I have been with Craft Central for almost 17 years. The support they give to business is weaved through my work. I remember sitting in the basement of pennybank and being told about this thing called “Google” and being taught how to do a web search – I said “where do I type what I want to find?”. Mad to think about it. I remember in all the fog of having little children going on a courses about this thing called “social media”. What social media can offer the self employed person, battling to do every task in a business. Its Craft Central that helps you look up from the jewellery bench and see whats ahead. This is what they have done with the new media, endlessly pushing the business benefits – for a visual business person, this new age is a massive boost. I have an app for every part of my business life now. izetter for taking payments, Quick books soon or Xero for my accounts and business management. I have no need to pay a PR agent – I can grow the business through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, blogging. I have an app for managing my bank account, an app for running my web shop. I have now developed a way of taking all my web shop images on my iphone with a jewellery loop, so my photography cost with drop. I will still need those stunning press shoots – I could never get that good with images but I can run and manage a web shop with 100 items now. Phew! And with this new media I can support my galleries with news and images rather than take business away from them. This media can development healthy business relationships, create connections, that are about the beauty of what you have made, with your own hands and eyes. What Craft Central and the other designers and makers do, is to push you and your business to renew and reinvent. I have now worked out a way to use Facebook to store my images and then down load them when I need, like a free icloud. Thats just such a tool with 100 products on a web shop and the memory you have to manage on your iphone. You just have to roll up your selves and learn and sell and grow and survive. You still need paper certainly, my files are all neat and tidy now – you still need drawing that is your competitive advantage, the hand skill that will never be replaced. It is a new world for a designer of 47 and we are very blessed to have all this magic at our finger tips and Craft Central to nag us about using it with their business courses.
A day drawing in preparation for a major show at Wisley Gardens created these new images – ready for teaching and selling jewellery next weekend at event run by Craft In Focus. Arts-fest is a summer event with music and lots to do in this stunning RHS Garden. The inspiration for my new jewellery collections is the setting for this show, surrounded by the most amazing plants and flowers. Full collections on show with new drawings. Also an art school drawing exercise for everyone to try and badge making, so you can create your own plant decorations to wear. The full design process for you to try, from understanding the details of drawing, extending that to design and making of the final piece. Next sale @ Craft Central Gallery on Thursday 4th August for summer colour and bargains.