February Makers’ Club – Product Surgery

Getting feedback on your work from shop owners and buyers is invaluable for makers so we were very excited to run a Product Surgery for this month’s Makers’ Club. Makers brought along an example of their work and got feedback from our two fabulous experts – Liz Clamp, owner of Smash Bang Wallop fashion and homewares shop in Crystal Palace and Jane Doxey, retail and product development consultant and ex-buyer for Liberty and Marks and Spencer.

Here are a few photos and some twitter feedback from makers.

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Big thank you to @makerhood Liz @smashbangwallop Jane @CreativeNRetail for the confidence boost & great advice!  DSC_1573_adj

What an amazing session wiv @makerhood Liz @smashbangwallop Jane @CreativeNRetail Totally inspired for hitting the high street. #creativebiz  ProductSurgery0215_adj

@CreativeNRetail @makerhood thanks for such a great workshop, love getting feedback and new ideas for moving forward!


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Introducing Rock, Paper, Scissors

Outside of Rock, Paper, Scissors shop at L'Arche LondonA little less than two months ago we advertised an opportunity for our makers to be involved in a community-oriented pop-up shop in West Norwood over the Christmas period. This post describing the shop is by one of the makers involved, Annahita Mansoori, who creates luxury printed stationery under the name of CL.AM Correspondence.

 

 

 

Rock Paper Scissors is a new pop-up retail space, shared by a collective of local creatives looking to showcase their wares, and be a part of the blossoming West Norwood art and design community. The pop-up is a collaborative partnership between Makerhood and West Norwood’s sustainable community project The Openworks, and is kindly hosted by learning disability charity L’arche at No. 9-13 West Norwood High Street.

The pop-up retail space enables local crafters through to new start-ups, to experienced entrepreneurs a chance to sell to the public in a shop environment, gaining invaluable skills and feedback, while feeling supported as part of a collective. From designer/makers, to photographers, to stationery and craft-there is a host of beautiful handmade wares on offer from over 20 local makers. We are also delighted to now be selling West Norwood Feast merchandise, alongside handmade cards and candles by the L’arche community.

Handmade goods for sale at Rock, Paper, ScissorsThere will be creative workshops run from L’arche with ‘The Stitch’ already well underway for all budding sewers. Run by local sewing enthusiast Tara every Saturday 11am-1pm, this is a chance to sew, knit, tailor, upholster or craft at any ability, while having a gossip with fellow stitch fans!

 

Candles by L'Arche LondonWith Christmas now under a month away, the shop will be open from 10am-4pm Thursday-Sunday and is the perfect stop-off for unique and original handmade gifts. So this year please support your local community, boycott corporate retail, and #shoplocal for your nearest and dearest!

 

Handmade fox in Rock, Paper, ScissorsWe’ll be taking part in Small Business Saturday on 6/7 December and we’re hosting a launch party from 18.30 – 20.30 on Wednesday 3 December so there are plenty of chances for you to pop in, meet some of the makers and do your Christmas shopping – hope you can join us!

 

For upcoming Xmas events and news follow us on Twitter @RPS_SE27 or on Facebook www.facebook.com/RockPaperScissors.SE27 

All photos ©RunnyCustard


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“Super useful visual merchandising workshop”

That was the verdict of one of the participants in this workshop, run specially for south London makers by Metamorphosis Group and hosted by Makerhood partner WBC.

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Not only was the course great value – less than half the normal price – but it was tailored specifically to the needs of makers who are more concerned with setting up market stalls and trade stands than with permanent shops (though we did have one attendee, Anita Thorpe from Diverse, who runs a gift shop in Brixton).

Ellie Kidson from Metamorphosis ran through the basics, including layout, traffic flow, colour, symmetry, size and shape, “heroing” and framing. So much to think about, but she made it fun and interesting with plenty of examples of real life stalls. She also had specific ideas of how to apply these principles to the products that we were selling.

