Blueprints & the 7 p’s

April 23, 2012 § Leave a comment

To help describe the process of my business and how it is going to operate I designed a Blueprint Model of the different stages of production. The purpose of this exercise is to identify how I intend to engage with my customers to go on to develop a product they are happy with through a series of discussion, drawings, prototypes and finally generating the product and delivering the finished piece. Here is my business Blueprint Model to illustrate how I intend to do this:

After I had completed my Blueprint Model I could then begin investigating the relationships (if any) I might need to support my business. Because initially I intend to be the only member of my business team and because of the nature of Jewellery Design I will be acting as the Generator, the Realiser and the Distributor within my business and will be in charge of every aspect that these titles entail at the beginning. Throughout a progressive growth of my business I plan on expanding on my Distributors to galleries, shop owners, retailers and creating stockists for sale within these premises. This in turn will contribute to the growth of my Customer base. Making use of free services available to Jewellery graduates will also be beneficial to my business at these early stages. Vanilla Ink is an example of one of these services. Vanilla Ink is a facility dedicated to offering graduates the opportunity to develop their abilities, covering many areas of practical and theoretical skills as well as providing a supportive environment and network to work in. Vanilla Ink allows the graduate to grow as a maker and provide a platform to launch their career within the industry.

The 7Ps of Marketing for Megan McGinley Metalwork have been outlined as follows:

Through completion of this activity anyone can look at my ‘7Ps’ business and establish what it is I am going to produce, how much I am going to charge, how I intend to deliver my products, and how I intend on telling my customers about the products I am offering.

Fake Evidence

April 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

To illustrate what the success of a business idea may look like for a business during the initial planning stages I used a technique called Fake Evidence. The ways in which I would picture my being a success is through recognition of my designs by one day being featured on design blogs and magazines which I admire as a student, being recognised as an Innovator in my craft in Trade Journals and reviews.  In the case of my business, if successful Megan McGinley Metalwork will be internationally renowned for its vision and drive. This could be reinforced through the rewarding of funding grants, being recognised as one of the Top 100 independent Jewellery retailers in the UK:

Megan McGinley Metalwork winning the Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur Award

Megan McGinley Metalwork being featured in Art & Design writer ‘Colossal’s Blog and Magazine

 Megan McGinley Metalwork is named one of the Retail Stars by Professional Jeweller’s Top 100 List

‘SWOT’ing at flies

April 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

Carrying on the Nesta Toolkit with some good ol’SWOT analysis!

The following SWOT analysis captures the key strengths and weaknesses within my business, and describes the opportunities and threats which Megan McGinley Metalwork may face.

This may all seem rather very self-indulgent or on the other hand may even seem very pessimistic! But in order to have a full understand of the extents to which extremes my business idea could go it is very necessary to outline the de-tails! Once I have identified my weaknesses I can work on them until they become my strengths, just ask Knute Rockne 😉

Introducing ‘Megan McGinley Metalwork’

April 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

As part of University studies this year I have decided to study a new module introduced to DJCAD entitled, ‘Design & The market’. Part of the criteria of this module is the completion of a ‘Build your own business’ pack entitled The Nesta Toolkit, designed with creative individuals and their artistically influenced business ideas and products in mind.

(good news for us jewellery designers, eh?)

“HOORAY!”

A few of you may not know this but one day I actually hope to distribute and (more importantly) make a living out of my making and design skills 🙂 But until this module came around had not given real thought into how i would even begin to make this dream a reality. Through working thought the worksheets and attending workshops I now have a vague idea of what this will entail and how I’m going to do it!

So without further adieu, here’s what I have discovered with Nesta so far about me and my business idea…

Let me begin with a few of my own responses to questions which every entrepreneur should be able to answer using an ‘elevator pitch’ style response:

What is my Brand name?

Megan McGinley Metalwork

What is it that I do?

I make jewellery & sculpture in my individualistic style using various metalwork techniques of my own designs and also offer custom design for the individual.

Why should my customers care?

Because I am unique. I push my craft skills to the highest standard, offering the everyday customer a well-crafted, unique piece of myself which they can own, wear and love.

Why my business will work?

There is always going to be a want for people to spend good money on handcrafted, unique, good quality products.

What is my business idea?

I am my business. A clear understanding of how I am going to promote my brand, skills and products is what I aim to achieve through completion of this module.

My Mission Statement:

Megan McGinley Metalwork endeavor to use a combination of traditional craftsmanship and innovative design techniques to craft unique pieces which the client can proudly wear with the knowledge everything we make was done with an unrivalled passion. Working on the cutting edge of design, drawing inspiration from natural phenomena to bring innovative, fashion forward jewellery to the customer.

As a result of my research conducted through my Design & The Market module over the last few months I have realised that in order to become a successful entrepreneur a person must identify whether they possess the personal qualities, drive and skills essential in making their business venture a success. These ‘traits’ can be gathered into four categories:

  • Personal characteristics
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Critical & creative thinking skills
  • Practical Skills

They must first examine their personal characteristics, values and beliefs. This initial exercise can help potential entrepreneurs to discover whether or not they possess a mindset typical of a successful entrepreneur.  Your values can affect your business in many different ways from how you work, the materials you use and the audiences you target.

