Tag Archives: business

Highlights from ZDJ’s Launch

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Visitors Catching Up at the Launch

Cannot believe it has been a whole month since the launch of Zoe Davidson Jewellery! And what a month it has been. Since the launch, I have been busy creating beautiful jewellery for my lovely new customers and thankful for all the wonderful supportive comments so far.

In this post I would like to highlight a few key moments at Zoe Davidson Jewellery‘s launch, held on the 1st of May 2016.

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Samples of Zoe Davidson Jewellery’s Fold Form

Demonstrations
Every wondered how jewellery is made? This is exactly what I wanted to show my visitors on the launch day and enjoyed doing it! It is a great way to socialise and create a connection with your audience.

Before working in jewellery, I’d always want to watch a professional at work, no matter the craft. Almost proof that they are who they say they are. At the majority of exhibitions and fairs, you meet the makers behind their stands of emaculate work but think, how did it get from a sheet of metal to a piece of jewellery?

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Hoy Sound Collection on Display

I take great pleasure in showing individuals how small a jeweller’s saw blade is and how to measure their ring size. The most common question I had was:

¬†“In what form do you get the silver in?”

The surprise they got when I said “in sheet or wire”, like many jewellers. Demonstrating and explaining the fold form technique was my favourite part: using some fire, banging the metal and showing that something so rigid can be shaped with just a bit of heat. It’s always memorable if you can surprise someone.

Drinks and Nibbles
I believe if you want to make an impression at a launch party, keep visitors drinks topped up, give out delicious food and have a consistent theme throughout.

Hoy Sound, my first jewellery collection, is a fast flowing channel of water situated to the South of Stromness. Thus, I thought because my work is sea-related, why not provide fresh local seafood? It also helps that I work at my local fish shop part-time!

Orkney Fish, my local fish shop, were kind enough to sponsor me with providing delicious seafood for the launch. On the menu: smoked salmon pate, crab pate, flaked hot smoked salmon and some scrumptious veggie options. This is an opportunity to thank Orkney Fish and OFS Ltd greatly for the amazing support and providing a fresh taste of the sea to compliment oceanic jewellery launch. Thank you.

But this goes for anyone starting a business: don’t be scared to ask for help. You will be surprised at how generous companies are as they have been there themselves.

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Our Hoy Sound Collection shot by Art Mosomi Photography

Images and Film
In the gallery space beautiful images by Art Mosomi Photography had been printed and hung up for show. Images of some Hoy Sound pieces worn on the gorgeous Johan, the face of this collection. Photography sets a pleasant atmosphere and allows individuals to get a clearer understanding of what the work is about. I suggest you get images printed professionally and make sure they are actually good photographs. It shows you are serious in what you are doing. In Orkney, iDesign have been invaluable in creating some amazing work for me, from posters to signs to leaflets. Their customer service is friendly, prompt and more importantly, local.

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Zoe Davidson Jewellery [Our Story] Screen Shot

Finally, adding a bit of movement and sound in the gallery creates drama to the whole launch. On display, a film telling the story of Zoe Davidson Jewellery, made by Videographer, Gustavo Castro Elgueta and Orkney Musician, James Watson. Artistic to watch and easy on the ear, this film made a great back drop to the event. Having final items to sell is one thing, but giving them a personal story is another. The full video is on my website if interested: Zoe Davidson Jewellery [Our Story]

Finally some tips if you are planning a launch:
– Plan a good launch date ahead of time.
Make sure it is not clashing with any other events that may be on in your area.

Ask yourself: what would I want to see at a business launch? Because it is probably what other people are wanting to see too. For me, is seeing how the work is made and tools uses.

Ask for help. I could not have launched on my own without the help of friends and family. Make sure you have someone on hand to pass out drinks and nibbles as you need to be connecting with your customers.

– Lastly, relax and enjoy the event, as your business only starts once.

To finish this post, I would like to say a huge thanks to:
– Art Mosomi Photography for the launch photographs and many other services you have provided.
iDesign for sponsoring our launch and delivering excellent service.
Orkney Fish who provided us with some amazing local seafood.
The Pier Arts Centre, Stromness, for supporting us consistently and lending their film projector.
The Royal Hotel, Stromness who kindly lent us their wine glasses as we would never have that many in the house!
– Finally, my friends and family. For being at the launch, for helping and being so positive. I cannot thank you enough.

