STARTING YOUR OWN DESIGN BUSINESS

In celebration of a new step in the Design Twins journey, we wanted to share some of the tips and tricks we’ve learned along the way… Plus! A few images from way back to when.

 

When we started our business, we couldn’t have dreamed it would bring us to where we are today. In just the short span of a year (our birthday was last week!), we’ve experienced quicker-than-expected growth, worked with some of the most amazing people in the industry and created collections that we’re really really proud of. Now, we’re working on the opening our first flagship Design Twins Store. Phew! Still, as with any journey, the concrete wasn’t paved out smoothly in front us. Through trails, tribulations and hard work, we kept our focus and have continued to move forward.

 

Enthusiastic business owners, and aspiring designers alike, often ask me: “How did you do it?” While everyone has their own ingredients, there are a few key things I’ve learned this past year that I’d love to share with everyone. We hope this list fires up your gusto for a healthy career in a creative and fulfilling field!

 

 

HAVING A GOOD IDEA VS. HAVING A GOOD BUSINESS IDEA

It’s a wonderful thing to come up with an idea that you love! However, just because something is cool or beautiful, it doesn’t mean that it will translate to the marketplace. When we started Design Twins, we took a small idea, and then we experimented with various different degrees of that idea to find something that not only made sense aesthetically, but also came together on points of function, time, finance and appeal. Some of the products we made, that we absolutely loved, just didn’t fit our agenda after all the pencils had been sharpened — so, we had to cut them loose. *Sad face. Make sure you’re creating wonderful product, but at the end of the day, be honest with yourself and your team when it comes to creativity vs. business.

 

 

A previous design experiment, The Pentagon. 

 

RESEARCH! RESEARCH! AND GUESS WHAT? RESEARCH!

 

As we were destroying our kitchen (and nails) with homemade concrete, we had our eyes and ears simultaneously at work — constantly scanning and devouring the marketplace to ensure our product had a unique point of difference. Even now, the research never stops. Over-ambition is a great thing! True creatives and entrepreneurs never stop asking themselves what they could be doing better. Always test every aspect of your business, contest each assumption and be as tough on your plans as the rest of the world will be.

 

 

A minimalist approach from the beginning days has led to a range of concrete accessories.

 

 

GET YOUR IDEA OUT THERE — FIRST!

 

 

By this, we don’t mean be the first one to have an idea. What we mean by this is that you need to start small. Don’t get distracted by all the razzle-dazzle in the peripherals. In our case, we made a product and we gradually started our sales. The thing is, you don’t want to spend a heap of money and time on fancy websites, marketing campaigns, office décor and the like until you know how the consumers are reacting to what you’re offering.

 

 

FOCUS. FLEXIBILITY. FUN.

 

To have a growing business, you truly NEED all three of these characteristics. It’s been such a busy year for us…To name a few points, we’ve had to move three times (as we kept outgrowing our studio spaces), we’ve had a baby boy and we’ve released new collaborations and designs on a regular basis! Even though we have a vision, we’ve learned first hand that being both focused and flexible is 100% necessary. Give way where you need, but get the job done, and have a good time doing it (as much as possible). Allow yourself to feel accomplished before you move onto the next thing. A business requires working with people on a constant basis, so a positive attitude is a reflection on your strength and potential within your network.

 

It might not be easy, but it’s certainly essential.

 

Until next week,

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