Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Top Tips Tuesday - Creating a successful small creative business

This is the first of my Top Tips Tuesday blogs where I, along with other small business owners and creative professional will offer advice and support to help you create a successful small creative business.
This week we have general tips and next week is all about getting great images of your work with a guest blog from Tina Bolton from Tina Bolton Photography.

I feel that one of the most important things when running a successful craft/design business is to be true to yourself, make work you love, develop a brand that reflects you, have business beliefs that are important to you. Be professional and respectful and all times and get great images of your products. Read some good books (there is a list at the end), look at websites and blogs and join in forums and facebook pages (The Folksy forum was great when I started out).

I recently attended a great conference run by Craft Coffee and Cupcakes. I heard lots of great speakers and met lots of fantastic creative people but here are a few things that inspired me.

Here are some questions Patricia van den Akker from The Design Trust said we should ask ourselves.

What do you want?
What is the impact you want to make?
What is the legacy you want to leave behind?
What do you want to change?

What is your niche? Think about your values, your passions and your strengths.

Joanne Dewberry have a brilliant talk and has great book where she offers fantastic advice on lots of aspects of running a business from pricing, branding, selling and marketing. 

I asked my Facebook followers for their advice on starting a small creative business, her is what a few had to say.

Bebe BradleyEditor of UK Handmade said "Be brave, be unique and be professional. And I can't emphasise how important photography is when you are selling your work".

UK Handmade. A fantastic online magazine that supports and promotes small UK creative businesses. There is seasonal Showcase page which shows the works of makers and there is lots of great business advice and support.

Maram Jewellery, "Research- spend time before launch researching your market, your competition, how to photograph and display your work, packaging, logo's etc. I did a LOT of reading and research before deciding to open up but still hadn't thought of everything til it tripped me up when it was too late (and often things still do.You never stop learning in business). It helps you be professional from the start".

Little Love Designs, "Treat others as you would like to be treated, be organised and consistent and most importantly be yourself"

Lastly here are a couple of books that are worth a read.

Monday, 25 March 2013

Top Tips Tuesday - a little bit about Red Brick Glass

I have been approached recently by lots of different people for a little advice in creating a successful small creative business. So I thought through my own experiences and with the knowledge of other business owners I would write a Top Tips Tuesday blog that would cover lots of business tips on starting out, social networking, photography etc etc etc.

So lets start with a little bit about Red Brick Glass. 

I graduated in 2000 with a first class honours degree in glass from Edinburgh College of Art.

My degree show work back in 2000

I then received a business start up grant from the Crafts Council and The Princes Trust and Red Brick Glass was born. I worked for five years as an architectural glass artist, working to commission on large scale public art projects.

Here are a few examples.

I then had a baby, then 13 months later I had another one so glass making didn't happen so often then after baby number 3 all glass making stopped for a couple of years.

When my youngest started pre school I decided to start glass making again but with the focus on a products which I could sell online rather than architectural glass. This meant I could make and sell from home - perfect.

I started out selling on Folksy (who have been so supportive to me)and Etsy, then also joined Gifted Wrapped and Gorgeous and Swanky Maison. 

My own website has now been up and running for 18 months and has been a great success. I love Facebook and Twitter and they are such a great way to promote my business. I now run glass making workshops from my studio which is such an important aspect of Red Brick Glass.

So tomorrow I will have my first Top Tips Tuesday, so please do Join me.

Monday, 18 March 2013

A little peek at glass making

Here's a little selection of my instagram images which show my glass products being made. We have sun catchers, bowls, bunting, fairy lights, easter decorations, coasters and lanterns. That's pretty much a normal day here at Red Brick HQ.

click here to follow me on instagram

Friday, 15 March 2013

Logos, watermarking, seo and branding.

This week I have put aside a little time to make a few changes to my logo, watermark my images, save my images in an SEO friendly way and have a think about branding my products and packaging. I still have a lot to do but I have started which is the hardest part.

New profile image

New business card

New web banner with strap line

Packaging with stickers and business cards 

Watermarked image saved as

Monday, 11 March 2013

My poor poor little blog

Well lets just say that my little blog has been somewhat neglected over the winter months. I am sorry but life has been just a little bonkers here at Red Brick Glass HQ. 

As spring is nearly here (she says looking out the window to snow) I have decided to make a fresh start and give my blog the love and time it deserves.

So first things first my snowflake and star glass products have been put aside and my website in now filled with butterflies, meadows and love hearts.

Here is a little selection and next time I will show you how I make the glass and I plan to share some top photography tips I pick up during a one to one photography lesson.

I hope to like my new products and please do take a look at my website