5 reasons why I’m moving to a commissions only business model

5 reasons why I’m moving to a commissions only business model

I have an announcement to make!

Things are changing here at Amy Lou Creates and not only am I launching a brand new blog (hello welcome!) but I am also going to start transitioning the way I launch my glassware.

You may know that currently I sporadically launch new glassware pieces that I have painted, photographed, and listed in my shop for the quickest person to snap up and buy. I’m pleased to say that will no longer be the case. From now on when I do a launch it will be of the designs only. I wont be painting up new stock but rather I’ll be creating mock up’s of new designs which will be available to purchase for a limited period of time and then once the selling period is over I will paint the glasses to order before dispatching them.

If you would like to order anything from me outside of this selling window then you will be able to, I still have my existing stock that I will slowly be selling through AND as always my commissions service will be open. This means that you’ll be able to buy bespoke pieces and alter any of my existing designs to your liking before ordering from me.

I wanted to write this blog post to explain why I am making this change and hopefully get you excited about a new set of designs that I have been working on in the background! So let’s dive in shall we?

Reason 1. Excess Stock and Storage 

I have so much stock that I’m really struggling to sell, whilst I do get a slow regular trickle of orders from Instagram and Etsy I’ve always found that creating new products and launching them has been a way to boost sales and keep things exciting for both me and my customers. However usually this leaves me guessing designs that people might want and often replicating designs as commissions once something gets snapped up in a launch whilst other glasses I’ve already painted just don’t sell. I still live at home with my parents whilst I’m saving for a place of my own so I am always conscious of just how much space my little business is taking up.

I got to a point at the beginning of last year that I felt I had so much stock that I needed to focus on selling that I couldn’t create anything new. Safe to say this stifled my creativity and I had left me feeling uninspired and resentful about the stock - not the best sales mindset!

By moving to a commissions only business model (or paint to order) I can create as many designs as I want, mock them all up on my iPad, still do a full launch, paint up my orders and if a design doesn’t sell it’s no big deal.

Reason 2. The potential for more frequent Creative Launches 

I’ve always been slightly put off doing very seasonal or niche designs. I’ve always worried “what if it doesn’t sell” and then I’m stuck with it until this time next year. Things like Easter or Halloween have simply passed me by for the last few years, either because of my lack of organisation in getting glasses painted up in time or because I haven’t wanted to paint up excess stock. By painting to order it means that I can design seasonal one off’s on my iPad without worrying about painting more than I need.

Reason 3. Time Saving 

Can I tell you a secret?! I’ve always hated product photography… It’s soooo boring! I know I’m a creative, and if I really put my mind to it I can create quite a good product photo. But my gosh it sucks so much of my time and energy in a week and I’ve found it really disheartening to go through all the effort of painstakingly painting, photographing and listing products to then have them flop in a launch… I don’t think I’ve ever made enough money in each launch to cover the time I’ve spent preparing for the launch and really, that just isn’t a good business model is it?! By mocking up designs on my iPad I can save the time I would have spent building individual listings and photographing hoards of products (not to mention totally overthinking the whole thing) by just working on my designs as and when I can and then just launching them and painting any orders as I go.

Reason 4. Increased Flexibility 

The reason I work for myself is the potential for flexibility. As a creative I hate feeling boxed in, I love being able to say yes to amazing opportunities as they present themselves to me and being really open to new ideas. By constantly having a long launch process - research, paint, photograph, market, repeat - I wasn’t able to be as reactive in my business as I wanted to be. I couldn’t think of an idea one week and launch it a week later, it was taking me months to get new things out and that was without anything else getting in the way. Every time a scenic project came up I had to change my launch plans and delay things even further. By the time I got around to finally marketing my products I’d completely lost the enthusiasm that I had in painting them. I am a creative who craves quick results and spontaneity and I’m hopeful that by simply having to design a collection and then jump straight to selling it all that enthusiasm can go straight into my marketing without me losing momentum leading to better sales and passion all around.

Reason 5. Personalisation and Customisability 

I’ve always offered commissions and one of the main reasons I love taking on commissions is the ability to personalise and customise a design based on the individual customer. I love creating something with a specific person in mind and creating something unique that only you have in your home. As a scenic artist I’ve been trained in design interpretation - the art of asking the right questions to tease a design out of someone that they couldn’t even visualise themselves is so satisfying to me, and something I believe I’m really good at. I want to do that even more with this new business model. I want to invite customers to take my designs and really make them their own by changing the colours, the text or pitching a completely original design idea to them. I love working with people to create something really special, meaningful and unique. I believe that this new paint to order business model will allow me to do just that on a more regular basis.

This isn’t to say that moving to this new way of working isn’t going to be challenging. It means that I will no longer carry stock, this might prove a problem if I want to start trading at in person markets and events and it’ll probably mean it’ll take me a little longer to get orders painted up and in the post. It will probably take a while for me to educate my customers into this new way of working and could mean that I need to generate a lot more new designs to encourage people to buy. But honestly I’m so excited about this, it has reignited my passion for glassware, an arm of my business that I seriously considered abandoning over the Christmas break a few months ago. I hope that this new business model will be the start of something special in Amy Lou Creates and help make things clearer for both me and my customers. I hope that it will allow me to create work that people want to buy and create a better experience for everyone involved.

Please do go and have a look at my existing stock which you can see here or at my brand new commissions pages! I've already released Aprils commission slots to my email list and will be shouting about them over on Facebook and Instagram too! I would love it if you joined me over there!

Congratulations, you made it to the end! I really hope you enjoyed this blog, I certainly loved putting it together!

I hope to bring them to you regularly, I’m hoping for a minimum of one blog post per month but you should see the list of ideas I have so if I find the time it may be slightly more frequent than that. If you would like to stay up to date and be the first to hear when a new blog post goes live then sign up to my email newsletter - the joyful journal - where I also share the most intimate behind the scenes of my business journey, early access of each and every launch and regular journal prompts to inspire you.


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