Row by Roe is a small craft shop in Limavady, operated by Lisa Smyth, who sells wool and craft products, providing the local community with a fun venue to learn how to knit and crochet. Row by Roe also offer craft workshops in Limavady and have received great interest in the children’s knitting and crocheting classes, however Lisa is struggling to expand because she works alone. To combat this Lisa is inspired to develop a product that can convey her methods of teaching and allow her to target more clients, and therefore increase sales and profit.
Lisa is faced was the lack of technical knowledge to develop this product and required support to develop and design this new product in the form an illustrated book and craft pack that can be brought to the retail market, understanding the current best practices, trends and basic design principals. Row by Roe is also looking to bring a further innovative slant to this by using local landmarks in this illustrated book to allow them to tap into the tourism market, which will also open new doors for international trade, however with no ICT experience she struggled to develop this product on her own.
The technical challenge was to create relatable characters, with an engaging story, which educates on knitting and crochet, entertaining to appeal to a wide range of readers and packaged for print and retail, which can be created into a series of stories in the future.
Following appraisal of the refinement process, hand drawn bespoke illustrated graphics with unique characters, incorporating local landmarks, were transferred to vector based graphics editor. Standard teaching methods were assessed and work began on designing unique graphics and illustrations, which would complement educational information to be included in the book. Final illustrated designs and artwork where rendered and exported for print.
Lisa successfully secured a £5000 Innovation Voucher, from Invest NI, which she redeemed with the North West Regional College (NWRC), equating to 80 hours of Research and Development (r&D) support from Aaron McKeever, NWRC Creative and Digital Media Consultant to develop and deliver this project. The NWRC was also able to leverage the Department for the Economy funded InnovateUs funding to give Lisa the skills necessary to be able to repeat this within her business for follow-up new product development.
On completion of the project, a finished product was completed and delivered to high specification. An illustrated book was ready for print and sale, with a digital version for the use of E-books upon launch.