Tag Archives: crafting

Merry Brovember!

What in tarnation is Brovember, you ask?
It’s the nickname we’ve given our month-long workshop at 816 N. Broadway in Downtown Oklahoma City. If you’re curious, come to an open house any Sunday in November, from 2-6 p.m..

Lovely farm tables from Kahoy Studios give us plenty of work space.
Lovely farm tables from Kahoy Studios give us plenty of work space.

You can sign up here to join us for social crafting. We’ve found the space to be very helpful to our productivity!

Sometimes we stay late, crafting into the night, with passerby noticing our spectacle.
Sometimes we stay late, crafting into the night, with passerby noticing our spectacle.

We are so thankful to Downtown Oklahoma City Inc. for arranging this, and for Factor 110‘s lovely pipe and drape which keeps us cool and allows us privacy when we need it. We also appreciate the generosity of the building’s owner and future tenants, who are flexible and great to work with! Finally, we’d like to thank Kahoy Studios for lending us the gorgeous farm tables and benches.

JD finished a custom order less than 30 minutes into Brovember - there's something in the air that makes us very productive!
JD finished a custom order less than 30 minutes into Brovember – there’s something in the air that makes us very productive!

Please join us, because we won’t have this space for long – let’s enjoy it while we can!

Sara is enjoying the abundance of space to lay out quilts for basting.
Sara is enjoying the abundance of space to lay out quilts for basting.

Follow DeluxeMarket on Instagram for updates on the latest news for Deluxe Winter Market.

Building Your Brand: Choosing a Name

This is the second post in the Building Your Brand series by Holly Hall of Sweetheartville.

Choosing a Name

If you haven’t already chosen a name for your business, now is the time to think very carefully about what you want to say to the world about your products.

Avoid names that are too specific. You must give yourself room to evolve. As creative people, we tend to follow our passions and whims, and what floats your boat today might be the last thing you’ll want to focus on two, three, or ten years from now.

So, if you make toddler tutus and hair bows, naming your business Tiffany’s Toddler Tutus might leave you feeling a bit pigeonholed when trends change and you’ve moved on to other artistic passions.

A good example of a business name that is totally unique and fresh but leaves room for growth is Fried Okra by Adrian Mix. She’s known for her handmade sock monkeys, pieced and embroidered zipper pouches, and adorable sweater mice, but her not-too-specific business name would easily allow her to add hand-sewn bags or other types of products to her offerings.

Once you’ve decided on a name you like, you’ll have to check to see that someone else hasn’t already claimed it. Google is your friend here, as is the seller name search feature on Etsy and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s website where you can search to see whether a name has been trademarked.

If your name has already been taken, or a business exists with a very similar name, go back to the drawing board! You want to stand out from the crowd.

Once you’ve found the perfect name, you’ll want to register it as a domain name (even if you’re not prepared to do anything with it right away), and use your new name when you sign up at every site that you will use for your business such as Etsy, Blogger or Typepad, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, etc…

If you’ve already named and established your handmade business, it’s time to move onto the next step: visual branding. We’ll discuss that in tomorrow’s post.

Holly Hall

Building Your Brand

Building Your Brand is a fresh series of guest posts from our friend and fellow crafter Holly Hall of Sweetheartville. Holly has successfully created a strong identity for her line of products and now she has graciously offered to share her tips with Deluxe readers. Thank you, Holly!

Building Your Brand

Do you own a handmade business?
What do your customers think of when they think of you?
What words might they use to describe the look or feel of your products?

If you don’t know the answers to these questions, you have some work to do! Your brand is a combination of images, feelings, words and emotions evoked in the minds of your customers and potential customers every time they come in contact with you, your business, and your handmade products.

Building a strong brand will increase your sales, cement your customers’ loyalty to you, and give you a framework that will aid you in making many business decisions.

Branding Basics

If you are just starting your business, or are looking to revamp an existing one, a good way to begin building your brand is to sit down for an old-fashioned brainstorming session. Start with a list of words that characterize your business. Think of adjectives that you would like your ideal customer to use if he or she were to describe your products to a friend.

What? You don’t have an ideal customer? You simply must get one! You have to know your target market before you can build your brand. You can’t just put your products out into the world and hope for the best. Decide who is most likely to buy your goods, and always keep them in mind when building your brand.

Maybe you create chunky, funky, colorful necklaces and hair accessories. It’s unlikely that middle aged men are going to be your customer base. While a man might stumble upon one of your necklaces and purchase it as the perfect gift for his wife or daughter, the majority of your customers will probably be fashion forward young women. Maybe your target customer looks very much like yourself and your circle of friends. That makes your branding task that much easier, because you know exactly the sort of thing that appeals to you and your
crowd.

Now, back to that list of words–don’t think too much or aim for perfection as you brainstorm. Just list any and all of the words that appeal to you, and don’t stop at adjectives. List nouns, emotions, feelings, even colors that evoke the feel you want your business to have.

After you have emptied your brain of all those evocative words, take a good look at your list. You will probably begin to see an overall pattern emerging. Strike anything that doesn’t seem to mesh with the overall feel of the list.

When I began selling my handmade goods I used this exercise to obtain a clearer picture of the image I hoped to project. At that time, I made mostly fancy floral and feather hair accessories, jeweled vintage handbags, and sequined, vintage-style hostess aprons, in addition to the Beauty Buttons I still sell.

My list included words like “glamour”, “rhinestones”, “beauty parlor”, “vintage”, “1950s” and “Burlesque”. This gave me a jumping off point when designing my promotional materials and the booth for my first craft show (the very first Deluxe Indie Craft Bazaar!). Your list will be your compass for all of the branding decisions you make, so keep it handy.

Now, please spend some time brainstorming and creating your list. Tomorrow, we’ll continue this Branding lesson on the topic of Choosing a Name.

Holly Hall