Designing a side hustle, I trained as a product designer originally (physical product, lighting, furniture etc) I want to create a business selling something I design. It needs to align with my personal values which are to create things that are designed to be kept and that are imbued with value.
This is the criteria
Must be able to bootstrap business (no loans please).
Must have low overheads.
Must have long term scalability but suitable to run at any scale.
Location can easily be altered.
Must be selling things that bring people Joy.
Must be something I love and will still love for a long time.
HIGH LEVEL TIMELINE
MAKE OF THE TEAM
All roles fulfilled by me
Have an outlet for personal creativity that I have complete control in. That overtime would create passive income to creatr more designs.
I am the founding member, I wear all the hats.
Initially, the challenge was to identify the business opportunity. Since then I designed the first collection, sourced an ethical manufacturer, built the website, created all the marketing material and started selling online. Now I am working on building the brand and finding our tribe.
BREAKING DOWN THE PROCESS
In the image below I've outlined my thought process in getting to the business I have today.
I looked and why I was doing it really thinking about what the end goal was for myself. Running a business is loads of work so I needed to be realistic. Next, I considered who my audience would be and when and where they would be in interacting with my product. Then I began to consider what it should be, note this whole process below of building a clear brand identity was done via trial and error over an extended period of time. Its became more defined as we identified our tribe. My goal in sharing the image below is to show the rationale behind making those decisions in a condensed design thinking format.
Then, I prioritised and chose a direction based on having identified a niche tribe and getting customer feedback.
Having identified we wanted to focus on the architecture we decided to focus on one type for the upcoming collection Brutalism.
We are continuing to measure success based on growth, sales and engagement.
UNDERSTANDING THE USER
People love architecture.
After working as a model maker making architectural models, I started to have a newfound appreciation for the built environment. I started following and creating boards on Architecture Pinterest as well as following people who took pictures of architecture on Instagram. I became part of this community which lead me to my users. I started to see what brought them joy and what inspired them.
Ellie is a photographer
In her spare time she likes to visit brutalist buildings.
She posts her pictures online.
She likes to take pictures of the buildings and post them online.
She's part of a community
Ellie is part of an online community on both Instagram and Pinterest. She shares and collects other peoples images for inspiration.
Shes a minimalist
Ellie identifies as a minimalist, we can see her style interests from the boards she creates and follows on interested. She tries to have less in her life to give her more freedom.
She makes considered purchases
Ellie likes to make considered purchases, shes happy to spend more money less often for items she really loves that are also timeless.
She also if possible likes to know where the things she buys come from, she values brand transparency.
Adornment Archive - Jewellery inspired by architecture
Below are some of the designs full collection can be seen at https://www.adornmentarchive.co.uk/
TITLE OF THE CALLOUT BLOCK
This is still very much an constant learning process
We have identified a niche and now have a small base of customers, we have validated people like the designs via crowdfunding. We are now drawing on that customer base for feedback and website metrics to identify painpoints.
Build a bigger following and work out how to make our website more appealing.