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Thursday, September 15, 2016

Qualities of A Successful Small Craft Business

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Building a successful brand, in my case it's handmade lifestyle jewelry, does not happen overnight. It takes a whole lot of commitment, persistence and perseverance to be where one wants to be. Most times, when you hear about someone's success in their business undertaking, they have probably already started honing their skills very much earlier before getting noticed. And 'success' deems differently for each individual. For me, success is about my passion, tenacity, building self-worth, trust and relationships.

I remember my daughter asking me this question very recently, "mummy, do you think dancing is a talent?", and I said "yes" because I certainly do not have any talent there! But she went on to quip that with practice and perseverance, anyone can actually dance well. I paused and pondered. There is certainly truth in her observation which also speaks volume to my personal journey at Adeline's Loft. There was no particular 'talent' to speak of before I discovered my interest in making jewelry. It was indeed something that was nurtured over the years (11 years and still practicing). It was only after my 6th year into this little hobby business that I found my purpose and concept behind what I love to do. So if you happen to be in a rut with your handmade venture, you are not alone.

I have thought through about my little business journey and decided to share about what I think is the essential qualities one should possess. I hope it will help inspire you along with your journey, if you are on one like me.

Do you have a signature style?
It took a long time for me to find mine, which I am glad it is still reflected in my current style even though over time, it did evolved a fair bit. It may not be a style that everyone would appreciate but it will certainly be one that you are most skilled at. This is about staying true with what you enjoy doing and not just following trends. When you enjoy your work, it is reflected in your pieces.

Do you communicate the value of your work accordingly?
I often put myself in my buyers' shoes. I would ask myself if the price is affordable and if the value of the product in terms of labor, cost of materials and originality, are in place. Define a story of what you are doing so that you can attract the right clientele to your brand.

Do you have a regular clientele base?
There are clients who will always be supportive of your work, and then some who are 'touch and go'. It's the same everywhere. The right clients would always love your creations and wear what you make. It may not be a big number of clients but they appreciate your designs and are often your biggest source of referrals. They are also the ones who will bump up the value of your brand. Hence, it is essential to maintain a good customer relationship with them.

Will you stay dedicated to your craft?
We celebrate when in good times. Would you quit when in bad times? Or be resilient and stay on course, adapt new techniques and move forward? We must learn to adjust, and know when it is time to cut out on things that aren't working and confident enough to try out new things that would enhance our experience and skills. Always go back to why you started out in the first place and keep building on it. By all means, get inspired by your favourite craft artisans when you need to but NEVER copy others' work, because successful brands do not prosper that way.

Do you relate to my article? 
Is there any other qualities that you would like to highlight on your own journey? 
Read more jewelry resources written by me HERE 
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Till the next post, have a wonderful day!

Absolutely Me,

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