Three months into my mentorship exchange and I have been able to make a lot of valuable connections. As a follow up of the Dutch Design Week, I visited three independent makers and a collective of furniture makers, all based in Amsterdam. My goal was to see their workshop set up, find out more about the local market and make new contacts, as it is my plan to potentially set up my business here.
In my mentorship exchange with Rene Siebum we focussed this month on evaluating his participation at the Design Festival, we had a closer look at my existing business plan and talk about my plans for a new website. We were able to highlight areas within my business plan that I will focus on the coming months, to research further and to gauge whether my financial start-up plan is realistic and deepen my research in terms of local competitors.
This first focus will be on further target and market analysis. As part of my local research I will be visiting two makers fairs over the next two weekends, where a lot of (furniture) makers and designers that are based in the Netherlands showcase their work with a focus on more artisan and bespoke pieces.
Working with Rene has been very educational also in terms of his approach to work with customers. During an extended workshop Rene shared his knowledge in terms of customer contact and important aspects of providing estimates and invoices, which was very helpful and valuable information.
One goal during my mentorship exchange is launching a new, more competitive and commercial website. As additional element, I will be adding a webshop. I showed Rene the first small range of products I had in mind to launch as part of my webshop. We discussed options of packaging and ways to market it in the post efficient way in terms of investment and return. Rene talked me through considerations in the choices he made with his website and webshop that will be very helpful for me when I will be redesigning my own in the coming months.