2 Powerful Strategies of a Long-Lasting Handmade Brand
Want a lasting handmade brand? Do these two things.
Throughout the years of running Fictive Fingers, we both have met many creatives, especially those who make with their hands. Just like you, they wonder how we built a handmade brand from scratch and remain being the sister duo behind everything that we do.
When we were reading the enrolment entries for the Focus Formula, we noticed it’s what most of these creatives want to learn from us through the training program.
Because our story is unlike the ones you always hear about.
Like those that started handmade by one person then the team grew so now the original maker is the CEO and face of the brand. Or it was first handmade locally in the studio then now it’s being done by rural artisans in a developing country. Perhaps you’ve heard about those that started out handmade with the intention to mass produce once the demand calls for it.
Just because these are common growth stories, it doesn’t make it yours.
Since the beginning, we see running a business as an opportunity to create an impact in people’s lives. That’s why we don’t chase growth for growth’s sake. Instead, we grow by strengthening our core values and simply doing the right things for our community as well as the environment.
We believe when you focus on the right things, the business takes care of itself.
1. Be clear on why your handmade brand exists
If you’re not our customer, you’d see our products as just handmade textile products. You’d think you wouldn’t need another tote bag or the Linen Wrap isn’t a practical piece of clothing for your lifestyle. That’s totally fine with us.
To our community, the products make their lives better. There’s a deeper meaning to why they bought our products and committed to using them for years.
Azizah has been there since our early years and she loves sharing us snapshots of how our products weave seamlessly in her life.
How she used the Bumi tote for work as soon as she received it, the airports her Raga tote has been to, her one-of-kind Dhon fabric baskets helping her stay organised and how she’s making full use of our fabric scraps.
We first met when she was a participant of the class we hosted for WWF Singapore donors. Fictive Fingers has been part of Azizah’s life ever since because our values align with hers.
To be clear on your why, you have to sell your ideas and worldview, not just your products.
“Selling” usually carries negative connotations to a creative when it’s actually about effectively communicating why you’re here. How you sell makes a huge difference between a meaningless sale and nurturing a lasting relationship with a customer.
The Focus Formula exists to teach you how to achieve the latter.
“People don't buy what you do. They buy why you do it." — Simon Sinek
2. Lead with humanity
The beauty of handmade isn’t just about being made by your hands. It extends to how you connect and win the hearts of the people you create for.
You have to go the lengths to humanise your business and ironically, technology makes it increasingly attainable.
Everything from social media posts, website, emails, newsletter to the sales page, your online presence has to reflect what it’d feel like to meet you in person.
Fictive Fingers is a micro company and it’s just the two of us. We see ourselves as freelancers, not entrepreneurs so we don’t pretend to be bigger than who we are.
We stand behind what we create and the quality we promise so you’ll find us at every point of the sales process even if you’re not buying anything from us.
Often what’s holding you back from making the difference you’re here to make is by not making your business personal. When you’re caught up with wanting to look and sound professional, you may just forget to be human.
In the Focus Formula, we pull back the curtains to show you how we and many other micro to small companies with big hearts lead with humanity.
“What we know matters. But who we are matters more." — Brené Brown
We’ve extended the enrolment to the Focus Formula training program for handmade businesses
Join us to start making a lasting mark.