Tuesday, November 8, 2011

You might have noticed...

I've been somewhat absent from the social media scene (and any other scene you care to mention) for a few weeks.  I have also been somewhat absent minded. 

I've been busy... very, VERY busy. 

You might have also noticed a new look about this little bloggy space.  Around about the real-life place, there is similar evidence of a very talented graphic designer/art-director type having had a hand in things. 


Yes.  New logo.  A proper grown-up one.  (Clever girl, that graphic designer).  And I'm rebranding the whole bizzo.  Goodbye "Nicole Mallalieu Design" (as if anyone could ever say it, anyway*...) and hello "You SEW Girl!"

What you may not have noticed is that a new layout on ALL of my pattern instructions and covers is underway, to rebrand, streamline the printing process and bring early work up-to-date.   While I'm about it, I'm also improving instructions, making bag samples, taking photos and drawing diagrams.  A complete overhaul.  An ENORMOUS. CAN. OF. WORMS.  I'm trying to remember why I thought that I could do it all in the given timeframe.

"Timeframe?" (I hear you ask).

I've booked a stand at the Australian Quilt Market - the WHOLESALE show - in a couple of weeks (trying not to think too much about the number of days).  I've also made the decision to wind down the retail side of my business and focus on design and wholesale.
To suceed in a niche retail business requires a pro-active, interactive approach.  While I've been busy, pro-actively interacting, I've managed to keep my little business going.  BUT.... it's seen me working six days (and nights) a week with no time to work on new patterns.  And I've got to thinking....

What is it that I actually DO...?  
Am I a craft retailer or a designer-patternmaker-teacher-thingamie?  (I still haven't worked out the job description, but I like the second option best). 

Oh, and wasn't there a home, child and bloke to think about...?  Perhaps spend some time with...?

So far, there's no timeframe for the end of the online store, but that is indeed the plan.  We'll continue to sell my patterns, interfacings and a selected range of hardware WHOLESALE while winding down retail.

We'll keep the showroom-shop going at the studio. If you're in the neighbourhood, you'll still be able to drop in and stock up. If you're doing classes with me, you'll be able to buy all the bits you need. But the online shop is not going to be the focus of the business anymore, at it appears to have become over the last few years.

If you want access to my patterns, hardware and interfacings, perhaps you could have a brief word to your favourite local or online fabric/craft store and suggest they stock "You SEW Girl!" products. (And please don't just ask them to get the goodies in  - you need to actually BUY them!).  
  • You'll be happy to be able to get the new and improved patterns and bits when you need them - with no postage or handling.
  • The stores will be happy to have another stream of income that also helps to sell more fabric. 
  • I'll be happy, because I can focus on finishing  a few of the kazillion pattern ideas I have.
  • ...which will also make you happy (again) because you'll have more patterns to play with and more new tricks to learn from them.
It's win, win...errr...win, win, win, win.....  in theory, at least.  Who knows how it'll all pan out, but sometimes we have to take big jumps in order to evolve, non?  I've never shied away from radical leaps into the unknown and my crisis-management and survival skills are finely honed from a lifetime of doing just that.

If you're a retail store or a producer of  handcrafted goods, you'll be able to buy from us at a wholesale level.  If you haven't contacted us before about this, feel free to drop us a line at sales@nicolemdesign.com.au .

When I get through the next few weeks, I'll be able to think about a class schedule for next year. I love teaching and will continue to do that as often as I can.

Phew.  It feels better to just put it out there.  I'm not sure what the future holds, but I hope that you'll stay with me.  I need all the support I can get.
xxxnikki

PS. I'm still trying to figure my way through the blog-button and HTML jungle, and can't seem to get the buttons to display clearly on a sidebar.  If anyone is expert-ish in the area (or even if you have half a clue), I'd appreciate your help.

*To get the flat Australian tongue around the name "Mallalieu", try saying this three times, quickly...
"Mal - al - yoo"  (the "al's" rhyming with "pal").

39 comments:

Cloud said...

Nicole - you rock & the new look logo is fab! Looking forward to meeting you in person at the AQM & placing an order :D

Cloud from Voodoo Rabbit

Vic said...

Looooooooove the new look (she IS clever, that one...) & love reading that you not only know but are confident about & looking forward to where you & the business are going!

YOU SEW GIRL!

Kate said...

Good luck with it all Nikki!

A Peppermint Penguin said...

ooooh, get you!

Well done T, another clever girl!!! Wish I had a logo.

Good luck with all the changes. I'm not much use on the customer front, but I'll always wave a virtual pompom in your direction.

Cheers,
AJ

Fiona said...

Love the new branding, Nikki. Just a little bit sad about your online store and trying to work out how I'll get your patterns if I can't order online! However I completely understand the rationale - there are only so many hours in the day and some of them you need for you.

Renee said...

Good on you Nikki for taking the plunge. It is always hard to make a decision on which way to go.
I was so excited to have met you at the Melbourne Craft Fair in July. It is the first time I have met a crafter that I have followed online for so long, and I hope to meet you again one day.....maybe even be in Melbourne and attend one of your classes. Good luck for your future.

Anna said...

Go Nikki! It's always easier to keep plugging along than to stop, re-evaluate and make changes. So good for you for thinking about where you really want to be and making it happen. Best wishes!

Lou said...