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Then it was time to have a go ourselves. The task was made even more fun by the range of beautiful WBC props and accessories we were surrounded by, from old sledges and wicker baskets of all kinds to stylish stacking units and wooden bowls.

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Thanks to Ellie’s constructive criticism, we finally narrowed down the huge range of possibilities to come up with some impressive displays.

Then it was time for a quick discussion on resources and suppliers before heading out into the cold November rain…

Other feedback from participants:

  • “Such a great afternoon!”
  • “Brilliant event – thanks for the opportunity!”
  • “So inspiring!”

Huge thanks to Metamorphosis and WBC for an excellent event that supports local makers.

 

 


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10% off at Diverse preview shopping evening

diverse-xmas-cropTo launch our Christmas promotion with giftshop Diverse in Brixton, we’re delighted to announce a special preview shopping evening on Thursday 6 November, 5-8pm, offering a 10% discount on all items from Makerhoodies!

This year the Makerhood/Diverse Christmas promotion, which runs from 7 November to 4 January, features 21 Makerhood members – the largest number ever. The goods on offer are, um, diverse, ranging from prints and beauty products to jewellery and accessories.

opianOpian accessories, including bags, tops and jewellery, are made out of organic, recycled, retrieved, off-cuts or re-used materials, in order to limit the negative impact on the environment.


anetaAneta Snodon is an artist with a passion for abstract dot painting and photography.


elena hallElena Hall Jewellery combines age-old techniques with bright and modern hues, to create contemporary, structured and bold jewellery.


flextilesFlextiles takes upcycled scarves and overdyes them using indigo resist techniques to produce unique, beautiful accessories.


wolle hideWolle +Hide products combine wool, leather and sheepskin together creating tactile, useable bags and purses.


gabriela2Gabriela Szulman blends a fusion of painting and digital media – acrylic, watercolour and ink with digital print – to create limited edition prints, cards, jewellery and silk scarves.


red faceRed Faces All Round sells limited edition prints in a bold graphic style, depicting London and beyond.


black cactusBlack Cactus London makes bags from hand printed fabrics inspired by the everyday beauty around us in both our natural and urban environments.


hairy jayneHairy Jayne brews her own range of hair products at a little studio in Brixton, inspired by traditional hair care remedies used worldwide.


kayleneKaylene Alder is a freelance illustrator and screenprinter who produces a quirky range of cards and prints, many based on local scenes.


louise kamaraLouise Kamara is a curator and designer working in the field of sustainable and locally produced design.


annie crimpAnnie Crimp makes mosaics and jewellery from upcycled materials, including car windscreen glass, broken jewellery and vintage china.


pauline hinksonPauline Hinkson creates natural body products and old fashioned natural juices, “just like my Mum used to make”.


clamCL.AM Correspondence specialises in luxury printed stationery, inspired by fashion, design and travel.


prillyPrillywear makes a range of clothing and accessories by knitting and felting lambs wool.


dreamyDreamy Me offers unique custom illustrations, personalised prints, original artwork and contemporary art downloads.


runnycustard avatar circle BWRunny Custard sells prints and other items, including textiles and jewellery, that feature her photography.


judith-bartlett2Judith Bartlett is an upholsterer who also offers a range of soft furnishings and bold patterned T-shirts.


caddee profileCaddee hand makes origami jewellery pieces and then paints them with resin.


nicoletteNicolette McGowan sells handmade artwork and jewellery and also prints designs on T-shirts, hoodies and jumpers.


vintage roseVintage Rose creates unique handmade boho-chic jewellery, inspired by the Mediterranean, nature and life.


Diverse is at 390 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton SW9 8LF. The special preview shopping evening is on Thursday 6 November, 5-8pm – everyone welcome!


