On Tuesday, I facilitated a workshop re. promoting an artisan business (on zero budget!) to four friends at the wonderful Amanda Byrne’s house just outside Gorey. Amanda (a milliner and feltmaker) and I became friends initially through facebook and met when she was one of the participants at Dawn’s first ‘fantastic felt hat’ workshop in April. Since then we have been in regular contact online as Amanda builds up her business Highbury Designs, we had a session earlier in the year discussing ideas for Amanda to promote her hats and felted accessories and I’m glad to say that the business is really expanding and Amanda’s customer base is building rapidly!
There are all sorts of free and inexpensive ways to get your product in front of consumers, blogging, signature files, internet forums, business cards and social media sites like facebook and Pinterest to name but a few. It’s really important too for people to realise that buying local and buying handmade really DOES make a difference to the maker, please consider this the next time you are looking for a present or gift voucher, you are really helping to keep an artist maker in business. The four friends who participated in the workshop on Tuesday are all experienced visual artists and craftspeople with interesting and beautiful work to share, making the work is the easy part but as we all know it’s vital to then let as many people as possible know what we are doing!!! Check out their new facebook pages and if you like what you see please hit their like buttons and share. In no particular order (the order everyone sat around the table in fact) I give you Sharon, Julie, Paula and Naoimh.
Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us Nicola and I hope to meet up again soon when i can teach you!!, it was a fun day.
So marketing is the key! I think making to commission for the Artist is far better,less waste of materials ,making only samples and then giving your customer a brand new item not expecting them to buy one that has been ferried here there and everywhere ,handled by many ,tried on by many.I would be put off by this so why expect my customer to buy these.
Carry samples, make to order, keeping to completion dates,taking a 50% payment upfront all makes for a happy artisan .
If a customer sees their item pasted all over FB ,Twitter Pin it,Etsy,fairs etc they do not always like this.
Offer a10% reduction on commissions to get the notion across to your customers offering odour and size choice.
Super interesting perspective, Chrissie.
Should say colour and size as choice.
So happy to have met Amanda while in Ireland, and delighted that she was bitten by the millinery bug…Her hats are gorgeous.
Sounds like it was a wonderful workshop…Wish I’d been there….You are always on top of the latest technology. What is a signature file (sorry to be such a dinosaur 😉
Hope that you and all of the artisans mentioned in this post are having great sales this season. I, too, hope that people will think to buy local…I know that I will be supporting area artists and avoiding the malls. So much less stressful and I love knowing the maker of the items that I purchase.