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    Category Archives: giveaway

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    Book review (and member giveaway): Taking Back Retail

    By Tess McCabe

    For almost every creative with products to sell, having an online commerce option is essential. Even if your sales are mostly through your bricks and mortar store, or your market stall, or wholesale orders, no-one can deny that these days, customers expect that you also sell your wares via your own website or a third-party online marketplace.

    The argument for having an online retail presence is at the heart of Taking Back Retail, written and released by Portable founders Andrew Apostola and Simon Goodrich last year. But this easy to digest, information-heavy handbook has lots to offer those looking to succeed in any aspect of the online space – whether it be devising a new website design; figuring out the easiest and more effective social media platform to work for your business; conceiving of new ways to promote your product range; or simply analysing how you’re current modes of online selling and marketing are working for you.


    Overall, the book hammers home where best to spend your ‘business development’ budget (which they acknowledge is often limited) to get the best return. This is advice that, as creatives, we often don’t get to hear. The team at Portable have made their mistakes along the way in the growth of their own business and side projects, and they are happy to share what they have learned so that we can all benefit.

    Taking Back Retail is primarily aimed at those in the fashion industry (to whom Portable’s own online shop software is targeted), and many of the case studies within its pages relate to this field. However, in my opinion, retailers, makers and designers of any creative sort will likely benefit from the advice in its pages. Personally, I was surprised I found much of its advice relevant to my own business – the tips on creating interesting blog content, organising and managing an online shop, and making the most of a enewsletter and mailing list database were particularly helpful and prompted me to think about CWC’s online presence in a fresh way.


    It’s an easy read that could potentially have a big impact for you and the future of your creative work.

    Lucky for us, the generous folk at Portable have offered 10 paperback copies of Taking Back Retail to CWC members this month. Join CWC before February 28, 2014 to be in the running for a copy, or current CWC members can log in and enter the giveaway here. Winners will be drawn on 1 March and notified shortly after.

    Or, if you just want to get your hands on a copy of the book, you can do so in digital or paperback format at the Portable website.

    Posted by: Tess McCabe
    Categories: book review, giveaway | Comments Off
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    Our book launch raffle prize pack. Wowsers.

    If you follow CWC on social media, you’re probably well aware of this by now. But it begs repeating: tomorrow night we officially launch Conversations with Creative Women: Volume Two!

    It’s shaping up to be a fun night to mingle with the local creative community and celebrate the work of the 30 women involved in the book.

    I’ve been overwhelmed by the response to my call out for donations to the raffle which will be held on the night, profits of which will go to an fantastic not-for-profit organisation called Seven Women.


    There will be three prize packs comprising a selection of the following…

    One ticket to Unleash Creative Melbourne  — Stationery package from The Hungry Workshop —Ceramic set by Cone 11 Ceramics — Greeting card set by Gabby Malpas — Lunch for two at Miss Jackson cafe — Photo print by Kirsten Bresciani — Cygnet Tunic by Jack of Diamonds —  Earrings by Liz Ickiewicz — Framed art print by Jasmine Mansbridge — Necklace by Shuh Lee — Stools by Gratton Design — Tea towel by Pinch River — Earrings by Maryann Talia Pau  — Lamp by Reduxr — Necklace by Tote — Ceramic vessel by Ichimu — Two cushions by Unearth Co —Personal styling session with Sarah Egan  — Interior design consultation with Siobhan Donoghue — Scented candle by Murphy & Daughters — Two cushions by Balala — Handmade journal by Kitty Baroque — Earrings by Polli — Subscription to The Owner Builder Magazine

    Thank you so much to everyone who generously donated!

    We will also have books for sale at the launch, packaged in the limited edition Frankie & Swiss/Emily Green/Catherine Campbell/Lara Cameron fabric wraps. It will be your last chance to get one of these, if you missed the pre-order special offer. Note though that all sales will be cash only!

