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BUSINESS: Visual Merchandising by Clare Freemantle of www.folksy.com/shops/SeriousFloss


and Mandy Knapp of www.mandyknapp.co.uk


As a designer-maker selling your products, you have most likely come across the words “Visual Merchandising”.


jargon which is often shortened to


VM! In essence, visual


merchandising is about making your products look amazing.


After spending hours on developing and crafting your handmade items, making them as beautiful as they can be, ensure that when you promote them online they still look amazing!


Photography Sharp photography is a must as your customer wants a clear view of their potential purchase. To achieve this it is certainly worth investing in a good camera, or indeed enlisting the help of a good friend who is an ace photographer. Making people want


86 | ukhandmade | Autumn 2012 This is retail


your product and understand its function and how it can fit in to their lifestyle is one of the challenges of selling (online or in a physical shop setting). Whilst product descriptions and back stories are important for online selling, amazing pictures can communicate so much.


You may already have read lots of articles about how to take great photographs and mastered more than the basic functions of your camera, but visual merchandising is about communicating what your product is about than the technical aspects of getting a photograph that looks good. So what’s the first step?


Style Having a clear style for your work should make getting your VM right easier. Achieveing this means as


designer-makers you must develop your practice with coherent themes, design, colours. Ceramicist Katarina Klug’s style is clean and crisp making her collections visually arresting and highly desirable. Katarina says,


“For me, as a craft professional, it was important to develop a language of expression for my work. When I started that was a rather mixed bag with pieces that were nice and some which were less so. It frustrated me that I couldn’t stick to anything and tried all the different techniques and materials that I learned about at college. Eventually I realised that, this was not the way forward.


All established craftsmen and artists have their own way of bringing an idea to life. Commercial or not - just making something pretty but random does not


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