Last week I kicked off the March Meet the Maker challenge part I. Today it’s time for days 11-20. Not heard about March Meet the Maker challenge? I wrote about it back in March, when it started.The challenge meant publishing content every day for a month, all to do with getting to know me as a maker and what makes me tick. As social media is so fleeting and content dissappear from people’s feeds pretty quickly, I decided to write a 3 part blog series about it, and show you the content that was posted during March this year (2018). Basically, it’s a way for you to get to know a little bit about me and my business, what inspires me and what keeps me going, all in one place and available all the time. So, here’s the second instalment!
Day 11 – BRANDING
Branding can be a complicated subject, and of course it’s a really important part of running a business. Everything I do need to “speak my brand language”. Of course I don’t mean the actual talking! Web site design and graphics, social media posts, invoices, packaging, gift wrapping, business cards, gift tags, postcards and any other promo and business related material have to reflect the brand . They all need to use the brand colours, the correct fonts in the correct weights and colours, my chosen patterns and marks.
Branding is so much more than just slapping a logo on everything! Even photos need to be styled in a brand appropriate style. The way I write product copy, my blog and even these social media posts, should all reflect me and my brand consistently to attract the right customers. Phew! This is why I am currently giving my brand a bit of a face lift to try and give my customers a really cohesive package when they buy from me. I want them to feel special when opening up a parcel from Camali Design. I want it to be a treat!
Day 12 – POSTAGE & PACKAGING
My packaging is something I’ve wanted to overhaul for some time. I once had a delivery of something I bought on ebay, and it was wrapped with so much care and thought, that it made my experience really memorable, enough to still remember it! That’s what I want my customers to feel when they open a parcel from me. I’m quite happy with my gift boxes, grey and silver with matt silver print, in 5 sizes, which match my brand colours and look nice and contemporary, although I have also considered dark blue ones… I need to add some embellishments to these to make them extra special, a ribbon and maybe a seal or a sticker.
I’m also considering sourcing some embroidered fabric gift bags to put each box into for gift giving. If you know of anyone that does this in the UK, let me know! I’m also very overdue designing new biz cards, post cards and gift tags etc. I’m hoping to do this in the next few months, after finalising my brand refresh. My outer packaging for postage is pretty boring really, brown cardboard envelopes, but they are needed to protect and stand up to being thrown around in the post. I wish they made coloured ones! Do you know of anyone that sells coloured cardboard envelopes in the UK? ?
Day 13 – WORK CLOTHES
My work clothes are whatever clothes I decide to put on in the morning! I do wear an apron while working though, it’s a chef’s apron which I think is pretty apt. Making jewellery is a bit like cooking really; gather your ingredients, heat them up in the right quantities and composition, and present them in the best way possible to tempt the customer! I‘ve had plans for getting myself a Cornish smock to work in (!), but think I might just stick with my chef’s apron for now… ?
Day 14 – DREAMS & PLANS
I had this post all planned out but then the great Stephen Hawking left this earth and in some ways it didn’t seem so important anymore, but on the other hand it seemed to matter even more! I love his quote “Remember to look up at the stars and not look down at your feet” and “however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up” Both inspiring and humbling, and I hope to be able to teach my children to live by these words, to make the most of things and look forward and upward.
My dreams and plans for my business are that I want to create what I love, combining the two inspirations that drive most of my designs. I want to draw more inspiration from the rugged Cornish coast and use imperfect and interesting stones, more textures, layers, patina and character. I also want to celebrate the simplicity and elegance of my heritage, the Scandi style, using gorgeous stones, sleek shapes and modern matte finishes. My ambition is to only sell direct to my customers in person and via my web site, to have full control over my work-life balance, be able to offer up more fabulous one off pieces and focus all my attention on my gorgeous customers. Looking up at the stars…⭐
Day 15 – BOOMERANG
This is just a bit of silliness! I had to look this one up, along with a lot of others I believe… Basically Boomerang is an app that takes a bunch of pictures and stitches them together into little funny movies. This is me holding a bunch of stones that are sitting here waiting for me to have time to do something with them. It looks a bit like a heart pulsating, and I guess in away gorgeous stones are like the beating heart of my work, love ‘em! ?
This should be a video but it isn’t currently available, so you get a picture of it instead!
Day 16 – HELPER
Two cheeky monkeys… They may not help in the true sense of the word, but they really do in terms of inspiration and motivation! One day I hope to hire a helper to help with production, and maybe outsource a few things to give me more time to do what I love. For now however, I’m on my own with the making and running the business, but I’m very lucky to have a husband who is always supportive, and my kids inspire me to be a better person and run my business in a way that I hope will inspire them in their future careers. Maybe I could train them up when they’re a bit older…. ?
Day 17 – CUSTOMERS & FEEDBACK
Running a successful biz is a lot about defining your ideal client, your dream customer, to be able to market to the right people. I have some of those dream clients for sure! One example is this cool lady – Dawn! She’s a great client, supporter and lovely lady all round! Here are some shots of her out & about with friends and daughter, sporting some of my earring designs. I feel honoured to have amazing customers, many of which come back time and time again, and move forward with me in my maker journey. It’s such a joy to get feedback from happy customers and I’m very proud to be able to present some amazing testimonials on my web site. So THANK YOU ALL for being so supportive, you gorgeous people!
Day 18 – INSPIRATION
Things that inspire me are my family, my Cornish surroundings, my Swedish heritage, but for specific pieces it’s almost always the stones! I LOVE stones…. In particular especially interesting ones with impurities, inclusions and imperfections. I’m not big on perfect stones, I’m much more likely to pick an opaque rustic rose cut diamond than a flawless clear one. And I prefer free forms to perfect symmetric shapes. I like to incorporate these gorgeous gems into my work in 2 ways or styles, one being in very simple and elegant designs with a Scandi vibe, the other with lots of texture and contrast, usually with patina, to reflect the ruggedness of the north Cornish coast. It’s all about the stones!
Day 19 – CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT
Apart from the obvious (my family, sleep, ice cream and crisps!) the one thing I can not do without is LISTS! I am the world’s worst scatter brain and unless I write things down and make lists, nothing much gets done or remembered around here. Last night was a prime example of this. I was trying to go to sleep but kept having these ideas for a new collection of pieces. It would all be gone in the morning unless I wrote it down. So there we have it – LISTS – the thing I can’t live without! ✍️?
Day 20 – TOOLS & MATERIALS
Some of my favourite tools are in this picture. I would be lost without my micro-motor which I use ALL the time. And my magnifying glasses seem to get more and more useful, can’t think why?! ? They are really helpful especially for stone setting and making sure things are finished nicely. I love hand tools too, I have a big range of pliers and files but of course my most valuable tool of all is my hands! Without them I couldn’t do what I do.
My work is all made in sterling and fine silver but I also use accents of gold and can obviously make things in gold too on request. I use precious and semi-precious gemstones, diamonds, beach pebbles and occasionally other interesting materials such as Fordite (compacted car paint!). I always try to find stones that are a bit different and interesting, and combine them with more readily available standard ones to complement. I love contrasts, so e.g. a beach pebble together with a diamond is my idea of cool!
That’s the second 10 days of the challenge, hope you enjoyed getting to know a bit more about me, my business and what makes me tick! The last 11 days will be out nex week, so watch this space!
Did you read the first 10 days? If not, go to Part I of the March Meet The Maker 2018 series.