You always hear how long it takes to get a website going, whether it is starting from scratch or designing a site that needs a refresh and those who have gone through it nod in sympathy and those who have yet to have that particular experience are left a little bewildered. Surely a basic website is just a few photos mixed with a few words and a handful of products to get started? And yes, that’s basically it. But this simplicity is misleading, it is all the 101 decisions that have to be made along the way – which products, what content, how many images to tell a story? The list is never ending.
So when I started out jazzing up the site I thought I’d just make a few tweaks. I found the prospect of a full redesign overwhelming and I was sure I didn’t have the time. I didn’t want another Christmas to go rolling past without the new porcelain ranges online. So start small and just get it done.
Then of course it morphed into a complete redesign and my gorgeous and talented friend Libby – mother to my god son (or normally phased as I’m god mother to her oldest) offered to pull me out of the redesign quick sand and help. Thank goodness for that!
Libby has her own website design business, Crimson Pear, and has a beautiful ability to bring coding and design together in harmony. I think it is a rare talent but I’ve always known Libby was exceptionally special. So a huge thanks goes to Libby for all her generous help and particularly for that fabulous Skype session we had that looked after so many questions!
I need to also say a big loud thank you for my market friend and model, Annie Anderson for her generous offer to help show my necklaces and brooches. I think Annie is one of the most beautiful people I’ve ever met. She is vibrant, chatty, warm hearted, kind and hilarious.
It came about with me complaining about how many models look dead in the eye, lifeless and therefore portraying the creative designs they are wearing to be as boring and lack luster. Apparently this is done on purpose (!!!!) so the model is just the clothes horse and the image is all about the fashion or jewellery. I think that is bollocks. Why would anyone want their creations they’ve spent months on designing, making and creating to look like they are boring the hell out of a beautiful woman? Really!
So when Annie and I collaborated on a mini shoot we had some fun. I think the sparking good humour of Annie comes shining through and I hope you enjoy these photos as much as I had in taking them.
We took the photos at The Rocks Markets and you can see the stalls and cafes in the background. Annie is fairly new to market while I’ve been at The Rocks since 2008 (I started doing markets in 2001). My full range of porcelain designs are at market.
One thing that held me back for way too long with putting the porcelain designs online is how each piece is unique. The patterns for each always fires differently and no two are the same. I was concerned about people thinking that what they would receive would be exactly the same as the image shown and that simply isn’t possible. As an artisan business owner making her own designs and selling them online and at market, I just can’t take photos of every piece and put it online.
I started asking people at market what they expected when shopping online with artisans like myself and found out they don’t want everything to be the same, they want them to be different! Ha! As long as they were told in the description that every piece was handmade and different then they were fine with it. So I’m trusting my market research and giving it a go.
As for the photos of the necklaces and brooches and getting them ready for the website that’s my work. I took advice and tips from where ever I could find them and then realised my sunny studio had the perfect light for giving it a go.
I experimented with backgrounds, occasionally took too many photos to wade through and at other times I took too few and had to set up again.
Happily Libby is helping me with my rebranding and we are working on some image standards so you’ll see these influences come through in the coming months.
The hardest thing is to start. So I’ve got the first version of the website done. I have the first collection of designs up and available and I’ll keep adding as I go.
Coming soon is the new range of my water colour paintings of platypuses, koalas, kangaroos and wombat necklaces and pins.
But they are still in production and there is plenty of room for them in the coming weeks, all in time for Christmas. It’s no use relaunching a site just a couple weeks out from Christmas, it needs to have time to settle down and to get into a routine. To test out what works and what needs improving.
So there you have it. A redesigned and relaunched artisan website made by the creative woman behind the market table and her generous hearted friends who take joy in seeing others flourish.
I hope you enjoy the designs and you let me know what is working and what needs improving. I’m sure there are some gremlins living somewhere within the site and I’m always in need of some testing feedback and ideas!