Are you a printed textile designer? Do you need somewhere to print your textiles? …….

My idea is to create a studio where recent textile design graduates can print.  After graduation there are no available spaces for hand screen printing textiles especially using reactive and acid dyes and then to have steaming facilities. The DCA in Dundee has amazing printing facilities for paper printing and although it is possible to print small sizes and quantities of textiles using  acrylic paint and textile binder these don’t have the same handle as fabrics printed the way we’re taught.

So are you a printed textile designer? Do you need somewhere to print your textiles? – please help my business plan for Design and the Market  by completing the following survey – thank you so much…. – http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/P3X2CHD

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Work placement part two with Lindsey Gardiner in London at Pulse 2012

On Thursday 7th June I set off from a very dreary Kinross for the next part of my placement with Lindsey.  I was heading for London for a week to help, observe and speak to potential trade customers.  A bit daunting for a 3rd year textile design student but I was excited too and it was an awesome opportunity to see the next part of the process involved with being a practising textile designer/maker who wants to reach customers through stores and other forms of suppliers.

The view from the train from Inverkeithing to Edinburgh was an inspiration with so many lines and shapes and ever the designer I was clicking away and getting strange glances from the passengers as to why I would be photographing a rainy day – what a shame they don’t understand!




So meeting Lindsey at Waverley Station we made our way to Platform 2 (not 1) !!!! and settled in in style – travelling 1st class no less.  Somewhere in the ether there’s a photo of me to prove it but it never arrived so you’ll just have to believe me.  We arrived safe and sound in London and am pleased to say met some lovely people who helped with bags and stairs etc.  We stayed in an amazing house in Fulham, very luxurious and relaxed ready for Friday and setting up the show at Earls Court.

Friday arrived and off we set buying my first Oyster Card which you have to remember not to swipe and got the tube to the exhibition centre.

I’d been at Earls Court many years ago (20) for a needlework show and had forgotten how huge it was.

We found our stand and our delivery of furniture, samples, press packs etc and began the process of setting up ready for the start on Sunday when the  trade buyers would arrive. It was hard to imagine everything would fit in.


Lindsey ordered vinyls featuring her drawings/artwork and these were attached to the walls

©2012lindseygardiner

A lot of time was spent placing and moving and changing round until it looked just perfect

©2012lindseygardiner

You never know how something will look till you’re in the space.

©2012lindseygardiner

©2012lindseygardiner

©2012lindseygardiner


©2012lindseygardiner

And doesn’t it look fabulous – the stand made everyone smile with the beautiful colours and designs, it was a honour to stand and help Lindsey throughout the show and because I’d spent time with her on my previous placement I could speak about her work if I needed to.

Small businesses to large London buyers visited Lindsey and it was scary exciting and amazing all in one go!!!

Whilst there Lindsey encouraged me to attend as many seminars as possible.  These are laid on for both buyers and exhibitors and what an amazing experience this was.  I attended a Mary Portas pitch where 10 designers had 10 minutes to pitch their product to a team headed by Peter Cross – scary but they all did extremely well.

I also went along to hear Warren Knight as he helped show how using the latest trends in social media can help you find customers.

But my favourite was Sally Davies talking about trend forecasting for A/W 2012/13 for the home gift and accessories market.  This was extremely interesting as we have used trend forecast journals in our briefs at art school and of course last year I attended Premiere Vision in Paris which is all about what will be trending 2 years on. Sally talked about how they arrived at trends and using excerpt from the forecasting book Mix Trends published by global color research showed colour palettes, materials and context using the products found in Pulse. Brilliant!!!

The show went extremely quickly, I met lovely designers on the stands around Lindseys’ and  learned once more its not just about printing pretty fabric, there’s a heck of a lot of hard work, stress, networking, planning, figures, patience, laughter but on top of all that you have to have a product that the buyers will want to stock at a price that will keep both you with a roof over your head and them with a profit to be able to stock your gorgeous printed goodies.  Has it put me off becoming a textile designer? Mmmmmmm let me think – no it hasn’t but its made me realise the reality of it all away from the safe cocoon of the art school studio.

