Tuesday 6th February 2018
I guess I nominated myself to look after the business plan as I had already completed section 1,2,3, and 4. However this wasn’t an issue to me as I am a fast at typing and enjoy writing and have a strong background in English Literature. I also thought I would make the first step as I was eager to make a start on it as it is quite daunting. I would rather get it done out of the way especially after reading it I had realised that we can start it now as it won’t be as hectic towards the end.
I had made a start and already covered section 1,2,3 and 4. I had sent this to the group chat so everyone could read it and see if it sounds okay so far and see if they liked and agreed with what I put. The group were more than happy for me to do the business plan as some had said they struggled with wording, so I said it was fine for me to write it up as I like this sort of thing.
Wednesday 7th February 2018
Today was really busy, some of us were in the wood workshop and the some of us were on the laser cutter and the others were in the stitch room. I found it difficult as we were having to swap between rooms and I was worried about misplacing our things but it was good that we all had something to do to contribute to our business. After the tags for the bags had been laser cut, I sanded them and then dipped them in water resist wax. I had dipped them all and made a line to hang them on whilst they dry so they didn’t stick to anything or get damaged. I am glad I worked with wood as well as just the fabric as it was out of my comfort zone and it was great to have various things that came together really nicely. I think the tag names look a lot more personal and fit in with the wooden buttons rather than just a screen printed logo. Below you can see the technique used:
After the real leather situation, I was worried how the girls in the stitch room were going to pull the fake leather off. We have actually received feedback on this leather that even though its not real it has a good quality towards it and doesn’t look cheap or tacky. We were happy about this as our values was to upcycle and repurpose materials and we had already bought this leather that came to £4 within our bundle of fabrics. I also didn’t like the real leather as the colour was off putting and wouldn’t go with most of the bags and it isn’t apart of our values, as we want our target market to be for everyone, and due to our sale being in the university, there is a lot of vegans and vegetarians that wouldn’t invest into our products. Below is a sample of the leather to show the stitching and the experimentation we carried out through our design.
The black stitching is our final idea as it went with the majority of the bags. We all agreed on this as we sent the image to our social media group so we could all see. Lowri was busy dying our earphone holders with wood and she was showing us the progress as she went along, we were all really happy with it and liked the colours.
Thursday 8th February 2018
A whole 5 hours in the print room:
The acetate and paper bags arrived last night, so I came in early and then put the acetate in the stitch room ready for Will to collect when he was in, as he was making our display and the acetate was sandwiched between the wood. I then went to the print room all day, luckily I already had my screen so I could get started with putting our logo on the packaging for the lunch bags.
When ordering the bags from eBay, I discussed with everyone if we should get 50 bags, or 30. I was aiming for 50, however they were more expensive, and the 30 bags were the cheapest I could find at £4.35. Lowri wasn’t happy with spending more of our seedfund, so I just bought 30 as she is the team leader I listened to her, however, the thing is with screen printing you have to allow for mistakes. This wasn’t accounted for unfortunately.
When in the print room i mixed my colours, I made teal and crimson red, just like our website colours, I was also going to make black as well, mixing the dye with the binder to create a paste for the screen. I then found out that we didn’t have any black so I just stuck with the teal and crimson.
I firstly practised on paper, and it came out really successful. However, the bags were really crinkled and due to the backing it was raised and not a flat surface, so three bags didn’t come out right. So this meant we were left with 27 paper bags. I tried to get in contact with the group but they weren’t available. So after this mistake I didn’t want to carry on. I washed the screen and left it to dry and luckily Steve Murray was there to help me. He gave me some of his card and I then printed onto that and stuck it inside the bag so I could see where I was printing to make it straight and in line. Thankfully this worked, and now the paper bags have a flat surface because of the card and they came out fine.
Image of the paper bags:
From the image below you can see they are quite textured and not a flat surface so this is why the paint went crinkled and bled.
Why teal and crimson?
