Funded by

House of Affleck

Tracy, House of Affleck, joined our Crafting Connections cohort.

House of Affleck is home to original handmade items; each one different and crafted ethically.

Tracy, founder of House of Affleck, joined the Crafting Connections workshop programme as she was looking to refine her business strategy whilst developing a range that would be both profitable and engage her preferred skill.

Tracy didn’t feel in a position to grow her business as a maker/marketer/seller because of the time spent on each of these activities, and was therefore looking for solutions to ‘make less and make it better’, whilst also exploring the possibility of producing some work digitally. Tracy felt uncomfortable using new fabrics to create her work and was looking to explore ways in which her products could be more sustainable.

As a result of starting her business in lockdown, Tracy felt quite isolated and therefore was looking to expand her creative network through the Crafting Connections programme.

The CFNE solution provided

Crafting Connections gave Tracy the opportunity to connect with other creators. Tracy found listening to others and hearing their experiences at different stages of their business journeys particularly useful. The programme also increased her awareness surrounding the potential to collaborate with other creators.

The workshops also gave Tracy the opportunity to discover business development tools to help identify her brand values and direction. Tracy enjoyed the introduction to regional crafting contacts and resources which gave her the opportunity to identify House of Affleck’s core values and identity, for example what is important to her as a businessperson and artist.

Throughout the workshops, Tracy was introduced to facilities and support that could be used to trial her ideas, for example Gateshead Library and Fab Lab. This has given Tracy confidence to try out ideas to make her stall and products more professional. The workshops have also given Tracy encouragement to make less; make it better; add value and charge more for it as hand-made product.

The outcome of CFNE intervention

As a result of Crafting Connections, Tracy has developed the environmental sustainability of House of Affleck through increasing her knowledge surrounding recycling and supply chain history. She has also developed replacement products emphasising natural products & sustainability.

Tracy has refined her business strategy to reach new markets and higher price-points sales opportunities. Tracy has also started to identify opportunities to go to the paid-for markets that have a higher-end customer and strong crafting focus and price-points. She has also started to find new markets through galleries/ cafes/ bars to show House of Affleck’s illustrations.

Tracy has also developed new ideas for workshops, e.g. lino-cutting, use of Shipley gallery resources for workshops & creative inspiration.

‘Crafting Connections has enabled me to connect with other creators and to see the facilities available in the North East. Through a range of tools and exercises I have been able to refine my business model. I just can’t wait to get started on moving my business forward, working with a strong set of values is really helping me focus. ’