My long time friend Kristy Kum Too has crafted up an extraordinary business HABITUE design.
She handcrafts crochet rugs and baskets. As well as beautiful custom playing blocks, however she is not one to leave the crowd behind – she has brought them with her through the power of collaboration on social media.
Completely in awe (and slightly jealous) I approached her to learn more.
T : What was the inspiration behind creating the pop up go local?
K : Many makers do not often sell retail as the commission they have to pay often makes their product too expensive for buyers. Once you add 30-50% commission to a product it increases the price considerably.
T : Wow – feeling pain – it is crazy how many hours go into custom making an item
K :We wanted to be able to take control of this and be able to offer our products in a retail space at the same prices and be able to offer the same range (often if makers do retail, it is select items that can reasonably be priced)
T : How did all these local makers come together with the same story?
K :We all know each other through local markets and through regular market activity we built a culture of collaboration. We help each other out.
K : We have various support groups online and some are members of the Bendigo Creative Business Network, we find that pricing handmade is the one topic that seems to come up regularly, often with no solution.
Again, to be able to provide this service, we needed to keep costs at an absolute minimum. All of the makers involved have quite a strong social media presence individually, we felt by cross promoting and pooling our following, we could reach a large percentage of our target market
T : Facebook and Instagram were the most utilised mediums by all makers involved – Are there any other models or ways of working on social media that inspired you as a group?
K : It was also about convenience. They are also the mediums I am most familiar with so it was important that we could move quickly and reduce the amount of time taken marketing as we all extremely busy at this time of year.
I was inspired by Facebook groups, I really liked the transparency of this tool and how easy it is to keep everything in one place and to be able to search a topic with ease. So behind the scenes we have two Facebook groups, one for the team co-ordinating ) Simone Boschetti from Coral & Herb, and Rebecca DiPetta from the Original Faux),
On this one, we do all our planning and have been able to upload documents to proof read, work in progress.
On the second page we have all of our makers where we have our terms and conditions, instructions, general communication, lots of cheering for milestones such as numbers of followers, sneak peeks of images, it creates a great sense of community amongst the makers
T : It is completely amazing that you have 727 likes on your Facebook page – has it been up for a month now? Was this achieved through your networks alone without any advertising?
K : Absolutely, without any advertising budget. On our private makers page, I have been providing hints on how to increase our following. Things such as personally inviting their Facebook friends, cross promoting each other regularly and promoting the page on both their personal and business pages. We have concentrated on Facebook initially.
T : Instagram hasn’t created the same sort of impact of following – do you think that is a reflection of the “local” in that Bendigo is more active on facebook rather than instagram?
K : Definitely, but also because Instagram is such a visual tool, it is harder to create a following without fresh exciting images. We have something planned for December which we think will see a huge jump in our Instagram following.
T : Great – cant wait to see them – what role does tagging in Instagram play for you – how are you creating momentum in the same direction around this as a group?
K : Tagging is difficult in this scenario, being local, tags do not seem to have the same impact for us as on our business pages. We use tags to try and capture the local community ie #bendigo, but also tags that are specific to each business ie #handmadejewellery but I guess they become quite broad
This may change as people become familiar with us and want to search for #popupgolocal.
T : Great – so totally impressed by what you and the Pop Up Go Local team have created on social media and also independence as makers without the retail price impact.
Just one last question – so far I can see that your strategy has been to introduce each maker and their life and who they love and then their products – was one or two makers introduced each week? How does this strategy change as the shop opens then each day for the 23 days?
It is so important to keep consistent and presence with social media how are you keeping content regular and comments moderated (ok that was 2 questions!) – I am too interested!!
K : It’s a bit of a surprise but let’s just say we are we will be focusing on the products. The campaign will then start focusing on what our customers want.
T : Wow how do you know what your customers want?
K : We are doing this by having one person responsible for social media. We have a clear plan that we developed together but the social media has been my responsibility. The other girls are there for backup and we discuss any comments/replies between ourselves if we think it is required.
We have 23 of these, 1 per day, all targeted at different demographics
T : That is amazing organisation. Thanks so much for your time, insight and inspiration Kristy!
Pop Up Local launched on December the 1st at The Old Green Bean, full trading will starts December 2 Trading hrs 8-4 Mon to Fri and 8-2 Sat – you can find out more – Pop Up Go Local Facebook and Pop Up Go Local Instagram