Autumn, branding, craft, crochet, knitting, sewing, Uncategorized, vintage, Winter, yarn

Crafty Plans revisited!

Well, that’s a bit of a longer break than I had expected…  Four months since my last post.  And lots has changed since then, for the better!

I’ve started a new job which is going really well, but it has slowed up my ability to work on my rebranding, so I have put that back to next year.

In the meantime I’ve been working on some new products and also have booked a couple of craft fairs for the Autumn / Winter, so I’ve been busy making some Christmassy pieces as well.

I’ve been collecting some lovely bits and bobs for my new business, at the Vintage Bazaar at the Cheese and Grain and am looking forward to the next one in October!

My new business is having a new name and new focus – which is going to be on affordable luxury accessories.  Can’t wait to get going on it…  But first of all I have to get everything ready for the craft fairs in October and November.  These are some of the pieces that I will be taking with me…

And here are some of the handbags that I have been making for my new business – I have lots of ideas on the designs and just have to focus myself!

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Happy crafting!

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branding, craft, crochet, knitting, sewing, summer, Uncategorized, Winter, yarn

Forging Ahead

Since my last post, I’ve been a very busy person!

I’ve spent lots of time going through the branding process for my revamped business (see the last post for the fantastic book that I have used to do this)…

The process is more complex than you would imagine, but the more time spent on research and design details will hopefully pay off later on.  I have worked through all the hard sections and am now on the more fun areas.

Colour psychology is fascinating – colours have a wonderfully evocative influence on our moods and, even if we don’t realise it, on our purchasing choices.  Think how often gold is used for luxury and red for passion / fire.

If I was designing this business to appeal to myself, I would likely take these vibrant, jewel colours as my preference, but this does not fit with the values and market which I am looking to appeal to.  This was from the Bath Festival last week (unfortunately The Doctor was not there to whisk me away in the Tardis!)

Colours can be grouped by season and can resonate with certain values, your personality and that which you hold as being most important to represent your brand.  One season should be dominant, but you can integrate a small influence from another season.

On going through this part I found that I was predominantly summer (which fits with my target market) and with winter as my second choice (again which covers some of the areas that are important, but that Summer does not encompass.

Summer shades are generally cool, elegant, traditional, soft and muted.  Winter, on the other hand, is opulent, intense, clear and grounded.

Shapes are also encompassed in these seasonal trends – for summer, faded florals, romantic serif fonts, vintage styling and soft textures.  For winter, geometrics, strong and clean images whether opulent or simple.

Interestingly, all of these parts were all that I had previously envisaged, and am thrilled that this fits in with my original thoughts.

The most difficult task I felt was to sum up my business in three words, from the range of descriptive terms that had been established through all of my research.  So here it is…

Aspirational, bespoke, luxe.

I want to be making beautiful, affordable, personalised creations, with a touch of opulence, for those of us who would love a bit more luxury in our lives.  I have added to my lovely collection of pearls, crystals and gems with these pearl pins, for a new idea for a product, which has arisen from all of my research.

More on that later!

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branding, craft, crochet, knitting, marketing, photography, sewing, Uncategorized, vintage, work

Further New Beginnings!

Wow – so much has changed since my last blog…

Not only am I refocusing and rebranding my brand, but I also now have a new job, which I am starting in July, I am going back to working in the NHS after 5 years in the private sector.  So much positive change ahead!

I therefore haven’t had as much time as expected to plan out my new brand.  So today is my first day back on my schedule for planning ahead.

One or two things I have, however, managed to organise will make a big difference.  In the mean time, here are a few bits and pieces which I couldn’t resist…

Last month I went to the Craft 4 Crafters Show at the Bath and West Showground in Shepton Mallet.  These ribbons were just so cute that I had to get them!  I love the buttons ribbon – I could just see this as an edging on a bag.  The leaf ribbons are so unusual, and the heart ribbons are so dainty and cute.

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I also decided that I would try making some purses in the near future, so bought a small sew-in purse frame to test it out.  I have been given some advice on how to make them from my favourite haberdashery, Millie Moon in Frome.  I also bought a glue-in purse frame from them to see which I prefer!

The beads were also from the Craft 4 Crafters show, from a wonderful bead shop in Southampton.  They are inset with rhinestones and so gorgeous – the picture doesn’t do them justice.  I decided on the silver and rose gold varieties and can imagine these decorating a beautiful handbag.

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At the fantastic Vintage Bazaar, at the Cheese and Grain in Frome, I found a stall selling vintage pearls and pearl/mother-of-pearl buttons, these are so stunning, I could just spend hours looking at them.  But they fit in beautifully with my branding plans, so at some point I am going to have to use them!

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One thing I have managed to organise is finding a photographer that I like.  Holly Booth creates the style and image that I am looking for, I would love to work with her.  As she is based in Derby and I am in Wiltshire I thought that may be an issue, but thankfully she does a postal service, so I can send some of my creations and she can work her wonders without me needing to be there…

I have also found a graphic designer that I want to work with – this was a bit of a no-brainer.  Ryan used to work with me at Cats Protection (back in my pre-nursing days) and has a successful business now – RhinoBytes – and we’ve had a quick discussion but I need to get my branding requirements to him.

So, I have plenty to be getting on with and the next stage will be to prepare my brief for Ryan and delve more deeply into what I want my brand to look like.

Here’s to exciting times!

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branding, craft, crochet, knitting, marketing, sewing, vintage, yarn

Brand New Beginning!

I have been so neglectful of my blog recently and am now going to make amends!

Over the next few weeks I’m going to chronicle the rebranding and refocusing of my brand, currently known as Chester Bunnynuts.

Chester was one of my first pets, a gorgeous rabbit, and I am very attached to the name, it is quirky, fun and memorable.  However, it doesn’t fit the new identity and shift of my business and I have spent a long time agonising over a change of name.

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This wonderful book has helped me immensely, I’ve only really managed to get through the introduction and am working on the first section, which looks into what makes a great brand and how you can draw on inspiration to gain insights into your own creative process and how you can apply this to your own business.

In doing this, rather surprisingly, there was little focus on the brand name.  My understanding of this is that, perhaps, it is assumed that most people already have a name or at least an outline of they want their brand to be called.

The name has quite a lot of importance in branding, but it is not everything…  In reading up on this, there’s a lot more to brand naming than you might think.  A useful tool is Marketing MO to help you refine the process.

You can choose a descriptive name, such as Budget Rent-a-Car, which does what it says on the tin.  Alternatively, a made up name, this worked well for Facebook and Google.  Or even the owner/inventor name, such as Dyson.  Finally you can choose something which gives a feeling or expectation of what the brand is going to deliver.

The most important thing is to define what you want your brand to represent.  In my case it is a shift away from a rather random brand where I just made a bit of what I liked, to something more focused.

My main concerns were to appear more professional but also embody three new key centres of attention – luxurious, elegant and romantic – which is in line with the specific market which I am going to be aligning my brand with.

So, I have decided on a brand name – although I am not going to divulge this yet – but I will do shortly…  What I will say is that I have decided on a name which both gives a feeling / expectation but also has an element of description implicit in the name.  And to top it all, it comes from a reworking of names of very dear family pets, which I feel allows it to take on the mantle of Chester Bunnynuts and allow me to spread my wings and soar!

My next task from this wonderful book is to really fix on what calls to me and what brands I admire and use this inspiration to help mould my brand.  Watch this space, I shall post another update soon…

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