In June 2013 we launched a mission on the crowdfunding site Go Fund Me to raise money to get us to the Shrewsbury Flower Show.
We saw this opportunity as a way to…
Create more visibility about the work of Designs In Mind
Test out new retail products and systems
Build an audience for developing retail work
Generate income to support the on-going work of Designs In Mind
Produce high quality products for a high profile event, providing more opportunities for members of Designs In Mind.
In just 6 weeks we made 14 mosaic stepping stones and 1 mosaic table to take to the event. What was wonderful to watch in this making time was small teams get together to work on a project, with people taking on different roles of the making process- Design, Nibbling, Setting, Cleaning.
Over the weekend we had 15 volunteers to help with setting up, building the stage, selling raffle tickets, talking about Designs In Mind, and selling stepping stones. They were long days for some from 8.30am- 8.00pm and we couldn’t have done it without everyone’s contributions.
Over the days what was so valuable to Designs In Mind was the interest in who we are, where we work and what we do. The conversations have already led to potential partnerships and we hope to build on many more of them over the coming months.
We sold 4 Mosaic Stepping Stones and over 400 raffle tickets
We had 18 cost requests for the paper bunting that we had made to decorate the stand. Emails have been sent to everyone who enquired and we are currently costing the price of selling paper bunting made in house and from a commercial printer to mass produce.
We had 4 requests for bespoke mosaic stepping stones including from 2 schools where partnerships may be developed. Meetings and consultations have been set up to follow up on these.
We had 2 enquiries about corporate team building
We had 12 requests for workshop information covering glass, mosaic and paper bunting. We are putting together a workshop programme that we will start promoting from September this year, and that will run once a month throughout 2014.
What our Members Said...
Enjoyment and achievement of making something beautiful
Teamwork and the satisfaction of doing a professional job in a potentially stressful situation
I was reminded of when I worked with the public, a lift for me, I enjoyed it. I loved the teamwork. I loved mixing with the public and demonstrating the techniques- time flew!
I enjoyed us all working together. I love mosaic, I get so much pleasure from people’s interest and loved explaining the methods. Mixing and chatting with so many people. Everyone had a little part in it. We had a lovely day!
It felt wonderful to sell my mosaic. A lot of encouragement from everybody. We all helped each other, great fun.
I made a mosaic with J and J. I loved doing that. I felt pride that my work went to the Flower Show.
I loved selling the raffle tickets for the table and seeing everyone’s interest.
We rose to the challenge!
It was great to get feedback from the public and to compare our work favourably with the other stalls. Great for me to be back in the ‘public domain’.
Lessons For Next Time!
This event is great for visibility, networking and building partnerships
The event has been hard work for everyone involved but equally rewarding
The standard of our work was equal to, if not higher than other traders at the event
We need the support of other funds to make it financially viable for us to attend
It was a real strength that we were a local craft organisation
The display of our products attracted attention and people were impressed- this was just as important as the products
Having the back-up of the ecommerce site and a workshop programme is essential
Volunteers on the stall should only do a maximum of half a day on each day. 3 volunteers at any one time is ideal
Use the event to generate more PR about Designs In Mind- particularly magazines
The sales system was paper heavy and not needed, although a useful frame of reference
A card machine is essential, and a good investment for Designs In Mind
Postcards were the right amount of publicity to be handing to people. As these are not dated they can still be used
The demonstration was very popular and attracted a lot of attention. Some people would have liked to join in
For all retail events packaging and delivery needs to be researched, costed and planned for to match the quality of the product’s
Crowdfunding is a good resource for future projects however generating PR around this is important to attract the right people