Hello there. It has been a while, but I am finally back into a predictable work routine (albeit a fractured one with more mindless snacking involved). I spend the day moving back and forth between helping my kids with school, FaceTiming with my mum, and doing Noctiluna work.
Good question, since I pretty much have no definite events on the horizon, and my summer camps have been canceled. Also, I’m sitting on a LOT of unsold stock. So, what to do?
In early May, feeling as though I was drifting out to sea, I reached out to other makers in a similar situation. These makers were already thinking ahead and reconfiguring their businesses. I am still very much behind the curve, due to a long hiatus. My father passed away in April, and I have spent most of March, April and May in England, or with my head in England. In any case, definitely not in any state to work. Once I returned, members of the maker community were incredibly supportive, and have been helping me to formulate a plan of sorts to help keep my tiny business going. Here is some of what I have been doing:
Fresh starts all around. I have not been happy about the look of my logo for a while, so I decided to combine my return to work with a new look. This is something I have been working on since early March. I didn’t train as a graphic designer, so I found the free articles and tutorials from Column Five Design on how to build a strong brand identity really helpful. If you want to have a try at rebranding by yourself, definitely check them out.
One of the makers who has been motivating me back into work is my friend, Emily, from Scout and Indiana. I have been cutting up Noctiluna onesies and shirts that have smudges and imperfections on them and handing them over to her to sew into cute kids’ masks. It is a great way to make use of my seconds and avoid wasting fabric. There aren’t many left, but we plan to drop more onto our sites soon. Keep checking here and here. We like working together so much that we have created a separate label, CHEMlab, for our collaborations!
I have gone back to my textile design roots. I have been printing lengths of cotton with repeat prints for Scout and Indiana (yes, her again) to use for masks and other lovely things that she sells online. If there is enough interest, I may print more lengths just to sell on my website. I’m also planning to collaborate with another maker and good friend, Susanne, from cute kids’ label BenneboKids on a range of printed bibs and blankets.
The Future: Switching to online sales and looking outward
I have always relied heavily on selling through local shops, markets and fairs, at the expense of selling online. So now I’m really feeling the pinch. One thing is certain, I need to focus more on online sales and I already know it will be a steep and winding learning curve.
There are often times when I feel a little despondent about work, life, and what is going on in the world in general. There are many times when I feel like giving up. I come close to it, but I never actually do. So I will carry on. I intend to keep working hard at improving my business, but to also identify when I need to be more patient with things. I have learned to take breaks when I need them and to remember that I really have much to be thankful for. And to try and enjoy it all as much as possible.
* This post is dedicated to Noctiluna’s biggest champion – my dad.