Sunday, 7 July 2013

thoughts and ramblings

this weekend (well, let's be honest, every day really!) I've been thinking a lot about the future of Ladybird Likes. about growing it into something that will enable me to do what I love but also make enough money to live from. I want Ladybird Likes to become a brand people have heard of, I want to see people out and about wearing my pieces. I have such huge plans and aspirations for this little business, but there are so many details to work out.

as a brand grows it seems a certain finish or polished look is required. my business plan has always included Ladybird Likes feeling very handmade and independent, but I don't think this is what gets into magazines, or on to celebs. when I look at brands that I aspire to be like, they have professional shoots done with photographers, and models, and make up artists, and stylists. they have websites and online shops built by web designers and logos made by graphic designers. they have PR companies that handle all their press, getting them into magazines and on to celebrities. even their items look better quality and less handmade.

and then there is me. taking my own pictures against a piece of white paper. trying to create a website out of a stripped back blogspot blog. making my own graphics in photoshop using techniques which I know are really long-winded, but it's the only way I know how to do things as I tend to make it up as I go along, having no photoshop training. it's disheartening. I know that to grow the business the way I want I need to take that next step and go a bit more professional. but two things hold me back. firstly, the money. spending hundreds of pounds on photos is a big deal for me. spending the same again on website development, and graphic designers, and PR companies... well that terrifies me! and they aren't one-off costs - every time new products come out you need more photos taking, the website needs updating regularly, PR is an ongoing battle....

but maybe I should just bite the bullet. I have total faith in Ladybird Likes - it's my baby, and I will do whatever it takes to make it a success and to make my dream real. so I should see the money I'd be spending as an investment, right? well this is where the second thing comes into play; I'm a total control freak. I've mentioned this on the blog several times before, but I have real trouble letting go of anything relating to the business. I want to do EVERYTHING myself. it can be a good thing at times, but mostly it gets in the way and stops me from getting things down because I end up constantly battling against myself. not good!

being self-employed has definitely made me realise that the biggest obstacle to me achieving my goals is in fact me. I overthink things to the point where I become almost paralysed by how much there is to do, or how long it will take to do a particular job, or how much trial and error is involved in something new, and in the end I will get nothing done other than sit and worry and compare myself to other people who I deem to be more successful, or more skilled, or more cool than me.

so this week I'm going to storm ahead. there will be no pity party - instead I'm going to plow all that energy into working on new products, building my new website, and opening my folksy and dawanda shops. wish me luck!


  1. Good luck! I really like your stuff and I would love to buy something from your shop if I had some extra cash! I can see what you mean, cause I am trying to make a living out of my own productions =) (in my case paintings, comics and other artwork).

  2. Good luck lovely! I love the fact that you've stayed with the elements of handmade/homemade, there's so many businesses out there already who have perhaps left behind those elements and it's such a shame. I think in terms of having to spend out all that money - can you rack your brains and perhaps think of any people you know who might be able to help you out with those things? Maybe you could take the photographs yourself but find a way to make them look more how you want them to look? :) I know how you feel with wanting to do everything yourself, and especially being control-freak about it. I have so many ideas, and I've been meaning to start my own artsy Etsy shop for so long, but I get freaked out by the pure amount of work it would take to have enough to open up. I'm the kind of person that can't just finish one item and put it up there, I want to have my whole shop ready! But it is my aim for this Summer to get it started :) xx

  3. Oh I hear ya about wanting to do everything yourself. I am my own worst nightmare when it comes to that! It's so easy to constantly compare yourself to others.... For the record though, your business is totally one that I look at and think "I hope I can get there someday!!" Your work is amazing and I'm sure it'll take you wherever you want to go with it :) good luck! xxx

  4. Do you have any local colleges with photography on the course list? it may be worth sidling up to one of the students and doing some quid pro quo arrangement, i.e. you pay them a small amount or nothing depending on how nice they are, they use images for their portfolios and you get the bonus of professional quality equipment (borrowed by the student from the college)
    With regards to Photoshop, dependent on what your doing hundreds of YouTube tutorials, even more for the free version of "Gimp" - Yes there is a photo-manipulation program unfortunately called that. Its easier to use in my opinion. The website side never underestimate simplicity. A simple website/shop works wonders as long as everything is there that is expected. Having a really professional website that requires java/flash etc would just cut down on your client base if it fails to display properly on those who use older or less known browsers.

  5. That sounds like a great thing to do, i know with Photoshop you can learn A LOT online, seriously i knew nothing about it when i was younger and developed my skills pretty easily just by looking for tutorials. Would save you money too! and sometimes it's not about having the best photographs and a lot of money, that stuff comes with time. Good luck :)

    ♥ Little Owl Diary


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