To view my website and products please go to www.zoedavidsonjewellery.co.uk

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Cheers!

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Dundee Contemporary Arts (DCA) Christmas Market

I attended a Christmas Market on the 1st of December at the DCA, along with the rest of my final year jewellery class. Was a great learning curve! Organisation was definitely key for this. Thought about pricing, packaging, display and how to organise the money.

Here are some photos of us at work:

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My pieces set up

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Skin Prosthetics – The Future Fashion?

I am writing a proposal investigating whether skin prosthetics will become the new fashion.

Norman Cherry’s Skin Engineering

In the near future, I wish to engineer skin tissue so I can actually create real skin prosthetics. Professor Norman Cherry has already been able to do this and medics are beginning to see its potential. It may replace Teflon and silicone  implants and is safer (due to the speculation of silicone implants being poisonous!).

We have seen Lady Gaga with her facial prosthetics and Katy Perry in her E.T music video. So If anybody is reading this post could you please comment and tell me your views?

Would you wear skin prosthetics? If so, where would you like to wear them?

– Would this be likely aimed towards Body Modification fans? Or catwalk?

– Any suggestions to how I could get this out on the market? Conventions?

– How could I make prosthetics attractive towards more people? As the form of rings and forms of jewellery?

Any comments would be beneficial and much appreciated to use as part of my proposal.

Facial Prosthetics I created
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Design & The Market: Me Choosing My Path

Oh dear. So yes – putting life in my hands. Today in our Design Market group we looked at choosing the path we would take into achieving our potential business. What you need to think about to make it a sustainable and successful one. Scary stuff.

To begin with, we had a look at our ‘would-be’ customers and wrote down a list of the customer groups they would be. For example: Students; Fashion Runway Buyers; Hospital Buyers; etc. For each one we had to outline what their needs would be, what we would be offering them, how many there are, and so forth. Through this method of analysing our future customers it helps to see if your business has potential and whether it is actually needed. For my business, I found a number of different customer groups which I think is good because it brings range and excitement of varying customers. However, I think I would need a rather large team to back me up on the amount of work I would need to do!

Next, we headed into the Blueprinting Modelling sector. This, I found, was the most difficult. Just couldn’t get my head round where to put things! Blueprinting is a detailed flow diagram of your business’s stages in carrying out, for example, a commission piece. It just shows how your business will function when it’s actually doing business. For me, I looked at where I would go to create contacts then try get some of my work out to the public somehow, find people to work with me and so on. Sounds do-able. This allowed me to view the process of my hopeful business at hand. How it might work. How I can change it tomake it work.

Lastly, we looked at the importance of building relationships in business. Not lovey-dovey ones, professional team-work ones. It is important because it makes all stages in the process work. Imagine doing it all yourself? We focused on the four areas of activity in business. The Generator, the Realiser, the Distributor and the Customer. We had to find people we would need for each of the areas. I placed myself in the Realiser zone, as well as other collaborators, because I feel that is where my strengths lie. However, I would over-see other areas frequently. This exercise allows me to see who I would need to build relationships with and it’s importance. Building relationships improves and makes your business stronger. More sustainable. You just need to make sure there is plenty of trust and that they love the business as much as you do.

These exercises were helpful in outlining how my business would operate, create contacts/clients and who I would need to make it happen. Building relationships crops up again and again. It seems now that who you know can help greatly in business – like the old saying: “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”.

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Design & The Market: Evidence Modelling

Evidence Modelling

Today in our Design & Market Module, we were asked to look at evidence modelling. Evidence modelling is about creating a picture of what your potential business would be like in the future and aiding in giving a clear direction of where to go with it. It focuses on 4 extreme questions to ask when considering your business Рthis helps to understand the beneficial impact of your business but also can point out the possible mistakes that can stop you from achieving your dream.

This exercise helped me to think about the advantages and disadvantages my business may have in greater depth. It made me focus on what ways I could improve the business and to see it more realistically in my mind. However, my potential business needs huge development and research as it looks into the future of jewellery trends more than actual current designs. It will be an interesting challenge.

Fake Evidence

For the next exercise we had to think of fake evidence. This is where we had to construct evidence through imagining the future success of our business. This could be in the form of a website, an advert on the side of a bus, etc. I went for a few as I believe my market is quite wide.

Just a very very rough sketch!

