Now here we are. A year after CREATORS COMMUNITY, and man what a year it has been.
How did we end up applying to be part of CREATORS COMMUNITY?
A year ago we left to exhibit at Formland for the first time. We were fortunate and privileged to be selected to be part of CREATORS COMMUNITY. We had a dream that we would like to go a step further with our designs and Design Rocket. We wanted to go out and sell through dealers, but honestly did not know how to approach it. And then we, hand on heart, where also hugely unsure if there were any who would trade our products at all. We had been guests at Formland Autumn 2019 because we were figuring out what our future was going to bring.
I (Lena) had become ill, and could not continue my work as a graphic designer, so we had to think out of the box. It was a little over a year since we started Design Rocket, as a small hobby with a web shop and that was it. But we wanted more, but what? And how? So we visited Formland as guests because we might be thinking about whether we should take other products into our shop and then make our web shop grow that way. Then we were made aware of CREATORS COMMUNITY, and decided to apply. Because nothing could happen other than that we got a no.
The start of our journey
But to our great surprise, we were selected to join. We went to a fantastic kick-off meeting, where we heard about Formland and Messecenter Herning. There was also a former participant from CREATORS there to tell about her journey. There we also met with our mentor for the first time, who we are so lucky to still have contact with today. He helped and guided us with very basic things that we had no idea about. Such as pricing our products. And how to set up a trade fair stand. It was great to have our mentor and Formland to help us get through our first trade show. They were really good at holding our hand and guiding us.
We had spent MANY hours planning and getting ready. We had set up our stand out in the workshop. So we knew exactly what we wanted it to look like. We had even had people coming by to see it. We had calculated all the prices and prepared postcards and business cards.So we felt ready. At least until we sat in the car on the way out the first day! There was very, very quiet in the car! We were both nervous and excited about what awaited us. And we did not feel like real designers and manufacturers at all. We were/are just Lena and Lars from Skanderborg who do something we think is cool.
Fake it till you make it
So after driving approx. 1/2 of the way in silence, I turned to Lars and asked: “When do you think they discover we are just some amateurs who do not know what we are doing?” He had exactly the same thought and feeling. So we decided that what we really needed to do was “Fake it, til you make it”. So we did, and in fact still do in part. At least several times a week, there are at least new things that we have to decide on or learn about. But we pretend every day that we know what we are doing. And as our sweet and clever mentor has said several times, you continue to have that feeling even after many years in the game and when you sit and make million dollar orders. Which, by the way, I’m really looking forward to doing.
A weekend full of experiences
It was a great experience to be a part of CREATORS at Formland, and really one of the really good ones. Formland does everything they can to make you feel comfortable and the staff are always smiling and helpful. You never feel like you’re asking stupid questions, although I’m sure many of us novices came with some during the line-up, and even during the fair. The organizers came several times during the whole period to check on us, and even the janitor came at one point and asked how we were doing.
When we drove home from the fair the first night we were flying high. We had met so many people, made so many contacts, made our first orders and got our first retailers. We knew that now we just had to start building our business, because the foundation stones had been laid after just one day at Formland. And the following 3 days certainly did not disappoint us either. Attending CREATORS COMMUNITY at Formland gave us a belief that we actually had some designs, ideas and plans that we could build on. We gained some faith in ourselves and our business.
So here a year after CREATORS COMMUNITY, we can only warmly recommend others in entrepreneurship to participate.