Motivation For Creating Your Own Brand

‘If Opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door’Milton Berle

Many of you don’t know that from the day I started blogging my main goal is  to open or start my clothing line in a coming time. Every year It’s my plan, but I don’t know from where to start and always have a few questions in my mind. But lately I met Nancy from Nancy Straughan in a Dulwich festival along with her other partners or should I say friends? Jamie from pen and gravy and Ed from place in print. At first I was a bit confused as they exhibited their work under one roof having almost same kind of competition. I guess they also love my famous quote of Henry Ford, ‘Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success’.

Jamie creates unique patterned homeware and his collection was almost sold out that day. Nancy produces beautiful homeware and accessories from her unique organic printed fabrics and Ed creates exclusive posters, clothing, maps, homeware and what not.

I caught up with Nancy and Ed to chat about business growth.

Nancy

Website: http://www.nancy-straughan.com/

Q. Did you always know that you wanted to work in the design industry?
Yes! I did, I grew up in a very creative home. My dad owned an advertising company and he worked as the creative director there. He was also a fine artist, photographer, jewelry designer and carpenter in his spare time! My mum worked as an interior designer and stylist and my brother studied fine art at university. In my family it would be very unusual to not run a creative business!

Q. What was the hardest aspect of setting up your own business and so far what has been the most rewarding?
It’s a very difficult thing to do, especially as university doesn’t prepare you with regards to setting up your own brand. I think the finical aspect is the most difficult, one month I’m rushed off my feet and the next may be quiet so that’s hard to deal with. The most rewarding aspect is that I am in total control of my work and I also love working from home.

Q. The majority of your products is made in? And why is this important to you?
All my products are made in the UK. My fabrics and papers are printed in Suffolk and then made into products by me or my seamstress in London. Each pattern is printed onto ethically sourced textiles and every single product is made in England. Rather than letting the designs follow trends, each print and product are created thoughtfully to last for years to come.

Q. What is your inspiration behind your design?
It’s important to me that I practice traditional printing methods and that my patterns have a homespun style. Many of the motifs seen in my work are inspired by pattern designers who worked in the 1950s and ’60s. The designers that inspire me most are Lucienne Day, Henry Moore and Mary White, who made the fashionable British pattern available to everyone. During my final year at Uni I discovered the beautiful textile prints of Henry Moore in the library and my mind was blown. Since then, I have become obsessed with mid-century design. I own a lot of books on the subject.

Q. What is your most treasured possession?
My favorite thing I’ve ever made is my Blue Leaves fabric, as that was one of the first patterns I designed that felt like ‘me’. With regards to an object, it has to be my childhood stuffed toy dog called ‘Puppy’.

Q. What advice would you give to someone looking to create their own brand?
Be true to your sense of style and remember what’s important to you.

Q. How would you describe your customer?
My customers are usually female, around 70% are, and the variation in age depending on what they are buying. My homeware products seem to appeal to people aged between 40-60 but my stationery and toiletry bags seem to appeal to almost any age!

Ed

Website: http://www.placeinprint.com/

Q. Did you always know that you wanted to work in the design industry?
I actually started off my career as an urban designer, designing streets and public spaces. I have always been fairly creative, but ended up in this particular industry more by chance than planning!

Q. What was the hardest aspect of setting up your own business and so far what has been the most rewarding?
The hardest part of setting up my business has been the requirement to work longer hours, and particularly on weekends when I should really be home with my wife and daughter! As a small business owner, I find that I can never really switch off, which is both a good thing and a bad thing – always working on new ideas, but never really having a complete break. The most rewarding aspect has to be seeing the positive reactions that people have to, my work, and particularly for commissioned projects like the banners I designed for:
Herne Hill-
(http://www.placeinprint.com/promotions/herne-hill-lamppost-banners)

London Bridge-
(http://www.placeinprint.com/promotions/london-bridge-banners)

Q. The majority of your products is made in? And why is this important to you?
All our products are made in the UK. Our artwork is printed in our own South London studio. I like to control as much of the production process as possible in order to ensure the highest possible quality of product.

Q. What is your inspiration behind your design?
My original inspiration came from vintage railway and London Underground posters. Over the years new sources of inspiration have started to feed into the design process, but that core influence is still there.

Q. What is your most treasured possession?
I don’t know whether he counts as a possession, but Johnny my dog wins. He comes with me to the studio every day and is always a loyal companion (unless there are squirrels around to distract him).
https://www.instagram.com/p/_lwuBVSawM/

Q. What advice would you give to someone looking to create their own brand?
Do it. I think everyone has the ability to start their own business or brand, and life is too short to be wasting time doing something you don’t enjoy. There is a wealth of information and guidance out there to assist each step of the way. All you need is a good idea and the commitment to see it through. If you can get to grips with building your own website (there are lots of great platforms out there like Shopify and Squarespace to make this easier), then you can start promoting your idea almost straight away.

Q. How would you describe your customer?
My customers tend to be young professionals, often furnishing first homes. I also have a lot of customers who have moved away from particular neighborhoods and are looking for a memento to have in their new homes.

I got some amazing stuff from their collection and I am totally in love with their stuff.

Lastly, coming to my outfit I preferred to keep it sexy and chic as their exhibition was at a festival and it was a bright day in London. My top is from Bershka and jeans from Zara. Many of you asked me about my earrings and bag they both are from India. You can get these from Janpath Market. 😉

I hope this post will help you the way it did me and motivates you to build your own brand.

Have a nice Sunday ladies and remember ‘never dream about success, work for it! 😉

Love

Sam x

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