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Exclusive visual merchandising workshop for local makers

Did you know that in Europe shoppers don’t like to talk to people? It’s true – 76% of us never actually speak to a sales assistant when we’re shopping. This means that what your customers see makes all the difference to what they buy. How you present your products is therefore critical to your sales success. It’s called visual merchandising.

market stall

With our wonderful partner WBC and the Metamorphosis Group, this three-hour workshop is packed full of useful tips, tricks and guidance that we hope will take your sales to the next level. It’s hands on and practical too. You’ll be surrounded by WBC’s fantastic tools, retail props, display units and fixtures and will have the chance to practise your dressing and display skills and get to grips with how to make your space – whether it is a table top or a pop-up space – work harder for you.

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Topics covered:

  • Who’s shopping and how can I attract them to my stand?
  • How can I encourage customers to shop for longer?
  • How do I build a pop-up or market stall: what tools do I need?
  • There’s only one of me – how can I use commercial techniques to drive my sales more?
  • What’s cross selling? And what clever ways can I combine products to actively sell more?
  • How do I measure my sales performance?
  • Q & A – your chance to question the experts on your individual needs

Armed with the tools, the practical skills, the expert knowledge, AND – just as importantly – the inspiration that comes from learning in a safe space alongside other makers, we’re confident you’ll leave inspired to create attractive displays that engage with customers and boost your sales.

ellie kidsonThe workshop is run by Ellie Kidson, a visual retail specialist who oversees training and development for the Metamorphosis Group. Metamorphosis is a dedicated independent retail consultancy specialising in visual merchandising, brand delivery and retail performance improvement. Established in 2004, it has built an exceptional reputation for offering a unique and engaging consultancy and training experience.

A one-day visual merchandising workshop usually costs £175, but WBC and Metamorphosis have agreed to run a half-day workshop for local makers at the special price of £36 (£30 + VAT). Makerhood Makers’ Club members are entitled to a third off this price and can book for only £24!

When: Saturday 8 November 2014, 2-5pm
Where: WBC Retail Training Room, 15 Bessemer Park, 250 Milkwood Road, London SE24 0HG

To book the workshop, please email training@wbc.co.uk.

Makers’ Club members should log in to makerhood.com and go the Makers’ Opportunities forum to get their discount code.


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Meet the makers: Jayne Rutland

Jayne is a hairdresser who started making and selling her own hair products under the brand Hairy Jayne in 2008. Here she tells us what it’s like pitching to the Managing Director of Liberty, and how she raised £3000 through crowdfunding.

Hairy-Jayne_0059How did you get into making hair products?

I’ve been a hairdresser since 2001 – I worked in salons for ages and got fed up. So I went freelance in 2008 and found I had lots more time, and I started dabbling with potions. I did an aromatherapy product-making course at Morley College, where the tutor said I could make my own hair products. I then found Plush Folly and did lots of courses.

My first product was a hair treatment with argan oil, which I bought when I went to Morocco on holiday. Since doing the aromatherapy course I’ve stuck to using essential oils and natural products.

And how is the business doing?

It’s a tough industry to break into! I break even now on the hair products but I am still cutting hair three days a week – that funds my work on hair products for two days a week.

I took part in Brand Amplifier, which helped me think more like a business rather than “I make this, would you like to buy it?” Then last summer the law changed and I had to have all my products retested by a cosmetic chemist, which cost £3000! To raise this money I went for crowdfunding through Indiegogo. For the video my husband Karl dressed up as me in a ginger wig – it looked great with his beard! We managed to raise the whole amount!

We hear you also pitched to Liberty on their Open Call.

Yes – I registered and got there at 8am, the doors opened at 9am, and I still queued for five hours! I was interviewed by [Managing Director] Ed Burstell – I recognised him from TV! He was very enthusiastic and nice. I pitched to him and then had to do it again so they could film it. They said they would take my pack of three hair perfumes! They didn’t talk any numbers so maybe I should have been suspicious, but when you shake hands with someone you think it will be OK.

Then I got the follow-up call when they said they didn’t feel their customer base buys natural stuff so they didn’t want to place an order.

That must have been so disappointing.

The biggest lesson is it made me think would I be able to fulfil an order that size at this stage in my development. But they gave me some useful feedback and advice – they suggested I try Fortnum & Mason, which I hadn’t thought about.

