Tuesday, August 24, 2010

It’s a storybook dream come true!

It’s a storybook dream come true! Twospoonfulsofsugar is excited to be running fun 'n' furry storybook making workshops at the 2010 Sydney Children's festival.
Sydney Children’s Festival is a gigantic artistic playground packed with things to do, nooks to explore, and new stuff to get stuck into. Two weeks of stories, arts, crafts, creatures, characters, a little nonsense, and most of all, FUN, PLAY and CREATING.
Sydney Children’s Festival is on from 27th September - 9th October 2010 (during school holidays) 10am-4pm Monday - Saturday (will be closed on sundays)
For more info on the festival, performances, activities and workshop details click here

part two: melbourne. craft cubed - craft and design as a career.

craft cubed.
So for the following day my good friend michelle and I carried on being inspired by attending Craft Victorias – Craft Cubed seminar on Craft and Design as a Career. Which was a fantastic educational seminar with some fab speakers.

Craft Victoria’s annual festival Craft Cubed is a highly participatory event creating space for practitioners and the public to engage with contemporary craft. The 2010 festival theme of ‘childhood’ is intended to inspire people of all ages, especially the young at heart! Have a look at the rest of the events/seminars and exhibitions for Craft Cubed - it runs till the 4th of September

Rhiannon Hardingham owner of I dream a highway spoke about selling your work through a retailer and offered some handy tips I thought I would share here.

# General retailers pricing is 100% + GST (if you sell your product for $50 - a store would sell it for $110)
# Price points put thought into your pricing – retailers will round it up, so make sure you get the reward and work your price on the 100% accurately.
# Consignment vs wholesale an interesting point was made. Seasonal buying does not apply to consignment so you can keep stocking your shelves. Whereas wholesale they will just say sorry we are not taking any more orders or we have spent our budget for this season contact us again in 3 months etc...

Approaching stores
# General Rule Only stock one store in each retail precinct (postcode area)
# Email (good quality) photos and a brief description/ introduction (include pricing details and info on where you stock and sell your products already)
# Dont rely on Etsy (or similar) to show case examples of your work
# Make an appointment (don't expect to just rock on up to a store to show off your products)

Rhiannon so nicely shared some fab craft retail stores around melbourne areas to consider contacting:
Fitzroy Meet me at Mikes, I like you, Thread Den, Incube8r
Northcote Humming bird 60, Manque & Lupa, I dream a highway
BrunswicPussyCat BlackMonk HouseOkOk, The Curious Kitten
North Melbourne Kids in BerlinThread Den

Lara Olsen and Yann Burden spoke on models of environmentally sustainable working environments and craft practises. How to make your product more sustainable.
# Is there a more efficient way to make your product?
# How much energy do you use?
# Turn your appliances off when do in use (if the light is shining, energy is still be used - pull the plug out of the wall)
# Are your raw materials recycled?
# Is there a closer source or can you get your materials from a local supplier?
# What about recycled packaging - How bout no tissue paper, no foam pellets
# Advise your customers via your website to show how environmentally friendly you and your craft business is trying to be

Melissa Loughnan director of Utopian Slumps shared some insight behind gallery representation and  some encouraging words:
# Don't be afraid to represent yourself
# Have faith in yourself and keep going, one day it will work out
# Be apart of a group – show involvement - blogs and galleries will gain interest.

Grace McQuilten founder of The Social Studio  captured the audiences attention, by wowing us with the studios outstanding accomplishment. Sharing how she and her team continue to create a social enterprise through empowering young people to achieve their dreams via fashion through community engagement and social inclusion. I was hoping to visit there cafe while in melb but sadly ran out of time (on the list for next time for sure). Keep up the great work Grace and team!

Jo Walker Editor of Frankie Magazine spoke on maximising your exposure through the media . Jo had some really helpful tips (read carefully some awesome pointers)

Press releases
# When to send one think 4-6 months ahead (so if you want to be in there christmas issue - send them your press release Now! July/August)
Be aware of print dates - most mainstream magazines have there print deadlines on there websites (Plan and check so you don't miss out)


Press release check list, what to include.
# Allow 2-3 paragraphs (needs to be well tailored - you might need a copywriter to write this)
# Embed clean clear (professional photography) with white backgrounds low res images into your email
# Your real name
# Your business name
# Dates of Event
# Contact details (address, phone, email, website)
# Price of your product
# Stockist details

Things to consider when writing your press release
# Is your product locally made?
# A new design?
# Are your materials organic, recycled, made in australia, fair trade?
# Don't make the journalist/editor/stylist have to guess what your product is, be clear and straight to the point
# Whats your unique selling point (UPS)?
# Whats your story?
# Tell your story - what/who inspired you?
# Add an element of your personal background