    Here are the details for the launch again:

    Friday 15 November
    87-89 Albert Street, Brunswick
    (entry via laneway)

    So bring your friends and partners, and if you have a spare minute, please RSVP.

    See you there!

    Extra thanks to our awesome book launch sponsors: Ben Haines WineTwo Birds BrewingSweet ValentyneGood Grace & HumourGratton DesignThe Public Studio and Tribe Communications.

    Posted by: Tess McCabe
    Categories: conversations with creative women, event, giveaway | Comments Off
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    Join in July and win some great stuff!

    It’s July. We’re reeeeally in the depths of Winter now. Would a community of warm-hearted people around you, or an inspiring book to curl up with, or a great night out with Clare Bowditch cure your winter woes?

    I think yes!


    Become a CWC Full Member during July for a chance to win…

    >> Two VIP tickets to any show on Clare Bowditch’s Winter Secrets Australian tour*, plus pre-show drinks with Clare.
    Clare Bowditch! She practically powers small buildings with her glow. This prize gets you not only a night out at a great gig but also an invitation to a pre-show meetup and glass of something with Clare. And she’s touring all over the country so you need not even be in Melbourne to enjoy this prize!

    >> Pia Jane Bijkerk’s crafty new book Little Treasures: Made by Hand
    Prefer a night in? Get cosy with Pia’s new book, detailing the beautiful gifts her new daughter received at birth and craft projects for you to try at home. You’ll inspired to start a new project and enjoy the stories behind so many of the gifts and their makers.

    >> Michelle Landy’s energising new handbook The Confidence Workout 

    If what you need is a little boost in confidence in your life and work to pursue a dream or achieve a goal, try any of the 17 little ways Michelle Landy suggests in her new book. Michelle will show you the way forward like a beacon of light on a frosty night.

    Plus there are all the other great reasons to join CWC as a Full Member!

    >> Your own page on The Circle Database
    >> Discounted tickets to our events
    >> Discounts at local shops and creative businesses
    >> Event recordings and podcast interviews
    >> Promo opportunities on our blog
    >> Invitations to Member’s Morning Teas

    … and more!

    Join us here!

    *By joining CWC in July 2013 you will be automatically entered into the draw to win one of the above prizes. Winners will be drawn randomly on August 1st and you will be immediately notified via email if you have won a prize.*

    Posted by: Tess McCabe
    Categories: CWC news, giveaway | Comments Off
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    Meet the Makers at Shelley Panton Studio


    CWC Full Member Shelley Panton has  a stack of fantastic guests planned for her Meet the Maker guest speaker evenings this year.

    Shelley started the series in 2012. As a small studio-based maker and retailer of many other local artisans she was often asked the story behind her work and the many other makers she stocks. This prompted Shelley to host a regular event after-hours at her shop, featuring various special guest speakers and serving local wine and food. If you are interested in a creative or small business career change, or simply enjoy engaging with creative folk, it’s a great night out.

    Coming up on Wednesday 20 March is artist Rowena Martinich.

    You’d likely know of Rowena’s work – she uses a combination of commercial fluorescent paint and transparent film which is then inserted into buildings or sites notable for their generous use of glass. She is now also delving into homewares products.

    Join Shelley for an intimate and artful Q & A evening with Rowena to hear her more about her art practice. Tickets are available here, and as a bonus you’ll not only enjoy the surrounds of Shelley’s gorgeous shop at night, but sample some of her divine cooking and fine taste in vino! :)

    Shelley has generously offered a free ticket (valued at $28) to any Meet the Maker event this year to the first two people who sign up for CWC Full Membership before Wednesday 20 March 2013. Sign up here and we will be in contact about the prize if you are one of the lucky two!

    And if you can’t make it along in March, future Meet the Maker guests include Sarah Murphy, Sarah and Chris Appleford, and Toni Lawler. Mark your diaries!

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    Posted by: Tess McCabe
    Categories: giveaway, member news | Comments Off