It was very much a side project for a while, initially just as an online store and something I posted about on Instagram once a week.
In mid-2019 I rebranded it (and relaunched it) as Cotswold Poster Co. In about three months the Instagram following went from about 150 to 700, and sales increased massively too. It has been entirely self-funded and at the end of 2019 became profitable.
I have learned a lot from the process of creating a local design/craft brand by keeping it small, iterating, and changing direction when needed. I had no idea where it would go when I started and a lot of my initial assumptions were wrong but I’ve evolved it into something that seems to work.
I will be writing up my learnings here as an irregular series of blog posts, in the hope that they will be of use to anyone who wants to turn a designy/crafty side project or an idea into something more. Also to explain some of the background work that goes into this kind of business and how there’s no such thing as instant success!
For context, the two year process has fallen into the following time brackets:
- 0-6 months – the idea and early development [side project]
- 6-18 months – creating initial products and selling, evolving the concept [side project]
- 18-24 months – relaunch and growth [part to full time]
- The concept and brand
- Product development and dealing with physical products – product size
- Minimal-effort marketing
- Doing market stalls and working with shops
- The finances and spending