Selling online: From small acorns
by Sophie Wilson
Starting University two years ago, moving on from a National Diploma in Art and Design to start Graphic Design for the very first time, I felt a huge amount of awe and, in fact, a little overwhelmed, when I was first introduced to the industry, and all the magnificent designers and work that it had to offer. But, however overwhelmed I felt, the awe was far greater, and pretty soon I knew that I desperately wanted to be a part of this exciting, contemporary industry. Pretty soon I started developing my self promotional online presence, and, perhaps one of the best things I've ever done, in terms of my design work, was setting up an online shop. Like a lot of designers, from various disciplines, I began selling my work on Etsy, and from a quiet start, a momentum grew with additional stock listings and promoting what I had to sell, to the point of which, I am now selling something every day. Something of which, of course, I am elated with.
However, I have been really blessed with the online shop, as well as generating income, allowing me to quit an unhappy part time job whilst struggling to balance my first year of what is quite a time-consuming and demanding course, this has also given me new opportunities. Through Etsy I have been contacted in regards to selling my work in three shops, have starting selling at a variety of craft fairs and have had my work in exhibitions, all in the past year.
Now, don't get me wrong, I know I'm incredibly lucky. The day that Nook & Cranny contacted me, around a year ago, I was so, so happy. My first retail contact and sales opportunity, I couldn't believe my luck, and I still can't. I know I'm blessed, but I also know that it took a lot of devotion and patience for what I do. I know I've still a long way to go, but the very thought that one day I could leave a new designer in awe, or overwhelmed, just like I felt in my first year of Graphic Design, that's what really motivates me.
Whenever I meet a new designer, I love seeing the energy, enthusiasm and passion for what they do - and that is undoubtedly a most prized asset. If you design work and are thinking about setting up an online store, don't just think about it, DO IT. You might be the greatest designer this side of the planet, but if people don't know that your work is out there, when there's that much talent, then it's pointless. As the saying goes, from small acorns grow mighty oaks, and whilst you might feel small and inexperienced now, it's never too early to get your voice heard and your face known. Taking the first step and being brave might be the best thing you ever did.
Beautiful words of wisdom from a young talented designer that has been with us since the beginning of Nook & Cranny. We've loved watching Sophie and her shop, Sophie in Disguise, grow - following Sophie on Facebook as well as Etsy keeps us updated on her latest work. Networking is such an important role in selling.
With Sophie being at Uni, we've loved staying in touch and seeing how she is getting on - her dissertation sounds amazing! We started with just a small quantity of Sophies work to make sure she isn't out of stock for her own commitments and knowing how hectic Uni schedules can be, but with Sophie In Disguise ever expanding, we're confident Sophie will have longevity and success in all aspects of her graphics based art work.