How have you benefited from being a member of Makerhood?

Makerhood was the first time I tried out going to talks to learn more about business development and being part of a bigger local network. I went to the series of pitching sessions they ran – and then went on to pitch at Liberty.

Makerhood gives me a sense of everyone being team players and helping each other. I was thinking about running some workshops and then Making Uncovered came along and gave me the opportunity. I really enjoyed that – I’ve always loved teaching, even when I was in the salon.

Karl and I were on a real high after the event, walking up the hill and saying what a great place Brixton is, meeting local people who share common interests and can put on a great event like that!

You can buy Hairy Jayne products online. Jayne is also selling at the following events:

2 November West Norwood Feast
22-23 November Renegade Craft Fair
30 November Crafty Fox, Dalston
6 December Crafty Fox, Brixton
14 December Craftacular


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Meet the makers: Gill Scheuer

A passionate upcycler, Gill Scheuer of um-bags etc talks about her interest in creating new items from old and why she loves living in Lambeth.

Gill ScheuerWhere does your interest in upcycling come from?
I’ve always hated waste, and I’ve always liked making things from something else. When I was young I made things like clothes, props and furniture for my teddies. When I left school I made a belt from my old school satchel – so I was well ahead of the current upcycling trend!

And how did you get the idea for making bags from old umbrellas?
For years I’d see amazing patterned umbrellas discarded by the roadside. The fabric was fine but the mechanism was broken, and I thought there must be something you can do with that.

One November day it was really squally and I saw about six umbrellas near my house. So I got on my bike and collected them, unpicked the fabric (the official term is “filleting”) and played around with fitting the triangular pieces of fabric together.

I got excited about combining different colours and patterns. And it’s a double whammy – I’m not just reusing the fabric but also encouraging people to stop using plastic bags, as these are very light to slip into a pocket and carry around.

Is this the first time you’ve sold things you’ve made?
No. I used to make silver and resin jewellery, based on designs of old tattoos. But it’s been a few years since I put my work out in the open for sale. I took a stall at West Norwood Feast and invited loads of friends, who bought lots and were really positive about the idea.

I love the excitement of doing markets and talking to people and getting feedback. And with these bags I’m not having to outlay lots of money on materials!

How creative is your day job?
I’m a design and technology textiles teacher, so I spend my time devising projects for kids to make, like weaving with plastic bags or inventing slogans to screen-print onto organic cotton bags to encourage people not to use plastic bags. But I am giving up teaching in December, so I hope to spend more time making my own things then.

Why did you join Makerhood?
I heard about Makerhood through a friend and thought it was exactly what I needed – help with setting up a website, marketing and promotion, all the things I’m not very good at.

One of the big benefits was doing Lambeth Country Show. I’ve always wanted to do it but I’d never be able to outlay all that money on my own. And sharing the stall with others was great – not doing it all in isolation.

Meeting other creative people who live nearby is also great – it will be particularly important when I give up work!

Finally, what do you like about living in Lambeth?
I’m originally from Birmingham, but since moving to London I’ve always lived in Lambeth. I used to live in Herne Hill but moved to West Norwood 15 years ago. I love the mix of people – the mix of ages, class, race – and the liberal attitudes: anything goes. And Brockwell Park – it’s the jewel in the crown of south London!

You can see Gill’s um-bags and bike seat covers on the Makerhood website.


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Diverse Christmas 2014 promotion

We’re thrilled to be partnering again with Anita Thorpe of Diverse in Brixton on a Christmas promotion for Lambeth makers!

This is a great opportunity to get experience of selling through an independent retailer – Anita is very supportive and full of useful advice on what a retailer expects from suppliers.


The promotion will run for two months, from 8 November to 11 January, and is open to Makerhood members only. Commission is 35% of the selling price, on a sale or return basis.

