by Yvonne van Zummeren
While I never crafted much during my childhood, while I was never stringing beads and while I have poor drawing skills, I did manage to become a successful jewelry designer. How did that happen? Because I am a concept thinker, a doer, and an entrepreneur at heart. That’s how my jewelry brand Dyvsign was born. And with a little help from a wonderful thing called the 3D-printer! The advantages of the 3D printer: you don’t need a huge inventory; you can just print on demand. Even if you’re like me: having poor drawing skills yet great ideas. Don’t think those ideas will never become reality just find yourselves a 3D modeler. If you follow the next steps and have an entrepreneurial mindset, you too can become a successful 3D designer!
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Niche = nouveau riche
You need to find a niche. Because I studied art history, Dyvsign’s bracelets are based upon works of art, that’s my concept. That’s what distinguishes me from other designers. This is the most important thing to begin with. Do >>not<< underestimate this. Other niches in the 3D printer market are dolls, coffee cups and records that can actually be played.
Out of your comfort zone
Who’s going to be your target market? 3D printed products are not only for nerds anymore, but for instance for trendy females as well. Dyvsign is taking 3D printing out of the “nerd-zone”. I specifically chose not to personalize items (which is a huge benefit of 3D printing though), because I want to emphasize on art and informing. Other target markets could be children, football players or the earless.
Storytelling. My goals are to tell the female consumer more about art and about the possibilities of 3D printing. Therefore I want to include as many different 3D printed materials in my collection as possible (nylon polyamide, rubber, ceramics, bronze, massive silver, stainless steel and whatever’s next to be invented), to be able to inform and amaze my target market about all the possibilities. Find the story you want to tell!
Gather the people you need around you. Find your flaws. If you don’t know how to make a 3D drawing, like me, find someone who can help you with that! Check the online communities on Shapeways and Ultimaker. I’ve found wonderful people who understand in a split second what’s in my head. That makes them pretty brilliant too, because like I said, I have no drawing skills. But I do have storytelling skills and they understand what I mean just by telling them, when my lousy sketch drawing has 23 different perspectives…
Print & Scream
Oh, you’ve taken step 1-4 and you’ve printed something beautiful for a niche with a great story and a clear target market? Good for you! Were you about to sit back and relax? Oh no, you’ve only just begun! Write a press release (or find someone to do it for you) start your social media engines and go tell your story! You want >>everyone<< to know about your designs, so be prepared to do bold things: just call your favorite magazine/newspaper/blog/tv show and tell them about yourself and your designs. Of course you’ll be brushed off every now and then, but don’t let that discourage you and just carry on.
And that’s it! Good luck and let me know what you’ve designed!