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Developing New Products

In my last blog I mentioned product development and people have asked me how we go about this,

We listen to customers and gather their wonderful ideas of what they would like us to sell, along with our own ideas based on product research and our own wish lists. That’s why we both love to be in the gallery because we hear about it first hand, and when we don’t my mum works there and she passes the information onto us!

Then the work begins. We have to do product research to find what is already on the market and what competitors are doing and then think about what suits us and our style in the gallery. This is when Dave comes into action! He has to find a producer/manufacturer. He starts with the Southwest and then within the UK wherever possible. Quality is our highest agenda. Our ethos is quality, sustainability and British where possible. Many of our products are even sourced right here in Teignbridge, working with local businesses is the perfect combination.

Then my work begins! I design it and I may do different colours to see our favourite. Then we play around with placement on templates. You might come into the gallery one day and see paper designs stuck onto a sample products and wonder whatever is going on! This is so we can visualise the end design! If there are variables and we are undecided we may put out a vote on social media. There is never a shortage of replies!

Dave then gets a sample of the product and we check for quality and sometimes we may need to do a few tweaks. It may be that it’s off centre or the design falls short on the product and simply doesn’t look right; sometimes the colour isn’t quite right, maybe it’s too vivid or dull. It’s possible the product will go to and fro several times before we are happy with it. If it has our name on it we need to be proud of it!

Then we order it! This can sometimes be the biggest headache as you can imagine.

So, when folk ask how do we get our ideas - we listen to our customers and do lots of research, and this whole process can take anything from 2 months to 6 months. So if you give us an idea and we decide to follow it, don’t be disappointed if it takes a while to reach the shop floor!

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