It has taken me a year to learn that in order for me to create successful textile designs, I have to put my designs to use. My designs have to become tangible. I have to imagine and put them on products, deciding what they would be best used for and who would buy them. Mock ups help, but real life products are better.
To be honest sometimes I forget why I make patterns and greeting cards. I get lost in the creation of my art. It’s therapeutic and fun! I lose sight of the end product. Which is perfectly fine if your intent isn’t to sell. Because those designs typically don’t do as well in the marketplace.
Recently I won 3rd place in a Spoonflower contest, and I think a huge reason why is because the design I created was for something specific – shorts for my son. (Which he loves, by the way, thankfully!)
I need a constant reminder that what I’m making is going to be printed on something (fabric usually), so I came up with an idea… re-open my Etsy Shop. And every time I design something new that isn’t client work or for my agent, figure out what product I’m going to use the design on, and who might buy it.
The trick is that eventually I’m going to have to narrow my niche… who my shop caters to, kids or women, but I’m going to wait to see what sells the most. To be clear, I’m not looking to become a millionaire on Etsy. I don’t want to sew all day, everyday. But my most favorite thing is to see my art out in the world. Gives me an incredible high.
Right now I’ve got some bags for sale, most that don’t utilize my own designs, but that will change. I adore sewing and I love the fabrics already in my stash. A girl has to start somewhere!
The awesome news is that I already have a commission on a set of baby bibs with my winning Spoonflower print and the collection I created around it! (You’ve got to love friends who believe in you and like your art!)
If you have any ideas for products that you’d like to see in my shop, please drop me a line. And if you have a shop of your own, feel free to link to it in the comments. I’d love to see what you all are creating!