I got a DM on Instagram the next day that read: “Brittany – loving all the products lately. You’re officially in store for a big brand. I responded with ‘Thank you so much!’ That’s the idea! We’re working hard on it!” This was from a friend of Lars’, so I was honored that she noticed our hard work. But if you haven’t noticed, I want to give you an update – some new areas for us if you like.
A short historical overview
If you’re new here, let me give you a summary (you can read about it here too). It started Etsy store About 12 years ago I made some souvenirs for Kate and William’s royal wedding because I thought I was going to marry Prince William (I really did, haha). Well, if you can’t marry a member of the royal family, you can make some mugs and sell them on Portobello Road, right?! The store went wild and the products were displayed everywhere around the world. I followed up with a few products here and there, but ended up focusing my time and energy on the DIY for this site, as sponsorships on the blog and social media became my main form of income.
For the past 10 years, we have followed this path, but in the last few years we have started working with companies in a licensing manner where we design products and then another company manufactures them. It’s really a win/win because we do what we do best and they do it too. We love these partnerships! He thinks Casetify (cell phone cases), Swimsuits, Bedding for children And more to come next year.
DIY and the house that Lars built
Looking back on my decision to focus on crafts a long time ago, I have witnessed the joy this decision has brought to me, our community, and our team. We’ve been able to take on some really fun projects and work with amazing brands, fellow creatives, and the community. I consider it an honor and a big part of my identity to encourage people to work with their hands because I believe that is what keeps us in touch with our souls, which is our mission. I even wrote a book, Rainbow craftingaround it.
While I’m not completely putting DIY aside, last year we restructured our team internally so that DIY projects became a smaller part of our time while products in our store as well as home projects and decor took on more of a role. This is for many reasons. One of them is that during COVID, when we lost a large portion of our patrons, I realized that we needed a stream of income that wasn’t so dependent on other people. We spend so much time with care, no matter how much communication we do on our end, the people who step forward are the ones who reach out to us. In the first part of this year, when there were talks about a recession, it seemed like it had happened before and we thought again, we really need to get on with this.
Product based branding
Becoming a completely product-based brand always made me nervous because of the amount of processes I knew it would take to get it where I wanted it, the risk of creating your own products, the space, etc. Pretty much, I like to have a small team and anything bigger seems daunting, especially with young kids right now. This is why we stay so small and manageable. However, I am definitely open to a bigger operation as I see the fruits of our efforts paying off and we get the right help from our side. I don’t plan to not do sponsorships, but to get more control over other forms of revenue that we’ve been managing, but not very well.
With this transition has come some growing pains, not just for us, but for our beloved community. I can imagine that for our audience who used to see crafts every day (they had a new project every day) accompanied by free printables, tutorials, and templates, it might be annoying to see things you now have to pay for. On the other hand, a big part of you was always saying “Brittany – I don’t want to make it, I want to buy!” We had been trying to meet the needs of both sides for a long time until I realized that maybe we needed to rely on one or the other a little harder.
As a mom with young kids and the decision to work full time (or as much time as I could get – IYKYK) as well as continue to employ a team of people, I needed to focus on the long term, and that meant growing our business as a product-focused brand.
On the back side, I wish I would have continued to focus on products after the success of the Royal Wedding collection in 2011 because the market is more saturated than ever and everyone seems to be creating their own brand. There are more things to buy, more people to follow, and more newsletters to sign up for. In a way, it feels like we are starting over especially with the new social media platforms, technologies and strategies that we are now adept at changing from day to day. It’s exhausting to keep up with, and frankly, I don’t always have the time or interest to do the job it needs to do. There are a lot of voices out there and I know I personally often think about how to cut back on what I buy and consume.
However, our goal here is to provide a refuge of color, pattern, fun, depth and beauty, and we know there are many of you who believe that too. For me, it’s more than just buying things for the sake of a cool marketing plan, although we do our best at that too ;), but because the item adds intrinsic value to your life. A beautiful art print, a fun and practical cell phone case, and a cozy and cheerfully painted blanket. Our story is to reinvent basic items into items that take your breath away.
Thank you for being on this journey with us as we navigate this season. We tried a lot of new things this year and will continue to do so next year. If this strikes a chord with you, feel free to continue supporting us by following on Instagram, leaving us a comment, and forwarding it to a friend. It’s definitely been a learning time, but I’m so grateful to have you with us as we work to get it all done!
Limited edition screen print
I originally started writing this post to share the launch of a new limited edition print in our store, but it turned into this…ha! Biggest preamble ever, but there you go. It’s a screen printed print and it’s part of the experience to see if you also like the colorful world we create. I have it hanging in Jasper’s room now and love it. I hope you like it!
You can shop the label here.