As I mentioned last week when introducing my sale (please go and help me get rid of my discontinued stock!), things have been a little hectic around here lately. Between redesigning my branding, creating a massive bunch of new products, sorting out my two lovely new stockists (give me a shout if you want to be added to the list) and a week in London for Blogtacular and to see family, I've been running myself ragged.
But in the best of ways. I've made a lot of progress in a short while, and I'm almost ready to launch v2.0 of A Rose Cast.
Since I launched my first product, I've been in a full blown experimentation mode. Playing about with whatever concepts entered my head, trying to figure out where both my interest lay and what appealed to buyers. After a year and a bit of this, watching what seemed to resonate, and what type of people I attracted, I've finally honed in on the audience I want to focus my work towards; well-read, opinionated women with a love of playfulness and anything cute.
Basically me in a nut-shell.
So now's the time to start designing specfically for this lovely audience I have already connected to. And not just doing things that seem to be profitable or creating something for an audience that may shop at one of my stockists but wouldn't be interested in my other creations.
Therefore it's time to streamline my products and revamp my branding in order to travel in this more focused direction for my illustration business.
Designing wedding stationery was something I was simply doing for the money. Yes, I love architecture and drawing buildings, but that doesn't mean I have to force these products into my shop when they don't meld with other items. (You know, as a creative it's actually okay to draw something you enjoy without trying to make money from it!) I'm a massive nerd, but whereas the cards I created with female TV and movie icons work well with my feminist products, the few I did of male TV icons just didn't feel like they had a place.
Cutting these items was a little painful. It felt like I'd wasted my already limited time. But they were a necessary experience. I needed to explore and see what melded and what didn't. That's what your first year in business is all about.
So, as you can see, a little while ago I moved things around on the shop (and on my Etsy store). All the items I wasn't going to continue with went into the sale, and I was left with three main 'sub-brands' that focused on topics that fit my idea customer: a smart, opinionated feminist in her late-20s, who voraciously reads, adores animals, and loves items that are pretty but also a fair bit quirky (I call her Clara).
- Girl Gang // Feminist goodies for those who persist
- Book Nerd // Literary goodies for well-read women, and
- An animal-themed sub-brand // Goodies for crazy cat ladies and animal fanatics (Currently showing as Crazy Cat Lady, but will be renamed so I can create illustrations based around more than just cats)
And to that end, I have been designing up a storm of new products (on my iPad with the Apple Pencil. So great for quick concepts and iterating designs!). Today I'm showing you a few quick snaps of some of my new collection of greeting cards. On top of this lot, there are a number of other cards in the works (I think at last count I had 14 designs ... whoops), some more sticker sets (my god, people, you love stickers!), art prints and more accessories (pocket mirrors, badges, and what else I think you guys will love).
What do you think so far?
I have a lot more to do, including some more streamlining of the sub-brands (packaging design, sorting out the blurbs I want to use, etc.), work on my branding revamp (you can see a little update on the A Rose Cast logo at the top of the post), and such. But hopefully by the end of summer, A Rose Cast will be at the beginning of a new stage.