I have to say a huge thank you to Scot and Corrinne for letting me stay in their awesome home and once more to Lindsey for an experience that will stay with me forever.

marketing and finance

According to the Chartered Institute of Marketing: Marketing is the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably.

The 7 P’s of marketing were our next step to planning our business – to identify our product, place, price, promotion, people, process, physical environment.

A unique selling point (USP) is something we can use when marketing to sell our product/service – in the photograph below you can see how I answered the questions

Next was to develop a marketing plan, we covered some of the plan in previous workshops they include a 1. mission statement, 2. SWOT analysis, 3. marketing objectives and 4. strategies.  Next was to think how we would 5. implement the plan, the next workshop helped with this

–  how we would get our message out about the launch of our product/service, the timescale involved, who you would share these tasks with and  the budget you would assign to these items

and finally we would 6. measure and control the plan, as with any plan it should be reviewed – this will enable to see if money is being spent in the correct place as to be in full control of a business we need to be aware of the financial impacts of any decisions we make.  We also need to look at the performance in the business in terms of profit we will make after deductions  we all need money and to quote Johanna

“It’s taken me a while to get over my belief that you have to be on the breadline to be running a successful creative business. Now I realise it is about making money… we sell designs, we make money, then we can be more creative and take on more new projects!”

Johanna Basford, Designer / Illustrator  (an awesome web site with amazing designs)

so I worked through my finance sheet this was covering

  • what we wanted to earn
  • how hard we wanted to work
  • working with a partner
  • risk taking
  • self discipline

  • business turnover
  • competitors
  • product charges
  • generating interest in product
  • salary
  • direct  and indirect costs
  • investment
money in and money out I made a list of what I would need to set up my print studio and the list really is huge – a lot I have already  its the big items of equipment and a studio that I would need to offer the service.
I looked at the costs involved, the direct and indirect costs and once you start to make a list there are a lot of things you need which don’t generate an income e.g. rates, utilities, telephone,insurance, PAT testing.

Money in comes from fees and workshops I would offer but initially I would need start up funds and this led us to look at crowd funding,  “the collective co-operation, attention and trust by people who network and pool their money and resources together, usually on the internet, to support the efforts initiated by other people or organisations”.

Kickstarter is the worlds largest funding platform and is based in America and at present only for Americans or those with an American bank account.  We saw some excellent live projects and they really do help fund a diverse range of projects from film  to music design.  It works by the creative setting a funding goal, people  then pledge money and in return they receive rewards if the project takes off.  The rewards could include copies of things, experiences, momentos and you can see from my form below my replies to this, I realise I now have to get more creative with my ‘words’.  No money changes hands though until  the funds target  has been reached.  Go and have a look at the Kickstarter site its a great way to spend spare time and see some cool projects get a chance

 

 

So now I’m on my own I now have to use this information to put together  a 1,500-2,000 word enterprise proposal, this has to outline the research I’ll wish produce over the summer. It accounts for 50% of my mark for this module.

The proposal then develop into a 7,000 word report which I’ll write during Design & The Market Part 2 during semester 1 of 4th year. This could be an in-depth business plan/feasibility study, market research for the development of a product/service or an analysis of a particular business market or model.

Not scary at all!!!!

Iain Valentine got me thinking

with the last of the NESTA workshops on Friday there’s been  a lot of thought and consideration going on in my head of the business proposal I’ve to write over the coming weeks.  It started if I’m honest at the lecture given by guest speaker to DJCAD Iain Valentine of Whitespace a Digital Design Agency located in Edinburgh.  Iain is a past graduate of DJCAD leaving with a 1st class honours degree! He very honestly told us that it didnt really come together for him until final year, where he was in charge of briefs and outcomes and that he says was his best time and the year he worked hardest.  He was offered positions in Edinburgh and London, initially heading south but returning north after a while to take up his original offer – things were  very different for him in Scotland but he continued to learn his trade as a designer and grew in confidence, he was working very hard and was beginning to feel that perhaps he should start his own design agency at the same time he was offered a creative director post at Whitespace.  This worked well and a plan was put together that he would take over gradually and this was completed last year.

