Recently, I’ve been frequently asked what I’ve learnt about business since opening Messyla. Some asked what my ‘secret’s were on having a lovely first year and a half in the creative workplace. I am by no means a business woman or even know what I am fully doing yet…but everything I suggest and explain in this post is purely from my experiences and what I’ve picked up along the way.
Quality of Work:
The quality of my items is the most imporant thing to me at Messyla. My items represent me as a person and, overall, my brand. You are only as good as your last order in this business, I have to say – as cliche as it may sound. I’ve learned to be overly fussy, to triple check and to be ruthless. My earlier products aren’t even close to my current standards and I cringe and wrinkle my nose when I see them in my drawer that I have now labelled “rejects, that meant well.”
Highest quality outcomes are my main priority – I want to be proud of each item I make and to swoon over each and ever ones beauty.
Social networking is one of the most imporatnt tools to utilise in your creative biz. It’s free, you can express yourself and also broadcast it to the whole world rather than your parents or your cat.
I can’t stress enough how much my blog means to me. It’s like an online journal, where I can cultivate and huddle my adventures of being a British Artisan. As well as this, it is also an effective way for me to connect with my buyers and customers. Sharing little pictures of an orders process and posting glimpses of my daily life makes me a more personable client in the industry. They can see how much I cherish each item and love my work.
Working all the time/ Not resting on your laurels:
I know this sounds a little extreme, but I’ve learnt that the only way I get everything achieved in a day to fufill my ambitions is to work all the time. Crochet while watching Friends after dinner, jot down blog posts at my break at work or pop into stockists on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Working all the time doesn’t necessarily mean stressing until your bones hurt – but means keeping on top of things and also keeping things ticking over.
Another thing is to not rest on your laurels. You have to work to get noticed! You can’t rest and wait once your collection is born..You will be waiting all week. Often, opportunities come at you and I like to think this is fate. But more often than fate, you have to initially do a lot of leg work.
Create a press pack, send out samples or even tweet that favourite gift shop of yours that you would just dream of talking to. Trail the streets of your most loved independent shopping district. Nobody will know about your cool and unique products if you stay cooped up in your workshop dreaming of what could be.
I love meeting wonderful shop owners and really bonding over how much I love their shop and everything that shop evokes. I am a lover of little stores so I always have a lot to swoon over. The thrill I get when someone loves my work and thinks it will fit in with their shop is indescribable. I am so thankful for the love and support I’ve received thus far.
As much as I adore working all the time, taking healthy breaks are crucial to your work! Mistakes or bad decisions often stem from being over worked or from tiredness. I always take a Saturday off and the odd night during the week. I need time to think, relax and get inspired all over again by my surroundings.
I hope these little tips and experiences have been helpful or just a good read! Enjoy your evening folks.