Browsing Tag

Event

Design

How To Make It: Implementing Green Practices in Your Designs

October 23, 2012


We are excited to host our 4th How To Make It event on October 29, Implementing Green Practices in Your Designs, a topic we hold very close to our heart. Our panel will be weighing in on sourcing reclaimed materials, the legal implications of calling a design “green”, and setting up an environmentally friendly business and work space.

As always, we want our guests to stick around after the panel discussion for refreshments and networking with the panel, other local creatives and UncommonGoods staff – we know you’re dying to get your cards in the hands of our buyers!

RSVP for the event through our How To Make It page.

Design

How To Make It: Scaling Up Event Videos

September 21, 2012

Last month we hosted our 4th How To Make It panel event and networking happy hour in Brooklyn, NY. Over 100 guests showed up to powerHouse Arena to hear our panelists, Rachel Rheingold of Maptote, Jesse James and Gus Anangopolous of Aesthetic Movement and artist Jenny Krauss of SAFEFA, talk about their experiences in scaling up their business. But a lot of you couldn’t make it so we wanted to share some of our favorite moments of the night. Check out these videos of the panelists sharing their advice and anecdotes.

Rachel describes how Maptote is run and who takes on what tasks.

The group talks about the best way to bring your designs to a trade show for the first time.

Does size matter? Jenny talks about the effects of press placements in big magazines and small newsletters on her sales.

Rachel shares ways of figuring out where your designs fit in the marketplace and keeping your eyes (and ears) open to new opportunities.

The panel discusses the measures that should, and shouldn’t, be taken to protect your intellectual property.

Or watch the whole discussion in its entirety!

Design

Meet the Design Panel – Jenny Krauss

August 22, 2012

Is it time for you to take your business to the next level? Get tips, advice, and your questions answered at UncommonGoods’ third design panel and happy hour – How To Make It: Scaling Up Your Creative Business – taking place in Brooklyn, NY on August 28th. The panelists have experience advising businesses and personal experience with scaling up, like panelist, Jenny Krauss.

Jenny’s business started in 2008 with a love of Peruvian traditional embroidery. Today, her business employs 1600 artisans, who make anything from pillows to belts, while earning a steady income and preserving their local culture.
Without further ado… meet Jenny!

What is an uncommon fact about yourself?

In college and grad school, I never took a business, accounting, or economics class and I knew nothing about starting a company. I did a lot of research, picked people’s brains and realized it’s mostly common sense. Now I enjoy advising start-ups as best I can.

What products are you responsible for?

Belts, bags, pillows, shoes, luggage tags and whatever else I decide to produce; all hand woven and hand embroidered in wool or cotton.

What advice would you give to designers who think they are ready to take their business to the next level?

Take it one step at a time and don’t get deep into debt. I’ve read in business books that a common mistake for new companies is to overestimate sales. Having to manufacture more is better than getting stuck with too much inventory. Depending on your product, research your market and consider possibilities in addition to manufacturing, such as selling or licensing your designs.

What tools do you use to manage your time and stay productive?

I keep a to-do list that is with me at all times. Everything, important or trivial, is written down so it won’t be forgotten. Don’t spend work time on non-work activities like tweeting with friends, surfing the web, etc.

What advice would you give yourself when you were first starting out?

I funded my business with my own savings so if I failed I wouldn’t owe anyone money. If this is an option, I suggest using it. Or, go to family, friends, and funding sites such as Kickstarter before going to a bank. And be prepared to work long hours.

What does a typical workday look like?

I start out thinking I know what’s ahead for the day and then, almost always, something comes up, either from a customer or a supplier, and I have to stop everything and deal with it. Today is a perfect example; e-mails to one of my producer’s in rural Peru keep bouncing back. I did some research online and it turns out her domain name has expired. I’m sure she has no idea about how to fix this so I’m trying to track her down and not having much luck. There is no typical day!

What does scaling up mean for you?

My business only scaled up when there was revenue to do so. Meaning, strong sales propelled it forward, and earned money provided the funds. I added more products to the line but didn’t have to add more employees here in the US. The group of artisans in Peru swelled from 300 to 1600 which puts pressure on me to keep sales up.

Design

How To Make It: Scaling Up Your Creative Business

August 20, 2012


On August 28th we will host our third How To Make It design panel & happy hour at powerHouse Arena in DUMBO. We will welcome panelists Jenny Krauss of SAFEFA, Jesse James and Gus Anangopolous of Aesthetic Movement and Rachel Rheingold of Maptote. They will weigh in on scaling up a creative business. Topics include the right time to take the leap, how to get help scaling up inventory, and preparing the other parts of your business for the next step.

As always, after the talk we will host a happy hour with beer from Brooklyn Brewery where you can stick around and chat with the panelists, UncommonGoods staff, and other local designers.

RSVP now through Eventbrite and sign up for our MeetUp group to be first to hear about our future events.

Design

How To Make It: Building Your Personal Brand Videos

July 12, 2012

Last month we hosted our second design panel event and networking happy hour, How To Make It: Building Your Personal Brand, at Rabbit Hole Studio in Brooklyn. Tara Gentile of Scoutie Girl, Laura Ann Young of Areaware and UG co-founder, Thomas Epting, weighed in on the importance of building a strong personal brand and how to know what aspects of your brand should be front and center.

Melissa of Emerging Designer and Cherry of Cherry Runway were there – see what they had to say about the evening. Since you all couldn’t be there, we thought we could share some of our favorite moments with you. If you are in the NYC area and want to attend our next How To Make It event, join our Meetup group!

Where to start? Tara answers what the essential elements of branding through sharing the experience of her and her clients.

Do you know who is looking at your designs? Laura Ann described how to use analytics to discover your audience.

You have to get your ideas out there! Tara talks about how to share your brand through social media.

Things need some updating? Tara shares how to decide when it is time for a rebranding.

Get your fans in on the action. Thomas shares how UncommonGoods uses crowd-sourcing and the customer’s voice to create innovative and interactive marketing campaigns.

There was a lot of great information in between. Take a gander at the talk in its entirety!