Product ranges

It’s too easy to get distracted by new ideas. In one of my other existences I’m a writer (for fun not profit) and it’s the same thing there. I run after the shiny new idea and abandon the old one, which was once itself shiny and new.

I want to talk about product ranges. Are you the sort of crafter who learns how to make one thing really well, that sells well, and then sticks with it, developing it into different colours and possibly materials but essentially making the same product? For small designer-makers, this is the most logical way to go. You find a niche and stick with it. Some of those niches can be pretty successful too. Tinymeat for example, which makes wallets and passport holders. It has a small product range of 5 different items. But it has something like 200 different variations of these in its shop. And they sell. It’s offering a product it knows sells well, and with a huge choice for customers.

In the last couple of months I’ve experimented with jewellery, with not huge amounts of success. I’ve also added more garlands and paper ornaments, more literary quote badges, bookmarks, notebooks and gift tags to the neglect of my core product, the book bags. I get distracted by new ideas and rush into making things. I mean, it’s important to develop your product and make it as good as you can, but that’s different. Developing new ideas takes time away from me making things that I know people love, and that sell well. I could set specific time aside for product development – that is a possible solution…  except when I think about it sensibly like that I always decide I should be making stuff to sell straight away. Sigh.

So, my goal for the next three months is to build up my original product range, focusing on my bags and wallets, and also developing the design of them.  I’m going to try as much as possible to not get distracted by new pretty things I could make. I mean it!

I’d be interested to know other people’s thoughts on this, ie, how to fight the distraction of going off on a tangent?

Lastly, for your edification and because a post isn’t complete without a picture, here’s a hilarious clock I made this week.

A Time to Die by Wilbur Smith. Black metal hands on a black cover. £25.99 on Folksy

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