How To Sell Your Crafts Online featuring The Artful Crafts of Pig & Fish

by PaperbackWriter

 
 
 
Three Words by Pig & Fish

I’m really pleased to be able to feature the work of Deb Gill and Nanako O’Donnell, otherwise known as Pig & Fish. I found their shop on Etsy and love how they blend Art, Practicality and Great Design.

Bio

Deb Gill and Nanako O’Donnell – We are Pig and Fish.
Our two-woman design studio is based on an island in Maine where we design and fabricate all our products.

Since 1997, we have been collaborating on a variety of projects and in 2006, we finished an Arts & Crafts style bungalow which Deb designed + we both built.

For us, the Arts & Crafts movement provides a rich tapestry of inspiration from which to draw upon. We are guided by the words of William Morris, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”

Our quirky business name is not to be taken literally, instead it symbolizes the communication of ‘Inner Truth’ as taken from one of the hexagram’s in the I-Ching.
The expression of living a creative life is at the core of our inner truth and we strive to communicate this through our work. Deb is a graduate of Massachusetts College of Art & Design in Boston, MA and Nanako is a graduate of Bowdoin College in Brunswick, ME.

The Works of Pig & Fish

Six Questions for Crafters who Sell Online

How did you come to Sell your crafts online?

After years of showing her functional art pieces in Maine + New York art galleries, Deb couldn’t ignore a growing feeling of disconnect. At that time, her work was larger, required more time to create, and hence came with a higher price tag. The work began to feel exclusive to a small audience, which went against our philosophy that art belongs in everyone’s home. We have both always felt strongly about the value of living a creative life, surrounded by items of beauty. This lead us to begin designing a product line featuring smaller, artful items that we could recreate while still honoring the art of handmade. We saw the online marketplace as the perfect venue for both reaching a larger audience and connecting directly with our customers.

What inspires you to make your creations?

As lead designer, creating functional and practical designs for the everyday home environment fuels Deb. Her work has always embraced function as she sees it as a central component to living with art. Art can be both a visual and tactile experience; it can become a dynamic part of ones daily rhythm. Our own daily routines help inform the design process as we look to our lives for needs that aren’t being met and then we look for a creative solution. Merging art and function inspires us both to design products that everyone can find a use for in their home.

Deb Gill and Nanako O’Donnell

Do you sell your crafts online with the goal of creating a full-time business?

For us, it’s a lifestyle – it’s connecting the artist’s way with everyday. It’s everything we do and how we do it.
Our long-term vision for the business involves creating a complete experience for people where we design not only the furnishings in a home, but the lighting, the silverware, the rugs, the pillows, etc in addition to the home itself.
You may know Charles Rennie Mackintosh, a Scottish architect who was a designer in the Arts and Crafts movement. We are greatly influenced by his work and his passion for curating the whole experience of living. So yes – this is most certainly a full-time (squared) business!

What advice do you have for how to sell your crafts online?

Have a clear vision for your brand and be sure your brand is clearly represented in all you do from the font you use in your logo to how you style your photographs.
We’ve found this to be an evolving process.
The more clarity you have about your brand and your work, the easier it becomes to communicate that both visually and through the words you choose to define yourself. You don’t have a physical storefront where you can greet your customers and have the opportunity to tell them about your work. Your 2-D brand representatives must do that job for you.

The Artful Crafts of Pig & Fish

Do you have one quick tip for online crafters who want to get started?

www = World Wide Web.
The opportunities are limitless as are the opportunities for becoming overwhelmed by ALL the opportunities!
If you know your brand and therefore, know who you are – you can always check back in with yourself.
It’s easy to get scattered, “Should I be doing this or that or…maybe the other???” Remain flexible because sometimes what you think is a brilliant idea won’t have any traction.
The internet is growing so quickly, so be open to changes. If you know your brand and what you want, then you can always use that to reorient yourself on the journey.

What has been your most rewarding and positive experience with selling your crafts online?

Finding a new community and meeting other sellers through Etsy definitely tops the cake.
Even though it’s a cyber community, we’ve made real connections with other sellers, like Red Tile Studio.
A year ago, we would have never guessed that we would launch a collaborative line with another Etsy seller! We didn’t know about Red Tile Studio way down in Dallas, TX and now we’re getting ready to present our 1901 Miles product line at the West Elm Etsy Dallas show on Dec. 1st!
Our studios are separated by 1901 miles (hence the name!), but through the internet we feel like we’re practically neighbors. Now we just have to figure out how to have dinner parties together!

You can find more of Deb and Nanako’s work as Pig & Fish by visiting their website at Pig & Fish.com and their Etsy Shop. You can also go and join their Facebook Page and follow them on Twitter.

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