24 May 2012

Building Our Business with HR Thinkstorm...

Like many sellers on Etsy, we are new to the world of business and always looking for ways to open ourselves to new audiences. Personally, having a degree in the arts, part of me always hoped "if you build it they will come", but even I knew that living on a hope and a prayer would get us nowhere! 

Vivid started out as a seed; a blog for banter and an idea for a penny farthing tote bag. For a long time that's all we had, but slowly we grew the courage to add a little more and take a few more risks. Before we knew it our shop had 100 items, our blog got 100s of views a day and our twitter account suddenly had 100s of followers. It took us a lot of work to get where we are, but with making Vivid a success being our dream, the long hours didn't bother us. But we started to get stuck... We know we have some great products, but how do we get people to look at them and how do we take our sales to the next level? If you've not had some kind of experience in the business side of things, you will very quickly find yourself in a dead end. 

Through fate we happened to find ourselves in conversation with HR Thinkstorm, a new startup which specialises in helping you build your business. For us, we wanted to find out how to open ourselves to new markets but we felt like we just couldn't see the forest for the trees. A fresh perspective was exactly what we needed. 

HR Thinkstorm is based in St Andrews and is run by Harrison Richards. After discussing with him via email what we felt our restrictions were, he helped us decide which of the HR Thinkstorm business packages he felt would be of most use to us. He then sent through an extensive questionnaire which explores what we do, how we do it, who we think our audience is and what we found our strengths and weaknesses to be. It is probably the hardest questionnaire we've ever had to fill in as it really makes you sit down and work out what it is you do. That is definitely worth while!  From this, Harrison was able to get a good grasp of what Vivid is all about and was able to give us advice on how to move forward. 

After an hour long session over Skype, we had a great discussion about new markets to approach and how to approach them, we learned how we could get people talking about us and how to get them involved in what we were doing. Most importantly we discovered new ways to look at our business and how we can grow it going forward. 

Overall we have had a fantastic experience with HR Thinkstorm and are really excited about taking these ideas and making them into realities. We will be working towards these goals over the next few months and hope to share some of our achievements with you when they happen too :) 

We hope you found this feature post interesting and perhaps a little relieving to hear that you're not the only person feeling stuck at a dead end when it comes to your small business. Our advice to fellow designers and crafters with a big dream for their business is to open yourself to some fresh perspective. Instead of loosing your life to openly interpreted online forums, invest in some time with someone who is focused on your business specifically. We learned so much from our session with Harrison and think you would benefit from the experience too.

Click here for more details about the service packages HR Thinkstorm has to offer. For those who want to find out a little bit more about what they do, you can visit the new website and blog too... 

We are also excited to share a cheeky discount code for our lovely readers with a dream too :D to get your mitts on a massive 75% off any of HR Thinkstorm services, enter  TASTERVIVIDROCKS at the check out.

Thanks for your help Harrison!
And good luck to all you designers with a dream out there, we hope you achieve your goals too...


  1. I always feel like a hit a dead end. It's very comforting to read posts like this and that there are possible solutions :)
    It's very easy to get drowned in the internet amount of information in which most of the times is not very useful.

    1. Thanks for commenting Mysterious Cats!
      We're glad you found the post comforting; we wish more people would be honest about the ongoing struggle that is starting your own business!
      We agree that sometimes the internet can be so helpful and insightful, but it is just absurd how easy it is to become overwhelmed by it. Having an outside party look at what we were trying to achieve and assessing what we were up to was incredibly useful. It's amazing what a fresh pair of eyes can do for you! We truly recommend HR Thinkstorm if you are looking for guidance, it will open new doors for you :)
      Good luck!