A quote he showed at this point ……………..

Good things come to those who

work their asses off

and

never give up!

it worked for Iain who now has 41 staff of which 8 are creatives – and although its a cool place to work there are still lots of issues with such a large staff and he only creates one day a week if he’s lucky.  Whitespace has amazing campaigns in their portfolio and continue to have clients waiting for Whitespace to fit them in – I would say that shows you’ve made it – but as Iain says ‘ you’re only as good as your last project’ so there’s no slacking and he works 14 hours a day 5 days a week.

So this is where I started thinking about my future, just to remind you,  my  plan is to create a textile design studio where recent graduates can come and print, as there are no facilities for textile printing and its something which is difficult to do in your home or a small rented studio as large specialist expensive equipment is needed. Running a studio being a technician and managing everything takes time to learn and not only the business side, this is all  v’s designing, creating and making  – I’m a hard worker and  conscientious and when I start something I give it my all but I need to create, like breathing I have to do something everyday but if Im to make a future as a designer maker I too will need these kind of facilities.  Dilemma?

Going back to REWORK the book, I read it again as its so good and this page sprung out at me –

so the decision has been made to do my business plan as planned and not to change tack. There’s no denying I will learn so much from all the research which will be involved over the coming months and who knows what that will lead to.

Design and the Market – who’s buying?

Nesta Toolkit – Book 3. Looking at who we’re reaching out to, who’s buying our product.

Customers-   I looked at the people who I would like to use the studio and as there’s nowhere for recent textile design graduates to print on fabric they are my first customers.  My next customers will be new learners, people of all ages who wish to learn printing on textiles and finally for now those who wish to improve their range of skills.

I will offer space with equipment –  print tables and steaming equipment  the immediate requirements and screens and auxiliary items to follow and need  a lot of research and  I will offer my knowledge through workshops for those who wish to learn.  Costing the service will take time and will depend on many things, buying or renting the studio, equipment costs and how many sign up for learning.  I have paid up to £240 for a weekend workshop so this gives me a starting point.

IMPORTANT –

Have a clear idea of what you want your business to do.

Know that there’ll be an audience or market for what you’re going to offer.

Develope a business process that allows you to offer this to customers and sell  it for more than it costs to produce

You promise your customers that you’ll deliver a product or a service

Your customers will have an expectation that this promise is going to be kept

You work with others to keep this promise

TO OFFER THESE PROMISES I WILL

Identify where my personal skills and interests fit within my business

Understand what I need to add to my own skills to create a complete set of skills for business

Identify the relationships I need to build with other people and businesses to make my business succeed

BLUEPRINT MODELLING – helps to visualise how my business will work, there are two areas, those where tasks are carried out and have to be done before the business can be offered – the customer cannot always see these things but they have to be done in order for the business to work smoothly.  The second area includes the ‘contact’ with the customers or those helping to deliver.

HELP – who’s going to help me then? How will I find people to help and who will want to help and what can I expect from any deal?  Here I look at who I will need to build a relationship with in order to cover the areas which aren’t my expertise.

Who’s giving out funds to help me along the way?

Is there a huge cost involved in these relationships, what are the implications and will the costs have to reflect in my charges?

Will I be able to cope with all of this or will I need additional help?

Finding my voice will be a way to help me forward. Social Networking is going to be a huge part of my future plans. I have a twitter account @judyscottdesign, a facebook for family and friends only at the moment but this will change as I develop my business and will be a great way to have people and future customers follow my progress and be part of it – experience the joys, pain and delights of my journey.  I have my blog judyscottdesigns.com and I also own judyscott.co.uk,  I’m  also LinkedIn now, so I am getting there!

Mike has a great page on his blog now for his design and the market students.  Social Media Strategy – has a compilation of great advice for those new to social networking and has a great link to past graduate Johanna Basford who really knows her stuff when it comes to using the social network to her  advantage, especially twitter, to market her awesome designs.  An amazing example of a great website is Maria Maclennan and what achievements she has reached already. Its a space to sell herself and every part of her achievements can be clearly found.

So I have lots to work on and this week will be looking more closely at marketing.