Category Archives: future notion

FUTURE NOTION is a social commerce start up for Fashion & Product Designers…

We’ve spent some time covering the trials and tribulations of the Designers that we carry and we thought it might be fitting to tell you about what FUTURE NOTION goes through! (full confession ahead!)

FUTURE NOTION, is a social commerce start up for Fashion and Product Designers, and like any new business, traction is always hard to gain especially in the face of super stiff competition. True, there are a plethora of tools out there to help a new business get started – Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, Digg, FFFOUND, Svpply, Polyvore, headhurtingyet? Let’s not even start on advertising, okay? But the question remains – how?

FUTURE NOTION is a Social Commerce start up for Fashion and Design.

No doubt social media is definitely a boon to any emerging business, that is definitely not the issue here. The point is HOW to harness the effectiveness of social media to build your business. The theory of it sounds lovely, but the practice of it is a different story.

We at FUTURE NOTION, find that a combination of tools such as FacebookTwitterPinterest and Stumbleupon definitely helps in traffic. This works for us, and might not work for everyone. We are an image driven site, with original blog content so images are submitted to Pinterest (follow us follow us!) Blog posts and new designers are tweeted about and these get fed back into Facebook. What do YOU use?

FUTURE NOTION is a web2.0 company - gaining traction is NOT easy!

The other day we added a few pins of new products onto our FUTURE NOTION PINTEREST board which barely garnered any response. That was slightly depressing given how Pinterest is the new Social Media darling and drives traffic in droves. We almost gave up. BUT we added another pin that sought to drive traffic to one of our previous blog posts, and voila, the chain reaction was amazing. Almost immediately, traffic went up, the pin was re-pinned and liked and that was encouraging to us! Our point is this – it takes time to understand the mechanics of each Social Media Channel, much like it takes time to understand one’s customer base. So, time is all it takes – but for a lean operation, WHO HAS THE TIME?!?!?! That is something we are still trying to figure out, so if our SM strategy might seem sketchy, we are sorry but we are working on it, believe us!

Search Engine Optimization. I love how happy this term sounds, optimization / optimize / optimisticHaha, not entirely related..SEO is definitely a crucial component to any business seeking to grow their traffic organically (read: no beeg beeg advertising budget) It is the cornerstone of the web business and it does work if enough time, effort and intelligence is spent on it. BUT, again, who has the time, riiiight? Our advice is to pick a few words and optimize the heck out of it – make a conscious effort to work on those few words and there will be rewards.

Here’s what we have done, hopefully you might find it of use.

1. Install WordPress SEO by Yoast.

Can’t stress the importance of this enough. It’s basically a walk through for any new blogger or website (if you are on wordpress that is, but if you are on another blogging CMS, there should be a solution too. Just google it.)

2. Pay special care and attention to:

Title – make sure your keyword is inside it. work that right brain.

Meta Description – also make sure a keyword is inside. work that right brain harder.

H1 / H2 (for those who don’t know what this means, it simply stands for Header 1 and Header 2. easy peasy. Header 1 is important, okay?)

Keywords

Don’t stuff it – anything beyond 8-10 keywords is stuffing. That’s the threshold.

Follow these steps for a start, and you can progress to something more advanced once you have that nailed. baby steps, k..if you need further explanation, emailinfo@futurenotion.com, we will be more than happy to share our knowledge.

Administratively, it is also a challenge to implement best practices, some sort of workflow system and operational procedures. There are tools out there, of course, but sometimes, especially in more creative businesses, it is tough to carry it through, but needs must.

Cash flow – that is something ALL businesses face, unless you are Apple and have something like 40billion in cash just sitting pretty, you will face this problem.

What are some of the problems YOU face in your design / creative business? Share it with us okay?

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FUTURE NOTION’s Shopping Widget & an Affiliate Proposal.

If you take a look-see on the right of this blog, you’d notice a new addition to our side bar – behold the FUTURE NOTION Shopping Widget!

You can also take a look at it here on our site:

PARTNERS

FUTURE NOTION shopping widget

FUTURE NOTION shopping widget

We love this super viral sales channel because it’s like a mini mall that you can take everywhere with you AND multiplies like zits on a teenager’s forehead – there ain’t no stopping it…woot..

