The next course will start in Spring 2017
Sign up now for priority registration.
DID YOU KNOW…
…that the UK giftware market is worth £20 billion?
…that a recent Crafts Council reports discovered that the number one reason to buy craft is ‘to buy a unique gift’?
Creative giftware is a major opportunity for designers and makers, both financially and creatively!
…your silver necklace will be that special 18th birthday present from a mother to a daughter, or a bride to her brides’ maid.
…your large woollen blanket (made in the UK) will be a treasured memory in New York, of that wonderful holiday across Europe.
…your personalised prints will make wonderful gifts for the nursery, boy’s room, or the hallway of a new home.
…how your ring making workshop will bring friends closer together.
Creative giftware ranges from unique personalised items to private commissions, from one offs to small batch produced, from corporate gifts to increasingly creative high-end souvenirs, for a wide range of people and tastes!
They can be really creative and make you money too!
But, creating giftware is about creating and selling so much more…
you are selling love and friendship!
Now that’s worth something!
- Want to stop wasting your time, energy & money and create a collection that you are proud of and that will sell much better? Because I will help you plan and test your product ideas with potential clients before making them, price and position them correctly in the market, and then launch your products to your selected individual or trade clients more confidently.
- Want to be ready in time & confident to approach retailers in early September? Stop procrastinating and know exactly what to do and when, as you will get weekly step-by-step advice and guidance on how to create, market and launch your creative giftware. We will give you practical worksheets and checklists, template emails to approach retailers, and share handy resource lists. Experts in selling online and giftware buyers will share their advice in videos and live webinars.
- Want to have less stress and make more money this Christmas? We give you the planning framework and practical, expert advice so that you can get on with what you do best: designing and creating wonderful giftware products and experiences.
Together we will tackle the big questions.
These are the questions I am asked so often by creative professionals who want to sell more products and services
- What makes giftware different?
- Where to start?
- How do I know my products will sell?
- What’s the best price for my giftware?
- Who do I need to promote to? The buyer or the receiver?
- Who are my ideal clients? How can I find clients and stockists? How to approach them? When is the best time?
- How do I sell personalised or expensive work?
- What’s the best way to sell online?
- How can I get more sales on my website?
- What trade shows or craft fairs should I do, or are they a waste of money?
- How can I use social media better?
- What’s the best time to launch and how to plan for it?
- How to plan for making & promoting without feeling overwhelmed and stressed?
WE CREATED THIS COURSE FOR YOU!
In this new 5-week online course you will learn step-by-step:
Week 1: Getting started with your giftware collection
We will start with the basics: what is giftware and what’s different. We will be looking at the different opportunities: from personalised gifts to souvenirs, from commissioned one-off pieces to corporate giftware. And you will get into action with sketching out your own giftware ideas.
This week includes:
- What makes giftware different? What are the opportunities?
- What are the giftware trends and how do you find out?
- Getting to know your clients in more depth
- Why creating a collection is such a good idea
- Start to sketch out your giftware ideas
- How to create a collection that sells
Week 2: Testing, positioning & pricing
In the second week we will be going deeper into getting to know your clients and how to position yourself and stand out. We also will be looking at costing and pricing your products.
This week includes:
- How to test the market so that you create giftware that people love to buy?
- How to position yourself in a crowded market and stand out
- How to price your giftware so you make money & sell?
- What to do if your product is too expensive to sell (to retailers)?
Week 3: Branding
In week 3 we will continue to work on positioning yourself correctly in your market, and how to create a brand that will attract your ideal clients.
This week includes:
- How to name your collection
- How to make packaging work for you (without paying over the odds!)
- How to display, style and photograph your work to sell online and get into the press – with a live Q&A webinar with photographer Yeshen Venema
- How to create visual price lists and (wholesale) brochures to approach retailers and sell confidently
- Create a branding action plan so that you are focused, and know exactly what to work on and when
Week 4: Marketing: How & where to sell
This week will be full on! We will be looking at how to market your giftware and what the best places are for you to sell your collection. I will be asking you some big questions so you can decide what’s best for you! You will get loads of practical tips, resources and info this week to help you get started to sell directly, online, to retailers, at shows and beyond!
- Routes to market: where to sell your giftware: direct, online and or wholesale, an intro to each and how to get started and approach your potential clients (with intro email templates, detailed resources of online selling opportunities, trade shows, craft fairs and much more!)
- How to start selling corporate gifts, creative souvenirs and creative experiences.
- Create a marketing plan to help you step-by-step prioritise on what you need to do and when so that you won’t be overwhelmed
Week 5: Launch your collection
At last! It’s time to get ready for your launch.
