Discussion & Research of Luxe the brand

In this session we had A2 sheet which helped us to realize what what Luxe is all about and what are our goals are.
With specific questions in mind about Luxe we had to answer them as a group.
-Whats in a name?
1.what does it mean?
2.what brand values does it convey?
3.what else does it communicate?
4.does it represent our collective values & how/

-Product Range
1.Cost point?
2.Materials used
3.Types of manufacturing process?
4.functional or novelty?
5.seasonal or all year?

-Your Competition
1.who are they?
2.where are they?
3.what do they offer?
4.what’s their UPS?
5.whats their ESP?
6.who are their customers?

However some of the questions on Product Range couldn’t of been answered at that point. We didn’t know our typical cost point as we didn’t know how much all making is going to cost us in the first place, so we left that out for later on. Also with the manufacturing process, we couldn’t exactly answer that at that as we are not sure completely on it and the research need to be done.
However here are the complete sheets we have done.
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4

3

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1

In one of the sheets we start working on the packaging, we drew quick sketches of what we had in mind as individual and merged the ideas together. We also made a week by week plan what needs to be done so we keep on time and complete the project by the due date.


Luxe – Truffle Research

The original idea for Luxe was to do tea-lights, candles and truffles with a possibility of Christmas chocolates. However after a talk with Lee Sharma we agreed with his point that this sound more like two business instead of one. Perhaps that is the reason none has done the combined two yet. Personally me i would like to go with the candle idea as i am better in making things that creating foods, although it is Christmas period and most sensible thing would be to go with the chocolates on its own, also if the packaging is eye catchy and attractive we are hoping for them to be flying off the shelf at the Christmas market on the 16th of December.

As we decided to do truffles we definitely nee to explore the recipes that are out there and experiment with them also to make them unique and tasty.
Here are some of my research on truffles.
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-Cream cheese (softened)
-Icing sugar (sifted)
-Plain chocolate (melted)
-Vanilla
http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/6344/easy-chocolate-truffles.aspx?o_is=Hub_TopRecipe_1

Also another one that attracted my attention is the orange truffles. I might not know much about truffles or chocolate however i know from my own experience that chocolate and orange is definitely a blissful combination.
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50g (2 oz) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons double cream
100g (4 oz) good quality dark chocolate (chopped)
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
1 teaspoon orange zest
100g (4 oz) good quality dark chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/4548/chocolate-orange-truffles.aspx?o_is=Hub_TopRecipe_2

Storage instructions i found on BBC food section online:
Truffles should be eaten at the peak of ripeness (unripe truffles are not so flavourful) and can be kept in a sealed container in the fridge in an absorbent medium, such as rice or kitchen towel, to ensure that they do not rot from moisture on the surface.
Truffles can also be kept in a sealed jar with a few eggs which will absorb the truffley aroma through their porous shells.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/truffle

However i am not certain it goes for all types of truffles, as i believe the storage would have to depend on the ingredients.
Looking into truffles and the recipes out there, i actually never thought is that many times shapes and sizes, we will have to really work to top what is out there. I found top 10 truffles online which really look fantastic and worth checking it out
https://www.howtocookthat.net/public_html/best-chocolate-truffle-recipe/
Not forgetting our animal lovers we are considering in doing vegan truffles too, to expand our customer base.
IMG_1486
RAW VEGAN CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES IN 5 MINUTES

1 cup medjool dates
1/4 cup hemp seeds
1 heaping tablespoon cacao powder or carob powder

