Friday, August 22, 2008

Interview with Meggiecat

Repost from August 2008

The interview with me has been published on CraftStylish. I'm taken with Diane's introduction and was surprised when she first proposed the interview that there might be any interest in a craft business from the "olden days" ;-)


  1. My big regret now is that I did not take photos or keep examples of my work for the future. In some ways I had a hippy-dippy attitude about the business and was just "makin' stuff" that other people wanted to buy.

  2. What a great interview--your advice really hits home for me right now, as someone on the verge of trying to make and sell things. I have a very hard time settling down and making "copies" of a single item--I just want to go from idea to idea. Your words are helping me think harder about what my goals are and how to achieve them. Thanks!

  3. Melissa, bless your heart. If you just think of the line as a "short run" it's easier.

    I, too, have a plethora of ideas. The upside is that your products can be more varied. If you only make handbags, how many can a single customer use? Think of the "jumping from idea to idea" as R&D.

    When you do start production think of setting a limited edition number ahead of time. This is the number that you think you can stand to make. Number each piece on the tag 1 of 20, 2 of 20 etc. It helps as if you were checking them off a list. It is better to make fewer of an item and sell out than to bring it home. It also creates an aura of demand.

    Half the battle is believing in yourself and your product. You have to be able to really sell it and explain to your customer why it's the greatest. They love to hear stories of product development. Customer perception is key.

    One thing I've noticed at recent shows is an air of dejection on the part of the sellers. This leads to failure for sure. Sellers have to appear a little larger than life. I always thought of it as an acting job.

    You are an expert if you say you are and if you can entertain just one customer others will follow. Much of sales involves herd mentality.

  4. Great interview - good points to consider. The internet has really changed things up - but I am just focusing on my little local market right now - I am like you were - products offered change with the seasons and my mood/interests. I just enjoy making it!

  5. Regina,

    That can be a great strategy. The biggest advantage is knowing who your customer is. Small Boutiques really appreciate this approach because they have to change it up often and if they come to know you as a reliable provider, all the better. I used to discuss in advance of the season what would be the theme or look the retailer was working toward. Then design a line just for that plan. Propose it to them, and ask how many of each item they thought would sell. It's a handshake pre-order. Here is the most important thing.. No other retailer in the area will be offered anything similar. It will be unique to them and they appreciate that loyalty but will be royally angry if the store down the street has the same item.

    This is where artists can outshine commercial products and professional reps who I have seen break this rule.

    Good luck to you.

  6. Great interview (as well as your answers in the comments). I hadn't actually thought in terms of short runs being an advantage for small boutiques, and often have a crisis of confidence about my unwillingness to scale up production. Thank you!

  7. Jesse,
    A limited edition short run can also be exclusive. "Made exclusively for ............" Add the name of the store.


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