Monday, April 20, 2009

Making It: Think Big

Think BIG
by Sam Hirst
www.inklore.blogspot.com

My little business has been open now for nine months, and almost every week there is something new to learn, something it seems everyone else is already doing or at least knows how to do. I was talking to a friend about feeling like I'm pretending to know what I'm doing when in reality I'm constantly doubting that I know what I'm doing. "Fake it til you make it," she said. Somehow it is that little bit of advice that has prompted me to push my business further than I ever thought I would.


One of the ways I "fake it" is by thinking big about my small business. I love it each season when mid to large size design companies introduce their new lines. Everything is color coordinated, making for fantastic photos and a sense that if you bought several items from the collection, your whole house would flow a little better. I started wondering why smaller companies don't seem to do the same thing. We seem to introduce one item at a time, and while our whole line of items might end up working together because we have a good sense of our brand, sometimes it doesn't.

I've decided to try to create more lines, for holidays and seasons, introducing several items at once that are coordinated, and using those opportunities to take great lifestyle photos of my products. I'll still introduce items one at a time during the in-between periods. I think it's important as a small business to stay visible in that way.


I introduced my first line a couple of months ago. I came up with three new designs, chose two colors to print them in, and put them on several items, including pillows, kitchen linens, and a storage container. I was able to take some great photos, one of which is the photo I use on the homepage of my website, and I got great response from bloggers, including a full feature on sfgirlbybay. Right now I'm reworking those same designs in new colors for Spring/Summer.

Still faking it, on my way to making it....

Visit Sam: www.inkloredesign.com, inklore.bigcartel.com, inklore.etsy.com


Next time on Making It! >>
Advertising and Buying Ad Space by Cassie Gray

17 comments:

Melissa said...

Oh, I do love your work so much hun! I have my eye on so many of your beautiful pillows and storage pieces...just gorgeous. This is great advice...thank you!
xo
Melis

Clementine said...

This is great advice, to think big about your small business. Seasonal launches are so appealing to me. Great to see you go in this direction!

Candied Fabrics said...

You're so right! You've hit the nail on the head and it shows in your work! Success to you!

squareware said...

Nice work and great interview! Important considerations now on how to apply that to my business.

Jana Souza said...

I love this---you are so not faking it. Applying bideas from bigger companies into your own, so keen, and I can't wait for each reveal, with the sprinkles of items introduced in between. :) you are doing so so well----9 months is barely any time at all, huge congratulations.

daisy janie : scoutie girl said...

Oh how true, Sam!! The changes you've been making have def made your "brand" more noticeable in all the right ways! Keep up the great work!

Jesse said...

Great advice, thank you! Seasonal lines are also a good way to shift your focus a little, without appearing haphazard (still working on that one myself)

Jessica said...

Great advice, and I'm with you on the feeling of faking it ... wonder how long it takes before you feel like a "real" business owner?

D. Lindsey said...

Your business sense seems to be developing beautifully! As for myself, I can absolutely relate to faking it till you make it, I know I am. :)

lesley said...

great advice, i've been thinking about this alot lately. i also find that [as someone just starting out] creating a line will help to focus your brand rather than having too many one-offs. i hope to create seasonal lines myself, and it's nice to hear from someone with more experience that that is a good way to apporach a business. thankyou!

Elfinn said...

Thanks for the wonderful advice you are doing such a good job i appreciate your thinking level and i also want to participate this work.

Buy Cotton Yarn

katelynjane said...

What great advice! I'm so glad you wrote about this subject, it was so simple and I needed to hear it! I'll be applying this to my Etsy shop asap!

RiverDog said...

I feel the same way, Sam. I launched my stationery business about seven months ago - all the possibilities and avenues to take can be overwhelming. One project, design, blog post at a time.

I LOVE your inklore logo. I like seeing it pop up on Twitter.
-Cyn

Marichelle said...

Thank you Sam! I think you've definitely given us all something to think about!!

modernemotive said...

Great advice Sam.

I love the idea of collections and seasonal launches. Brings such a cohesiveness to your line.

Inklore said...

Thanks everyone! I'm glad the idea was helpful :)

Simon said...

Actually think some thing big can boost up your life after all your life get limited.Thanks for the post its really motivated and your work is too good.

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