Once you have sent out your press release... other things to consider...
# Have high res pics with clean white backgrounds for easy use in all media from local newspapers/marie claire. (make sure you have high resolution images on file in case you are contacted by a journalist, editor or stylist) 
# Have product ready to send out (some stylists will want to shoot there own pics)
# Once your product is in the media, you will probably be inundated with orders (make sure you have lots of product)
# Have a fully functional updated website
# Remember to be as personal and authentic as possible this adds more value to your product


Lucy Fegins from the Design Files added to what Jo spoke about and recommends:
# Target stylists – (send samples) send it like a gift, be friendly
# If your targeting mainstream press - know there readers
# Be friendly with your stockists and keep them up to date.
# If you do get press – inform your stockists
# Fill orders when they start rolling in! (don't let your stockists get grumpy)
# Blogging is Cheap, Online and Present
# Form a relationship with media and customers by giving them an insight into your world
# Be flexible and think laterally – is there another way to tell your story?

Wow..So there is a lot of info there. We had one more speaker Stephan Banham from Letterbox who spoke about graphic design and branding. I might cover this topic in another blog post further down the line though since that is also my background.

Time to now digest all this great info! I think this is enough for the moment! Enjoy everyone!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

part one: melbourne. chai. trade fairs.

I have recently returned from melbourne and after being stuck in bed “sick as a dog” since I returned I thought while im not up for doing much “actual work” I thought I would blog a little about my adventure and re:live some of it. Share with you guys a few important & prob no so important bits.

Half work/half play? To me this type of trip is all play...specially while getting inspired by melbourne, its sites, surrounds, visiting trade fairs and going to seminars on design.

So firstly...Lets have a chai! If you live in Melbs already or are visting and love a nice spicy chai head to Baker D Chirico on 149 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda...OMG best chai ever soooo deliciously spicy (I was told the lemon donuts are a big hit too (but they were all sold out by the time we arrived tho at 10:30 am)

I visited the LifeInstyle/KidsInstyle/FirstInstyle Trade fair. Twospoonfulsofsugar took part in the “new designers section” of Reed Giftfair last year and I wanted to compare the 2. We were meant to be in KidsInstyle this year but due to circumstances we were unable to attend. However I still wanted to go along and absorb the atmosphere and chat to other industry professionals.
So LifeInstyle is great for designers wanting to attract the boutique giftware retailers. I personally love the vibe of LifeInstyle and think its a great step forward if your ready to take your: jewellery, t-shirt, art, design, product, fashion, accessories, stationery, toy, craft, giftware business into the retail market!
Doing trade fairs - It's a great step for any new or existing business, to reach out to your designated retail outlets and customer base across the country and aboard. A trade fair is designed for designers to be in one location and the retail shops come to you. You have your “product on show” but dont sell off your stand - you do take orders (wholesale) directly off your stand tho, but dont sell directly to “public” say like at markets.

From experience: It truly opened my eyes and emerged Twospoonfulsofsugar into a whole new platform.
If your interested in doing a trade fair have a look at Lifestyle and Reed to pick which one is best suited for you and your business. They are run twice a year in the major cities in Australia (Sydney and Melbourne) one at the beginning of the year around Feb/March and one in August/September (for buying for christmas) I highly recommend doing them.

Some of my fav things from the Melbourne LifeInstyle/KidsInstyle/FirstInstyle show were:
# Furry Monster bags and DingaRings (as pictured) for kids by O.B Designs

# Very funky Paperself eyelashes (as pictured)' how fantastic are these designs” I was like “you should be wearing these, im sure the sales person would of tripled her orders if she was these are so cool!

# Funky Stools from Ici et La

# I have a soft spot for typography and there was a few stands with some fab typography products PonyRider had these fab Players Welcome cushions (as pictured), quilts etc .. For some other very cool type related products check out Make Me Iconic

#I defiantly had my “I want-I want-I want” down to a fine t at the Pigeonhole stand, so many great products “everything is awesome”! Special love goes out to Pigeonholes; Louwellyn, Lou Mini and Richelle Bags, WoodLove Cards, Crumple Cups & those oh so cute dimple rings (even the name sounds cute)

# Design products with clever, quirky ideas behind it go to check out DesignforUse - I still cant decide what my fav thing is but the flower nails are a pretty cute idea, and the drip drop hanger and I did love those wine lights (as pictured).

I could go on and on actually so im just going to list a few other websites to checkout but there were oh so heaps more incredible/ talented designers I just can not list the whole lot or I will be here forever; Loop, (Fav Bags) Louenhide, Little Lamb tales, Tmod, Fermliving

The Reed Giftfair in Sydney is coming up in September 11th-14th so if your thinking about doing a trade fair next year I highly recommend registering and going along for a nosey.

Ok I got a little carried away and side tracked but after a day of being inspired by all the great “designers” who would not get carried away? I hope I shed some light for any newbies thinking of doing a trade fair.