lessons from 2013 - part 1

Oh have I got a good week here at Patternbooth for you!

If you are just starting out, growing your own business or still at uni, then you're going to love the next three posts.

I'm lucky, here at the Patternbooth blog I get to talk to some amazing designers and makers. They always have so much wisdom to share that I thought I would repeat last years excellent round up of advice, and spend this week sharing some sage advice from some of the folk I've talked to.

Alison Milner

Give yourself enough time to research widely. Keep interests away from your specialisation. Keep sketchbooks of ideas. Read and write. If you don’t do all these things your work will just look like other peoples work.

I think a good computer and Adobe Creative suite are a must… when you start you can generate all your own marketing material, website, etc.

Be patient and true to yourself.

Sian Elin:

My advice would be to take your camera with you wherever you go and record everything. Try and see pattern in everything you look at. And sketch and draw as much as possible – try everything out. In addition go to as many trade fairs as possible, meet as many people as you can, and talk to buyers in local shops. They are full of advice, and sometimes much easier to approach than a large shop.

Chelsea Cefai:  

My advice to anyone who wants to get his or her own collection out into to the world... Firstly, be prepared for lots of unpaid hard work! A really good website or a blog is the best way for people to initially view your designs. Take time to identify a small range of products that work well with your patterns and discuss these ideas with different manufacturers starting locally, so you can visit them in person. Research your pricing structure thoroughly. Don’t be frightened to approach the big companies with your work and product ideas, what have you got to loose!

Jemma from Custhom:

Textiles is such a wonderful subject, in that your possibilities are really open. Get lots of different experiences and be nice to people.

Rafael Rozendaal:

Exercise, lots of green tea, lots of working and try not to worry, it's useless.

Mirella Bruno:

I would strongly advise, grabbing any experience you can get through a placement, internship, apprenticeship or a competition, the more commercial experience you can bag the more your confidence will grow. 

Build up a fantastic portfolio, be aware of future trends and design accordingly. Certainly fashion your designs according to the client you are hoping to impress. There are lots of fantastic agencies out there to register with but for recent graduates I would recommend Alex Brownless who is co-founder of Arts Thread the worlds leading creative graduate network. I feel that it can’t be stressed enough how positive it is to approach companies personally and directly. The emphasis is on exposure so you must get yourself out there networking and creating.

Do your research. Be inspired and just keep at it. If you love what you are doing hopefully others might too. Believe and follow your dreams. Be passionate and don’t give up.

Lorna Syson:

There definitely have been times when I’ve found it tough and I think the amazing support of my family and friends has really helped me at every stage.

My advice would be to believe in yourself, build up great relationships around you for the tough times and when possible take some time out to really enjoy the good times.