When we first launched our website, the colour used was teal. I really liked this colour as we had some fabric that matched and it looked really nice as we were sticking to a theme. Teal is also a unisex colour. It is good for both male and female, and this was our target market. Teal is also associated with the meanings of refreshing, sophisticated, energy, and creativity. Which describes us as a business really well as our quirkyness of our designs and styles give our brand energy and the refreshing side comes from the aesthetic of the bags and creativity was one of our key values. I then looked at the website and thought that it was perhaps too samey with the teal. I wanted to make it more energetic and fun with adding two colours. I then thought of crimson as it is also a unisex colour. It is also a strong red pigment which is a great colour to have as a representation.
Back to the print room:
Lowri finally came to see me at the end of the day and I told her about the situation and we only had 27 finished bags instead of 30. She wasn’t cross with this as we are going to ask our customers if they would like a bag, and some of my family members are buying some so they won’t need one as they are pre-ordering anyway. I felt relieved after this, however, she told me that the packaging didn’t go well with the string so they had just wrapped the earphone holders around the cellophane which I really liked as I saw a picture on Instagram, plus it looked effective as we are keeping our packaging to a minimum.
The most important thing I’ve learnt so far is with a business you have to allow for mistakes and things not always working out. So even though this module may have brought on a lot of stress, it has been a learning experience. She then said that Will was going to laser cut the washing instructions instead, I was a bit gutted about this as I had done them all by hand in the second week as I knew what product we were making. I was thinking that maybe if we all contributed to the discussion during the second week, Will could have suggested laser cutting the instructions when I had mentioned I was going to do them by hand. This day I had felt like I wasn’t consulted about ideas and they were just doing them without any discussion. However I can’t complain as this was the only downfall. Maybe it was because of the pressure as the sale day isn’t too far away.
Images of the earphone holders:
Earphone holder completion:
We now have 47 earphone holders in total ready for the sale day! We did have 59, however we are keeping 6 out for a display. The others had gone wrong with the sanding process.
Lowri had also told me that Will had come up with quirky names for these earphone holders, and as our brand supplies everyday essentials with recycled materials, we wanted to put the earphone holders in a position where they went with the lunch bags, so they all have fruit and vegetable related names. I loved this idea.
With the acetate, I consulted the group a week before and said shall I buy the teal and crimson acetate in A3 size? The group had replied through social media saying yes that it was a good idea, as this was going to be for our display. We were having a laser cut wood display of our name BAG-n-ROLL, and then having acetate sandwiched between so it stood out. I then saw images of the display posted on instagram and Will had only used the teal. I was extremely happy with the craft of the display as it looks amazing and will definitely impress customers and stand out. However, I was a bit gutted that no one had mentioned we didn’t need the other acetate as I felt like at this point we had wasted money. I think because everyone is under pressure, as we are only a few days before selling, that communication has been lost a little.
Image of the display:
After standing up all day in the print room, it was nice to then go to the stitch studio and hand sew the buttons onto the bag lining (canvas) and also the name tags. Me and Lowri made a start on this, and I stayed until half 9 to get the majority of the bags finished with buttons and name tags.
Friday 9th February 2018
I had made a facebook ‘Official Launch’ page for our business. I had made the other group members hosts, and allowed it so members could invite their own friends. Altogether we have invited over 200 so far. I have a lot of friends that are working on our sale date and can’t come in so they have asked if they can pre-order the item and paypal me the money so I can then give it to my business. I loved this idea as I was happy we were selling even though they weren’t able to make it to the shop, as I would be very pleased if people who weren’t in our university bought our products. My mum had also shared this with her friends, and they approached her in work saying they were impressed with the bags and they really wanted to purchase one on the sale day.
I went straight to the stitch studio and started to sew the buttons onto the canvas that was left so they don’t pull. Me and Lowri worked on this all day to get it done. Will had also finished laser cutting our price list, and our earphone holder display with the fruit and vegetable names above each colour to represent it.
