Hands up if you know the song title... (thanks Bob Dylan)
So, what's changing with Candy Coated Accessories I hear you ask, well here's the low down.
For those of you that follow me on social media and have a keen interest in my small business already it will come as no surprise that not all of my products are knitted here in my studio in Fraserburgh. Many of my items such as my reversible scarves and hats are currently being knitted with a small batch manufacturer based in Scotland. As much as I love my two trusty Brother knitting machines there's certain fabric types that I'm looking to achieve that they just can't knit. Also, as I increase my customer base there's just not enough hours in the day to knit everything by myself. However, I’m proud of my Made in Scotland status, so whether my items are knitted here in the studio or elsewhere they will always be made in Scotland and I don’t see that changing any time soon.
How does this effect my maker status? Well, it doesn’t, is the simple answer. Remember each item still begins with me, I source the yarn, I design the patterns, sample them over and over on my own machines before I even think about sending anything out and although they may be knitted at another location, once knitted each items is then returned to me unwashed meaning I still wash, press and label each one myself.
By working this ways it allows me the time to be able to grow, it gives me more time to develop new products and new designs. It also means I can be more proactive when looking for new stockist and attending fairs as I no longer have to spend most of my time making stock to fulfil orders.
I think it's easy to forget that most small businesses just consist of one person and that one person does it all. We're designers, manufacturers, production managers, quality control officers, marketers, social media content creators, we make the tea and sweep the floor, the list is endless. So to be able to grow we have to think of new ways to give us more time to expand and for me this is getting more items knitted out of house.
Don't worry this doesn't affect the quality of my items, in fact it enhances them and it gives me the freedom to add more products, to experiment and to grow. I still only use the best quality lambswool and only work with highly skilled individuals at each manufacturer. This means you still get the same luxury woollen items you would expect to buy from Candy Coated.
When you speak to any makers or creators the one thing we all seem to have trouble with is pricing. How do we make sure we price our items correctly and fairly? From working with the new manufacture and dealing with the current economic climate it’s forced me to take a long over due look at my pricing and I’ve discovered that this should have been done a long time ago. So, you may have noticed that my prices have gone up a little in the last month or so but remember this is a reflection of the quality of the materials used, the craftsmanship that has produced them and the love that has gone into hand finishing each item. This is not fast fashion, this is an item you invest in and cherish for a long time to come.
With this in mind and if you’re like me and you want to support local and buy the best quality items but don’t have a lot of disposable cash I have added PayPal’s 3 interest-free payment option to my checkout on my website www.candy-coated.com. This way you can still get that perfect hat or cosy snood you’ve got your eye on but in more manageable bite sized chunks. I want Candy Coated Accessories to be as accessible as possible but without compromising on quality.
So, what’s changed, as you can see quite a lot in the last six months and I can’t wait to see what the next six months brings. Thank you for joining me on this journey, I'm happy to have you along for the ride.