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Wingnut & Co :: Ask away before kicking off

Recently, I realized that most of the people around are consciously curious to know the secret to success in business, as a creative. Especially after visiting Finders & Keepers Market in Melbourne for example, surprisingly you'll find out that everyone could be a creative maker or seller if you are passionate enough. But HOW? The delicious idea to kick off something big or small is strongly dragging to seek for tons of answers out there in the crowds. After all, a successful business model could secure people to some degree before they start from nothing. So, the first suggestion would be, saying.. Be a good listener maybe, and you know a casual conversation could work effectively most of the time. People love to talk in Melbourne!

Secondly, perhaps Meet the Maker Program is a good shortcut for students in RMIT University to start something wisely as you could get answers from the creatives or makers straight away. In case you don't know much about this program, it's a tour to the most innovative design and creative studios in Melbourne which provides a unique chance to see professional workspaces and gain an insight into the creative process first hand.

So let's take Wingnut & Co for instance, I got a chance to visit their ceramic studio last year. The answers below are what given by them based on their own experience on setting up their business:

1. Start small, and move to BIGGER

It all begins with love & interest. Both Asuka and Anna love getting muddy with ceramics just for fun really in the beginning. After they made hundreds of cups at home and suddenly realized that they got no space to store them or give away, they feel like maybe it's time to think about running a ceramics studio or something for their own sake. Taking it seriously, Asuka was tutored by a ceramics maker in Japan and self taught all the technical skills from Youtube in rest of the time. From a side project to a real business, nothing will come to life without a clear goal I shall say.

2. 'Time and Money' Challenge

Asuka and Anna started Wingnut & Co. in 2013, but before that they were both working full-time in other areas. Nothing too much related to ceramics. However, they got a goal to run a studio in heart but the thing at the moment was to raise enough money to buy all the materials. Working in daytime and doing ceramics back to backyard shed at night, it was tough for them in the first few years.

3. Don't give up cause it's all about 'slow progress' thing

You will never know when clients will get back to you until the 'right people & right time' moment came to you. Just remember don't stop doing it, and carry on.

4. Build networking

A part of a successful business is how to get notice by the right audience. Build networking means accessing into local markets, stockers, collaboration with creatives and other artists. A few spots could get you involved such as FedSquare Market, Finders & Keepers, Test Craft Market, Craft Victoria, etc.

So, I guess you've got some general ideas about kicking off a business in Melbourne, hopefully. Well, bear in mind that there's always a way out as long as you ask away. I think for this case especially in Australia, talk to the makers works the most!

So by the end I shall say.. it's a great bonus to be an RMIT student in this case, isn't it?

Until next topic,

Cherry Qi


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