This week, a friend came up from Toronto to participate in the Signatures Craft Show at the Shaw Centre. It was an experiment for her, as she is testing whether her work would sell in that context.
I had a look at her website and blog to see how she was promoting herself, and particularly what story she was weaving for her audience. Was she thinking about her brand? Once I had explored and assessed her website, I decided to look at a sampling of other artisans, for comparison. Here’s what I found for the craftspeople who’s company started with the letter K:
Karizma Handcrafted Jewellery:
I get off to a slow start! The web link doesn’t work, and a Google search turns up a jeweller in Australia. That’s as far as I’m willing to dig…
« Founder of Kazak in 2008, Geneviève Paquette is a self-taught and eco-responsible designer from Montreal. A long journey in central Asia and encounters with Kazakh horsemen were a source of inspiration for her first line of hats as well as her brand name. »
That’s a good story – romantic, exotic… I want to know more.
« Her work in the field of costumes thus reflecting a combination of romance, ardour and modernity. »
There’s not much more, but it does pique my curiosity. I looked through her latest winter collection. The website is well-designed. The collection being modelled is handsome, elegant, a bit rugged – it mirrors her story, and yet I can feel that she has moved further as a designer. I plan to visit her booth.
The Kokass website has no story, no « About » page. There are lots of images of jewellery, and eventually I find a link to the jeweller’s Etsy page. Etsy is having technical difficulties, and I learn nothing more. I’m an impatient shopper, so she has lost me…
The website has a good « About » page. The artist tells you something personal – photography helped her, as a shy person, to connect with other people. She talks about her interests and philosophy of photography. The site also links to a delicious blog. It’s full of beautiful photographic images, connected with simple, thoughtful commentary, sometimes personal, or poetic or maybe fictional.
Here, you feel like you are meeting an artist. When I look at the images in her portfolio, I feel a connection to the person, and a deeper interest.
The designer behind Kania has a welcoming About page. She tells the story of how she moved from being a dancer to designing clothes that are stylish and easy to move in. That’s intriguing. She also has a page called Kania Life, which is a mix of fashion photos, promotional images and personal photos. This gives us another dimension of who she is. Her latest collection is small, only 3 items, but the images are enticing and I have a good look. The pieces look like they would be fun to try on. They cost more than I would normally pay, but now I feel a connection. I’ll visit her booth.
Krazy Lady’s website offers an “Our Story” page, but it includes only one image and 5 sentences. She quilts one-of-a-kind tapestries using layers of fabric. That’s about all. The images of the quilted rugs on the other pages of the website are lovely, but there is no explanation of her style, motivations, or choice of imagery. A missed opportunity!
What are the takeaways? Make sure your website is up and running when eyeballs are most likely to come your way, have various elements that a visitor can move between to discover more about you, use personal elements you feel comfortable sharing, remember that stories can be told in words and pictures and finally, let you’re personality come pouring through!