This week I have been focused on the future of my practice, business plans and scalability of the rugs that I am developing.

The Marketing Skills module requires an investigation into a business plan, including pricing strategy, market positioning, and production and promotion intentions. Creating a pricing strategy made me understand the figures I am dealing with in terms of overheads, cost price, wholesale price and recommended retail price. It came to my realization that the market I had intended to place my work was in fact not correct. The prices of my rugs are too high for the independent high street stores I had identified as potential stockists. Problem!

A tutorial provided suggestions towards alternative industries which were better suited;

  • Make, Hauser and Wirth

  • Contemporary Applied Arts (CAA)

  • Devon Guild of Craftsmen

  • Messums, Wiltshire

This has made me reflect on my personal desires, intentions and what I want my future to look like (…at least what I think I want my future to look like). What is my end goal and importantly, what will make me feel happy, fulfilled and stable?

Acknowledging my personal desires is important to not get caught up in other people’s career paths and ambitions.

Knowing this, my next step was to work backwards. Knowing that the shops I had originally thought about were where I WANTED to be, I now have the task of thinking about how I could reduce the price of my rugs so that they can be suitably placed in the intended market.

Below I have listed my initial thoughts and options to consider;

  • Pricing strategy should consider the income from other Modern Makers products.

  • Consider outsource production

  • Outsourcing – first steps? Contacts/connections? How to build this network?

  • Offer a handmade collection made by Modern Makers for exhibitions and fairs – to showcase as ‘hero’ pieces

  • Outsource production of rugs designed by Modern Makers – increasing the opportunity for wholesale stockists, reduced the cost price and having the desired high street presence?

Other factors to consider;

  • Loom – in order to make rugs come September, I will need to understand what type of loom would be most appropriate.

  • Work part-time – in order to be financially secure, a part time job will allow me to rely on an income to pay for bills, rent etc. My intention to have a part time job that has personal benefits i.e. build skills in weave, develop confidence in sales, studio/community environment.

It is important to remember the other homeware products that Modern Makers can offer;

  • Illustrations

  • Prints

  • Knit

  • Rope wares

I need to gain a better understanding of the proportion of the business is rugs and this will allow me to understand the percentage of overheads that should be applied to unit cost.

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