I knew I wanted to go to the Manchester Craft Centre, as I want to make merchandise and products for my final show and something I want to think about for the future, and I knew that at the Craft Centre would be a great place to show people who do a similar work and would be great to hear their feedback, as it could be really valuable and important.
The first place I went to was Quite Contrary, a beautiful store filled with hand made goods, such as purses, bags, cards and key rings, products that I am really interested in and would love to make using my own designs.
I showed him my portfolio and talked him briefly though the projects and how I had created and made them. In my portfolio I had included some of my favourite pieces of work and the work I felt most confident and comfortable talking about. I included some of my work from the BMW project, some of my Mexican folk and skull work, and finally some of my most recent work with the birds and parrots for my FMP. I had actually bought along some of the products that I had actually made such as note books, writing sets and fabric samples. He thought that the products that I had made were interesting and he could see them being sold and people would be interesting in the and there is a potential market for them. He told me that my designs work well on stationary I that I should definitely stick with it as I am doing well so far. He seemed to be interested in what I had done and how I had create my work.
I also asked him how the company started and how to get into the craft industry, he told me that they had initially started on a small market and stalls, they had started a few years ago on Tib Street in Manchester and it had grown from there on. I also asked about selling online stores such as Etsy, he told me that he does have one, however doesn't use it much as when buying one off hand made items most people much prefer to come into the shop and look at the actual items in person.
I thought that for one of my first portfolio visits it went really well and got some good feedback and advice about how to start.