Monday, July 18, 2011

Lessons from Brandybuck Part 1


Rory Killilea
Originally uploaded by studiocherie
I have been needing this photo shoot since day 1 for the new BrandybuckClothiers shop. It was so good to finally get together with a great model and photographer to bring some life into the photos there. Just click on the photo to get to Flickr to see some of the more than 300 great shots we got. Rory and Shelby worked really well together.

My experiment with Brandybuck has taught me a few things.

Lesson one: A name that is easier to spell might have been better. Looking forward to Etsy letting us change names.

Lesson two: While dressform models seem to work well for vintage, there are very few clothing sellers who do well without live models. The bar has been set really high for photography on Etsy. So much so that I would advise people to get this part done before opening shop. I have to admit it has been a little disappointing to not have been featured in the Etsy Finds yet - since they do a fashion email about every other day. I am hoping Shelby's great modeling and Rory's photography can help with that.

Lesson three: Something I did do right because it costs a bundle to build an inventory: Make your first samples for yourself and your family. From there, your friends will see your product and if it is quality, they will buy from you. This gives you more samples to photograph and pays for more fabric. The white shirt Shelby is wearing in the photo above is for my friend Julia. The striped one is mine. The pink skirt is G's. The first tennis dress was going to be mine, but I need to get a little more ambitious about the gym before I wear one. As my friend Tera said, I can't get the butt I want by sitting on the butt I've got. (Pause typing to switch to exercise ball.)


Which leads me to lesson four: I can't get the success I want by sitting on the success I've got. Etsy runs on what is new, so I am always making something new. My newest pattern is not a bag. It is girls dresses. I am just tickled with how it turned out and how easy it is for people to make and enjoy. My gym bag did not do as well as I thought it would - sales wise. I love the bag. I love how I made the bag. I am proud of the pattern. I just did not have a super photo to sell it before. With this great photo, I am looking at it as sort of a relaunch. The Harry Chair slip cover was also launched with full size pattern pieces - you need to print with a 24" wide printer. And every time I wear that patchwork skirt I get a ton of compliments, so I am looking to put that down on paper soon. My list never gets shorter, but I can do hard things.
Speaking of Jessica Swift - the artist who made that next step print. Read about how she is launching one of her dream projects.
Inspiring!

1 comment:

Victoria said...

Great ideas and tips for listing and especially for photographing. Totally agree about the live model.