New logo looks great and it does sound like a good business plan to come! Hope you survive the next few weeks of busy-ness!

Lynne said...

I wish you all the very best as you re-focus and re-brand!

Jodie said...

Big decisions and big changes Nikki - very exciting. I'll be at Trade show with Creative Abundance as well - I hope we can manage a coffee at least. and yes, that questions about what you like to do is an important one.

Amanda said...

Hi Nikki, good luck with wholesale side, it is all about priorities and what we like to do should always be a part of that. I'll miss not being the first one in to buy a pattern online but will be telling Hetties as soon as I hear about a new design so they get it in (and I get staff discount so that's a bonus). Good luck at the Australian Quilt Market too... one day I'll get there even if it is just to hold Lorraine's suitcase.

Karen said...

Oh that is ace!! It looks just as spectacular in reverse as it does in the main colours too - look at how those little stitches pop out at you.
Big times for you - sounds like some exciting decisions have been made - well done - you deserve a weekend off!!

Jennie said...

You could change your name to "Nicole Yousewgirl".

Good luck on the big changes! It's very tricky to balance the mechanics of running a creative business with actually being creative. Hope this gives you back your life!

Breakfast Jo TSV NQ said...

LOVE the new logo, bit sad about the obline store. Do you have a wholesale list, qty's, prices available yet? goodluck with the new adventure!!

Liam's Mummy said...

Looking forward to all those new bag designs. Love the new logo!

Pam said...

Love the new logo!!! Hope there'll be some good online stores selling your patterns. Good on you for doing what's right for you and wishing you all the best.

Daffodil Daze said...

Good luck with the all the idea's, I'll miss the on-line shop and being able to buy my fixings from you :-( Back to e-bay for me :-(

A Red Ham said...

Best of Luck with the change in direction. I too will miss the online shop & being able to purchase the correct fixings required. But, we all have to evolve, and I love the new logo.

Claire - Matching Pegs said...

Well done Nikki, and Tania.

It looks fantastic, and sounds like a good way to go.

Adélie said...

Great new look, and exciting news, good luck for everything, Nicole! (the funny thing is since I never pronounced your name aloud, I've always pronounced it in my head like a french would :)).

Gina said...

Really exciting can o worms Nikki. Love the new logo and I think the questions you're sorting through are great. (Also relieved to know I've been doing an ok job of pronouncing your name when I tell other people about your matters. When I don't just say 'Nikki M'!!)

Handmade said...

Cool new logo. Completely understand your new direction - it looks like the perfect thing to do! Good Luck!

bec said...

Wow, it's all awesome! You are such a clever chickie, and love that you're changing it up, we'll all get used to it (and start harrassing our fabric shops more haha).

Annie said...

Yeah Nikki, that all sounds very exciting. You know I'll support you no matter what! "love ya work!"

Helene said...

Congrats Nikki! Love the new logo! I may be able to help with the widget thing, email me.

Fer said...

My sewing guru just got even better!

tatanja said...

fantastic and exciting news!

ambette said...

LOVE the new look, Nikki! It looks very clean and modern. Good luck with the new direction - hope it all goes well!

thornberry said...

It looks wonderful! As you know. Keep on following your heart.

laura said...

No one has purse patterns like yours and it kills me that you'll no longer be on line! But we all understand that you have to do what's best for you. I'm currently re-working your beach bag pattern into a fashionable diaper bag, and you have no idea how lucky we are that someone with your talent has shared so much with us!

Aussie Jo said...

Congrats on the smart rationalisation; I love the new logo too.

anna said...

I wish you all the best with the refocusing of your business to doing the things that really inspire you and give you a better work/life balance.

Buy Design said...

...... what everybody else said. Sounds like busy times ahead, especially during the transition phase. I'm just chuffed to realise that I have been pronouncing your name right all this time. Mind you, throw in my Scottish accent and you get a whole new can of worms.
Fiona x

pratima giri said...

GrateMettingWith You...

Linda said...

Congratulations on your new logo. It looks great! I wish you great success as you refocus your business. I've enjoyed reading your blog. Good luck!

m.e (Cathie) said...

amazing!! love it already. well done on the makeover and goodluck & lots of patience for the new adventures.
you are pretty amazing ♥

Virginia said...

Love the new look - I am a bit disappointed about not being able to buy your products online anymore. I live in Tassie and there is no craft store anywhere near me. I have just started making bags and would love to make lots but I don't know how I will be able to source all the hardware. Will there be other online sites that will stock your bag and purse hardware?
vgrimsey@netspace.net.au

willywagtail said...

Love the new loook on your blog. Not sure if this is what you want but to get the page layout tidied so that the post section does not overlap the sidebar this is what you do:
Go to your "dashboard" page.
You will see an orange rectangle with a pencil on it, then a page icon. After that comes a "downward pointing arrow". Click on that arrow.
Thuis takes you to a list of pages. Choose "Template".
Click on "Customise" Live on blog.
Go to "Adjust widths".
Play around here by clicking on the bar or sliding the thing across until all your items fit in their own space when you look at your sample blog. It might be a good idea to take note of the original figures for each section so you can get back to the default size if you need to.
Don't forget to "Save" when you have made the changes you want.
Have fun. Cherrie

Anonymous said...

Good luck with the new look. All the worthwhile things in life require a leap of faith. Go girl!!