26 February 2011

The talented amateur

You know that bit in the X-factor, when the auditionees are asked why they are there, and they say 'My friends tell me I'm good'? Well I've been struggling with that recently. How do you know when the things you make, which friends and family say are really good and that you should sell them, are actually, well, good enough to sell?

The answer is, get networking! I booked a place on the Stylist networking event for starting up your own craft business pretty much as soon as I read about it. Mostly for the chance to hear about the things you need to think about that I probably haven't yet thought about. The panel were a good mix of women, and the comments from Donna Wilson in particular helped me concentrate on where I want to go with my crafting.

But what was invaluable was meeting the other networkers. My last minute decision to take a couple of bags with me to show people paid off. The women I spoke to were really complimentary about them, which helped confirm that there probably is space in the market which my bags are good enough to fill, but they also gave me lots of suggestions for designs and (probably without knowing it) pushed me to think about where I want to go with it. I'd been happy about just selling them online, but when someone says they have contacts at big London department stores, well... it certainly makes you reconsider! Now I just have to act on it (easy, right?).

This blog won't be solely about the business. It'll probably cover my attempts at dressmaking and domestic goddess-ery too. And I'll be sharing it all with you lucky guys.