Pitching Up for Not On The High Street

noths-logoLast week I drove the 80 miles to Leicester to pitch to Not On The High Street. It was an interesting although sadly unsuccessful experience. The event was held at St Martin’s House, a converted grammar school in the heart of the city.

Attendees were each given a 10-minute slot to pitch their product or idea to a team of experienced Not On The High Street staff and the crowded waiting area was mainly full of bright young things each hoping that their creation was going to wow the buyers and secure them a space in this highly successful marketplace.

Although I love what I do and believe in my product 100%, I wasn’t overly confident that it is right for Not On The High Street and so went along with few expectations under the premise that it would be good experience and useful to get some professional feedback on my upcycling business. The experts liked my product too but advised that I needed to be able to offer the same item in a range of colours and perhaps with an option for customers to provide their own fabric for upholstery.

benchbrochureOccasionally I will have a limited edition of the same item such as my upholstered benches or lime-washed crates, but on the whole each item is unique and upcycled to make the most of its features.

That is the beauty of a piece from Chalky Chic – it is a world away from mass produced, catalogue or flat-packed furniture.

Putting It Out There…

Show-Your-Work-By-Austin-KleonI’ve just read the excellent Show Your Work by Austin Kleon, which advises that in order to build a customer base and ‘brand’ recognition, creative people need to come out of the studio and start sharing: their work in progress, the projects that went wrong, the inspiration – the whole creative process.

In short, he suggests that we need to just put it out there – so I’m going to give it a go!

I’m out of my comfort zone – as a professional, I am used to presenting a finished piece. I’m not sure I want the world to see the hideous end table that turned out less 1940s mint and more a putrid shade of hospital green and will anyone care that my Charleston Cabinet was inspired by the work of Bloomsbury artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant or that I spend hours late at night trawling through Pinterest looking for ways to improve my technique?

Still I have nothing to lose, and possibly everything to gain so here goes…