Upcoming Changes for Néant
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how to grow Néant in a way that will be best for the people who support me and also myself. This past year of operations I have spent a lot of time watching for trends in sales, listening to requests from the community, and listening to my body on how much I can work and what types of work I can do. It’s been such an amazing journey with so much new opportunity springing up every day that it’s hard describe how grateful and lucky I am for it all! Demand has gone up, my working hours have gone up, and since September of last year Neant has been my sole source of income and has supported me through two moves (one out of state), coast to coast travel, and all of the mundane things in-between.
From customer requests and how sales have moved, I have decided to end the plain color coffin MTO. This has been a HUGE part of Néant since day 1, and was actually the template for the first sales I ever did. But, as time has gone on demand for these plain color items has shifted to new avenues and trouble with material sourcing in such large quantities has made this type of sale very stressful for me. This does not mean that I will be doing away with the plain color items, but they will be available in the future in smaller batches as ready-to-ship pieces. However, to make sure everyone can get the unique colors they want for their outfits and in whatever quantities they’d like, I will be running one last MTO. This MTO will be later this year (likely winter 2023, but no later than January 2024). And as a thank you and send off for the MTO, prices for certain items will be discounted so everyone can get what they want one last time.
In place of the plain color MTO, I have been testing with long-time clients the feasibility of allowing custom floral coffin pieces! This is a HIGHLY requested offering that I feel people will be happy to finally have a chance to get. However, as I am anticipating demand for this to be higher than I can handle, the numbers in which I will take orders will be very low until that batch is completed and I can take another. I am hoping to launch this as a once-a-month offering by mid-2024 and will likely do the first test rounds in Fall/Winter 2023. There will be a reservation listing that will go live at a certain date and time that people can buy to reserve their custom order spot. I will be testing this in batches of 15-20 items at a time. Once the reservation listing is purchased, an order form will be sent with options that you can select to build your dream piece and the pieces will be completed in roughly 3-4 weeks.
Other item MTOs, such as Claudia chokers, will remain as they are now. In addition to the Claudia choker, the new teardrop “Claudia’s Tears” line will debut as the next MTO in late October. I am still deciding which colors and items to offer, but as the date draws closer more information will be available. The samples for this line will be available to try on and purchase at the Nightshade J-Fashion event in Durham, NC, this October, so try your best to make it out and you could be one of the first to have a piece from this new offering!
In-person events for Néant for the rest of 2023 are also booked. The plain color coffin items will be available at every in-person event for the foreseeable future. At the end of August we will be at the Oddities and Curiosities Expo in Pittsburgh, PA (Aug. 26), in October will be in Durham, NC for Nightshade (Oct. 21-22), and have the potential to add another West Coast date for December (TBD). 2024 I will also be taking a different approach to events, and will be trying to stick to small cities in the US and try for some 2-day Oddities shows vs. the single day appearances. I cannot give details yet, but I am boiling on the inside to announce the first event of 2024. All I can hint at is one thing: we’ve never been remotely close to this place and it is an honor to have been invited to such a dream location. As far as the other events for 2024 go, nothing is planned yet! So please feel free to suggest your nearby cities if you’d like to see us- travel until June is booked, but June-December is open to any options that come our way.
Social media has also been a tough realm for me to navigate as it has evolved so drastically in the past couple of years. There is a very simple formula to make your following explode, but in my personal opinion this is at the cost of stripping out your personality and originality from the work. I prefer to keep a smaller, but engaged and appreciated following and for the support I need for my business this has worked incredibly well. So, instead of making what I feel would be soulless reels and mass-marketed business approaches, I want to find ways to engage more with the people I care about. Coord contests, shared coords featuring Néant, and pets wearing pieces are all things I want to promote regularly. I also want to do monthly blog-style posts about other brands in the community doing amazing things, and other small makers with home goods, artwork, etc. I have been tossing around the idea for sharing playlists as part of a GLB “lifestyle” approach, too. (I have a hand-written note of songs to put on them, just gotta find the time to make it happen!).
I think that covers most of the changes to be anticipated! An area I needed to work on was my packaging and presentation, which many of you have already been lucky enough to receive the amazing new artwork made by @yumiyumyum.illustration on the new business cards. Packaging for all orders has already been upgraded and I am looking into options for surprise extras that will be included with future orders. Stickers, artwork, enamel pins, hand-written letters and accidental cat hair from my supervisor, Garlic, are all being tested now.
I would also like to take some time to thank everyone for their continued support of Néant. It has been unreal to see what this has turned into for me. For those who don’t know Néant's origin story, the project began as a way for me to find a creative outlet and personal satisfaction in a very low place in my life. I never thought I could make stained glass, and was even discouraged from trying by certain individuals. I’m glad I closed out those voices and made the leap to it. The support since day one has been unreal, and I am now on my fifth year of creating, 4th year of Néant. The word Néant is French for emptiness, or the void, which summed up my life at the time, but also was representative of the empty space in glass that can be looked through to more wonderful things. I was able to take glass and look through it to the happiest and most fulfilled point I’ve ever been in my life, and I couldn’t have done any of this without my supporters and friends in the community. You’re the real MVPs.
Love and Light,