Over the past week I have been on a work placement with a local company to me called Elephant and Feather. They are a quirky and individual gift shop in Potton, Bedfordshire. (https://www.facebook.com/elephantandfeather/) (http://www.elephantandfeather.co.uk) I have undertaken a range of tasks over a few days, which has helped me to understand a lot more about running your own business and all the elements about what is involved and what you need to know.
The first day involved working from the home office, where all the personalised prints are created, cut and framed before heading to the shop. I was given the task to come up with some designs for age/number birthday cards, which I found quite challenging. Diving in head first to sketches is an unusual way of working for me as I am so used to undertaking lots of research before I start drawing. However I overcame this by just sketching out the first things that came to mind, and after lunch I began to put them on illustrator to get a feel for how they could look.
My brief was for them to be funny or quirky, with use of bright colour. Imagery wasn’t a requirement, but I tried it out in a couple and I think these are the more successful designs. My aim was for the designs to be in the style of Elephant and Feather so they would be appropriate to be in the shop, and I feel the two designs with illustrations fit the brief of quirky more than just the ones with type.
On the second and third days I worked in the shop and was given a few tasks, one of which being visual merchandising. As the new stock had arrived, it was necessary to rearrange the display to fit everything in.
The above pictures show the before of the display. It was my challenge to reorder the stock whilst keeping relevant categories together. I noticed there was a lot of animal themed products so chose to focus on that as the main point of the display, as you will see in the images below.
Children’s products are very difficult to merchandise, as the display has to look appealing, however I find because of the vast range of colours and shapes it can often look messy. Overall I am pleased with how the display turned out, and I learnt a lot about things like selling points, and featuring certain products in certain spaces, which really makes them more sellable compared to when they are tucked behind other objects.
I really enjoyed the few days I spent with Elephant and Feather, and it has given me a heads up about what I want to do myself in the future. I feel confident about producing my own work, and selling my designs as prints or cards is definitely something I am considering doing. It is now down to more research and other placements to help guide me along with this.