2 + 2 = 5. The power of a collaborative web presence.

Today, we will be looking at the development of a new website for our recent clients The Blackwater Valley Makers. We’re going to look at the project from a business case as opposed to a breakdown of the technical aspects and why individuals coming together to form a group can be very beneficial for each participant.

First, an Introduction

Before we go any further, we had better introduce our clients. The Blackwater Valley Makers are (at the time of writing - Sept 2018) a newly formed group of artists, craftspeople and designers who either originate or ply their trade in the scenic and beautiful Blackwater Valley area of County Cork.

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How did they get started?

“Some of us got chatting one day about the amount of creative businesses in the local area and how it would be brilliant to form a supportive network to promote, encourage and develop the arts in the Fermoy area.”

The Blackwater Valley Makers was formed in early 2018 and their members include, fine artists, textile and visual artists, jewellers, glass artists, ceramicists, furniture makers, printmakers, woodturners, carvers and designers.

Ireland 2018 for an artist / craftsperson

Being in business isn’t easy. Everyone who works for themselves or as part of a small company or business knows this. It’s constant hard work and the uncertainty of future clients / work is never far from your thoughts. Being a creative, or more specifically a creative in the art , crafts and design field is especially tough. From the initial brief we saw how tough is it to survive in a modern business environment.

“With the trend of online shopping from international companies it is even more important to get face to face with our customers and show them the quality, craftsmanship and benefits of local art craft and design. We hope to excel in this area and also showcase our work online to respond to the needs of our customers.”

Customers are increasingly moving towards buying online and for smaller craftspeople it’s an increasing challenge to promote and sell their products. Anybody operating in a niche market will feel the brunt of this shift. Adapting is the only way to survive. You have to understand your market and be willing to change how you operate / sell to meet the ever changing demands of the consumer.

It’s that simple really; businesses who don’t / won’t or can’t adapt, ultimately fail.

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What are the benefits of grouping together?

“A meeting of mutual minds has the benefit of sharing ideas and growing with strength, that is the same with our group website. We showcase the strong range and diverse quality of professional makers in the local area.”

Here we see an idea that forming a group of similar minded artists can have an affect of being more than the sum of its parts. Being part of a collective showcases the diverse range of crafts available whilst promoting each individual artist. Some of the lineup to date include fine artists, textile and visual artists, jewellers, glass artists, ceramicists, furniture makers, printmakers, woodturners, carvers and designers.

Having one main website to attract potential customers and clients is a great way to get noticed and allow individual profile pages showcase each members work. The pooling of resources from each member can make marketing and advertising a lot more affordable which benefits everyone for only a fraction of what you would pay on your own.

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The future of Blackwater Valley Makers

“Following on from the success of Culture night Fermoy 2018 we will create a pop-up shop in Fermoy for Christmas 2018, Details on our facebook and Instagram pages”

For more information or if you wish to get involved visit their website.