Monday, 17 June 2013

Crafty Fox Talks

A quick post to big-up the first in the Craft Fox Talks series. The theme of the first event was 'Creative Journeys', and included talks from Lisa Lewis, Sam Wingate and Lisa Comfort as well as facilitation by chair Lisa Rodwall. I liked the set-up of the talk, with all the speakers being up at the front for the duration. There was also time for questions after each talk, from both the audience and the chair, which had a nice 'in conversation' feeling to it, rather than a lecture.

I think my favourite talk was Lisa Comfort's. Lisa runs Clapham-based sewing cafe Sew Over It (which I will definitely be looking into now), and I felt that her talk gave the most useful information about how she got to where she had, rather than a more straight-forward autobiography of her creative career so far. Before and after the talks there was time to grab a drink and a nibble (included in the £15 ticket price) plus it's always nice to walk away with a goodie bag (provided by Etsy, Mollie Makes, The Simple Things, Self-Packaging and Sew Over It and Ada Rose). At the end of the event there was also some time to mingle with fellow creative types, and I bumped into some familiar faces (Siobhan, Michelle, Amy) and one new-in-real-life face (Jo).

A few things I took away from the event:

>> Achieving creative success is a slow process, even if you have some prominent recognition very early in your career, and it will take time to make money from your creative endeavours.
>> Learning about the financial side helps - and getting an accountant is a must.
>> If selling to wholesale, never undercut your wholesalers by selling items yourself cheaper than your RRP - it can put them off working with you.
>> When starting out a new endeavour (for example, opening a shop), make a map of all the people you know and the skills they have that might help you. You'll be surprised how many people know useful things, and how willing most people will be to lend a hand.
>> Be prepared to live on beans on toast for a while! All speakers mentioned a period of living very thriftily, including moving back home to live with parents for a bit.
>> Opening a shop is right for some creative entrepreneurs - and not for others. But it's probably better to go for it than to never try - just make sure you have a thorough business plan first.
>> Being asked to do a book is great for many reasons - but you probably won't make money from it.
>> As your business grows, learning to delegate is important; you can't do everything yourself!

The next talk will take place on August 15th with the theme of 'How to do your own PR'. Tickets, when available, from the Crafty Fox Market website.

with thanks to Audrey Keough for the above photograph 


  1. Hi Jess, thanks for a really insightful post. I missed the boat on this, so it was nice to read all about it. I'm a big fan of Lisa Comfort and planning on going to her introduction to sewing course in August.
    I'm hoping to go along to the next one, so maybe see you there?
    Leanne at Knit me a cake

  2. I loved reading about this and the talk on PR sounds really interesting, hopefully I'll be able to make it as I think it's exactly what I need to learn about!

    Sophie x


Thanks for your thoughts. I really enjoy reading them and will always pop over to your own space on the web for a visit :)

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