and Paddington markets, then later in the week I was searching for a present. I wanted it to be handmade, interesting and hopefully supporting someone starting out their label.

That was a tough find. I started with etsy and quickly got put off by the masses of really bad stuff on there (don’t get me wrong some amazing works there too but I didn’t have endless hours to trawl through all the bad to find the good). Then I tried the local stores but everything was all mass produced and then I went back to searching on the net and it went on and on and I gave up twice then saw a picture on a blog (when I was totally looking for something else) and finally got what I wanted (oddly enough from etsy!).

the present I was looking for!

All of this made me think “how can I help?” so to start with I’m going to add a side bar to the front page that links to independent labels online stores.

So if you are reading this and you make your own product please leave a comment and I can add you to the list so we can help others find you too.

Free Workshop TONIGHT!

I got this email last night but was so busy watching the action of the Tour de France I forgot to pass it on to you all. Even in today’s horrible weather see if you can make it along.

This is just a friendly reminder that the next FREE Daily Imprint workshop on How to live a creative life is on tomorrow night. The session will be on How to create a covetable brand.

Just like last time, the session starts at 6.30pm and will go for about an hour, with an opportunity to ask questions at the end. It’s also at the Apple store, Bondi.

The panel will be talking about everything from fonts, to communication and the importance of imagery – as well as how to launch a brand.

Look forward to seeing you there.

Natalie

Oxford st and the Paddington markets

On Saturday we took a walk up Oxford St to the Paddington markets. These are my closest markets yet I rarely get a chance to go as I am so often working on a Saturday.

However it was a warm sunny winter day and we thought it would be a nice morning out.

On the way up it was disappointing to see empty shops, shops closing down and even those who were having half yearly sales looked like they were doing the very bare minimum when it came to window display and instore presence.

There were even shop assistants standing in the doorways smoking and making it so you would have had to ask them to move put of the way for you to get into the store.

All in all it was really depressing and certainly not encouraging anyone to go in and spend money.

The most saddening part was that the markets were even worse!

Lots of empty spaces, less than a handful of stalls to get food ( what happened to the great vegetarian pastry place???) many stalls which are exactly the same as they have been for the last 15 years.

It was dull, the stock was set out in the most uninspiring ways and clothing wise you choose from childrenswear, designs that look like they were imported cheap from China or middle aged womenswear.

The entire street and the markets all  seem to be scraping by on the glory they used to have. It was not the vibrant happening fashion centre it used to be.

How did this happen?

– Bondi Junction was redeveloped with a Westfield
– the city was redeveloped with a Westfield
– some of the designer stores moved out, some replaced with bargain basement fashion or even worse seconds stores
– rents staid high
– the markets are content with their regulars and not taking on enough new designers

But it is also more than outside factors it’s also

– the shops aren’t trying. I mean designer stores whose mid year sales are advertised with signs it looks like you created in word and printed on your home printer?
– complete lack of exciting design of windows or instore display
– staff who don’t care. When you do walk in they don’t talk to you and that’s when you can get past them smoking at the front door
– not enough food places that are interesting enough to get people to come for breakfast/brunch/lunch and then go shopping

I’d really love Sydney to have a more vital retail scene that can sustain emerging and existing designers that is exciting to go to and makes you want to spend money. Apart from twice yearly markets like the Finders Keepers we don’t have that at the moment.
Let’s hope councils, store owners and designers cam get together and come up with more ways to make this happen or the homogeneity of fashion will continue as everyone just shops from the very basic big name chain stores as they don’t know where else to go?