Finally, after months of talking, planning, and indecision my new website EmmaInks.Studio is finally live and ready to shop.
Why Emma Inks Studio?
During my first few sessions with The Prince’s Trust, my mentor asked me to think about my brand name as it didn’t sit right with him.
My initial reaction was to scrap the Emma Inks element all together; I didn’t want anyone to think that I was creating blog merch so thought it might be best to completely distance the new brand. Before making a final decision I asked for feedback from friends, customers, and my internet family on dropping Emma Inks – the reaction was an overwhelmingly WHAT, WHY, NO!
Taking their opinions onboard I decided that maybe I didn’t need to take such drastic action and simply switched out “designs” for “studio”. It sounds more adult and gives me room to grow my business in whatever direction I want.
The Look and Feel
I think it takes a while to settle on a cohesive look and feel of a brand but I knew I wanted to keep things really clean and simple whilst still retaining a tough edge, which I have hopefully achieved through the photography.
I’m drawn to textured backgrounds, and props that come together to tell a story within in the product pictures. I didn’t want to distract from my art being the main focus of the imagery but also wanted to add personality to each shot.
I hope that the minimalist design will allow people to navigate the site with ease while still getting a feel for the vibe of Emma Inks Studio.
Why Big Cartel?
You’d think having a fiancé that runs a web development company I would have a custom built site, but in the end it was all getting a little complicated. Pablo is crazy busy with client work at the moment and the longer it was taking to build my site the more it got out of hand.
After we filmed our video on web design together I looked at my website from a new perspective. So to take the pressure off Pablo and help me reset we kept it simple and started with Big Cartel.
I’m sure as the business grows and I create a clearer brand identity I will go for a more elaborate website but this is everything I need right now and I actually found the whole set up super quick and easy.
What Happened to Etsy?
Though I have made a fair few sales on Etsy, the market place just doesn’t suit my style or business ideals. Creatives in general heavily undersell themselves and this is especially true on a marketplace like Etsy. There is just no way I can compete with people selling prints for as little as a £1.
Etsy are also raising their seller fees and I’d rather sell direct and pass that saving onto my customers. I will still stock a small amount of cards and prints on Etsy as an additional marketplace, and to increase visibility, but they will be at a higher price point to cover the new fees.
Emma Inks Studio will now be the hub for my business where you will be able to get ALL of my stock at the best prices.
That brings me on nicely to pricing. As a consumer and business owner I am heavily focussed on quality and have really thought out every single detail of the items I sell. I even spent the afternoon with Natasha at G.F Smiths paper showroom so I could physically pick out the best possible paper, who knew that there are so many varieties of white paper to choose from?
My packaging is biodegradable and I have invested in a high-end printer so I can sell professional quality items from home. Even if I reduced the quality of these items to lower the cost I believe that everyone deserves to be paid at least minimum wage.
Most of my pieces are created in A3 and use 1 pixel pointillism to add shade and texture (that’s a lot of dots) and takes a lot of time to draw. That is not even taking into account the design and the hugely time consuming business side of running Emma Inks Studio.
I’m not telling you this to justify my pricing or guilt trip you into making a purchase these are all conscience decisions I have made and I am a business not a charity. Why I wanted to bring this topic up is to remind creatives to value their time and skills and to remind consumers that when you are paying a creative it’s not just the item you are purchasing but the time and effort that has gone into making it.
So, that’s my new little website and an update to what I’ve been up to recently. If you’ve got 5 minutes I’d love you to have a click around and let me know what you think.