Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Part 5 - Product - Designing, Selling and Manufacturing with Jessica Hayman of Rosa and Clara Designs

And the blogs continue. Today we have the lovely Jessica Hayman from Rosa and Clara Designs.  

If you'd like to read the other wonderful blogs in this series, please click on the links below.

Part 1 with Angie Spurgen - Artwork by Angie
Part 2 with Gabriella Buckingham - MooBaaCluck
Part 3 with Heather Moore - Skinny La Minx
Part 4 with Jamie and Catherine Douglas- Bread and Jam

Last in this series with Laura Clempson is on Sunday 16th November!

Part 6 with Laura Clempson - Clara and Macy 

You can connect with Jessica here

1. Could you tell us a little background about yourself and why you decided to sell product?

For me, it all started with lampshades. I was struggling to find designs that I liked, and I had attended a workshop on lampshade making, so designing textiles for lampshades was the next step! I have gradually expanded my product range as I go.

2. What are the important things to keep in mind when researching the products you wish to sell and why did you choose the particular products that you sell now?

If you plan to wholesale your products, price point is crucial. It can be tricky keeping to a realistic RRP (recommended retail price) as well as having a wholesale price that leaves room for a bit of profit. Do the maths before you take the dive! I also think it is really helpful if you can offer a product that is not really commonplace. Which is easier said than done when you need to order a short run from a manufacturer.

3. Which has been the most effective avenue for you to sell your products and which would you recommend?

My own website will shortly be relaunched as an e-boutique but, to date, a combination of selling through Not on the High Street and at a mixture of local events and larger shows has been a good combination for me. It will be interesting to see how sales through my own website will compare: I know I will need to invest a lot of effort in marketing in order to drive traffic.
*NOTHS is Not on the high street - A selling platform in the UK

4. How much has wholesaling been a part of your success?

I have recently begun to expand the wholesaling part of my business and I think it is going to be a significant factor in growing the business. Yes, wholesale prices are lower, but the volume of orders is higher. It is also a great way of increasing the profile of your brand and reaching new parts of the country (and, looking to the future, other parts of the world!).

5. Do you have any advice on manufacturing?

I'm a strong believer in manufacturing in the UK. In addition to supporting British industry, it makes communication channels that much easier. My main advice, though, is to sample and sample again to make sure that the finish of the product is just as you wish.

6. Any extra tips and advice for budding designers who want to sell their own product?

When you are launching a new product, try and do a few events so that you can see people's reactions and ask them for feedback. I've just launched a new range of wash bags and it has been really interesting finding out the most popular designs and colour ways. So far, it is neck and neck between the flamingo print and the pineapple print!

7. What's next in your product selling business plan?

I'm considering introducing a cosmetic bag range to complement my wash bag range, as feedback at recent events has suggested that a smaller size could be popular too.

Thanks so much Jessica. We wish you all the very best for the future! Stay tuned for the final instalment in this series with the lovely Laura Clempson of Clara and Macy fame! You won't want to miss it!

If you have any comments, we would love to hear from you. Please comment below


  1. I love that Jessica recommends to ease into each product and I LOVE those T-towels!