Through investigating the future success and methods of advertising it helps see the consequences of the business as well as looking into successful ways to get the brand out there.

SWOT Analysis

SWOT¬†analysis was the last task we had to complete for our business. There were 4 boxes outlining different aspects to think about the business: Strengths and¬†Weaknesses (Internal); Opportunities and Threats (External) or SWOT. It allows us to¬†examine the business’s position nature. This task helped me because I tried to¬†think about turning all the weaknesses into possible opportunities. For instance, if I was bad at making film I could maybe collaborate with a filmy person, thus, creating a huge benefit! We could expand making more exciting films and let ideas bounce off one another.

All these exercises linked back to our Mission Statements and was great because it makes us think that we could actually do this. We could actually make our potential businesses real.

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Design & The Market: Scottish Institute For Enterprise (SIE)

In our lecture today, Dawn Shand talked about the Scottish Institute for Enterprise (SIE). It is an organisation which encourages, helps and inspires young budding designers with their potential businesses in Scotland.

It gave me relief to know that there were actually people out there who are willing to help an are experienced within the field. As you can actually go to them and get advice on your ideas if you are thinking about building a company – they could probably even tell you whether it would be a ready to get out in the market. So we are not all lost!

She gave us pointers to where student businesses could begin or even be run through:

> Promotions

> Freelancing

>Ebay/Etsy – could easily be used as a part-time basis by selling your pieces online.

>Tutoring – there are lots of people looking for tutors so you can build a reputation by teaching people your skills.

> Online Business – creating your own website dedicated to selling your work.

So how do you go about building a business? You have to really investigate what the market NEEDS. Here’s a true story: there were families stuck at the airport when their flights were delayed. Their children were bored out of their brains so the families started using their own suitcases as transport trollies and started wheeling them about on them! What a fab idea! This is when the Trunki was born.

The designer spotted impatient toddlers and found a great niche in the market! So people out there niches can come from anywhere – keep your eyes open!

 

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My Mission

For Assignment 2 we are required to write a mission statement. A mission statement is a short, concise summary describing what your business is, what you do, what your business intentions are and why you are in business. They can tell customers and potential clients.

Values

We were asked to write down what we would value from most to least in our potential business. Our values should reflect the way in how I wish to work, how I want my work to be received and how I would interact with customers, suppliers and funders.

Here are my values for my potential company:

So why are values important?

They’ll help you:

– keep your business on track when clients offer you opportunities and choices.

– remain inspired when having to go through the more tedious side of business or when things are not going all to plan.

– examine how your work/life balance needs to be altered.

– to evaluate your business concept in terms of how it honours your values.

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Design & The Market: Engaging With the Designer

Had a really successful weekend with this research project so far. I was able to get hold of a woman who worked with Stephen Webster for 3 years so should have a considerable amount of insight into his business. She has made prompt responses to my emails which is always a good sign and only lives 2 hours away so will arrange an interview with her very soon.

In our group today, we met up and brainstormed what Stephen Webster was all about: his inspirations, advertising, press, etc. It was brilliant, it all seemed we had done our homework!¬†We then focused on areas where we would require more information and have selected separate ones for each of us to research on for friday. I chose ‘Inspirations’. The team also managed to brainstorm questions which could be asked for the interview and type up a confidentiality consent form.

Overall,  a very productive day. Well done team!

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Design & The Market: Research Your Business

For our first Design & The Market we have been asked to identify an enterprise, such as a company or freelance designer, to research and evaluate, followed by a presentation about that business. This should help us understand and acknowledge of what running a business is like.

Today, we allocated ourselves into teams. My team includes Linsay Thompson, Lucie Hunter, Cat Doyle, Rachel Bruce, Jennifer McGurk and myself. We sat down and had a brainstorm of which successful designers and companies we would benefit  from most and decided on Steven Webster, who creates cutting edge, almost glam goth, jewellery.

We decided as a group which individuals were best at talking, researching and presentations, thus, making sure we were organised to proceed knowing which person was doing what in the continuation of the project. Through the technique of brainstorming our team thought about different questions and things to look for in more detail when researching Webster’s company, including market research; what is happening in the Jewellery industry?; What are the trends? And so fourth.

It was a successful first meeting, everyone seems to be excited and enthusiastic about the project. So looking forward to hopefully getting in contact with the ‘Webster’ himself.

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