Creativity Speaks! seventyseventyone design
Today’s Creativity Speaks! interview is from the very talented UK accessories designer Gail Myerscough from seventyseventyone design.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m Gail and I’m a designer/maker living in the North West of England. I make felt fashion accessories from my own handmade merino wool felt and commercial wool mix felt. My inspiration comes from 60s and 70s design and colours and in particular mid century Scandinavian design.
How and why did you create your business?
I have always had a need to create and be creative and love textiles and textile design. I studied surface pattern design at university but became more interested in textiles. I wanted to use felt in a sculptural way and started making flower corsages for myself. People started to ask me where I got them so I started an Etsy shop to see if there would be a market for them and it grew from there. I now have eight online shops and three galleries
stocking my work.
Describe a typical work day for you?
As well as running my own business I also work full time as an assistant manager of a craft gallery so my own work is a labour of love. I use evenings and weekends for my own work and have a very understanding partner!
What are the most effective ways you have promoted and marketed your business?
The most effective ways of promoting my business have been through online craft communities such as Etsy and Folksy and through social networking sites, particularly Twitter. I also have my own website and blog. As I run a very small operation there is very little money for marketing campaigns so any way to promote my work for free is a good thing.
What’s your best marketing tip?
My best marketing tip would be to take advantage of any free promotion as already mentioned and to research any new proposition thoroughly before signing up.
What have you found to be an unsuccessful promotion?
Most of the ways I promote my business are free so I suppose none of them are unsuccessful but some are more successful than others!
What’s the hardest part about running a business?
The hardest thing for me is time management as I also work full time. Also juggling all the different roles is hard. Sometimes you just want to make and create new work but have marketing, online shop upkeep, blogging, accounting etc to do as well. But without these things there wouldn’t be an outlet for my work.
What goals do you wish to accomplish in the future?
I would love to carry on making and selling a successful range of work. I would like to expand and sell my work in more galleries. I have lots of ideas for new designs and ranges so to launch these would be a short term goal. A long term goal would be to be successful enough to do what I love as a full time job. As long as people continue to appreciate my work I’m happy.
What one item in your shop best represents what you have to offer?
I think the loopy corsage
would be the item that best represents my work. It has been my best seller since I launched it and my most successful product to date.