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
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
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?
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.
- First up this week is the City of Sydney Business awards nomination and voting start next Tuesday. Why not check out the list of categories and see if your business is eligible and gain yourself some exposure.
- the wonderful I go by Katie blog has a pro’s and con’s of your own dedicated webstore v’s an etsy store. Very helpful for anyone just looking to get started on the web.
- If you are looking to start selling online why not take a look at Young Republic. Like etsy but based here in Australia.
- For anyone who does work for specific clients why not ask yourself these 10 questions from Designers Couch to see if you are in touch with their design needs?
- How about Orange shares a cute DIY on how to add shapes to your photos. Very adorable.
With the end of the week upon us I’ve found 5 links that will teach you about design, branding, patience and even a little bit about the world around us. Enjoy
10 lessons every designer should read via Swiss Miss
Why Authenticity is King when it comes to Branding via Co Design
5 quick makeover tips for you etsy shop (though I think it applies to almost all online stores not just etsy) via Quiltish
A lovely post about how hard work and dedication paid off for Holly at decor8
For anyone interested in city planning, how humans impact the world around them and sustainability issues this article on Active Design is remarkable reading, via Co Design
On Fridays I’ll be sharing some links from the week which make for some great reading for anyone starting a label.
1 – one of the best ways to sell your product is to have a really good story. This brand has turned it’s story into it’s star performer and are reaping the benefits of free press as everyone wants to tell their story of recycled leather into purses. Read more here
2 – Recently the Altitude design summit was held in the USA. Gathering together some of the best and brightest from design, blogs and media it is like boot camp for designers. Promise Tangeman highlighted her week with some great photos but also a list of things she learnt at the summit. Read more here
3 – a new player is set to rival etsy as a marketplace for handmade goods. Still in testing stage it looks very interesting and will certainly be one to watch. Read more here
4 – the team from Finders Keepers markets (THE best design markets in Australia) put together a handy guide for those wanting to apply to get a spot in the markets. Read more here
5 – Take some time to watch this video of The Sartorialist it is wonderful and inspiring. See here
Have a great weekend and see you all next week. As always feel free to leave comments on what you like, don’t like, want from the site. It’s here to help you all you have to do is ask.
A great way to increase the amount of business you get or even to expand into a new sector is with custom work (where the product/s are made for a specific person/store/group and sometimes contains their logo/name etc). It can be really useful to get extra money in or just a new avenue that you ahven’t thought of trying before.
This article really stood out for me in explaining how just a few simple tricks can radically change your business.