Author Archive

Hot Pop

Questions:

Level of involvement with the artists for People’s Hive?

Synthetic polymers and environment:

Recyclability? Environmental impact or ecofootprint?

Challenges of being in the Maker industry?

Stratigraphia- jewelry line:

Other types of body jewelry or accessories in future?

Bi-Ying introduced us to Hot Pop factory, founded by her and her partner Matt Compeau. They initially started as architects who took a different approach to designing buildings. They showed us some works of theirs including the train station in Rome and the stadium in Lansdowne. Since then they started their own company using a Makerbot 3D printer. They started making and selling jewelry and expanded to make trendy items which gained them media recognition. They use programs such as Rhino 3D and Grasshopper to design their 3D creations. They also use laser cutting which in combination provides endless possibilities for the products they can make.

The ABS thermoplastic materials they use in the 3D printer are similar to that of plastic Legos. Bi-Ying explained that they are not toxic, and 3D printer production does not pose as great a risk to the environment as a factory would manufacturing a similar product.  The products are also recyclable as they can be melted down and remolded into a new product. She also explained that the success and uniqueness of goods manufactured is due to the possibilities of the 3D printer. Each product is made one at a time, and so there is time to customize each one easily in the case of their jewelry line. They used some sort of algorithm to take a 3D scan of a chair and manipulate its shape and size into a repeating pattern created some kind of abstract art sculpture which was 3D printed. I especially like the way they played around with design, with their experimental wooden laser cut shapes which were drawn in a 3D modelling program. They added to the code so that the program would automatically draw the blobby shape as a structure of interlocking wooden slots. They even used digital painting to color the wood as dictated in the program. This combination of techniques had an effective result: to realize an abnormal shape in every detail.

Week 4

I learned that it’s difficult to expect sales if you are depending on people coming to your table first. Often people came and when they found out what we’re offering they left simply because they didn’t need one or could make their own. However, some people came and thought it was excellent and bought two, one most likely as a gift. This gives me reason to think that if more people knew what we were offering, more would buy it.

The most effective way to sell to customers involves greeting them, then introducing the product. We had demos which were already decorated and some people picked them up to appreciate them. One lady requested one without a keychain though we didn’t have one, she said that she wanted to put it up on her fridge.

Next time I would like to be more proactive as far as attracting customers. I would like to have a stand on the street with a wider target market available. More advertisement props would be better as well to get the passerby customer’s attention.

Week 3 Blog 1

Writing a Business Report

Writing a business report forced me to focus on the business in a different way. I began looking at outside factors and their impact on my business that I did not consider before. You really have to know your business inside and out as well as the industry you are in to write a complete report.

Feedback emphasized a few things that I thought I hadn’t covered very well in my report. It also gave me a different view point on my business report. I didn’t even consider such things as best/worst case scenario for sales, though I do think that is a very important part of the business plan so that you can be prepared either way. Planning is a big part of the business plan, so having every detail organized and verified really helps. When things don’t go according to plan, at least you have some exact figures and some facts to rely on to help you plan your next move as a business.

When giving feedback I could see the elements of the business report that really stand out to you as a person outside the business. I could see what details were really crucial and what they told me about the business. Some of these facts about the business were the break-even point, research on current market and general amount of research in the industry analysis. What also was important was if they were following up to their facts in the operations plan and marketing plan, as well as the structure of their business.

Maker Economy

Bracelets! Bracelets are a thing that are very trendy. Anyone can wear them, they can be made as earrings, a necklace or a keychain. They are customizable by color, which is a super appealing thing to everybody because everybody has colors that they prefer over others. This means that you will be interested in this bracelet because you get to choose the colors. Those braided bracelets have been copied already by so many other companies. They have infiltrated the world so much that you will never look at a rubber band the same again. It uses such a simple product, rubber bands but, they also sell a loom which is a special design and there are similar ones on the market though they aren’t the same.

This product has created an online community for users who make tutorials and post them on YouTube so they are accessible to anyone. This is a great craft for young girls especially though it also appeals to anyone who likes accessories. I know some little girls who will make a bracelet for anyone they know, so in this way the user is giving exposure for the product. Also these bracelets are incredibly easy to make, even without the loom for people who aren’t good at others activities such as knitting, sewing or weaving.

This is such a successful product that there are few weaknesses to it. However, because the original product is so simple manufacture, it is easy to reproduce and other companies have done so and sell them cheaper so they are taking their market away from them.

Week 2

In Tuesday’s class we really reviewed our project. We were looking at the total cost of the product, and also considered factors like the length of the life of the product. If we used a circuit, the battery would die within a day or two, so we think the customers would not think it worth buying. So we scrapped the circuitry as the idea evolved into something totally new. We decided on an accessory for electronics: a cord organizer while keeping our original shape of the cut out man. We figured people like quirky and cheeky, especially in our area and age group around our school.  These people would also have many cords which they would like to keep organized while travelling. The most compelling factors was that this new product would be so much easier and faster to produce as well as cost effective. As soon as we discussed it for a few minutes, the marketing campaign began to write itself. I feel like my group has finally come together and we are all excited about this project.

Week 1

Day 1: Today was about meeting our teachers, and getting interested in their work as well as our own. The thought of selling a product is exciting. Already coming up with new ideas, and wondering what others will be.

Day 2: Today we had to make hard decisions and do much research on cost of production to determine what kind of product we will be producing. Everyone has different ideas. We spent much time deciding which can work, which won’t, and considering factors such as marketability, popularity, cost of production, even amount of production time. It was really hard to figure out what people really want, and what is going to sell.

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