Sunday, February 18, 2007

Wise words from Ms Japel

I like her.
She has ...something.
She's just one of those people whom you can look at in a
photograph, even and know...she's special.
I was reading an interview with Stefani Japel of
Glampyre knits, and this part really caught my eye.

"Nat: Are there any tips you can share about running a craft business?

Stefanie: I'm still learning about the whole business end of
things, so don't listen to any advice from me. But here are
some things that I do:
Don't pay too much attention to what other people are doing.
Keep to your own aesthetic and you'll stay original. The second
you decide to consciously directly compete with what someone
else is doing is the second you lose the freshness of your own ideas.
I read blogs, and there are a few shop sites I check every so often...
but maybe because I'm so busy, I live in a bubble. I don't have time
to pay too much attention to other craft businesses.

Don't take yourself too seriously. I think that one big mistake
people make is to think of themselves as experts...I don't know.
Craft is what you do because you love it. When you start to put
all that pressure on yourself...ideas are harder and harder to come by.
Let things just flow.

Constantly sketch. Draw every single permutation of every
idea that you have.

Save your receipts and organize them. Taxes suck.

Stay friendly. I learn so much from people who are in this business.
I see every relationship as something to learn from. The most annoying
customer can really give you insight into the minute things that could
be changed to either make the site more navigable, or the pattern more
easy to read. Some people even write just because they're lonely...not
because they really have a problem with you or your work...just treat
everyone with respect, and you'll be respected."

Sometimes it is the most simple actions that mean the most. And while she
is talking about crafts and knitting, I think the same advice should be taken by
fine artists too.
That ol "act like a rock start, cold shoulder the fans,let them know you are a superior
being " act has got to go.
I have seen it fail a number of times now, for a number of people.
Yeah...the part about staying nice REALLY caught my attention.

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