Jute bags and T-towels

Progress on ‘Making Stuff’ has begun. Today I have:

  • decided what I shall manufacture
  • found a company to manufacture the product
  • come up with some basic design concepts to develop for said product.

Admittedly these advancements are modest, but it is progress nonetheless. And every journey must begin somewhere.

It all began with a web search for a suitable printer. I happened across a rather promising looking company which has been awarded all manner of accolades for an ethical supply chain and people management among others. As promised, they replied to my enquiry within the two hours stated on their website. But the response was generic to say the least, which didn’t give me much confidence in their ability to manage their clients as individuals with individual requirements. Also, the minimum order for a stylish, Waitrose-worthy jute bag with terribly practical long handles, was 5000 units. And while I’m all for aiming high, I’m not sure how my husband would feel about 4988 of them languishing in our garage after 2 sales at the school Christmas Fair, and the obligatory distribution of 10 to family members as presents.

Instead, I have set my sights on something marginally more realistic from another company: The T-Towel. Strange as it might sound, I love receiving a tasteful, beautifully designed t-towel as a gift, and I don’t think I’m alone in my thinking; it’s a practical item which will see a lot of use. And while it might not glamorise the drying of dishes, or bring joy to the soaking up of a not inconsiderable milk spillage, it might bring a small smile … because it’s bright and cheery, because it features something that makes you laugh, or simply because it reminds you of the person who chose it for you. From my perspective as a true clueless designer, it’s a simple format to work with, and the manufacturer even supplies a template!! From my ‘just-started-out-in-business’ point of view, the minimum order generally tends to be 100 units. So I’m hopeful I won’t have too much of a problem shifting them as reasonably priced gifts.

Having had some encouraging feedback about the watering cans from my last post (albeit from lovely friends who sort of have to be nice), I’m going to use them as the basis of my humble t-towel design. Here are some simple drawings I put together this morning, which will form the basis of my final design. Not sure yet which I shall use, and no doubt I shall struggle with the colours as usual, but at least I have made a start. More to follow!



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