Makers who have not taken part in previous promotions will need to attend an interview with Anita in October. Makers who have participated previously do not need an interview but must offer some new designs (selection will be based on submitted images).

Priority will be given to makers who can also offer demonstrations or workshops throughout the promotion.

We will be organising a private view and discount shopping evening to launch the promotion, probably on Thursday 6 November.

If you are interested in taking part, please email images of your work – or a link to your website/business social media pages – together with details of the selling price and a few details about you, to  info@diversegifts.co.uk.

Closing date for submissions is midnight Monday 22 September. All applicants will be informed of the outcome by 30 September.


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Why WBC is supporting Making Uncovered for a second year

WBC is a Herne Hill-based independent supplier of specialist packaging and retail accessories and a valued supporter of Makerhood. We’re very pleased to say they’ve agreed to sponsor Making Uncovered for a second year. The company’s marketing director, James Hayward, answers our questions about why WBC is getting involved again.

BRIX Drink low rez

Why is WBC supporting Making Uncovered?

Small independent producers, makers and retailers are the life blood of WBC. Supporting these businesses with gift and hamper packaging, retail display and bags for life allows us to be involved in the development of start ups within the local community. Over the years our business has grown as a direct result of the growth in the independent sector, and many customers who started out on a very small scale now significantly contribute to the success and growth of our organisation. Without small businesses such as those supported by making uncovered, our business would fail to be inspired to diversify and prosper. On a personal level we are all inspired to see local makers artists succeed and contribute to the vibrancy of our high streets and market places. It is really encouraging to see what can be achieved when people collaborate, encourage and share ideas – it shows how community and commerce can thrive to create a better environment for everyone.

What have you focused on over the past year?

This year WBC has focused on launching the new BRIX modular retail display system. Produced right here in Brixton this range of fixtures offers pop up retailers and market traders a high quality flexible display system that can be added to and adapted to suit the changes that makers and entrepreneurs inevitably require as their project and businesses evolve.

BRIX Retail low rezThe system has been designed specifically for smaller spaces with a modularity that means creative displays both large and small can showcase products in an infinite variety of ways. The goal of this range is to ensure that investment in fixtures can be for life rather than needing to be changed as and when your demand change.

What is coming up at WBC to watch out for? Anything big on the horizon?

We just celebrated our 25th Birthday this year. It’s special to us because we started out with just a £5000 grant from the Prince’s Trust and a business advisor from the charity who steered us through the early days.

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To this day many of us still live and work in the same area we started and many of our customers have been with us since the beginning. This year we’re excited to have launched The Retail School alongside our partners and merchandising experts, the Metamorphosis Group. Operating out of our showroom in Herne Hill, the retail school offers one-day meta classes on everything from window dressing and visual merchandising to space planning. You can read about it at www.wbc.co.uk/training And do look out for a special course in partnership with Makerhood, coming soon!

More on WBC’s products, including the Brix, can be found at wbc.co.uk


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Making Uncovered: Judith Bartlett

upholstery1Upholstery can restore unused or discarded furniture into glorious, cherished pieces. Judith Bartlett of Cushions ’n’ Stuff will demonstrate her skills in the art, transforming over the course of the day a charity shop chair to its former glory and revealing how new is not always best.

Tell us a bit about your business.
I reupholster chairs, stools and ottomans as a service and as goods for sale in markets throughout London.

The items of furniture come from a variety of sources – second hand shops, charity shops, friends and family. I strip back the items and repair where necessary before upholstering, customising and improving as I go.

Why are you taking part in Making Uncovered?
judith-bartlett2I hope to promote my craft and introduce to public to the technique of upholstery. Upholstery brings new life into the item of furniture.

What will you be doing at Making Uncovered?
I will be running a workshop for five lucky people to teach them upholstery – skills they will be able to use and reuse in their own homes.

Judith’s 2.5-hour upholstery workshop starts at 1pm and costs £27 – book your place here! All materials will be provided, and you can either buy your chair at the end or donate it to charity. Or bring your own chair to restore.


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