We are a couple of days in now, we have; a strong collaboration of artists and designers, brand, great communication, market and product research, an agreed theme to work from and a suitable efficient timetable for the next four weeks. Next for us, is to develop the logo and branding. As you can see below, Chris developed the theme, style and font into something that the entire team were proud of and happy with. Chris is a graphic designer and alongside Arron is responsible for the logo, branding and finance.
Then we shared each-other’s portfolio’s, as we wanted to get a feel for everyone’s styles and how there personalities may translate in their work. This was a necessary step for us, so that could develop our designs according to our own styles, in theory we would then come out with four very strong, individual styles, therefore allowing us to reach a wider potential customer base.
It is the second day of our new business venture, and we went straight into it. After work, we all met up in Cardiff’s city centre to scope out the independent and chain stores, as well as the Christmas Markets to gain a broad understanding of the target market.
As we had already gone into a lot of depth, when deciding on our business concept, we had a good foundation to work from, when conducting our own primary and ethnographic research in the city centre. We were focusing on paper-based products or anything similar, that were selling well amongst our target market, to provide us with ideas on what does and doesn’t sell to create a more suitable product range. Then we could buy these products in their original clean form, and screen-print our won personal designs onto them, providing a high-quality personal touch to every single product that we sell to our customers. Below, is what we found on our potential product range
Throughout this process, we also kept in mind the fact that we would need to also consider promotional items, for marketing and we wanted to add yet again another personal touch to our products, to demonstrate the care we will be placing into every single product, individually with our designs and so forth. As you can see below, we considered quite a few options
Finally, during today’s research we felt it important to take into account the way the store’s and market’s were layed out. Was it financial viable what they have done? Can we repeat this, using the remaining of our seed money? What does our target market want and/ need in-order to buy our product on the spot? What is the psychology behind the layout of products in store’s? and market’s? These were just a few questions we wanted to answer as we circulated the city centre today, here is what we found
We treated ourselves to a lunch out in the city centre, as we mainly felt it would give us the chance to get to know each-other better; our backgrounds, our outside interests and outside commitments, friends, family and why we are all doing this degree and this project. This session really gave us the opportunity to get more comfortable with one-another, as we were going to be spending a lot of time together so it was great that we got on so well as friends as well as partners on this business start-up venture. This allowed us to create a rough timetable to work by, in-order to get everything we needed to done in time, and to therefore enjoy the process, as it was exciting so we wanted to relieve as much stress as we could by planning ahead and planning for any mishaps like late delivery of product or broken machinery. Below is also our agreed theme that we decided to work from, based on our feedback from other businesses, potential customers and primary research today in the store’s and market’s.
From day 1 of University, I found myself unsure of what I wanted to achieve out of University, besides my degree of course. For me, my degree alone has never been enough as there are so many opportunities at University that I have since wanted to do everything. I have found, inspiration can be gained in so many different ways for different people. For me, inspiration comes when I have learnt something new, when I am constantly challenged as then I know I getting the most out of life. These are just some of the reasons why I chose this module. From the information online and speaking to Richard Morris at the Field Fair, I knew this would provide me with all the above and therefore will ultimately make me inspired and happy. Happiness is key, without that, passion for what you are doing is lost and it makes it hard to give all of yourself to the work and your team.
I walk into my first day at 10am, feeling ready as I thought I knew what I was getting into this term. However, Richard Morris put us all straight, gave us what I would call a, ‘real talk’ preparing us for what is to come and what is to be expected. During that talk, I started to feel nervous and actually on edge. But, I can see this is what he wanted, and he was right, it is what we all needed in-order to treat it less like a University Project, and actually as a real micro-business.
We are split into seven teams, this process can be slightly nerve-racking, as these people are what can make or break your business. I have previously worked in a couple of fantastic teams, achieving more than we could on our own, but I was still yet to find my ‘support system’. According to Damien Collins, these are the people you should surround yourself with in life, to achieve more than you can on your own, as they will push and challenge you and most importantly they will be positive, optimistic people. I was placed into a fantastically diverse team; Chris Bish, Graphic Designer, Clojo Bedingham, Designer maker and Arron Hamer, Illustrator.
