Thursday 1 November 2018

Product development: it’s in the bag

I went from having the bright idea for my Etsy shop Inside Out Oatcakes, to opening the shop in about nine months. This seemed both simultaneously quick and slow. On the one hand I wanted to get going straight away, on the other, tedious, hand I wanted to be sure I had everything in order before launching the shop. As the one-year launch anniversary approaches it’s nice to reflect on how my designs have gone from a germ of an idea to fully blown product lines.

The most important item, and one that – ironically – did not feature much in my shop after initial launch, was the large, strong shoulder bags I’d made for friends. Reversible with double stitched seams and tie tops, the bags were designed to hold all the junk I know real life entails, while being comfortable, easy to wash, and with internal and external pockets so little things, like sunglasses or mittens, didn’t get lost. It took a few attempts before I hit on my winning formula, and now I get requests from friends for specific colours as their birthdays approach (cheeky!). 

My little marbled clay decorations come from a very basic love of marbling, primed in childhood when we seemingly marbled everything at primary school. The fact I add hand stamped words is basically because words have had such a formative effect on my life. I pay my bills reading and writing words, and I have never underestimated the importance of finding the right words at the right time. Like the bags, there were a few incarnations of clay decorations before I found the style I was happy to launch in my shop. 

Like many creative people, I hit upon a nice idea nearly every day, however it’s refining that idea to ensure it’s possible, plausible and profitable that can be tricky. Some products are worth spending the extra time on, the cost of which I can pass onto my lovely customers who I know value my skill, time and effort. Other products would be simply unsalable if I invested more time than the product seemed to require. 

It’s often said that necessity is the mother of invention, but I don’t entirely agree, I think instinct is the mother of invention. Taking a chance on a new idea and seeing how it pans out can produce the most beautiful results. Some of my best ideas have come to me on a whim, and Inside Out Oatcakes is most definitely the best of these. 

All blog content and photos are Copyright of Charisse Sayers Proofreader & Copywriter I welcome all feedback and would love to know your thoughts so please get in touch, comment, share, like and generally get involved – you can also find me on Etsy at ‘Inside Out Oatcakes’, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

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