Pit the dates and cut them up into tiny gooey pieces, mash them together with the cacao or carob powder and hemp seeds until it all sticks together. Roll the mixture into truffles then coat with whatever you like – I kept it simple and used more carob powder. For extra ‘umph’ – what is that word… really – throw in some Himalayan salt, vanilla, ginger, chili or cinnamon
http://www.thisrawsomeveganlife.com/2014/04/raw-vegan-chocolate-truffles-in-5.html#.VHZCs4usVyU
Vegan Dark Chocolate Truffles
vegan
1 (165ml) tin coconut milk 300g dark chocolates at least 70 percent of cocoa solids)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 small pinch salt
unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting
sieved icing sugar, for dusting
http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/16202/vegan-dark-chocolate-truffles.aspx


inspiration

In one of the days Lee Sharma from Simply Do came in to talk to us about his experience and the journey of his business, also what is needed to be bringing ideas to life. What i got out of the talk he presented is that you need to be confidant and not be afraid to fail. Also off course to have an idea and most definite is to do the research and develop the idea to be able to sustain the business. The key factors for me was that if you planing to get into the business no matter what it is, you need to know absolutely everything about it. All ins and outs, specially the competition and the key aspects of what competitors do to be successful the way they are. Also i learned that it is okay to copy the successful key aspects of the competitors if they are doing well. I don’t mean products or copy writing, I mean they way attract clients, to you apply the technique they use to get customer base for yourself.
Creating a successful business takes great planing and research and even then there’s a 50/50 chance on it succeeding. However the key point of business being successful which i gathered from the lecture of Lee Sharma is
-Idea driven
The idea of the business and the shopping list what would you need to get started.
-Resource driven
Realizing your own skills to help you get started, what are you really good at and enjoy doing. Creating a business on your own skills/practice makes the whole business idea easier.
Also being realistic and thinking what people/customers would pay money for, what can you offer that is not already out there something unique.
Considering what is wanted
needed
must have within the business
-Testing your ideas
Best not to rely on the first idea that pops in your head. Taking Luxe as an example, we decided to do truffles which we going to develop to perfection and to our standard we believe in. Testing out the product till we get it right.
-Business plan
Know your idea, ins and outs, have a good structure of business and plan, know everything about the sector you are going into, finance – count everything in and have a goal of the profit. Main sections to consider and the best place is to start for a first business ownership would be:
-Product and Service
-Idea
-Market research
Look into competitors, understand what works well and what doesn’t, misery shop around understand the competition.
-Mission/Goal
Have an aim and be confidant to reach it. Work toward it.
-Marketing Strategy
How you are going to do it, step by step plan.
-Operations
Legal stuff, what are you as a company and weather everything is in order.
-Inflow and Outflow
All around the business at all times.
The talk from Lee Sharma was really useful, gave me a glimpse of the business reality how its really is.

We also had a talk from Josh and Zoe Angel from M.A.D.E Cardiff which stands for Makers/Artist/Designers/Enterprise
This was a completely opposite way of creating business and i don’t mean just because its a different business over all, i think its the way they went about to create it. The way i see it they perhaps jumped into the business sector a bit too quick without considering ins and out first. However it seems like it is finally working out for them no matter how tired or how many difficulties they face up to. The business they created is based on their needs and what they want which this time worked out quite well as what they wanted wasn’t around in Cardiff. Although from my point of view basing a business on your own need not always going to work out as it did for M.A.D.E
The inspiration i have got from them is not to be afraid and follow your dream.


