So, the applications opened yesterday, and we are asking lots of questions, and throwing in an interview process for the new space. It all seems a lot. A real lot!
I hear you panicking! And I don’t want you too.
*looks around* Huddle in – to be totally honest with you, I’m panicking a little too! This move is really throwing us out there. We are trying new things, finding a new home, having to think on our messaging, our pricing, our market.. there is just so much. It’s also signing us up to a huge lease, a lot more trading hours (and we have a little family we love to spend time with), contemplating staffing, coffee, tea, catering, Council negotiations… It’s next level stuff, and while it’s super exciting, it’s super grown up and stressful!
I wonder if we have met yet? I’m Tanya! I’m chief Canner at the moment. I am a community worker by trade – I’ve worked all over the shop – and I love handmade. I do make handmade stuff – badly. Handmade Cans became our family business last year – and we are excited about making it bigger and better! Steve, my lovely hubby, is the practical one in our house! He makes things – amazing things. Lights, furniture, anything really! He works full time at TAFE and is terribly handsome and wonderful.
We’ve learnt a lot about business the last year. It’s been a steep learning curve. I’m very easy to get along with, a little bitchy, I swear a LOT, and this new venture means I need to be tougher. Feel free to make me be so! The biggest message I have is – play fair! It costs to run this great shop. A lot. You need to pay upfront for our service. Just as we do to the landlord. As tough as it is, you are in the shop for the promotions and the hype. You will be selling at a wholesale level. Sell lots and you make more. I can’t negotiate on the fees unless you have something very cool to offer. The easier bills are to pay, the more relaxed the shop feels.
I love handmade. I love our creatives. I love connecting you. Supporting you. Helping you. I’m a social media nut, a internet freak. Semi geek, swear a holic! I’m really happy to chat to you about all sorts of things. I love decorating, colour, and playing with marketing ideas. I have lots of ideas – I really need people to implement them all.
So why are we doing this?
This process is as much about our store as it is about you. This is a great process to go through. It’s vital to have a focus on what you do, why you do it, how you do it, how you love it. (Here’s some help http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/225656 – just google if you need more)
It’s fabulous to have pics – good pics – of the work you do. Not just for the memories, but for the journey. And for us to see what you do – and for your customers to see what you do!
It’s also fantastic to check your costs, your prices, your web presence, and get some dusting up happening. We can all get smarter with our online time.
And as you do all this, you will become crystal clear on what you do and why you do it. Market share is vital. As is you being confident. People love passionate creatives who love their work, and believe in what they do.
When we are reading your application we are looking for quality products, great pricing, interesting processes, variety of stock, lines changing reflection the seasons/fashion trends/customer comments. We are looking to see you care as much about your product as we do about ours.
We are passionate about making Bones and Jones, incorporating Handmade Cans, a place we all want to be. We want it to make us all money, to teach us new skills, to help people transition through stages in their lives, and to connect. And to feed people’s need for handmade items, upcycling, recycling, creating. Unique gifts. Quirky fashion. Kids clothes that last through generations!
What I am really looking for is people wanting to live their dream! We aren’t the kind of retail store you just drop and go. I want you to share your love of your products with our customers and the world. I want an edge – so limited edition product lines people rush to get to. I want you to work as hard as I do to get every sale with a joyful outcome. And I want a sense of adventure. A sense of fun. A sense of learning. A sense of growing together.
Now, we are taking limited places in the store. If you visited Handmade Cans in the old location it was always way too full. This new start, new space, means successful handmade artists will have more space to display, to feature, to showcase their creations. If you find me on pinterest – princesst – you will see there has been lots of hours looking for the ‘look’ for the shop. We’ve gone with pallets, spacious, polished concrete floors, and we are throwing in theming. So if you do furniture you can dress it up and help people imagine having your work in their home.
This POP UP is just 4 weeks – check the application for feature weeks – that’s what our events/marketing/workshops will focus on. It’s a low cost option to play. To really test the waters.
Anyway, where was I?
There are other options. You can grab the online marketing package we’ve set up for $150 and get you online polished and shiny. We can link you in with graphic designers for your logo, and help you understand your messaging.
You can join us this Saturday for the Stitch and Bitch session, where we will talk about marketing, logos, branding, messages, platforms, ideas for selling more, have a look over your work and give you feedback on how you are going.
You can join our online shop. We’ve just set it up and we are already selling quite well – for a trial site. I’m working on the costs for this option, but in it’s infancy if you want to send through good pics, desciption, postage prices to firstname.lastname@example.org I’ll list for commission and paypal costs only. Ta da!
You can join our twilight markets – in the new space. Every Friday night. 4 to 7. It will be magical. If you are more a morning person – you could take a Saturday morning spot, drink coffee, invite your friends, and bubble around with us!
You can apply to just POP IN when we move out of Pop up mode! Put aside a month of your life to really market, play, sell your lines. Do workshops, invite your friends for a twinkly evening in to show off you work, get everyone you know in for a coffee date! A month of celebrating you and your work! With you taking the lead in sharing the message! We will be your venue, your cheer leader, you coordinator, your caterer.
Now, don’t get too excited by the additional options.
I have a magical number that I have to hit wanting to play for the Pop Up and then into the longer option to go ahead. That’s business folks! I need the core space taken and bills paid, then we can play happy families and have super lot more fun! I went grey before – this time I plan on using hair colour as a lifestyle choice, not a necessity!!!
And, here’s the hot tip. I need you all to share the information to your networks. To talk about this exciting new concept. To encourage them to pop in and visit. We are starting again – and we need to LAUNCH onto the market. I can’t do that all on my own. I need you working with me. Even if you decide not to play – share for the creative forces that do!
Our little dream grows small business. We are prioritising supporting small business – local businesses. Keeping our piece of the world prime for supporting small business. Help us, to help you!
Now, don’t be a stranger if you have questions. I am super shocking at answering my phone – I have it on silent when I’m with the kids and doing stuff. I hate being tied to it. So text, email or facebook.
ps The FNQ Handmade Industry Awards are happening in the background! We are looking for sponsors – great marketing and we have a range of sponsorships amount from $100 to $1000. We also need package prices from make up artists, hair stylists, personal trainers for the lead up, and the day of the event. If that’s you – shoot us your price list – special for us – and we will get it out there for people to sign up! (It will be in October – on a weeknight) And fashion people – get thinking! We will need awesome outifts for the night – so we need YOU to tell us what you have, and how people get it! Oh, we are also looking for music – a busker outside and someone to perform inside! Hit us!