Who are we you ask? I am Jessica of Bam Bam Creative and my partner in crafty-crime is Kylie of Skipapple, we have been creating crafts since we were youngins and we both now run fairly new craft based businesses. Since having started our business, there have been many questions that we have had to search the answers for — What do we name our business? How do we brand it? Where is the best place to advertise? How do I get into a market? Tax, huh? Sole trader whaaat? So if you recognise this kind of internal dialogue you will like what we are putting together. As a result, we have come up with some of those answers thanks to the help of members of the Auckland and greater New Zealand craft community, but there is always more to learn. I figured that there must be plenty of other crafters out there wanting to learn the same things as me, or even some who want to learn more now they have been in business for a while, so after a nice long chat to Kylie and a bit of good ol' fashion brainstorming — the Auckland Craft Collective was created!
The Auckland Craft Collective is a new resource in the making for Auckland Crafters and Artisans, and pretty much anyone that makes stuff by hand intended for sale — whether it be at a market, online or to local galleries and shops. If you do this, then you are running a business and undoubtedly you want your business to thrive (or at least tick over nicely). We are in the process of putting together awesome monthly evenings with speciality speakers, plenty of information, cake and tea (or coffee if you prefer — whatever, your choice). With our evenings there will be a chance to talk business with your peers, see what people are up to, forge relationships and create collaborations in a supportive and nurturing environment.
Craft in Auckland isn't about competition and getting one over on the person at the table next to you, which is why I absolutely love having a craft business, it is a real community. I know that when I turn up to a market the stall holder next to me will smile, say hello and have a chat throughout the market and generally help to keep the spirits up. Because we all know we are selling such unique, one-of-a-kind items, our peers can't be our competition and we don't feel threatened by them being there. It really does come down to the fact that if we support one another, we all do well, and in turn our industry does well and paves the way for new people to start making their stuff too! Now, I shall take off my rose tinted glasses for just a moment...
So what are we actually going to do?
Each month, we will host an informative evening which will have a clear focus and feature one or two speciality speakers that will be advertised throughout the craft community. You'll send us a nice e-mail or fill out a form on our (soon to be created) website letting us know you want to attend, pay a small fee, then come along for a couple of hours of valuable learning and networking.
What will you get out of it?
Heaps hopefully! You will have the chance to listen to some knowledgeable people share their tips and tricks, be able to ask them questions specific to your needs and on most of our evenings we will be able to give you valuable resources that you can take home with you to work on and tailor to suit your business right away. After each speaker has finished there will be plenty of tea, coffee and cake to enjoy while you have the opportunity to have a proper talk with your fellow crafty peers. As you will all know too well, this can often be hard to do at markets or when you bump into them in the street!
So what kind of talks will be we doing?
Together, Kylie and I have been nutting out what to offer and so far we have come up with plenty of idea's. They will include interesting (and important) topics such as:
- Marketing your Business (both on-line and off-line)
- Book Keeping
- Intellectual Property
- Establishing your Target Market
- Selling on-line on websites such as Etsy
- Planning for Christmas and Holidays
- Photographing your Products
- How to Wholesale and plenty more...
When will this all be happening?
We are aiming to kick off our evenings in March 2010. That way we have all caught our breath back after Christmas markets, school holidays and general Summer enjoyment, and will all be starting to think more about our year and what we hope for our businesses.
So you want to know more?
We will be posting about our progress on here, but you will also be able to register on our website where we can send you detailed evening information as soon as we have it. This whole thing is relatively new and as the Collective develops we will update our website and blog with our progress.
We hope that you will join us! Chat soon...
Jess & Kylie xxx