5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Concepting Your Next Collection
What’s more exciting than creating a new collection? It’s a phase in every creative’s business, usually occurring seasonally or yearly, that offers a chance for new beginnings and an outpouring of ideas.
While it feels great to let out all of that pent up creative energy, it can be nearly impossible to narrow down your ideas in order to execute a specific, cohesive collection.
No matter if you’re a jewelry designer like Dune founder Cire’ or are an expert in a different industry (candle makers, potters, artists, tapestry creators, unite!), there are a few questions you should ask yourself before you settle on a concept for your next collection.
What have I been referencing lately?
You’re likely on a social media platform like Instagram, Pinterest, or even Tumblr, and have been saving images that inspire you ever since you finished your last collection. Are there any trends in what you’ve been saving? Any motifs that you can draw on either through scent, visuals, or referential iconography to form an idea for your own work? Usually you can find a common thread between the things that have been inspiring you lately in your free time and use that as the center point of your next collection.
What’s missing from the market?
Look for holes in your industry’s market in order to avoid falling into the copycat trap. If you asked yourself the first question and found that the main theme that you’ve been inspired by lately has also been inspiring others in their work, it could be a good idea to steer clear.
For example, extremely minimal jewelry was quite popular for a time, and, though it would have been easy to go that route and get inspired by how simple a piece could be, our founder Cire’ drew on some of her deeper passions and created a collection inspired by the sea, with stones like pearls and opals that reflect its shimmering waves and mysterious undercurrent.
What are people asking for?
When in doubt, ask your customers. This question works particularly well when you’re debating between two concepts for your next collection. Cire’ recently put this inquiry into action by using Instagram polls to gain insights from her audience on what they wanted out of a future collection.
As the maker, you have the final say, but it never hurts to get a second, third, fourth opinion!
What represents me?
If you’re having trouble coming up with an idea to begin with, turn inward for inspiration. What are your favorite parts of the day? What song can turn your mood around in a heartbeat? Who are the people in your life that make you light up with joy?
Looking at yourself for inspiration might feel indulgent, but it’s the best way to find a concept that truly resonates as original for your customers.
What do I love creating?
Finally, it’s always a good idea to make what you love to make. As a jewelry designer, this could mean sticking to a collection filled with tiny studs if you’re over making hoops. Or, perhaps, as a fragrance artist you’re sick of making full-size fragrances and want to stick to roller balls.
Ultimately, this is your business, your brand, your collection filled with things that you create. They should reflect you, represent your most recent inspirations, and be something that you absolutely love to make. Though it’s necessary to fill a hole in the market and listen to the voices of your customers, it’s also possible to find that happy medium and do what you love while making others happy with your talent.