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Product Line Strategy: Expand Your Offerings

Lesson 13 of 22

Exercise: Gather Outside Inspiration

Megan Auman

Product Line Strategy: Expand Your Offerings

Megan Auman

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Lesson Info

13. Exercise: Gather Outside Inspiration

Lesson Info

Exercise: Gather Outside Inspiration

So we're going to start by gathering outside inspiration, so really, what we did in the first part was we did the kind of like internal work to determine where we're headed, but now it's time to get inspired and ramp up your energy so you can start designing like crazy, and I think of inspiration in two ways, I think of the general things you're kind of wellspring of inspiration that you could pull from all of the time and then things that are specific to the collection that you're designing. I think it's really important to develop a stock of general inspiration that you can come back to again and again and again and what you'll find over time if you're paying attention, is that your drawn to the same things over and over again, usually for large portions of your life, like the things that you were drawn to as a kid or a teenager, or in your early twenties? Those things are probably still interesting to you if you took the time to still pay attention to them. And so I started thinking...

about that what has inspired you in the past and then what's currently catching your eye? So for me, this is a couple of things I am always inspired by decorative ironwork. Temperature goes a great city for that doesn't walking outside of my airbnb I was like, who snapped? Who snapped like this is great so much iron work everywhere so that's something that I always draw from and then the other thing for me that always inspires my work is floral pattern textiles, something I could always come back, tio, that I'm really inspired by again and again and in terms of what's catching my eye right now, he went to moment new york about a month ago and this I've always loved matisse, but this particular matisse painting was just something about it just felt like I feel and and of course, there's a little decorative ironwork element in there, but there's a lot of things that that I was like, this is catching my eye, something about this is feeding where I think I might head in the future. So the beautiful thing about thinking about inspiration is you don't have to know you want to know why you even have to know why it's going to fit into your collection, but you need to acknowledge it. So this is where pinterest is great, this is we're cutting things out start really acknowledging I am a book junkie so I have stacks and stacks of books for all of my favorite kind of inspiration there all around my studio so I can come back to them but think about what is kind of like your wellspring of information inspiration that you can come back to you they want have something on top of their head they're like yes I can always come back to this to be inspired by gu fashion really into and like decor style and bright colors awesome outsmart what thie ocean perfect think about what those kind of wellsprings of inspiration are then the other thing that I want you guys to think about as you're starting to now go from you're kind of general inspiration to your specific is how much of your inspiration comes from outside your field or your product category so I want to send you guys out to create a mood board for your collection right now what would you look at first wait have one yet where would you go if you were going to find so annette where would you go to look if you're trying to find move or you have a very specific example right outside of the southwest now look start looking at stuff like there yeah so grocery store oh, fun yes, perfect. I just posted two photos on instagram for inspiration yet which is a fabulous little chocolate shop in bakery the chocolate packaging fabulous and then, um, meramec o or any design store moma especially perfect. So you guys are already thinking in a way that I want you to think, which is perfect, which is that I want you to develop a mood board for your new collection, and I want you to start very intentionally on ly adding inspiration from outside the product category of your new collection, so when you start building this mood ward, you are not allowed to look at whatever product category you're designing, so this is an example of a mood board for me thinking about the contra collection. So the things that I'm looking at as I'm you know, I'm looking at pattern I'm singing about my trip to india, where I bought the stones I'm sort of seeing this shape pop up this kind of loop shape I'm also really this is she this is not any woman, this is a hungarian woman, but I'm just sort of really inspired by this like bad ass chick letter are like stamping block textile printing like crazy. So all of these things are sort of inspiring my collection, so this is your first step you can build this on pinterest, you can actually pull it on to your computer, you can paste it on your wall, whatever makes sense for you, the beauty is now there's a million ways to make a move board really easily, but really, if it down and intentionally do this step now this directly looks like my product, but it inspires right what I'm doing and then if you need tio, then you can pull inspiration from your product category because it's something you might want to think about it a little, but I always think the best place to do that as to look outside of your current marketplace. So can you go to a different culture or a different time period? So for me, that always tends to be different culture helps that I was in india when I sort of started the inspiration for this collection, but I started looking at how women in india where ryan jewelries that was kind of the other inspiration that was coming in when I was designing the collection so you can pull those pieces and again, we're starting with outside of our collection, so since we can't build mood boards here in the studio, I want to kind of ask you guys to share a few things that can inspire new collection and you could certainly share them online to with our create to make hashtag and we're gonna come back to this in just a second with our in studio audience, but I also want to remind you guys that you can make those mood boards you can upload them to our student gallery page on creative lives so there's an option on the course page to upload and then of course I also want you to share them on our create to make hashtag so we can see what's inspiring your next collection so when asked a couple of you share but who else wants to share? What are three things that can inspire your new collection you know when I pick on you three thing three thing um I put wine country big sur and redwoods perfect I already have visuals rights when you start to say these things you are you start to get visuals of where the collection cadel are that uh boy I've had a lot of things the ocean color blocking and movement the right of me I mean it was the ocean and color block I see that too. So that's when we start to you start to build visuals in your mind even just by saying those things from one uh victorian glass house botanical uh gardens arboretums robbery tie so excited for your collections talking about your inspiration anyone else all right? We're getting nothing from online yet yes so our secret tree house says our inspiration is in our educational work backgrounds like museum yeah, awesome and paintings by kg gilmore says I've explored a lot of agg it's but really what I like is the patterns within nature ooh, nice, especially the ones that change over time with weathering a creation, growth, et cetera. And valerie says, I'm a handbag designer, and I always find home decor magazines. Blog's really inspiring? Great, perfect.

Class Description

You need a healthy range of product offerings to sustain a handmade business, but developing a coherent and profitable product line strategy isn’t always easy. Learn the smart way to grow your business in Product Line Strategy: Expand Your Offerings with Megan Auman.

The right blend of products will stabilize your revenue and excite your customers. 

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Come up with new product ideas that sell 
  • Fit new products into your existing brand 
  • Narrow your focus and plot a course for success
  • Strategically launch your new products into the market
  • Megan will teach you a simple system for expanding and evolving your product line. She’ll help you evaluate the viability of new product ideas and she’ll show you how to develop processes for launching new products and designs.

Product Line Strategy: Expand Your Offerings with Megan Auman will help you develop the right mix of products so your customers are satisfied and your venue is stable. 


Francesca Balagtas

This class was absolutely fantastic. Even though I've had my etsy shop for a while, it has always been something on the side for me while I was attending school full-time. Now that I have the time to really focus and commit to my business I can finally take the steps I need to build up my business and make some real revenue. Because of this class I now know those exact steps to push my shop with full speed ahead. Megan is fully engaging as well, which made the class easy and fun to follow along. Great class, Megan!

I Must Draw

Megan is a brilliant instructor and each of her classes is packed with information to take your business forward. This class has practical steps to help you identify gaps in your product line. Through her own experience of developing product lines she helps you to understand how to stay consistent and cohesive. This is a great class, highly recommend.

Danielle Celeste

Megan Auman is such an amazing artist, craftsman, strategist, and communicator. Everyone trying to make a living selling what they make needs to see this. I think this was my favorite class in the series. Getting such incredibly thoughtful, thought-provoking and concise information from an academically-trained fine artist and teacher was UH-MAZE MAZE!