In conjunction with launching the shopping widget, we are also launching FUTURE NOTION’s affiliate program – and frankly, it’s a win win win $ituation – ju$t $aying – drop us an email at info@futurenotion.com if you’d like to explore this option on your blog / site.

What we are looking for  are Design / Fashion / Lifestyle / Interior Design Blogs with good taste and good traffic to work with, and we have fancy things installed to track payments to you…

So whatcha waitin’ for?

What does Design mean to you – a frou frou consideration or an antidote to a problem?

Minna Impio & Mari Martikainen of Mifuko

Minna Impio & Mari Martikainen of Mifuko

Mifuku Colored Necklace

Mifuku Colored Necklace -$40. Made from recycled magazines & newspapers & varnished to a high shine.

Sorry for the long silence, but we were so busy with the launch of FUTURE NOTION that we simply didn’t have the time to post. Do check it out, mak a coupla comments on your favorite items and do share , tweet & tumble.

However, we have so much to share it will take several posts to spill everything..so, in typical all over the place fashion, we’d like to start with something dear to our hearts – how design can solve a problem, add value and enrich.

One of the designers that FUTURE NOTION is showcasing is Mifuko. Meaning “pocket” in Swahili, they have a really special story and are a shining beacon of the good Design can accomplish.

Based in Finland, the brand is helmed by Creative Directors and Co-founders Minna Impio & Mari Martikainen,  working on a Helsinki / Kenya axis. -To put it simply, accessories & lifestyle product is conceptualized and designed in Finland and manufactured under Fair Trade terms in Kenya.

The brand’s main aim is to preserve traditional Kenyan artisanal techniques & handicraft while injecting a Scandinavian sensibility into product design. Oftentimes, the artisans might be skilled, but they lack design sophistication which results in cannibalization of sales between very similar looking products. Thus, Mifuko saw the opportunity to use design as a differentiating (& winning!) factor so that goods produced can stand out from the run-of-the-mill souvenirs.

Check out one of our favorite products, the Mifuku Necklace. Bright & Colorful, it looks like its made of beads or ceramic, when in actual fact, it is crafted from  from recycled magazines and newspaper. The paper beads are rolled from recycled paper and each bead is different and unique & the colours and tones vary according to whichever magazine is used. Once the beads are varnished, they shine beautifully and the small glass pearls between them add extra sparkle.

How awesome is that – upcycling, Scandinavian Design sensibility, enriching lives and sustaining a business. This is what Design is supposed to be about!

FUTURE NOTION – launch imminent.

future notion launch page

So the FUTURE NOTION launch is set for 23rd January 2012. Let the record show that it is with great trepidation that this is being committed in WRITING because, murphy’s law being murphy’s law is murphy’s law.

Do sign up for priority access okay? (being first is always fun 🙂

Amidst all the crazy, busy knots to unravel, marketing strategies to plan, technological riddles to solve, we saw some wonderful wonderful creative, inspiring talent that had us bouncing up and down at the edge of our seats.

The FUTURE NOTION road is starting very very soon , and it will be an exciting, exhilarating one – won’t you join us in discovering and implementing the value of Design in our every day lives?

Social + Design + Creativity = Sustainable, passionate businesses = Win!

Aside

Today, one of the designers with whom FUTURE NOTION is liaising with alerted me to the fact that Helsinki is the World Design Capital 2012. Alright then, to the uninitiated…World Design Capital is “a city promotion project that celebrates the accomplishments of … Continue reading

Design you never would have thought of.

These are a series of glued pvc tubes assembled in a perfectly proportioned installation, and exhibiting a killer sense of color, perception and estimation. (see that littlest hint of lime green near the waist area?)

Conceptualized and conceived by Korean artist, Kang Duck Bong, our jaws literally dropped when we saw this. sometimes, we have difficulty estimating how much money to bring on a shopping spree.

The opposite of banal.

who woulda thunk that?

bird shaped scissors designed by Hiroshi Kajimoto.