Pattern Shift

#76 - Unraveling your Business Identity - pt 1. Your Identity

February 02, 2024 Saskia de Feijter Season 4 Episode 76
Pattern Shift
#76 - Unraveling your Business Identity - pt 1. Your Identity
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SUMMARY
Hey, it's Saskia de Feijter, your guide on Pattern Shift. In this episode, I share my 16 years of experience in textile crafts and marketing, taking you on a journey from crafter to empowered business owner.

We dive deep into the importance of standing out authentically in the market, steering clear of trends, and embracing your unique identity.

I highlight the need to align personal values, understand customer needs, and create a sustainable business model.

Don't miss out on the free PDF for self-discovery prompts and the opportunity to sign up for Pattern Shift updates and join the Ja, Wol Business Circle.

Let's explore the transformative power of individuality in the creative business landscape together.

FULL SHOW-NOTES WITH TAKEAWAYS

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BEST QUOTE FROM THE EPISODE

 "Don't forget that what is popular and what you see a lot of can become boring very fast. Be yourself, and your uniqueness will endure."

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Speaker 1:

What is your business identity? Hey, listener, today we are diving into the fascinating world of making a mark in the market. Let's talk about why standing out matters. This is Pat and Shift and I am Saskia the Fighter. Are you running a textile craft business or dreaming of starting one? Whether you are trying to make a living or do something extra on the side, turning from crafter to business owner can be a steep learning curve. It doesn't have to be. With 16 years of experience in running small businesses and textile crafts, my marketing and communication education and the drive to build a solid alternative to fast fashion, my mission is to provide you with no BS, actionable exercises and strategies in a language that makes sense to you, that you can implement right away so you can organize, build and grow your business. Don't burn out before you drive. Build a solid base with the help of Pat and Shift podcast and the Yavor community and its programs. Standing out in today's markets, even though we work in such a tiny market, it demands a journey of self discovery, aligning personal values with your business and understanding the unique needs of your customers. In the upcoming two Pat and Shift episodes, we'll explore finding your identity as a business owner and understand your customers identity to seamlessly align both in your work. Today we will be talking about identity your identity and the identity of your business. But before we do that, don't forget to sign up for the Pat and Shift updates and the Yavor business circle creative business tips and insights via the show notes. Go ahead, you can just go there now, sign up while you're listening and you'll get emails to remind you that there's a new episode out, and that's once every two weeks, and every other week you'll get an email that will have a thought, a question and an answer. It's very short, very actionable. I even include some small exercises so you can start working on organizing your business in a way that makes sense to you.

Speaker 1:

Let's say you're a yarn dyer or, even better, an aspiring yarn dyer. You want to start a business or something on the side selling your hand dyed yarns. Now, in order to stand out, it's crucial to identify and express your unique identity and values rather than copying popular existing businesses. What happens a lot is that you step on this learning curve of dyeing your yarns and first of all, you'll do usually like that's not like. It happens a lot that the new yarn dyer looks at existing brands and tries to get to that same let's say that same quality.

Speaker 1:

I don't necessarily want to say the same kind of design, because it's never really a question of I want to do exactly what they're doing. It's more like, it's more of an emotion. I wish I could be as good as that person. So I'm going to try to do the same kind of dyeing and get to that level. I think most people think about it that way and not I'm going to do exactly the same and sell exactly the same. I'm going to do the same kind of logo.

Speaker 1:

That's not what goes on in people's minds. It's more of an emotion of looking up to certain businesses and wanting to be like them, but what happens is that lots of different brands end up looking quite similar. That is because we look out, whereas it is much more important to look in and find our own identity and how we can connect that to our business and be different from other people while doing the same amazing work that we love to do so much. So this involves a journey of self-discovery and of understanding your needs and values and then aligning them with your business. It's really also important to identify your ideal customer and to understand what they value and what their needs are and what their wishes are. So the goal is to create a sustainable business model that aligns with your personal values and needs and caters to the unique needs of your customers. So, as said before, in the next two episodes I will be talking about finding your identity as a business owner and then describing the identity of your customer in the next episode, so you can align both of them in your work. As you can probably tell from what I just said before, I always kind of look at the whole identity, business, offer, product, this whole thing. I like to look at it in a holistic way, so everything is connected and it's not just connected within the business and then you on the side. You are such an important part of that business and this might evoke kind of a duh for you, but knowing it and doing the work are two different things. So I'm going to go a little bit deeper into that today, taking a step back and seeing the bigger picture and not just focusing on business jargon.

Speaker 1:

In creative industries it's a little bit different. We are such a we consist of such small, tiny businesses in such small niches that we are almost kind of like mushrooms popping up everywhere. We get touched by the spores of this craft that we do and we develop this passion and from this passion we start our businesses, usually gradually, like someone likes what we do. We sell one or two items, we teach a class or two in the local library and before we know it there's more and we have a business. That means that there's usually no MBA involved, no actual business education. We don't have that background and we are learning on the job, which is great, but it's also really, really fucking hard and it takes a lot of energy.

