Makerhood is all about local. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t interested in things outside Lambeth. In the past five years we’ve come across more and more makers all over the world who are working to strengthen their local community and to bring local makers together. So we were very excited to host our first international speakers at a Makers’ Club meeting on 8 February at the Brixton Pound Cafe.
Our special guests at the meeting were Kadek Febryanti (Febry) and Ellya Zukhaylla. Febry manages communications for the Tunjung Womens’ Creative Project in Bali and also works as a freelance buyer of fairly traded crafts for Shared Earth UK while Ellya is a Lecturer in Industrial Design at the Sepuluh Nopember Institure of Technology in Surabaya, East Java, who researches small scale craft production businesses.
Febry and Ellya are visiting the UK from Indonesia as part of the Create Connect Sustain research project run by the University of Sheffield. They came along to Makers’ Club to meet Lambeth-based makers and to share the challenges of developing businesses as makers. As it turns out, many of the challenges are the same wherever you are based!
After short talks and a discussion on the joys and challenges of trying to succeed as makers, we shared possible solutions to some of the problems we currently share:
Selling & Promotion:
Using social media – it’s free!
Including link to own website on social media profiles
Collaborating with others
Selling via someone else – shops and markets
Promoting each other’s work
Telling our story / the story of the product/s
Running a business:
Education – learning new business skills
Networking – sharing ideas and experiences
Taking part in pop-up events and markets
Developing an online presence
Having the time and money to allow for experimentation, development, failure
Evaluating each task regularly according to specific criteria
Prioritising activities and focussing on what’s really important
Recording exactly how we spend time
Exercising self-care and sticking to boundaries
Scheduling social media posts and dealing with email at fixed times
Having something to work towards
Saying no to “should”
It was interesting that these tips applied whether you’re a maker in Indonesia or Lambeth. And it was a great way to meet new friends from both near and far.
We’d like to say a huge thank you to our special guests, Andy and Ann from the Create Connect Sustain research project and all our fabulous Makerhoodies for generously sharing their experiences. Now, if only we could make a return visit to Indonesia some time….