So in-keeping with my theme of reviewing the year….here’s a little note about me, Polly and Mollie Makes. Or creative collaborations, and how the Handmade Horizons eCourse came about!
Rewind to June 2011. I’d been thinking about developing an ecourse for a little while, after doing a couple of paid programs myself (John Williams’ Screw Work Let’s Play and Marie Forleo’s B School). I saw for myself what an impact they can have if you approach them right, and loved the way the format was so accessible for working mums like me. Most importantly though, I thought an eCourse would be a great way to reach out to women who needed help marketing their handmade business, rather than just working one-to-one.
As luck would have it, my friend and former colleague Polly was back from her travels in New Zealand this summer. We caught up, she explained she was deep into crafting novelty gifts and working with small, creative businesses……and well, the rest is history. I pitched the idea, she liked it, and the Handmade Horizons ecourse for creative sellers in the UK was born.
Over three happy weeks in sunny North Wales, we chatted, plotted, researched and drafted. Since then we’ve had lots of loooong Skype conversations, a couple of hectic (but hilarious!) filming sessions, a zillion emails and one or two heated discussions. But that’s all part of the process, as Morcheeba would say. We both believe fiercely in what we’re doing, and more importantly – why we’re doing it. So there’s no coasting or taking the easy way out.
It’s been a learning curve, that’s for sure. A huge amount of work, more than either of us could have imagined. But this has been an incredible week. We’ve had the first group of talented, creative ladies sign-up ahead of the January 16th start date. We’ve been featured in Mollie Makes magazine – a gorgeous publication we’ve both lusted over since the first issue, and pored-through together during those three weeks in July. We’ve had yet more interviews with inspiring, talented and open-hearted women, who’ve offered to share their experiences as handmade sellers with the students on our course. And we’ve signed-up our first marketing partners, who’ll be helping us spread the word.
Of course - none of this will mean anything until the dust has settled and we get the feedback surveys in at the end of the course. We both want Handmade Horizons to be life-changing for the women we work with – nothing short of that. But I’m taking a few moments today to be happy, and grateful for everything that’s good in my life.
I’d definitely like to look into doing more creative collaborations next year, as its something I really enjoy. I’ll also post-up what I’ve learned from doing this joint venture when it’s all done, as I think that’ll be a good exercise. What about you? Have you tried any joint ventures or collaborations in your business? Is it something you’d like to try? Let me know what you think – I’d love to hear from you.