Speaker 1:

And as we tend to be creative people, we do not necessarily have the innate talents to just be organized and strategic about things. The base of what we do usually is around the creative parts. I'm saying usually a lot because everybody's different. We all know that, but if I keep saying that, that's becoming boring really quickly. So I will just say this once and I'll just talk a little bit generalized.

Speaker 1:

So for us in our industry, in our situation as we are, it is really important to look at things holistically who we are as people, what is our identity? It kind of automatically is connected to our businesses and it's really helpful and effective to do some work around it to make sure that in growing our businesses, we keep aligned to who we are and not get sidetracked from looking to other businesses that seem very successful and have beautiful imagery, and it's not uncommon to see how people keep copying each other with the best intentions, but stepping more and more away from who they are as a person. Just just in case this wasn't clear, it is very important to be Noticable for who you are, because there are other people out there and they also Sell hand-died yarn and they also teach knitting classes. And how are you different? How is your collection any different from the next fabric shop? That is why it is so important to focus on being really honest and true to yourself, and with that you can cut through the noise and also be honest about your products and your offers, because it's not just about making money. It's about creating a business that resonates with your values, but also with the values of the people that buy from you, because that kind of works as magnets.

Speaker 1:

If it's really clear who you are as a person in your business, connecting that to your offer, then your customer will find you and feel really excited about it, because this is your kind of person, this is your kind of products and of course, you'll buy from them because they have the same crazy fascination with frogs or I don't know something, or you just have an aesthetic that they find very pleasing. If you are essentially somebody that loves rainbows and sparkles and stuff but sees all these cool brands that are doing the muted tones and the naturally dyed tones and you think that is popular so I shouldn't be making that and you forget about your glitters and your rainbows, then there's a bunch of people out there that love glitters and rainbows and they are missing out because you are not being yourself and you're not coming from that core identity. That also means that in time you will Start to get bored with the muted tones because it's not you. You don't feel connected to it. It's really worth taking the time to really understand that who you are as a person connects to who you are as a business, connects to who your customer is, and Doing some work around that. Don't forget that what is popular and what you see a lot of Can become boring very fast. It can be a trend and it can pass, whereas you will never be a trend and people that align with what you like and what you're about Will never bore of that, because that's their identity too. It goes to a deeper level and it's much more sustainable in the long run to run a business that is In alignment with who you are.

Speaker 1:

I mean, talking about this and I feel like, is this that kind of everybody already knows this and I thought about it and I think people really do, and there's been a lot of talk about authenticity, but this is something that goes a little bit deeper. I think, as I said before, there's a difference between Knowing it and doing the actual work. So for this episode, I'm going to have a free PDF for you that will give you prompts so you can find out what's important to you and how to identify your identity, and then We'll go into the next step now, and that will be part of that PDF as well. So I talked about the importance of individuality, but before we can get to that part, we need to understand what our needs and our values are, and and that goes a little deeper even so let's dig in and see what matters to you in your life and your business.

Speaker 1:

When I teach the business circle program, we look at you, your business and your offer you in your life is such an important part. If you take a business education, they don't talk about what your life looks like. They just say this is what you have to do to run a business, but that is leaving the biggest part of your life to the side, and I believe that the only way that we can keep doing this kind of thing and keep offering great products and services to people that want to stay away from fast fashion and want to make their own clothes, the only way that we can keep doing this is that we learn how to do it in a way that is sustainable for us personally I mean you. It's really fucking important and it seems so logical, but it's not super easy because we are working so hard all the time and we're taking care of our pets and our kids and our parents and everything. So it's important to dig a little deeper and find out what matters to you so you can connect the dots between your personal values and how you run your business, noticing what time you need for your family, where in the week, where in the day, how much of it Do you need some time for yourself after you've been working in a shop all day talking to people. Do you need to unpeople before you can do anything else, and how much time do you need to do that? Is it perhaps even possible to close the shop for a day, because you just need it so you can assist better when you're there? Is it important to you to do some extra work around inclusivity in your shop, on your website, to make sure that your products and your services are available to everyone and that they know that it is available to them? Things like lunch do you even take time to have a good and healthy lunch, or do you just shove something in and then, while you're checking your Instagram, like be honest, how often does that happen? I bet a lot, and these things are important to make decisions about. Do you want that? Is it going to help you to have a great working day where, at the end of the day, you still have some energy left for your kids? So do work around that. Figure out what you need and how much you can be flexible or cannot be flexible. So understanding your needs and values translate into your identity as a business and a business owner.

Speaker 1:

For me, when I ran my business, I initially was open from Tuesday to Saturday and I taught two to three nights a night. That wasn't sustainable, it was too hard, it was too tiring, I didn't have enough time for me, let alone my family, and so I decided to be open a day less. And then I decided to hire people to teach and to get somebody to do one day in the shop and balanced out my needs and my boundaries in every which way I could. In the beginning I worked with volunteers because I could pay for full staff and obviously I gave them lots of free things and big discounts on yarn. But yeah, I needed to figure out a way that I could stay healthy and, at the same time, run my business also according to my values and standards. So, yeah, finding that balance, answering the question who am I and what do I need, is so important. And it is heart, because it is unraveling who you are pun intended and it's a layered process. So it takes time to figure out, but I hope this episode helps you to think about it.

