Thursday, 24 January 2013
Paperfolk is ten months old! I can't believe its almost been a year since I bought a domain name and set up my website and Etsy store. The past year has been a huge learning curve and all of the experimentation with products, marketing and designs has made me want to be more focused with this next year. I am currently 4 days away from the due date of my first baby so I know that my time spent on the business is going to be limited.
One of the main things that I struggle with is pricing my work. I sell jewellery, stationary and prints but i'm not a trained jeweller, graphic designer or print-maker. I thought it would be useful for me and my customers to explain my process so that they understand where the products come from and why they are priced accordingly.
Whenever i'm ready to start a new piece or collection I begin by completing rough sketches. These allow me to determine if I want to make it into a final piece- not every drawing makes the cut! If i'm using plastic I transfer the drawing by hand and complete the design in ink before sealing with varnish. On average a plastic brooch takes over an hour to complete at the drawing stage. I never print onto plastic- each piece is drawn by hand.
If i'm using wood I usually determine what shapes/sizes I would like the brooches to be and cut the wood accordingly. I then determine a colour palette in my sketchbook along with a geometric design. I usually just go with the flow in terms of the shape design as I've found this works well for me. The design is then transferred by hand to the piece of wood. I apply a base colour and then paint the colours by hand allowing for time to apply several coats. The piece is then sealed with varnish.
My packaging for the products is currently designed and created by me. I print the backing cards for all products by hand and ensure that online sales are accompanied with personal notes/email responses. I hope this is something I can continue to do as the business hopefully grows.
I'm also determined to use my blog more effectively to keep everyone up to date with research and designs for new products so that my customers can help shape the business with their valued feedback. I've had so many great conversations in person and via email which has definitely helped a lot.
This year i'll be launching some new products so watch this space!