Are you a newbie maker unsure how to get your business off the ground? Or perhaps you’re more established but are struggling to figure out the best way to meet customers? It’s times like these you need a mentor, a ‘maker mentor‘ if you will (I just made that up but I love it). And guess what? I can tell you all about a company that has been set up to help creatives just like you, yay! You may have seen me mention Designers/Makers before – I ran a 4 part feature on their designers back in the Spring ( click here to catch up). Run by Sophie Rees, D/M is an ‘international agency and online shop for contemporary design and craft.‘ Fancy. But what can they do for you? Let’s find out…
First let’s talk membership…
Yes, there’s a membership fee. Happily, it’s not expensive. At £50 for a year’s membership you can’t afford not to invest in your business when you get all this:
Business toolkit: Useful advice on social media, marketing, photography, etc. You need to know this stuff.
Design Directory & Opportunities: A list of places & spaces that love designer makers as much as you do. Plus, regularly updated opportunities for you to apply for.
Online shop + profile: I don’t know if you’ve heard, but it’s all about ‘online’ these days.
Monthly market: The opportunity to sell your work to IRL customers at Spitalfields, the famous London market, is a pretty amazing thing. Going to the same place monthly in itself is nice considering so many big craft markets are annual events. This means you can get to know the market area and most importantly meet other designers to swap words of wisdom and cups of tea. Every third Saturday & Sunday of the month D/M members have the opportunity to snap up discounted stalls at Spitalfields. Other markets also crop up regularly for you to sell your goods.
D/M Dialogue blog: What’s that? You heard some super amazing gal is writing the D/M blog these days? You would be correct. Yes, it’s me *cough*. Seriously though, this is a good little expanding resource with interviews with D/M’ers so you can find out a little more about your peers and their work, as well as have the opportunity to be featured yourself.
Retail consultancy database: D/M are in regular contact with independent stores looking for new designers to fill their shelves. Perhaps your work?
If you’re still not sure this is the way to go, then pop along to the Designers/Makers market yourself and check out the high quality of goods. In fact, come to the one this weekend – Dec. 20th & 21st – because I’ll be there too! This is what I’m looking out for:
Sarah Elwick Knitwear baby blanket // £57 // Am I the only one whose friends have all suddenly had babies?!
Alfred & Wilde dodecahedron mug // £16 // How much fun is it to say dodecahedron?
I am Acrylic cheese board // £30 // What is Christmas about if not cheese?
Jenni Desmond A-Z Animal print // £40 // I like animals and I bet you do too.
Have you been to a Designers/Makers market? Or are you thinking of joining the agency?
Disclaimer: Since writing my 4-parter interviews on D/M, I’ve kept in touch with Sophie at Designers/Makers and have accepted a few fantastic opportunities she’s sent my way. Namely that I now guest edit the D/M blog, and D/M have also paid for sidebar sponsorship. Thank you Sophie! However, all views are my own, etc. I just wanted to write this post to introduce the agency properly to you 🙂
P.S. I also interviewed Sophie for The Holborn. To read more about the agency head over here.
(images: via D/M & individual sites)