100% Organic Cotton Fabrics
For home sewers, businesses, retailers, and anyone who gives a scrap!
Messaging. What is it and what is important? Well, before we can really talk about messaging I think you have to take a few moments to answer these basic questions:
1. Who is your audience?
2. How are they finding you?
3. What do they already know?
4. What do they want to know?
5. How are is your business different than other companies like yours?
I think it is a worthy project to spend some time answering these 5 questions. Visualize your answer to #1. Give them an imaginary (or real) name and background. [I'm going to use the name Madge.] Create a realistic scenario for #2. Make them real. Now that you know who you are talking to, all of your "messaging" should then focus on confirming #3, expanding #4 and telling them about #5.
From my personal experience the first people interested in organic fabrics are new mothers. They want to surround their precious little one with the best. Sure we could talk about increased asthma & allergies linked to standard formaldehyde finishes and flame-retardants that have been linked to cancer. I think these things ARE important, but this can't be your only message. Guilt and fear grab attention but they don't make us feel good. They don't bring joy into our lives. Education is important but in my ideal world it's the back story not the headline.
Take a look at your web site, etsy page, facebook page, blog, etc. Are you talking to "Madge"? Telling her/him something new? Boring them? Lecturing them? My guess is that you created your business because you saw a need in the market. A hole that you were willing and able to fill. This means you could/may be talking to a person just like you! If that's the case, you don't have far to go to find out if the "message" resonates. Feel free to ask honest (kind) friends or better yet, current customers, to give you their feedback. People love to have their opinions heard. Ask. Listen. Speak - softly, kindly, intelligently. Don't try to be perfect. Don't be afraid to admit you don't know something or that you were wrong about something. You are not perfect, so just do your best at this moment in time. Be human. Be kind. Most importantly ENJOY the process. It's YOUR business so be about making it worth YOUR time and energy.
Yes, fear is an attention grabber. Did the photo get your attention? Personally, I am sick of fear. Give me beauty, joy, love and hope over fear any day of the week.
Meet Monique - the force behind our European distributor Pure Fabricz! Pure Fabricz is based in The Netherlands and has been handling our EU distribution since 2009. As luck (synchronicity) would have it, Monique was looking for colorful, appealing organic cotton bedding. She was frustrated when all she could find was beautiful shades of oatmeal and granola. Undaunted she decided she could make her own bedding. Her search for wide-width organic cotton fabric lead her to Harmony Art.
It was at this exact same time our European distributor was relocating to the Ukraine and was closing her shop. Instead of simply making a set of bed sheets Monique jumped into the fabric business! (She is someone who is not afraid of a good challenge from time to time.) Monique studied at fashion school, so she knew her way around a sewing machine. Prior to this career move she had several jobs, from shop manager to executive secretary. In addition, she is a volunteer at a local animal shelter where she is the editor of their quarterly magazine and the cat photographer!
Since their start in 2009 they have grown into a webshop (Pure Coverz) and wholesaler. They recently moved their business to a new premises with enough space to grow further. Pure Coverz sells all different organic cotton items for the home; bedding, home, bath and kitchen textiles.
The fabrics are now to be found throughout Europe in shops and webshops. Pure Fabricz has helped numerous small designers create the most beautiful garments with it.
It is a pleasure and joy to work with Monique. She is thoughtful, compassionate, detail oriented and a total sweetheart. I truly am the luckiest girl in the world. We wish Pure Fabricz a wonderful new chapter in their expanded (and organized!) location. If you have any friends in Europe looking for organic fabric, please refer them to Monique.
[NOTE: Pure Fabricz has THE largest selection of Harmony Art organic fabrics!]
"All you need is ignorance and confidence and the success is sure."
- Mark Twain
I have often said I had no business going into business. My background (education) is in Human Services (aka social work) and although I had a successful career designing textiles before launching Harmony Art organic design, I had zero business training. When I say zero, I mean zero. I did not take one business class in college.
What I did have was the two things noted above: ignorance and confidence. I had NO idea what I was getting into. I actually think in some strange way not knowing is helpful. You can't get freaked out by things you haven't thought about. You simply face them as they arrive at your doorstep.
With this series of blog posts I plan to examine some of the right moves and some of the wrong ones I have made. For the record, I refer to my costly mistakes as my personal investment in my MBA (the hard way). Please feel free to comment or email me with your own reactions, questions or struggles. What I do know is that we are not alone no matter how it may feel that way at times.
I think many of us struggle with this puzzle. My next post or two or 10 or more will share with you some of my experience of juggling life and home and entrepreneurship. I also plan to use this space to answer as many business questions as I feel able to, so feel free to send me your questions. Let the journey venture forth. . . thanks for coming along.
Founder of Harmony Art organic design.