Speaker 1:

There are so many ways to go into this self-discovery journey. There's coaching, there's all kinds of books, there is journaling Bullet journaling is great for that. I have to mention it If you want to take a bullet journal workshop, go to my website. I do bullet journal workshops now. And yeah, just finding out who you are and what you need. Don't forget to think about what makes you tick, what is getting you excited. That could be on the level of your values, but it also could be great, fun, small little things that seem insignificant or even a little bit shallow, like rainbows and glitters. But it's fine. It's you. You are a combination of all these deeper, meaningful things and these fun little sparkles that make you you. So what's a nice exercise to do is to sketch a profile of yourself who you are as a person and who you are as a business owner and find that overlap there and focus on that. Double down on that. This PDF that I offer and you can find it in the show notes gets you started on your journey navigating the market, in finding a way to be visible between everybody else. Authenticity and individuality is not just a buzzword. It is actually the core of how you run your business.

Speaker 1:

And I want to end with this study case that I offer in the Yavov business circle, where I collected advertisements from different craft magazines, basically knitting magazines. I think I had about five. I took pictures of all the different advertisements and I made a mosaic of all of them, and it was so incredibly interesting to see how easy it is to stand out because they were all almost identical the same type of colors, the same type of backgrounds, the same lighting, everything. People are just looking at each other, at what the other is doing, and thinking this is a popular brand. So I should look like this. No, you need to be you. You need to figure out what makes you you. And we go beyond trends and beyond fads and I'm not saying that the brands that I'm talking about now are fads, but you can see that the bigger ones have grown and have become more clear about their identities so they're easier to pick out from the rest. But if I sketch this picture for you, where there's a wooden background or a marble background or a cork background, with a few skeins of yarn in a wooden bowl or a marble bowl or a cork bowl that's not true, I haven't seen that, but you know what I'm saying and then there's a dried flower there, eucalyptus or corn flour and that is kind of the imagery that we all start using, because that is the look Now I hope, with this episode, that you will start to think about what makes you you and how is your product different?

Speaker 1:

And even if you are selling, let's pick something jeans Like. There's so many brands of jeans. They're all blue in one way or another. How is your jeans different from all the other jeans? Now I'm just going to go ahead and ask you to think about a few brands and just go to their websites, see how they differ and if you can communicate to yourself what's different about this brand in comparison to this brand and how can they be better. How can? Why Do you like one brand and another another one?

Speaker 1:

I have two brands that I buy in jeans. Try not to buy jeans because they are the worst for our environment, but Lucy and Yak do quite a good job. This is not sponsored. They sell large sizes. They have this really fun and positive and colorful, joyful vibe that I really love, thank you. So they take all my boxes. Except for that, some of the designs don't really fit me that well. And then there's Lee Weistraus very, very basic, definitely not super sustainable and all of the things which I think is important, but I managed to find jeans that fit me well, so I want jeans without stretch and I found a pair because they do larger sizes and they do make good shapes, because I can wear them for a longer time.

Speaker 1:

That is why I got them and because Levi is such a I don't know such a basic brand and I kind of like these kinds of things. I'm wearing a Breton shirt and this quality is so good. I've had this at least 12 years, no, 10 years, I think 10 years and it could be new. So that's what I value quality, basic, good stuff, but also fun, vibrant, forward looking, future proof brands. So that's who I buy from. And if they were all the same, yeah, that's kind of bland, isn't it?

Speaker 1:

So I definitely urge you to look in your craft magazines, to look at the ads and see how things can be different, and also go to Instagram and look at the brands you follow. Why do you follow them and not somebody else? What is their identity and how are they different? Do they have a certain sense of humor that you love? Find what makes them or their identity interesting for you and take this with you over the next two weeks and process it and think about how your identity can shine through in your business. So thanks for listening. I hope you got something from this.

Speaker 1:

Let me know in the show notes on the website pattern shiftfm, you can leave me a message, either a voice message or you can, old fashioned, do a type message. I love to hear from you. I kind of need to hear from you because if I don't, I don't know who I'm talking to and what you need and what you like. So let me know, and next time we'll talk about the identity of your customer, which is also very important. Your business isn't just a product or a service. It is a unique reflection of who you are and what your customers value. Come into our community so we can keep this conversation going and let's figure this out together.

Speaker 1:

If you appreciate the free content and the work we put into this podcast, consider showing your support in a way that feels right to you. This could be by sharing episodes with friends, signing up for a newsletter or making a small monthly contribution through clicking the support the show link in the show notes or when you're listening via Apple podcasts. Click the subscription button and get monthly bonus episodes where I share a little bit more of what I'm creating myself and some other fun things. You'll find all the details in the show notes. So thank you for being part of this movement. Remember that every stitch counts as we work together and create a pattern shift for you, your business, the crafters and the fashion industry. See you next time here you next time. You'll hear me next time, right, okay, thank you for watching.

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