When you are creating a brand, like I am trying to at the moment, every detail becomes so important to you that even the smallest thing takes over your life! As I have mentioned before, the spoon carving came to me as almost an organic next step, it was simple to buy the tools to get started, then all you need then was time to improve and perfect. What you don't think about when you are starting these things out are, what am I going to do once I have these spoons? Will I sell them? How will I sell them? What will the packaging be like? Will I have a logo? What is a logo? Will I had write a note to everyone that buys something saying thank you? Will I even sell online or just face to face? All these questions just kept popping up and of course they are usually at 2 o'clock in the morning! It's these small things that build up and become (as I now realise) incredibly important to make your brand what it is you want it to be.
A big problem that I faced from day one, when I finally decided that I was going to be selling my spoons was, how do I give this hand made, carefully crafted item to the customer? I didn't want to just hand over the piece of wood and say 'Here you are, enjoy!'. My business from the offset was about the slow way of life and enjoying the finer things. I wanted that to be represented in everything, from the spoon itself to the way it's packaged and delivered. I had always known I wanted to create a little pouch (made by myself) that people could use to protect their spoon from unnecessary damage. I had also worked out that I wanted to have a personalised note, telling the lucky new owner a little bit about where the wood had come from, reminding the customer that the flooring may have come from The County Hall of maybe a Council Building in Hackney. I also wanted to add some of my home made balm, so after a few months the user could just apply some to freshen the spoon up a bit.
With all these different things that I wanted to pull together, I was stumped. I had phoned everywhere asking for cylindrical tubes, triangular tubes, square tubes, some had rubbish plastic ends, some had cardboard, others had metal stoppers. After weeks of phoning and emailing trying to find the right thing, nothing had happened. I was trying to fit too much into a small tube. It got to a point where I had got nowhere for so long I just wanted to give up on the packaging idea but I had to remind myself the the whole point of what it is I am doing, is that it's a luxury item, it should be enjoyed from start to finish.
It was only when I was getting ready for my first market when I had the thought, let's spread out you contents and put it in a box... BRILLIANT! Of course after weeks of painful phone calls and dead end emails, it would be at the last hour from a shop round the corner from my studio that I find the answer! I had finally found how I was going to send my new, carefully crafted, hand made kitchenware. Now, when you buy at the market, online, or anywhere else, what you get is my spoon, knife or board in it's own hand made drawstring canvas bag with a small note telling you about the item and how to take care of it, with a small tub of my balm to redress your purchase. What else could someone want as a gift to themselves or for someone else that enjoys the finer things in life. The perfect present.