As many of you know I am very passionate about the materials I use as an artist & maker & many of you also know that ever since I was given the go ahead at the very beginning of this year to produce a wool dress as part of a collaboration project for Organic Wool Wales (many of you very kindly supported my making of it, helping me with many of the decisions while I worked in the searing heat of the Asian sun http://loutonkin.com/2013/04/09/hedgerow-dress/) that I have become even more passionate about the value & wonderousness of these materials- so much so that I have been quietly working on the production of a clothing & accessories line.
My clothing design will be using much of the same techniques I have used in the past but to create a more ‘off the peg’ product which you can all share in (& some of you might just stop cutting holes in woollen things just to get me to repair them with something lovely)
Well, I have been saving every penny & ploughing all of my artwork earnings into this new project which is a slow going process (I have now bought the screens to do my own printing, found the lovely organic cotton/hemp fabric to print onto, had a pattern & a sample dress made by a lovely dress maker in Penryn, which could be made into both a luxurious British wool cloth dress with one of my hand finished designs or a crisp hand printed cotton dress, found a supplier for scrumptious wool cardigans for women & jumpers for men & set up a brilliant collaboration project for children’s clothing with Picaloulou) but an opportunity has come up for me to enter a competition.
To enter I have to submit a 3 minute video pitch about my idea accompanied by a 250 summary. If something wonderful happened & I am picked as one of the 10 finalists I would have to submit a full business plan (profits & losses & all of that stuff I normally screw my eyes very tightly shut & hope will go away) The competition prize is a small amount of cash to be invested into my business but more importantly a lot of support from a very large number of sponsors including good solid financial help, design, marketing, business support, shipping, advertising & all sorts of other lovely things which would give me a really good start.
But I was sitting here thinking… How do I get them to realise how brilliant my product is? I will have just 3 minutes…I have all of the lovely comments you have made about my work before, I could submit them? but I need to write something really great!
The competition is all about local regeneration which is very important to me but to make this work I would hope to sell my products nationally- globally! But what I need to make sure before I write even a single word is to ask you lot what you think? While most of you who are interested in my work & follow me are in the UK many of you are all around the world & you after all make up a large proportion of my market audience.
My business vision:: ‘To produce a clothing & accessories line using sustainable British/organic materials championing quality & the value of UK/ local production with bespoke, unique design’.
Is this all a good idea? Am I focusing on the right products? So if it’s ok could you answer some questions for me?
1. Do you love the idea of a new clothing line using local sustainable materials? (with my designs making them a bit special…) Is this important to you?
2. I like the idea of creating something which is a real treasure, something which becomes an heirloom piece which you want to keep or pass on, does this sound good to you? or do you prefer to change your clothes/get bored of things quickly?
3.If you were going to buy something which was a bit special- hand finished etc.. do you think it is more likely that you would buy it for you? As a present? for your home? for your partners? for a child? other? please let me know.
4. Favourite items of clothing? skirts? Dresses? Jumpers? Cardigans? Which do you buy more often?
5.What haven’t I asked? Please send me any thought you have.
Thank you in advance for helping me & sending me your thoughts.
(& a little p.s. if you have a FB page please could you share my questions with other people you know by sharing the dress picture on my timeline which has this blog link attached to it the more people I can get feedback from the better)