Blue Terracotta for Butterfly Conservation

I am an independent artist working in fabric, using predominantly recuperated fabrics.

I incorporate ceramic into some of my pieces, hence the name Blue Terracotta.

My imagery is inspired by  nature, mostly insects butterflies, cicadas, beetles, etc. These fabric creatures are either soft sculptures or in the form of wearable art such as brooches, hair accessories, necklaces. I've become very concerned about wildlife conservation, especially the protection of butterfly habitats and I would like to link this concern to my products in order to raise awareness, donate funds to charity, get people to take action.

11 Questions:

1. What is marketing for?  To create a dialogue with customers and prospects, to find out about them, what they like, what they value.

2. What am I allowed to touch?  Everything.

3. What can I measure?  e-mail list sign-ups, visits to site, sales, the number of prospective retailers I contact.

4. What can we change?  Anything.

5. What promise am I going to make?  delivery of a sumptuous product that is even better in reality than on the photo, promise to donate a % of the profit from each sale to a wildlife charity.

6. What's the hard part? As always for me, reaching my ideal customers online. Also, getting shelf space in high-end retail shops.

7. Should I be making or following trends?  I'm following the handmade trend and also the trend of environmental consciousness (which I hope is a real shift and not a fleeting fashion). I'm just trying to bring the two together.

8. Where is the risk? for the customer: being disappointed with the product, not being sure that I am indeed donating to a charity, having their funds donated to a charity they don't deem worthy. for me: that the products that I've designed specifically to raise funds won't sell and I won't have any money to donate!

9. Who is in charge?  Me.

10. Where am I spending money?  I haven't spent much on marketing aside from a few paid facebook ads in the past.

11. How should I be spending my time? Connecting through my newsletter and blog with people passionate about the preserving natural wildlife habitats and also about wearing textile art. Starting dialogues about how individuals can help (by planting the right flowers for our local butterflies and bees, butterfly identification, gardening tips).

The 3 P's

Positioning  I want to reach ladies who care deeply about animal rights, are concerned about the environment, and also who like being well-dressed and have a strong personal style, like to wear original clothes by independent designers, buy art. I'm worried that this might be a very small group or not even exist?

Placement I'm trying to get my pieces in either high-end shops featuring handmade accessories, or women's clothing boutiques where they also sell accessories, handmade or not. I sell online on my site and on etsy.  I'm questioning my placement on etsy, as there are lots of artists selling really cheap.

Persistence  creating valuable online content (written and small free patterns) regularly, connecting with e-mail lsit once a month, connecting with interested shops (or shops which have already ordered from me) whenever I have a new product line.

Place I'd like to remind people of the days in their childhood spent outdoors in spring/summer enjoying the grass, the woods, the fields, filled with insects and flowers. Before insects became a nuisance, when tiny bugs were a source of awe and beauty. They will fondly remember when they tried to save the caterpillars by lining shoe boxes with leaves and stowing the poor persecuted insects from the  neighborhood boys who tried to kill as many as they could. They will recall seeing black widow spiders in the bushes and respectfully moving away, keeping their distance from  wasp nests, or knocking down ant hills in order to watch the ants diligently rebuild.

Action Theory Concepts

Emotion: delight, starting with receiving the package in their mailbox, colorful butterflies on the envelope to unwrapping the tissue paper to find a beautiful fabric creature inside. The delight of wearing a piece of textile art. As I work on developing a link between my products and helping save butterfly habitats, the customer will be able to tell the story of how they not only bought an accessory created with upcycled fabric, but that it also enabled her to 1) learn about the insect's habitat and lifespan, etc (with a printed description of the butterfly accompanying each item) and 2) contribute to a wildlife charity (without having to go to the trouble of finding a charity herself).

Change: The customer can now tell herself the story of how she wears eco-friendly accessories that also contribute to a butterfly charity, appealing to her strong environmental consciousness, connecting her to a larger movement.

Alert: Encouraging interested people to subscribe by appealing to their concern for the environment, for wildlife, for butterflies. Through facebook page, through existing e-mail list, encouraging subscribers to share with friends. Also posting photos of upcoming products to social media with an explanation of how I plan to donate to charity.
Including information about donations for shop owners who sell my products.

Share: Do I have a story that lends itself to people sneezing it? I think so, but it must be 'sneezed' by those who are passionate about both nature conservation and wearing handmade art & accessories. Since these ladies will be wearing the piece, it will be easy to talk about it. When people say, 'My, what a lovely/unusual/striking necklace!' the wearer will be happy to tell the story of all good she is doing for the environment and the butterflies, and hopefully tell the admirer where she got the accessory!

Marketing Point of View: I create sumptuous handmade accessories using upcycled fabrics for women who are stylish and want to spend their money on products they believe in. I create awareness about environmental issues. I allow customers to make a difference when they buy handmade from Blue Terracotta. We (I) stand for conservation and protection of the environment and honoring the beauty of nature. I don't make cheap throw-away products.

Seduction: Humans have been abusing the environment for a while now and it's getting hard for some animals to survive. I think animals incuding insects are worth saving! Let's get together and take action to conserve and protect habitats.

Steps

Unaware to aware > through informative & beautiful blog posts (illustrated with photos of my work), guest posts, facebook links, pinterest boards, give information on endangered butterflies, tips on what we can do to help locally, headway being made by organizations.

to changed > "wow, these butterflies are beautiful, but they might disappear! there are things I can do to help in my own garden"

to giving permission to follow up > "I'll subscribe to get regular information on this"

to raving fan >sharing my posts, links, newsletters with friends

to purchase "this beautiful piece? Yes, it's handmade, look at the details. Plus, the artist donates X% to chairity Y!"

Comments

Please sign in or sign up to comment.