Do we have any fellow handmade business owners reading?
The past 2 years I’ve focused on our online gallery www.jennyojens.com trying to figure out how to make this my main income.
I have been a freelance photographer for almost 20 years. Not only has the market changed I have changed. First off the printed media is struggling, “everyone is a photographer” these days and a lot of businesses do their own photography, to cut cost but also because they can – you can get really far with your phone and a good eye. I totally understand that.
So I felt that taking the step towards selling our art in a more structured way was the natural evolution for our company.
I’m quite glad that I’m as naive as I am, cause if I had known how much work it really is to make a living from it I would never have started.
I did not believe in having a budget or a biz plan. I believed in this:
“I have the internet and a lot of art – I’m gonna try selling it, worldwide”
That mindset only works if you are motivated. On the days when you are wondering “what the hell am I doing?” you need a manual for your own work. I realized that keeping it all in my head was not going to work- cause frankly my brain is not smart enough. It’s a working brain, sure, but she is all over the place.
Since that revelation I’ve done this:
Started working with a drop shipping service that handles all our printing, packaging and shipping.
(we used to bulk up on all prints and do our own shipping – it was inefficient and I do not miss it)
Changed the name from Sammy Rose to Jenny o Jens
Started a dedicated Instagram account promoting our art @jennyojens
Created a logo.
Bought a binder and glued the Jenny o Jens logo to the front.
Started the course “A Sale A Day” by Mei Pak.
With this course I started to build the manual.
In short: The WHY and the HOW on paper.
Moved the worldwide gallery shop jennyojens.com to Shopify
Launched a separate gallery shop for our clients here in Sweden with storage and shipping from Umeå, SE.
Launched a separate gallery shop for our clients in New Zealand and Australia with storage and shipping from Melbourne, AUS
I’m still building my manual.
I am not going to launch any new product, or collaborations until I have everything in place and my manual is complete.
eg: The SEO, the brand board, the shipping system. That sort of stuff.
When I get stuck I pretend I have an assistant that is going to take over the handling of the shop.
Would that assistant know how to sail your ship? Probably not, why? because you don’t have it all in the manual.
PS: On Jenny & Jens we sell art that I have made or Jens has made or often a collaboration by the both of us.
Jens works full time as an illustrator/graphic designer and I do all the shop work.
This is how we descrip the shop:
“Jenny & Jens Brandt Grönberg. Swedish artist duo, creating art for interior projects worldwide”
You can follow us on instagram @jennyojens