Over the past few weeks we’ve gained more clarity as to how our community of Slipperpreneurs can be involved in the designing, making & selling of slippers and we’ve seen the potential of expanding our product range to include lifestyle goods as well. As a result we felt inspired to change the name for our community from Slipperpreneurs to “innypreneurs”. “inny” meaning “being in”, being part of the community and doing things from the inside out. Creating, making & selling products from that place of inspiration and passion inside of you.
What we can see at this moment in time, which keeps evolving as our community grows, is that there will be 3 different categories of innypreneurs and anyone joining the community can fall into one, two or all three; Designers, Makers and Sellers
1. Designers (including inventors & Pattern Makers)
These are people who have a design or product idea for slippers or other lifestyle goods and are able to bring their idea to life by making an initial prototype of their product/design idea. Depending on skills, these people are either able to create their own pattern for their product/design, and select the relevant materials, or they can send in their prototype for us to create a pattern and support with the grading of the design to different sizes. We then upload the pattern (and fabric recommendations) onto our website for people to buy (so that they can make the product at home) OR someone could place an order for the finished product, and one of our ‘makers’ will make it for them, based on the pattern and instructions that the designer has uploaded. Our idea is for every person involved from designer, maker and seller to receive a fair profit.
Designers can also choose to take an existing design from themselves or somebody else and transform & evolve it by adding their own twist to it. We would then keep the original pattern of that design but also add the evolved version of the design for other people to download, make, sell or purchase. 2. Makers
Makers are crafty people and seamstresses who love to make things from a pattern and instructions. innyoot will draw upon our community of Makers to make the products (designed by our designers) when an order is placed. Any one of our Makers could make products to order depending on location and availability.
Makers will also be able to download patterns and make products that they can sell themselves (either at craft markets or via our innyoot website).
Makers can also choose to collaborate with sellers in the community who love to sell our range of products.
In order to ensure that the quality of the production is really high, we would find a way of vetting our Makers first.3. Sellers:
Sellers are people who love to either sell the products they have made themselves or who prefer to sell products that Makers have made and making a commission on the sale.
Not all Designers and Makers are passionate about selling their own products, so they could find someone within the community who would love to sell their products via Craft Markets, Slipper Parties, Boutiques or other means.
innyoot will also provide the option for designers and makers to sell their patterns and products via the innyoot website.
And if you’re a designer, maker AND love selling, of course you can do all three!
To give you an example of our idea at work: Iain, who is a Designer, might have an idea for a packing cube. He creates an initial prototype of his idea, comes to innyoot and Dee who is a pattern maker, then creates a pattern for Iain’s product idea. We then upload Iain’s product pattern onto our innyoot website for other people to buy and make themselves (we’ll give fabric recommendations). And if someone wants to buy the finished product (and not make it themselves) then Katie who is a registered Maker with innyoot will download the pattern to create the actual product and send it to the buyer.
During our conversations with our innypreneurs Erin & Dee, we learnt that there are companies like Etsy, Craftsy, Ravelry out there who are focusing on either the uploading of patterns, providing of craft classes or the selling of home made products. We however would love to bring all these elements of the creation, making & selling process together and provide them via our community of innypreneurs. Erin described our venture as an international co-op for crafters.
We will also have an extended community of innypreneurs who dip in and out to support us in many different ways. Our friend Duncan who is a wood crafter could support us in the making of tools (ie shoe lasts and other wooden tools) that support our community in the designing & making of products. Mike who is an innovator and expert in the footwear industry could support in providing educational classes to the community. Mhairi & Gladys who are skilled seamstresses could support in providing sewing tips or help improve patterns. Dee who is passionate about fabrics could support in the sourcing of fabrics to include in our flat pack slipper kits which will support our makers and she could also provide tips to our makers on what type of fabrics work best for different designs. Anya who oversees a community of weavers could support with the making and shipping of suitable fabrics for our designers and makers to use. Different people have different skills and are energised by different stages of the designing, making and selling process. We would love to honor that and allow everyone joining the community to contribute in a way that rewards them the most.