Well, where in the world do I start? If you have been following my journey since nearly the beginning, you have pretty much been here through all my personal changes that have directly affected my business. So many changes have happened over the years since starting my handmade journey.
Name changes, logo changes, color scheme changes, product updates, adjustments to what I offer and how, even changing how I run my shop and using different platforms...I know it has been a rollercoaster.
It would be hard to understand and continue to follow at times. I am sure supporters have started to get turned off and decided to go in another direction. If I can't stay consistent, why should they?
This is not something I can really argue. What may not be known to most is that despite the changes and me finding my way, this craft has actually been a major staple in my life over the last four years. It has truly become a therapeutic outlet.
There are so many internal conversations, revelations, and positive thoughts that have come to me while I get hypnotized in the making of these journals.
Putting out mostly blank pages since the inception of Artisaan has been a way for me to encourage others to utilize these items in any way that will help them release weight, and create their own art whether it be with images or words.
Even though I have not always been able to find my footing with my branding, and how Artisaan shows up in the world, my process of making has only gotten better, and I have been able to make some major personal shifts. These journals and notebooks bring me a certain peace. To others, they may just be a new journal or notebook that looks nice.
Timeline so far
2018 (August) found a YouTube video of stab binding, started playing around for the next 6 months
2019 (March) first craft show at a local nature center
2019 (Summer, Fall), did more and more craft shows, showcasing my brand, and meeting other makers that I still love to follow on Instagram! (Gwen Beloti and YAM NYC to name some). I think this was the last year of doing craft shows before COVID. My most successful one was in a small library in the basement of a Katonah, NY library. There were a lot of great vendors there, and I sold maybe half of my stock at the time!
2020 before COVID hit, I had already decided to pull back from the craft shows. It was a lot of heavy lifting, and though it can be considered marketing, I wanted to be more careful with funds. Finally got approved for Faire wholesale
2021 still had zero interest in craft shows, but was getting more business through Faire. Formally registered my business as Artisaan LLC (final name change), got a bank account
2022 Released first wire binding options, and first planner design. First year where we have gotten at least one new wholesale order per month, through Faire, including an order for our new planners just days after listing. Very exciting! We also opened our first wholesale accounts with fabric vendors so that we can get a larger stock on hand for the designs that we intend to offer long term.
For 2023 and beyond, the plan is to continue developing the interiors of our notebooks. So far, we have a variety of paper options between blank, lined, and dot grid as well as planners. There are a few more ideas that we will be working on releasing in hopes that we can reach more people who need ways to express their thoughts, and goals.
We brought back the Pattern fabrics. In the first two years of business and a little beyond, we had a ton of different pattern options. It felt like overkill, and as we went through our final transition recently in terms of what we really wanted to offer and focus on, most of that got scaled back. We simplified into offering beautifully textured solids, classic designs, and the traditional Japanese designs. Most of the patterns got shifted to our wholesale platform instead, as stores have a greater need for that level of variety. However, we realize that some of those patterns, especially when carefully curated, still make sense so we are reviving this on a much smaller scale, including offering pre-orders on designs that we will be receiving in the future. This is exciting for us
Newly added includes our wire binding options that come with book Japanese and Italian bookcloth, but can also be just board for covers for those who really enjoy a minimal style to their stationery. We are offering recycled paper for these notebooks, and we are having so much fun with the monogramming options. We will be offering more colors for monogramming soon.
Where we are as a company
Things are really falling into place. Our name feels exactly right and like something we can very easily expand into over time. As of this writing, craft shows are not in the plan but things could change for 2023 and beyond. Right now, we are focusing on creating a larger product line, and perfecting it.
Keeping things simple where it makes sense, and trying other ideas out to see what happens.
We have invested in better equipment this year for paper cutting, hole punching, and corner rounding. Investing in recycled paper for our new product line was also important. Getting custom packaging is also in the pipeline so that we can be using more of exactly what we need when packing our products.
So much of my personal life has made an impact on my business in ways that have brought things into focus, and I hope this has been a positive impact on the experience of you, our supporters.
Thank you for reading and for being here! We hope to bring you more stationery that you will adore.