Can you believe it– The Crafted Life Shop has been open for almost a month now! It’s been such a whirlwind of excitement over here since opening thanks to all of your love and support. Now that I’m catching up, I thought it would be fun to show you the behind the scenes of how it all came together and how the signature products were developed (including the failures along the way). Here we go!
There are two reasons. The first is that any office related project or post that’s been on this blog has been successful. You share and engage with them the most, so it was safe to assume that you’d also like office products. I wanted to make a product for you after all! The second was that colorful supplies isn’t always easy to find and there are really no colorful mouse pads on the market. I remember looking and looking for them and then just gave up and made my own (here’s my first version 4 years ago). Seriously, the wheels for this have been in motion for a long, long time. I was finally able to save enough money to pull the trigger and here we are.
The concept of my shop started off with the DIY Rainbow Mouse Pad. I loved the project so much (it was even shared by Martha Stewart) and found myself wanting a more polished version. I also wanted those who felt like they couldn’t make it have a way to add a rainbow to their desk. Thus– I turned it into a manufactured product and it became my first signature design!
So here’s a look at how I got from the DIY to the final product that you can grab in the shop today. There were some fumbles along the way, and a lot of trial and error. I was completely new to product development, so this was really no surprise. For the rainbow mouse pad I sent a photo of the original DIY to my manufacturer and that became the prototype version. It wasn’t perfect, but it was a great place to start.
Next came the first version. I tested both pleather and leather options and found that the leather was just better quality overall. Ultimately with the first version, the the colors were just slightly off. The pink was a bit more purple than I wanted and the tones didn’t pair well together. The shape itself was also a bit more stretched/tall that I thought a rainbow should look.
We took some height off the bottom, changed the color scheme (even added a 5th color), and that became the final Rainbow Mouse Pad!
Similarly with the heart mouse pad, I didn’t love the initial color or shape of the first version. We brightened up the red to make it a bit more vibrant and also cut more leather from the center, giving it a more of a curve. This was a much easier fix since the heart is only one color. For good measure, I also made a pink heart mouse pad for some variety!
Finding the right jar for the paperclips was also a learning process. I started off thinking that glass would be the best option and would look the best, then slowly realized that it wouldn’t be a good idea for shipping after I received a few broken ones from my manufacturer. The original lid also scratched too easily and was too brass in color when I really wanted a bright gold. Again, changes were made until I found the perfect reusable jar!
There’s a lot of product that just didn’t make it into the shop because I wasn’t happy about the quality or direction the design process was going. And that’s perfectly okay! It’s been a learning process with highs and lows, but above all it’s been an exciting next step for The Crafted Life that I hope to expand and grow over time.