As you may know, we sell some of what we make through Madeit. A lovely online handmade heaven. Selling in this way we have also made some lovely madeit friends through a facebook group. It’s such a supportive and sharing environment.
Through this group yesterday another seller asked if there were any madeit stores that are run by more than one person and how it works out. We of course put our hand up and it got me thinking about writing about our experience as a partnership. You can read about how it all started on our about us page so if you’d like to pop over there for a bit I’ll wait……..ok back? Yes we need a new photo ;-).
To start with I need to point out that selling what we make is kind of an added bonus. We are more about the craft and sharing and meeting other crafty folk (not that we’ve had much time to do that of late). But like many of you we also have day jobs, kids, partners, house… the list could go on. So to keep our sanity we need to craft and getting Ditto Crafts started has been the best thing for both of us in that respect. We give each other the freedom to craft what we need to at the time. No deadlines or strict inventory levels, we are much more fluid, and I think that is why it’s working for us.
As far as what we make, we can both do that, and in our individual styles. So if a customer want’s something I usually make but in Leah’s style (or visa versa), this is not a problem. But outside all of the craft and into the land of business, web, markets etc, we both have our strengths and that is where being a partnership really comes into it.
A typical business partnership might meet regularly, schedule meetings, write minutes, you get the picture. With us it’s more sharing a coffee and throwing ideas around while the kids run amuck. Mind you, if either of us doesn’t think something would work, we let the other know!! We used to craft in the same room but now time is so scarce, we craft in our own time and then photo stream and Evernote are our best friends. You wouldn’t know we only live a few streets away from each other!!!
I guess there are down sides to this way of working in a business sense. There is no uniform look, no template to how we conduct our online presence. But I think if we did make it too rigid then it would fall apart. And believe me, the control freak in me comes knocking at the door often, and I’m put back in my box!! It’s not what all this is about.
Where we want all this to go? Who knows. It doesn’t seem that important as long as we are at the sewing machine or have a hook in our hands and have somebody to make for, we are content. I would love for this to become my full time profession, but the bills need to be paid and kids fed.
As Paul Kelly sang (in a completely different context of course) “from little things, big things grow” :-).