There are many wonderful things about running a craft business from your home. Who would say no to a few extra minutes in bed and missing the rush hour crush? Yet being the social, creative beings we are, it can certainly have it's harder times too. Leah, has been running her company, Juan is Dead, for a year and a half from her home studio in SE London, here's her survival guide.
The Nitty Gritty Practical Stuff
- ·Write a list for the next day the night before- they genuinely work.
- If you are going to be haunted by the everyday household chores then have a system - tackle it all while you have your breakfast or at 5pm before any witnesses get home.
- Post and packaging. It may seem a big spend at the start but get this kind of thing sorted and you'll save yourself loads of time and money.
- Do a big food shop. For some unknown reason this is actually a hard tip to follow! But on the weeks I do, I love it- nice fruit and veg, good snacks. Everything I need to keep me pumped for the whole day.
- People People People :) Find those magical beings! Everyone needs a break in their working day so get on your phone, harass friends on their lunch break, skype a fellow designer maker while you work or find an elderly relative you can pin down for a chat.
- For obvious reasons, never turn on day time telly, but it's a different rule for music. The good thing about making stuff is you can do it whilst being entertained. The radio, Spotify, Last FM, audio books, iplayer, old dvd's... these are all your friends if they help you stay in the making zone.
Getting Your Products Out There
- So we've all probably had jobs in the past that have meant we've done things we really didn't want to - it might be a presentation to a room full of people or ringing the scary woman in HR. Every once in a while I find it useful to pretend I still have a strict boss who makes me do the scary stuff. Maybe it's going into a shop to see if they will sell your greeting cards or ringing up a magazine for a name to send your press release to. Either way, you better do it, otherwise you're gonna get the sack, you hear me!
- ·Nothing beats getting out in the real world and meeting like-minded people. Markets can be a bit daunting at first, but most people are probably in the same boat as you. Getting customer interaction and feedback on your products is invaluable. Try not to be too disheartened if you have a day of bad sales, have plenty of business cards and treat it as a marketing opportunity, you don't know what might come back to you in 6 months time.
- Sometimes all this feels like an uphill struggle so it's important to believe in yourself and keep going. Sow the seeds, especially on the internet. It is a magical place and who knows what seed will grow into a tree. Do whatever helps you stay positive - meditate or go for a run, plant those seeds and wait for the magic to happen.
- ·You are one person, you are not Superman. You can only do so much in a day. Being flexible will help you cope with whatever the day throws at you. Some days it just ain't happening. You can keep trying and be thoroughly depressed by everything you haven't achieved by the end of the day. Or you can give yourself the day off, because you can :) Watch a film, go meet a friend and see an exhibition. Chances are, you'll feel much more up for it the next day.
Leah will be selling her creations at the on the Sunday (24th March) at our forthcoming Easter Markets.