Last Wednesday we presented our research in the form of a 15 minute talk for our design and the market module. We were given the task of choosing a designer/entrepreneur related to our specialism. There were four of us in a group representing textiles, two people print based and to people knit based. We decided to look into textile design companies when researching who to choose as well as some independent textile firms. The aim of the task was to find out first hand how a creative business is run and the troubles that can occur along the way. We were to looking into the business side of launching your own brand or company, we had to find out how the person/team overcame financial problems, management, marketing and promoting their product. How did this affect their learning process? Did they feel thrown in at the deep end? Where did they get help/funding to start them off? How did they even know where to start? Do they have any advice for emerging students who want to start their own creative business?
With different specialism presenting to one another, each groups take was very different and insightful. One illustration group decided to contact a comic book illustrative company in Glasgow, they learned that the partners didn’t decide they wanted to start a business until later on in their careers, one of them even said he gave up drawing for 7 years. This goes to show that not everyone is ready to delve into the big bad world of being self-employed right away. For some people the experience gained from working for others is very useful as you will pick up and better your existing skills which will be a benefit for you in the long run. Most of the talks left the same impression about business, it’s very risky, very very risky but if you are confident with your product and are determined it can be achieved. Most of the people/companies revealed they had no clue about marketing and keeping up with all the facts and money figures, to them it was a nightmare!
Our designer summed it up perfectly with her quote “I kept telling myself, you only have to learn things once”. Learning about marketing,promoting and branding is essential as well as physically creating the product. We decided to interview a Glasgow based fashion designer who was just about to launch her first fashion collection for spring 2014. Our interview went very well, she was very polite and open about her experience with her fashion line. She told us that internships were very important when working in the creative industry, she had a few over the years before she decided she wanted to work for herself. “your creative cv doesn’t start until your first internship/design job” she told us. This I thought was very good advice, advice I think I will use wisely as I am now currently looking for my first internship for this summer. The process of meeting up with an active design business I feel was a good idea, as students it leaves us with hope that “Yes!” it can be done. Most if not all of us came away from the project a bit more relieved that there is people out there, creatives just like us who have no clue what they are doing until they actually do it! And furthermore their ventures are successful and profitable. The designer we interviewed was more than happy to answer our questions, this had encouraged me to feel more confident about approaching bigger companies in the future. At the end of the day, we all have to start somewhere. Now about my summer internship….