We went straight into the deep end, no time to organise ourselves, get settled into the project, it was fast-paced and exciting right from word go. We were set 5-30mins tasks throughout the day, our team was flying through the process. We were just on the same page, right from the start. We were four people who has never met before, from entirely different backgrounds, and yet we all fit well together, we were decisive but knew when to debate a decision, as this allowed us to also push forward, to look beyond the obvious and search for a different way of doing something. We were constantly learning and developing as a team, group of creative, business partners and friends, from day 1.
We went away, took on our first task whereby we had to discuss our target market and come up with a variety of business concepts to explore. We started with this, but very quickly we came to an agreed direction that we wanted to go in, this was one where we could all learn and develop, for me learning a new manufacturing skill or craft and developing my skills in social media when promoting our business, was where I wanted to strive in this business. From this point on, it was clear the team wanted a challenge. But, we were ready to fail, as it is better to try something new and innovative and fail, than to stick to our guns the whole way through, not develop and instead stay in our comfort zones, like Edison said,
‘I have not failed. I have just found 10, 000 ways that won’t work’
Taking this perspective forward, we came up with a business concept that we were all clearly interested and passionate about. We wanted to take common, everyday student products and add something personal to them, share the team’s different art and design backgrounds with our customer base, this way we could reach a larger segment within our market and screen-print these designs by hand.
Now that we had our business concept, what we needed now was to gain some understanding on the similarities between the team members. This was key to having a successful business and most importantly, a successful collaboration. We put together our own core beliefs and as you can see below, we found five that were true to all of us. What was amazing, was that none of the members in our team had to suffer/ sacrifice any of their own beliefs to benefit the rest of the team’s. There were five very clear core beliefs that we were all extremely passionate about keeping in mind, throughout the business start-up and continue on after.
Now that we have established our business concept and our core collective beliefs, the business had a foundation to work on. So we built on that, by embarking on our logo and establishing brand guidelines, in short, what name were we going to give our business? We knew it should coincide with our core collective beliefs, but we also wanted something that represented us and our individual personalities. We created a mind map, had a discussion session. And again, we were decisive, we all knew what we wanted, there was no compromise, we were just on the same page.
As you can see, we deliberated a lot over a double barrelled name, something that had alliteration as we felt it rolled off the tongue better. However, none of them were strong enough to cover our personalities as well as the team’s core collective beliefs. Through a bit secondary research, we fell in love with…
‘UNDSIPUTED design’ hand-crafted screen printing of our individual artwork
‘UNDISPUTED community’ the online social media platform that allows us to connect with our customers on a more personal basis, as well as allowing our customers to connect with one another, creating a community brand
‘UNDISPUTED print’ online service that offers digital prints of our individual artwork
We felt our business had so many opportunities and we wanted to explore our options through our brand development, which is why we have looked into having three branches within the brand; design, community and print.
Before we left for the day, we were given guidelines on what sort of roles maybe required throughout the micro-business set-up. There were five very clear roles to consider, as shown below
These roles were allocated based on our backgrounds, but also the chance to gain another skills. For instance, Clojo currently runs her own jewellery business and wants to apply for funding but has never written an entire business plan, therefore this a fantastic chance to do so, but has a very strong business head due to her background, so having a larger role in writing our business plan and ensuring it is up-to standard, is great for her. Furthermore, I wanted to sue my current knowledge on social media and how it can be implemented in promoting a start-up business, was something I was keen to explore, therefore online social media was perfect for me. What I liked about our team already was that we were all already comfortable with each-other enough to put ourselves out there, without the fear of judgement, which is key to creativity according to David and Tom Kelley, in their book ‘Creative Confidence’,
‘Most people are born creative… But over time… We learn to be warier of judgment, more cautious, more analytical.’
So we managed to get a slight break within all this mad busyness, we went to a talk given by a past student, who I had previously met on the entrepreneurship programme in my first year and in workshops run by the same team. Then, she was very interesting, which is why it was lovely to hear more about her experience on this module, as I remember it changed her a lot, directing her future plans for a career quite a lot too. Underneath were my notes from the talk by Alex, her advice was much appreciated.
After our very busy day, we went straight home to set-up our Facebook chat and group, this way we were able to keep in contact and share ideas and inspiration with ease of access.