- Why a launch is crucial to create the most impact (for you and your potential clients!)
- When is the best time to launch your collection?
- How to create a buzz around your launch
- How to use social media and the press successfully with your launch (with a social media calendar template and a series of email marketing templates to help you)
- How to create your launch plan (with a template) so that you make the most impact with the least stressful nights!
- What to do after the launch (crucial!)
HOW WILL IT WORK?
It’s an online programme so you can join us from anywhere in the world!
The programme takes 5 weeks, with a new module being released each Friday morning (starting 3 July). Each module has:
- Short video lessons (5 – 15min) and longer webinar recordings (up to 20 min).
- Skype interviews and live Q&A sessions with UK giftware experts
- Weekly Q&A sessions with Patricia van den Akker, on Thursday evenings where you can ask any questions you have
- Private online platform to network with the other participants
- Weekly home work exercises and questions (all voluntary!). If you post your homework on the private online platform then and you will get professional feedback.
- And loads of worksheets, templates and a handy resource list. Including intro emails to send to clients and retailers, how to write product descriptions to improve your online sales, a detailed social media calendar to help you plan your launch, and much more.
This programme will help you step-by-step, and each week a new module will be released on Friday morning. You can ask and answer questions and network with the other participants on the private online platform. There are weekly Q&A sessions and exercises to help you stay on track.
The planning of this programme will ensure that you will have extra time in the quieter August weeks to get ready in time before the busy Christmas retail season starts.
Do you need some extra time? Do you work part-time or maybe are unable to join us for all sessions?
This is an online programme, and you can watch it whenever you like, wherever you are in the world (as long as there is wifi/broadband)! You will be able to access this programme for two years after the launch, so you can re-watch the videos and webinars again and again.
WHO IS THIS FOR?This 5-week online course is created for designers, makers, illustrators and other visual creative freelancers and sole traders who want to sell more creative giftware products and experiences, and become more confident and focused in their work and how to sell them.
You might have just started out as a professional creative, or you might have been selling directly, via shops or fairs, or online already but you want professional expert advice on how to become more successful. You know that with a bit more planning and doing the right actions at the right time you will do so much better!
If you are very new or haven’t started yet, then this programme might not be for you yet as it assumes that you have worked out some of the basics yourself.
WHO AM I?Patricia van den Akker is the Director of The Design Trust. She is a very experienced creative business adviser, trainer and coach who has worked with 1,000s of small creative businesses.
Patricia van den Akker is the Director of The Design Trust. She is a very experienced creative business adviser, trainer and coach who has worked with 1,000s of small creative businesses.
She grew up selling giftware! Her mum ran a gift shop in The Netherlands for over 20 years, so she learnt this from a young age.
Twenty years ago she came to London and became part of the Crafts Council Sales Development team, which organised the famous Chelsea Crafts fair. Over the years Patricia helped many designers and makers get ready for shows such as 100% Design, Top Drawer, Pulse and Home London.
She regularly teaches and runs workshops for a wide variety of organisations, including the School for Creative Startups, University of the Arts and Craft Central. She had coordinated and run online creative business and social media courses for Emergents Scotland, Yorkshire Art Space and Helfa Gelf. The Design Trust is a partner of New Designers One Year On show and the high-end craft fair Made London.
She has written 100s of blog posts and guest blogs for The Design Trust website, and also for Etsy, Folksy, Creative Choices and others. Since 2012 she has written The Design Doctor business column for Crafts Magazine.
WHO ARE THE OTHER EXPERTS INVOLVED?
We have got a great group of experts in this programme to give you real life and practical advice through a combination of recorded skype interviews and live webinars:
- Cat Elliott, Senior Recruitment Manager of Not On The High Street will talk about creating & selling giftware online, including how to get selected by and sell with NOTHS
- Clare Yuille, indie shop owner and wholesale selling expert of the Indie Retail Academy will be talking about how to research, approach and sell to retailers
- Yeshen Venema, specialist product photographer will show you in a live webinar how to photograph your giftware to get more attention and sell more to your dream clients
- Sheena Kitchin, Craft Scotland Craft Tourism Manager will talk in a recorded skype interview on how to create giftware products and experiences that tourists and locals alike love to buy
- Natalie Lue, co-founder of popular design-led baby and children’s blog Bambinoo Goodies will share her top tips on how to promote children’s giftware, and how to approach and work with blogs.
- Robin Kramer of the Flourish & Thrive Academy in the USA will talk on Skype how to sell jewellery as a gift and what to look out for when selling internationally (especially the USA).
- More experts to be announced …