Tuesday, June 21, 2016

In My Studio: Launching New Products

So Handmade Train Play mat

I have been working on some new products in my studio this last couple of months and realized it would help me enormously if I listed all the steps I take to get a new product launched for the next time I want to develop and launch something new. I figure that a lot of makers have their own processes and development strategies but this could be useful to others and can be adapted to fit different specialties.

These are the steps I took before launching my new Construction and Train Play Mats:

1) Idea: That light bulb moment when you come up with a great new idea or concept. I tend to think about a new product for quite a long time before putting pen to paper- or fabric to the sewing machine. The idea can come from anywhere- by adapting something you make already, fulfilling a need for something in your own life or from being inspired by outside influences.

2) Prototype: The next step I take is to make a mock up of the product using scraps of fabric I have lying around. This may happen a couple of time before I get it right.
My Play Mat prototype

3) Design: Once I have the prototype mocked up I start designing on paper doing a few rough layouts before drawing it out properly in pen and ink. I do my designs in black on white to be able to transfer them onto screens. 
My drawing board where I design my new products

4) Supplies: Around the same time that I am designing I think about the supplies I am going to need to make the new products. How many am I going to make, which fabrics will I need and how much. Also will I need any fastenings such as buttons or velcro. In this latest product I decided to use organic materials so sourcing and ordering was a little more challenging.
Organic fabrics and threads ready to make my new play mats

5) Printing and making: I usually start a new product with a run of about 30 to insure a good supply for craft fairs and Etsy for a few months. After hand screen printing the fabric I cut it out and sew them together.
My sewing station whilst watching the Great British Sewing Bee on the Ipad!

6) Photography: Once the first few have been made its time to photograph them for use on Etsy and on Social Media. When photographing them a good tip is to remember to take a few shots using holiday styling to switch out when the time comes.

7) Listing on Etsy: Keep in mind how you will be packaging your new product when you have to ship them out. Will you need any special packaging supplies and will you need to create a new shipping profile.

8) Promote these new products on your social media accounts (instagram, pinterest, Facebook etc) and remember to post in the Makers on Hudson new and renewed items chat thread.  

9) Copyright: I have been making it a habit to copyright my new products right after I launch them. It is pretty quick and easy to do on www.copyright.gov website and well worth the small investment.

10) Display and Marketing: Think about how the new product will be displayed in your craft fair booth or at any of your sales outlets and if any new displays will be needed.

Construction Play Mat by So Handmade

Good Luck and Good Making!


  1. Love reading about the process that creatives use. Good point about photographing for seasonal sales too!! Thanks☺️