At the end of September I started an online training course for creative businesses with the Design Trust. It has been a rollercoaster experience, all with a view to setting up a web page (well overdue) and a marketing plan. The process has been very useful, posing questions about branding and customer niches that really make you streamline your thoughts about what you do, why and who it is for. The course (four 3hr sessions + a bonus session on How to set up an Etsy store) involved lots of research which was initially daunting! There were plenty of practical tips and opportunities to share with other creatives on the course.
Aiming to launch a website in November was the target...in time for ever important sales at Christmas. More than ever, having an online selling platform is a much needed option for creatives this year! So, about the launch!
With limited understanding of creating a website (in fact, several failed attempts over the years to do so!) being given suggestions for which platform to use was helpful. I think the two most significant factors for deciding to use Squarespace were the step by step how to guidelines and the range of templates available that could showcase my work effectively. Needing to use alot of photos which can potentially slow down how long it takes for a site to load does not (yet!) seem to have been an issue.
For anyone considering setting up a website with ecommerce I would compare it to DIY...lots of preparation to get nuts and bolts in place before the room (site!) starts to take shape. One of the biggest challenges for me (bear in mind my technical wizardry is very limited!) has been the layers of actions required! As you work through the step by step set up there are links to different fields that need to be completed which can make it feel like you are venturing down a rabbit hole away from the task you initially set out to complete! The more familiar you become with the software it gets quicker to work through the set up.
One of the things on the course is accountability! You are encouraged to share research and action plans with the creative network made up of other people on the course. So, announcing a launch for 2nd Nov (yesterday!) its been a busy couple of weeks at a time when Im usually in event mode, completing orders and making stock!
It is still a work in progress which Im now aiming to launch by Thursday!
There will be a limited range of Mae Kandoos products available initially with s view to adding to the site as the year goes on. Coin drop moment yesterday was the realisation of what a web site is...(late bloomer always!) ..as in to get to the centre of a web (web page), there are multiple ripples outside of it that interlink and come together at the centre. I see now that the info behind what people view online is supported by interlinking /cross referencing under the surface. As soon as I got my head around that it made more sense about what I was doing on Squarespace! So, for the many who have already set up to sell online, applause! And for anyone considering it there may be one or two comments here that are helpful?!
As a Designer Maker based on the East Coast in Brightlingsea, trading as Mae Kandoo I make bespoke quality gifts and home accessories - some are souvenirs with a twist! All of them are made as keepsakes to treasure.
If you are interested in seeing the site later this week you can go to www.maekandoo.co.uk on SUNDAY 8th November!
Good luck with Christmas if you are doing any online events/workshops. And stay safe x!
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