At the end of October 2014 I received an email asking if I would be interested in stocking products within the Leitrim Design House, based in Carrick on Shannon. I am growing in appreciation for this opportunity that I currently have.
Yesterday I attended the 'Essence of Design' Seminar, held in the Design House, chaired by the straight talking creative mentor Eddie Shanahan. I presumed it wouldn't be beneficial for me personally. I am not college educated, not attending trade shows or aiming to wholesale trade internationally. I thought the series of small lectures by each of the speaker panel would be directed towards people with those 'design qualifications'. I was wrong. It was insightful, practical and I enjoyed it. Here are 7 'nuggets' of advice I gleaned from the panel today; Heidi Higgins, Fiona Mulholland, Rebecca Marsden, Eddie Shanahan, Naomi Draper, Blaithin Ennis and Una Burke.
1. Develop your business in achievable baby steps. There is no rush (only perhaps in your own head-this part is a Lucy-ism).
2.) One off statement pieces are all well and good but to maintain cashflow a more widely accesible 'diffusion collection', that doesn't detract from your satement collection, is key.
3.) Housekeeping & admin skills are the core part of your business. Without them you have no business.
4.) Get in your car and take your product to the retail outlets that you feel are a good 'fit' for you. Business never just 'happens'.
5.) Use good images that stylise a lifestyle, not a 'trend'. The age of 'trend' is gone.
6.) Train regularly to find support and update your skills to use new technology that will enable you to move your business forward.
7.) Always meet your customer direct and learn from their feedback how you can improve your product.
Its very heartening when creative businesses in all avenue's face similar challenges and have the same concerns& thoughts as you. Who knew, I'm not so different after all ;).
There will be more seminars and training to follow from the Leitrim Deisgn House during 2015 and if you have the opportuinity to go, take it- it will help!