Updated: Jun 17
After I had presented LLAMAS ALSO SHARKS to the world, a few people made me aware of the fact that the items I was selling on my tiny web shop were not affordable to them. I already had an idea for the next release and I decided to make it in a price bracket of each item being max 25 EUR. I spent weeks researching of how I could actually pull it off and make Small english things affordable to more customers (Important side note. I also had to be able to pay the bills, cuz you know... no business loans, I talked about this in the previous post). The research and test phase took quite a while because I did not want to compromise on the quality. I had a certain standard in mind and I did not want to adjust my artistic vision. Yet...you know the practicalities of production do not get cancelled because I have an artistic vision :D The trio of LLAMA WANNABE LEOPARD consisted of a print, a ring and a patch.
I decided to make a print at a copy shop around the corner from my house (instead of doing a 7 color screen print which I did with LLAMAS ALSO SHARKS | it takes foooooreeeveeeer and the success rate is a little frustrating), I adjusted the ring design in a way that it reduced the time invested and I found a supplier overseas for producing the self adhesive embroidered patches. And the trio went out in the world :)
I am learning every day. Accounting and cashflow management and legal matters and UX design and hiring and strategy... I often feel that this one man show has a chance of turning into a split personality disorder due to me being required to wear so many hats all at once. I like learning (NERD!). However. I certainly do not have all of the answers. I definitely did not have them when I opened my small time operation with 3 web shop items in 2016. I am not expecting to have all of the answers ever. It has been a trial-error type of an operation so far. The objective was to take a gamble with my time and energy by investing my skillset into building my own entity.
LLAMA WANNABE LEOPARD was my second try after LLAMAS ALSO SHARKS had proven to be successful enough to bring in enough income for me to reinvest it right back in.
As I am writing this, I have spent a month of thinking, analysing and reassessing the ups&downs of the past 2 years. I revisited my WHY's. Why did I start Small english? Why did I continue building it? Why have I now involved 7 people in helping me to build this entity? First, I wanted my artwork to go on objects made in a somehow sustainable way ( read here about the creation of LLAMAS ALSO SHARKS). I never had an intention to become a fashion brand or a jewellery brand. I still don't have such an intention. I was curious to see, if people found value in what I did and if they would be interested in purchasing it. I hoped my work would, if not inspire people then at least lift their mood for a little bit. When I get messages with positive feedback from the customers who say that a Small english item had made them feel better, it fuels me to create more work. Yet, I would want to avoid creating a system of unsustainable practises. Therefore, I felt the need to re-axamine all of the current practises to see, if I am staying on the track of making sustainable choices. I went through the list of web shop items and the LLAMA WANNABE LEOPARD patch caught my attention... because this is the only item which I cannot track exactly of how these patches were made. I do not know the people who made them.
When I was working on LLAMA WANNABE LEOPARD, Small english was not what it is today. At the time, I was trying to please the potential customers who would want to have items in a different price bracket than the previous release. However, from the perspective of today, the fact that I am unable to know with certainty the way these patches were made ... today it stands in the way for me to continue the journey. Therefore, I have decided to discontinue selling them in the shop. I still have about 40 of them in stock left and I have an intention to find a way they could bring joy ( suggestions are welcome ;)
I would like to continue building Small english as a brand of sustainable practises. To be honest and transparent and to build a healthy organization.
All my love,
For your entertainment I am also providing the not so glamorous shots of behind the scenes.
NOT SO GLAMOROUS SHOT NUMBER 1
The way illustration needs to be adjusted in order to make patches.
NOT SO GLAMOROUS SHOT NUMBER 2
Can you see why these were not good to go on the shop? :D
Pretty photos www.outoffocus.nl
Not so glamorous shots were made by moi