BAMS – Medal

The first project of the year is based on live project with British Art Medal Society, who are looking for new creative and ‘out of the box’ medals to be displayed at the museum.
At first I was quite overwhelmed with is and to be completely honest I wasn’t even sure where to start. I have never considered medals much of my passion, I also haven’t got experience in making a medal either, or what good medal would require. Rather clueless in that matter. So I have struggled with this at the beginning. However I have decided on my theme that I wanted to go with, which is ‘Beauty & Ugly’ or ‘Negative & Positive’. Going down that route therefor I am making only one medal instead of two as the medal will have two sides.
To begin I was concentrating on sustainability and earth but that didn’t excite me much even though I know it is a problem we are facing right now, and to bring the subject up would be good, make the people aware of whats going on.
However I am reading this book called ‘The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne and also watching videos on YouTube of actualized.org by Leo as I am working on self development right now, and the idea popped in my head which I am getting excited about. I also can relate that to myself, so the medal at the end will be more that just a piece of bronze but it will be a piece of me too, which I am hoping the viewer will be able to relate in one way or the other too. So I have decided to do a piece on life and journey in life.
I am still keeping the principle of negative and positive in a way as I am still doing one medal with two sides.
For the back of the medal I imagine it being as a maze as life is just like a maze, you might know where you are going but suddenly ‘the wall’ might appear after the next turn. Also to me a maze represents that not destination in life is important but the journey itself. How well is possible to deal with the difficulties and obstacles. Even if there’s a wall in front of you, you need to keep moving one way of the other, and not being stuck in one spot even you cannot see the path at that point, there’s always a different turn somewhere out there to be taken. Also taking risks in life and having confidence and not being afraid of taking responsibility. I believe having a maze would represents all those matters perfect with the theme I am going.
On the other size of the medal that relates to the maze, I imagine to be as a compass. As sometimes even if the direction is clear, and you know where you are going it can change very easy and its simple to loose track. Also a compass would represent the guidance and the will a person of finding or looking for that purpose of your journey in life.
So that’s the idea for this project and I am really passionate about. I am even excited of making a medal 🙂

Also here are the links of the book I have mentioned in the post if anyone would like to have a look or read it. I would definitely recommend it. It is great guidance of how to achieve your desires in life.
And of course Leo from actualized.org who is great in helping and explaining the difficult matters of personal development in very easy terms.
http://thesecret.tv/ebooks.html
http://www.actualized.org/


Mind Your Own Business pt1

Today was the first day of field, and well I have got to say, it was a lot to take in all at once considering I have no background in business what so ever.
We all got split in groups of 4 or 5, and we all are from different background of study. So far I think the group I am in is great, we all got along straight away, start brainstorming ideas and where we wanna take this project. The tasks of the day were fun to do and helped us out a lot to open up and come up with idea. First was to get to know each other and discover what each of us bring to the table. As our group are made out of : Graphic designer, illustrator, product designer , and me as a maker. I believe it is a perfect combination of skills we have to make this project successful as long as we work as a team and use university facilities and our individual skills and knowledge to the maximum potential.
However the next task of the day was to agree on some key values that our business will have to maintain through out the project and hopefully after, if it is successful. Once we decided the key values individually we had a good discussion about them and come up with the main ones that we all agreed on. which are: Financial Gain/ Achievement, Creativity, Responsibility and Accountability, Quality, Co-operation.
Based on the key values we had to come up with the name of our business, which would maintain trough-out. The main aspect of our values within business was the quality and standard of the product we are going to make. We are definitely decided to aim for a quality product that would certainly keep the client happy. Considering that we came up with the name ‘Luxe’ (with the apostrophe on the ‘e’) to express the high standard, luxurious feel of the business we want to be.
On the second half of the day we start brainstorming our ideas of what product we want to do. As it is Christmas season, it made it obvious we need to come up with something seasonal to boost our sales at the uni market sale later on in the project. However we didn’t want to limit our-self’s so we are considering it in having a range which would suit the Christmas season but also as an everyday buy. After a long debate of what we could make, we come up with a range of candles, as candles are quite Christmasy also it is perfect as a gift or as just a house warming factor, specially if the candle are sensed. Everyone likes candles no matter of the gender, which opens up the market range on customers, and even if some men do not like candles a women always going to appreciate a nice romantic present, which would encourage a man to buy a well nice presented sensed candle as a gift for a woman.
Also it would not cost a lot of money to produce it, as candle holders I can do it at the university, there are plenty bits of wood about to make stands for tea-lights. The wax hopefully we could order it online or maybe buy some cheap candles and melt it down to make our own.
We also talked about introducing and making chocolates too which people can add on to their gift, also considering making Christmas bobbles which would go around the packaging or possibility of lazer cut Christmas tree, a dear or a Santa as a packaging decoration.

We also had a guest from last years project to talk about their experience and provide some advice, which gave us all a drive to succeed in this project and defiantly make profit of our product no matter what.
Really looking forward where this journey going to take us.