I am not going into the details which I must have mentioned in previous blog posts about the history of Rising Star and the decision we took about a year and a half ago. Stopping our leather production and focusing entirely on the gourd craft.
Being a workshop with no physical store; another challenge on the wait was to open new marketing channels for our craft. Our region was in a turmoil, conflicts, and problems in many countries and we didn't really find a point in investing in a physical store. Didn't have the funds either. Our first challenge was to learn internet in a way which we have never used before. Our primary choice was to start from Amazon. And we applied for Amazon Handmade.
It has been slightly over a year and a half in Amazon, well as selected members of Amazon Handmade. Ignoring the figures of 2016, in 2017 we sold
slightly over 120 gourd lamps in Amazon, 46 of them since November. I presume at this stage, I can consider ourselves as a workshop who has an understanding of Amazon with a store almost established. We also maintain a 5-star performance on this platform.
I decided that we should focus on a platform each year and learn it thoroughly before we move to another one. For me, 2018 is about learning YouTube as we managed to videotape most of our gourd lamp designs. Well, all with my five-year-old Nokia Lumia (fair play to Nokia and thanks to Bill Gates.. amazing product). We are also developing our web page and we are also on Instagram now, trying to be as active as we can in a reasonable and acceptable attitude.
So.. for Rising Star, it is not only about developing new gourd lamp designs but also it is about learning and using technology.
One area which I put a lot of emphases is our blog. I personally find it important as we represent a craft made only by a few individuals in the world and there is not much recognition. We also love the place we live, Alanya a small resort in South Turkey and East Mediterranean and I love to write about where we live and where our inspirations are coming from. I additionally think that the cultural inheritance I try to share here in our blog is a cool and fun way of sharing with the rest of the world as from the feedback we receive we are able to learn other cultures.
Trying to keep our facebook page active (another challenge), bright and colorful, I subscribed to a Facebook group managed by www.ultimateblogchallenge.com which I find quite efficient, educational and helpful until now. And this morning I received an email
challenging me to write one blog post for each day of January. And here I am on the challenge. I will receive some tips and encouragement every day and hopefully short or long as necessary will complete the challenge. But what's more important is with the help of UBC, we will improve in this area and hopefully will present our craft and culture to more people.
Click on the flyer to reach their webpage.
I am leaving you with another challenge which is waiting and in process at the moment. Our new individual gourd lamp pages design. It is a demanding task as we are introducing a video of the gourd lamps and trying to optimize them for different screens. You can see the first page by clicking on the photo below.