Latest from DoodlePippin Towers...
Three months ago, a friend and mentor set me a deadline of 4th July to get "all my ducks in a row". By which he meant, clearing up the chaos of four years of experimentation, lightbulb moments, mistakes, organic growth, successes, failures and random whim-following.
It's been a rather arduous process - I've had to sort through literally thousands of digital patterns, resolve a ton of IT issues, build a new shed (Dave calls it my "distribution warehouse") and create lots of new systems and processes. I've even finally built a decent step for my studio (after three years with a wobbly pile of bricks).
Has it been fun? Err, no. Not much. I've had to buy new reading glasses because I've spent so much time staring at my screen, and my arse has definitely not benefitted from many additional hours in my office chair.
Was it worth doing? Totally! I can find the file I need, I know what I make and where it is. I can store larger quantities of my raw materials, and the studio is (slightly) less like the lab of a mad hoarder-scientist, and a bit more like a proper creative business.
The things I make and sell are now pretty much lined up on both my DoodlePippin website and Etsy shop. There's an Amazon Handmade shop following suit (slowly). I'm getting patterns ready for Spoonflower, Redbubble and Printful - companies who can print millefiori designs onto a much wider range of things than I'll ever be able to.
I know many people buy DoodlePippin pieces as gifts, so I've created "gift sets" - so far just G&T boards and coaster sets, but more to come.
And I'm massively expanding my range of tiles - I've found a couple of partner companies who can turn my millefiori designs into permanent, kiln-fired tiles (the sort you can use on floors, outdoors and even in swimming pools). There are a load of problems to be solved before I can do a decent job of selling this type of tile, but the potential is definitely there.
And more recently, I've discovered the concept of 'tile stickers' - waterproof vinyl stickers that you stick to walls or over existing tiles. They'll be a much cheaper alternative to my conventional millefiori tiles for anyone who just needs a quick facelift for a tired kitchen or bathroom - or even a bit of maximalist loveliness on a chest of drawers, or the panels of a door. I'm hoping to have these for sale in the next month or so.
Anyone local to me in Reigate, Surrey; as part of clearing out the studio, I'm making up all the random blanks I've bought up over the past two years (ipad and phone covers, pot holders, notebooks, clocks, pencil cases, flip flops etc) and I'm going to be selling them at very low prices (just enough to recoup some costs) in the Reigate Pop Up, starting on 1st August 2019.
I'll also be selling off my trials and prototype pieces, so if you're in the market for some millefiori loveliness please do pop in and grab a bargain. It's right in the middle of Reigate High Street, next door to Cafe Rouge and the tunnel entrance.