This week I attended Flourish, the Craft Council’s first business development conference offering business support for creatives no matter what stage of their career they are at. It was a great opportunity to hear from industry experts and other peers to discuss the issues that can arise when setting up and running a craft based business.
On day one I found the ‘Branding identity’ breakout session particularly helpful as it is something I have been looking into recently. It gave me a lot to think about such as the core values for my business and how I present those to the world. I think that getting hung up on things like choosing a name or a logo can really stall a lot of people from launching their business and putting themselves out there. It’s a good way of procrastinating and a good excuse to hide behind because the thought of sharing yourself and your products with the world is a scary thing to do. You are inviting people to critique your work and when it is something you have hand made and laboured over for a long time it can seem very personal. I know that I have done a lot of procrastinating over the last few months, however in the last few weeks I have really knuckled down and am starting to pull together a collection I am happy with and plan to launch in the next couple of months. Listening to the speakers during the branding talk reassured me that the best thing to do is put yourself out there because you can make changes and improvements as you go along. I am a small craft business and it’s unrealistic to achieve perfection from the beginning.
The subject matter on day two was quite heavy covering intellectual property and copyright, international sales, and requirements for shipping your products abroad. I didn't find day two quite as relevant to me as day one, but I think it was geared more at people who are further along their business journey, however there were a few gems of information that I picked up and I did feel it was a successful day for networking. Networking is something I’m not very confident about so I set myself a goal to do some over the course of the conference. I’m quite a shy person and I find it very difficult walking up to people and just introducing myself, but that is one of the reasons that everybody was there and knowing that made me a bit braver. I spoke to a good range of people in several different disciplines, made some good contacts and gathered some business cards…helped along with a glass of champagne!
Jewellery enthusiast embarking on an exciting new adventure to set up my own business.