This is what I have discovered about my own values:

Always Important: Making items my customers Love, Creativity, Making a profit, Aesthetics, Recognition of ideas.

Sometimes Important: Work-life Balance, Integrity, Reputation, Helping other people, Personal development.

Never Important: Power and Authority, Fame.

This exercise led me to discover that although I do not wish to be rich and powerful I understand that making a profit is essential in building a sustainable business – without an income which exceeds costs, a business will not survive.

“If you don’t make money, you don’t have a business, you have an expensive hobby.”

Mike Press

So here’s where I’m at so far, next I shall get a little deeper into the the real ‘business’ side of my idea 🙂

Image

“Can you keep a secret?”

April 19, 2012 § 1 Comment

Made By Hand; The Knife Maker

March 11, 2012 § Leave a comment

A recent video produced by film makers This Is Made By Hand is enough to inspire and motivate any maker to keep moving forward in their craft and reminding us all why we push forward with doing what we love. Being rich not in the value of money, but in quality of life.

“Writer turned knife maker Joel Bukiewicz of Cut Brooklyn talks about the human element of craft, and the potential for a skill to mature into an art. And in sharing his story, he alights on the real meaning of handmade—a movement whose riches are measured in people, not cash.”

http://thisismadebyhand.com/film/the_knife_maker

Made by Hand / No 2 The Knife Maker from Made by Hand on Vimeo.

“What You Been Up To?”

February 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

To answer my own question, I shall (not so) simply say…This.

In this post I hope to give you a little insight into what inspires me, who inspires me, and what I have been up to this semester. At the beginning of this year we were asked to consider our future plans in or out of the realm of jewellery. I consider myself to be very much a maker within the jewellery and metalwork specialism and I hope to make a career in creating pieces – whether they be wearable or sculptural – long after my days of art school are over… therefore it is my aim for this year is to find my own style within metalwork and experiment with various techniques so that next year I at least have a vague idea of the kind of designer I want to be when I grow up…

I can’t think of any other way to start what I’m trying to say so i shall begin by telling you what inspires me to do the things I do: I have always been interested in “things”. This fact has also lead me to become a MASSIVE hoarder, but what I find even more fascinating is the “things” that others choose to keep themselves. I’m fascinated to learn about the bonds people have with the things they choose to keep . Like many other designers, I am inspired by all things nautical. I love going down to a beach and having a look around, waiting for something to catch my eye. Because I know that I’m not the only person to do this, I love finding things there which other people have walked past and not noticed or who have seen the same object as me and not seen the appeal in it as much as I have and left it behind.

I think this is why I find that Kiff Slemmons work speaks to me personally; she also sees this appeal in the objects she picks up. Every piece is a celebration around the object it obtains. I’m not sure specifically how she designs her work but from an audiences point of view (and a fellow maker) it seems like she designs her pieces entirely around the object she is obtaining, as oppose to just featuring the object in her design.

 

These are some scans of a few of my found objects. It is only when you take these objects out of context that you can identify their unique qualities. For me, there will never be another found object out there the exact same as mine. The unique qualities in these objects are what make them so beautiful and worth collecting. It goes back to the idea of thinking that someone else could have seen this piece and not thought of it in the same way, where they have walked away I have been compelled to pick it up.

When it came to using these pieces in actual designs I decided I would view the object from every angle, revealing hidden details. It was this idea of revealing every attribute of the object, which influenced my designs. My aim is to adapt various stone setting techniques to bring out the best attributes of the found objects within the piece! Hopefully this will bring my stone setting skills up to standard whilst also expanding my sensitivity towards found objects and the ways in which I handle and present them.

My first inspiration for design was found on the Perth road one lunchtime, I had initially walked past this piece of wood before my urges got the better of me and I had to run back and grab it. As you may (or not) know, the Perth road is a very busy street with hundreds of art students walking along it every day but nobody else was inspired by it‘s potential but me. The piece of wood itself looks like a tiny slingshot, and this how I set about planning my design for this object based on this fact. Again, using the attributes of the piece to influence my design.

The piece is a work in progress owing to some unanticipated snags on the way. This is mostly due to the fact that I didn’t want this to be a simple round wire ring, I wanted the whole piece to do the object justice and not just set the piece in a traditional way. It’s also been pretty tricky due it’s scale. I usually work with quite bold structural pieces so I have been trying to push my technical skills to the best of my ability with this tiny piece but I do feel in the end when its complete and functional that it’ll be worth all the time and effort and I will have learnt a lot from it.

 Alongside my final piece I hope to create a small screen printed card which will be given to the new owner of the ring of my investigative drawings of the object as I would have found it. This card will also include the story of how I found the object on the back, because this project was once personal to me, in passing it on I would like to think the new owner could appreciate it in all the ways I have. It’s also another way of adding a personal touch to the piece, some of us here have learnt about this in our design and the market module, it’s about finding these personal touches which make you different from other designers in your field.

 I would like to carry on with this brief for my next project, experimenting with different settings and holds based around each object and how the wearer views it. I have a few exciting ideas and techniques I would like to try before progressing into final year! And now is as good a time as any for pushing your ideas as far as they can go before it’s too late…