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The main difference between the products I design now and the products I was designing a couple of years ago is that now they all have the mission to change people's lives.
Not change in massive ways, not in an evangelical guru way (I'm not that delusional), but in the small incremental ways that actually make a difference to life. My coach Jen Carrington refers to it as the 'sell them what they want, give them what they need' business model which is pretty spot on.
Prime amongst these is the Studio Box subscription - best described as a quarterly 'making things' box. These are my most treasured offering and usually I wave them off, cross my fingers, and hope that people share what they make on social media so that I can see. Occasionally though I get to chat unprompted with people about the boxes.
A couple of weeks ago I met one of our Studio Box subscribers at a workshop in Manchester and, as we grabbed something to eat, she told me her experience of the first Studio Box.
The first box had everything needed to make a hand decorated stationery set - there were pens and a notebook and full instructions showing exactly how to draw individual flowers and how to put them together as a meadow. There were cards and notepaper and envelopes, postcards and watercolours to take the skill a bit further.
Carole told me that she hadn't drawn since school, and if fact had believed that she couldn't draw. but following the instructions had found it straightforward and loved the results. But then - and this is the bit that made my heart sing - she decided that she would like to develop the skill and use it in her business.
She learned how to do some brush lettering and began to combine this with drawing to create labels for the sumptuous wedding feasts that she prepares.
I couldn't wish for a better example of what I wish for when I put together the contents of each Studio Box. That people will give a new skill a go, that they will find joy in it and even perhaps begin to incorporate into their lives.
The first Studio Box had everything to make a stationery set, the second had everything needed to make beeswax wraps and copper labels, the third box is still a secret but is winter/Christmas in theme and involves a little bit of sewing.
It is now available for pre-order, either as the first box in a subscription or as a one off.