Well hellooooo there! (I was going to put 'youkoso'* but that just sounds too cheesy!)
Today I've spent a good 12 hours at the laptop, doing this and that, mainly working on a re-branding, revamping, call it what you will, of Japan Crafts' image. Japan Crafts has been my business, a source of great pleasure (as well as the odd pinch of stress) for the last 4 and a half years. I started from very little and now have, well, a little bit more. Until now, I've always seen the image of the business as being elegant, classy, like a beautiful Japanese lady in a kimono...my avatar on Twitter and Facebook was this rather gorgeous piece of Japanese calligraphy
...however, this image doesn't quite fit, well, me, to be honest. I'm young (although at 32 I really should add an 'ish'), cute and funky (in my dreams at least...) and I wanted my business image to reflect these qualities. After all, cute and funky is modern Japanese culture so why not appeal to all the cute funksters out there?
For the last year or so, a huge part of Japan Crafts has been my range of craft kits. I've been appearing on TV shopping channel Create and Craft with them every few weeks and this has provided a great platform for getting Japanese crafts (authentic ones, not just the 'Oriental-style' rubbish you can buy over here) out to the public. I just love the thought that literally thousands of people all over the country are now enjoying and learning crafts which were quite obscure until recently!
Packaging wasn't an issue for the TV, as products had to be sent ready-sealed in Jiffy bags and the customer had already purchased them so appearance wasn't quite so important. However, for the talks and workshops I give on a regular basis, as well as the large craft shows I attend, I needed a stylish solution to the problem of kit packaging.
On Sunday I visited a craft trade show at the NEC and looked at how other companies solved this problem. Then, on the train home with a cold and a migraine and aching from carrying myriad catalogues around, came a eureka moment!!! Why not package my kits in those cardboard noodle boxes you get from the takeaway?! And, joy of joys this brainwave, why not call them 'make-aways'???!!! And while you're at it, why not just re-brand the whole business, after all it's not like you've got a kimono talk and a silk painting workshop for 120 people and a charity fair to attend this week, plus 2 presentations to write for next week and a heap of emails and ordering to do, is it? Is it??? Oh, it is.
So...to cut a long story, err, longer, those 12 hours today have been spent producing this
and for the kits, this
and now I'm tired. But I hope after all that you won't mind having a little pop over to Japan Crafts and giving me your thoughts on the revamp so far x
*Japanese for 'welcome'. Btw, thanks for reading this far, it's a good sign.