Well that was busy!
Firstly, I am so sorry that I didn't get a blog post out last week and that this week I'm a day late! I am still here, honestly!
So... where have I been if I haven't been writing blog posts?
OK, so we love our logo and we have been showing it around everywhere, but it has been looking black on a a lot of screens rather than a lovely gradient of inky blue, so we've had to edit it so that the colour will show as blue on screens. What do you think?
We've arranged for the wonderful Sarah Steinhoefel of The Smart Bear to take over our marketing officially. Anything you see will still be written mostly by me (Nikki) with the help of Wendy and Sarah, but Sarah is in charge of telling us what needs written for where at what time, and making it all happen. (She's a bit useful like that!)
We've been talking a lot about how best to spread the news about Craftucation, who we can talk to, where to put adverts etc. We have pitched to a number of different craft magazines this week too and Nikki was even briefly on Radio Wales this week - but that's for a sotry further down!
We really are working hard to launch this properly so that it hits the ground running and that all our fantastic tutors get their courses seen straight from day one!
We have now set up two Facebook groups for Craftucation! We couldn't wait to start building our collaborative creative community, so decided to start these now for the Craftucation Community and for Craftucation Tutors so that we can all begin getting to know each other, supporting each other, and generally sharing all our lovely arty crafty things straight away before the forums on the site open in January.
Please click on the links to hop over and join in!
We've finally started sending out emails to our mailing lists and we're overjoyed at the number of you that are opening them. We're so glad that you're so engaged and excited about what we're doing.
If you haven't signed up yet, we have two different mailing lists, one for our community and one specifically for our tutors. You can sign up to them easily by popping over to the newsletter page here.
We are going to be sending out loads of information about how Craftucation is going to work, how to sign up, and so much more over the next few weeks, so it's really worth signing up!
Tutor Handbook and guide videos
This has been a huge piece of work, and was the main thing that I was working on last week and why I completely forgot to blog.
We now have a whole wealth of information for our tutors on exactly how to start creating your courses, what you get out of it, how it's all going to work, etc. etc. If you are interested in tutoring with us, please get in touch and we'll link you over to all of the content. We're also here to answer any questions you've got, so please just reach out and we'll do our best to help.
We'll also be taking aspects of it and putting them up on the site as we found that there were a few sections that really describe who we are and what our values are, and what we are trying to achive and how. So watch this space
OK, so whilst this doesn't affect Craftucation in particular, the announcement on Tuesday evening that Conwy County is going into a local lockdown did affect our parent business Ewe Felty Thing.
The new restrictions mean that nobody from outside our county is able to enter without a good reason, and sadly, as much as we love our little shop and our art is hugely important to us, we don't legally count as an essential trip. So that meant that we had to put a lot of things in place and set up a variety of 'caveats' on our site so that people didn't book 1-2-1s or click and collect orders from outside Conwy.
I also took the decision that with cases rising again, I (Nikki) am not able to do 1-2-1s or postal runs, which I had finally a few days earlier started taking off poor Ann who has literally been running the entire in-person side of the shop single handedly since lockdown began.
At 9pm on Tuesday evening I got a call asking if I could go on BBC Radio Wales at 7:10 on Wednesday morning to discuss what it's like being a small local business in the new lockdown. The researcher unfortunately didn't quite have the right end of the stick about what was happening, and so I prepped for being a single guest with a series of short questions to answer, and ended up being a joint guest with an open ended question, so it wasn't a spectacular performance. I missed out a lot but I did manage to get in that we're launching Craftucation, so that's a positive! I definitely need more practice (and possibly some coaching)!
The web developers have been working hard behind the scenes getting everything ready for our tutors to start uploading their courses later this month. (I am soooo excited about this!)
There's a whole load of interesting (and complicated) stuff going on to make sure that it all works. Getting things formatted correctly, making it talk to the media servers, etc. We now have access to the site on the developer platform and are having a class on Monday as to how to operate and run it from an admin point of view. After that we'll be able to start inputting content and getting it set up ready to go live in January!!! Woohoo!
Accounting, payments, etc.
This has been a monumental headache over the last month or so. We know what we need to do, but we've struggled at knowing how to do it. It wasn't helped by one firm that we spoke to (who shall remain nameless) really muddying the waters by not understanding wat we were trying to do.
After much kerfuffle, a large quantity of chocolate, and reaching out on my business coaching groups for assistance, finally by the end of yesterday we were not only feeling that we had a solution, but that we felt like we weren't asking for the earth and that what we're trying to do is actually really simple.
I woke up this morning feeling so relaxed and positive about what we're doing. Craftucation is starting to feel real, rather than a dream. Everything that has happened over the last month has made a huge difference to where we are today, and where we will be come January when we launch. Everything is coming together and it is going to be absolutely epic!
I really6 am thrilled about the world that we are creating with Craftucation, and how many people are also delighted about what we're doing and can't wait to get involved.
I can't wait!