Adornment Archive 

Designing my side hustle

THE PROBLEM

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

On going

MAKE OF THE TEAM

All roles fulfilled by me

KEY GOAL

Have an outlet for personal creativity that I have complete control in. That overtime would create passive income to creatr more designs. 

MY ROLE

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.

MEET ELLIE

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.

THE PRODUCT

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

LESSONS LEARNED

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.

NEXT STEPS

Build a bigger following and work out how to make our website more appealing.

Given this is a side hustle and bootstrapped I'm having to learn on the go. I have validated we have a good product and the price is right (as we have had purchases made) and identified we need to focus on marketing, SEO (people can't buy stuff they don't know exists) and better understanding our customers needs. 
 
I have just completed a course in the Psychology of selling at the interaction design foundation this has highlighted clear gaps in appealing to our customer on more complex levels (the three brains) as well as the power of better-using story. In addition to the smaller items around pricing and how to better display information for optimum appeal. I intend to implement my learnings and measure growth and engagement as a result of them. 

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