Earphone holder display and price list:
I saw it and thought wow it looks amazing! I was very impressed and I like the materials used to showcase our display. At this point things were starting to look up and we were extremely happy to see some more progress. We also stayed until 7.30pm and I then went to get some posters done. I think that the way we have displayed our earphone holders is fantastic as the customer can see what they’re getting and how it works can easily be shown and told to them. The only down fall was that raspberry was not spelt correctly, however I had mentioned this but some members of the team didn’t seem to phased to change it.
These were the first two posters, they were a bit texty and had a lot going on, I printed them out in A3 to see the quality, even though I had to re-do the poster, I still stuck them in the SU, as I feel like people who go to the SU aren’t always students from the Art & Design school so they may not know what is happening or what our products are about. So I put them on the entrance of the SU as you enter through the library. I then went home as I was extremely tired and I was planning on going in the next day. When I got home I started to add more to the business plan and fill in more questions that I had previously left out.
Saturday 10th February 2018
I don’t really like going into the Cardiff School of Art & Design on the weekend as it makes me anxious being in the building without anyone there as there is security etc, however I didn’t realise you weren’t allowed to bring parents in, I brought mine just because they are on holiday from the 12th February and won’t see my sale, but they really wanted to see the products in person, as do most people as sometimes pictures can be deceiving. So for now it wasn’t an issue as I explained to the security and he allowed us. I then took them to see the bags in the textile studio and they were pleased with the earphone holders and bags, and I have now made a sale.
Pre-orders so far:
Teal earphone holder: £4
Yellow earphone holder: £4
Navy earphone holder: £4
Navy lunch bag: £12
Floral lunch bag: £12
If I hadn’t brought them to see the products our business wouldn’t have made £24 in pre-orders with the additional £12 added as well due to my friend from textiles giving me her own fabric to make a lunch bag out of.
We all left and I went to the library to work on the posters. I have decreased the text to make it minimalistic and more catchy for people to see. Me and Lowri will come in tomorrow to put them up so people can then see them Monday and then get ready for our sale day on Tuesday.
Sunday 11th February 2018
Lowri, Fatimah, Doaa and me came into university today, the girls were finishing off the lucnh bags and managed to get them done by 5pm before we had to leave. During this time I brought the business plan with me to show Lowri what she thought of it. I managed to complete every single section of the business plan, apart from 7.0 financial forecasting. With this section I needed some help, and me and Lowri were trying to work out costings. However we thought the others could perhaps help us on Monday. She read over it and was pleased with it. I had also sent Will, Fatimah and Doaa a copy through social media. By the time we left I was pleased we had our products completed. On Monday all we have to do is some finishing touches, making sure the lunch bags are presentable, press them with the iron, and keep them safe before setting up in the evening. I am pleased with our progress and don’t think we’ve done too bad as a team of 5 as all of our products are hand made and haven’t been bought elsewhere and changed with our logo. We have made everything ourselves.
Business Plan so far:
Business Plan Draft One
As it was a joint part of mine and Will’s responsibility to look after social media, I made sure to update our website with the products. Here are some screenshots of the website:
Above is the homepage. I wanted the mixture of the teal and crimson, and a little about us as a team as well as our strap line. We also have moving images of our progress at the start. I think so far this is a good website and has all of the key information and concepts.
I also added a FAQ page, as I thought this would be important for our customers to know. This helps them and helps us get our meanings and values across.
As I purchased items on eBay, I needed to make some receipts on word to send to Lowri to make an invoice for our proof of buying.
- 30 Medium (22x 26x 11cm) White Craft Paper Carrier Bags
Sale Date: Thursday 1st Feb 20:20
Arrived: 7th February
- Heat Proof Coloured Transparent Acetate Gel Sheet
Size A3 x2
Colours: Peacock Blue and Fire Red
Sale Date: 1st Feb 20:15
Arrived: 7th February