I’m a couple of weeks into my new venture, and I think I’ve churned out a few designs I’m happy with (I think); at the risk of exposing myself as an egocentric with a hugely inflated sense of self-importance …. my designs feel like … well …. like ‘me.’ I’d quite happily continue drawing, scribbling, printing, for the duration of all available work hours. It’s my idea of bliss. But if I’m going to try to make an actual business out of this thing, I’m going to need to bite the bullet put my designs on some products. I need to get me some stuff made.
Getting products manufactured shouldn’t be a major headache, or a headache at all; with the world of printing at my fingertips thanks to the world wide web, it should be a breeze. There are so many websites to peruse, so many companies advertising their services, so many products I could print on to. But where, in the name of sanity, do I start? I didn’t go to art college and I’ve never worked in industry, so I don’t have the advantage of 3+ years of useful contacts. Added to the fact that I’ve spent the last 10 years as a parental hermit making decisions about whether to knock up pasta or spuds for tea, I really do feel completely and utterly out of my depth. I am truly clueless:
- What should I manufacture?
- Which company should I get to do it?
- What should I look for in a company to know it’s right for me?
- What materials should I use?
- How many units should I order?
- How far back in a supply chain can I go to establish the ethicalness and sustainability of a product?
- How much will it cost?
- How do I know I’m not being ripped off?
- Will people actually buy anything????
On top of these are a whole host of sub-category questions invading my brain space from all angles and in no logical order. As with many a life issue, however, I think I might be guilty of overthinking things. To quote one of my husband’s former colleagues, I just need to Get It ****ing Done. Faint heart did not win flourishing business. I must accept that mistakes are inevitable, that failures will happen, but that each time this occurs I shall come away a little wiser, and that ultimately my business will benefit as a result. I must embrace my inner risk taker (having located it first), and step into the breach.
Here’s a little card I made for a wonderful and talented gardener/artist friend of mine. She said she liked it. And I don’t think she was lying.