Making Stories Evolving

This month we are talking about the actual ins and outs of how Making Stories has evolved and is continuing to evolve today. We also delve into how the Making Stories team has grown and everyone’s roles and responsibilities.

While working on WOODS, Verena and Hanna Lisa quickly came to recognise that not only did they enjoy working together, they also enjoyed the world of publishing and were already discussing bringing out print publications every six months! As a result, the second Making Stories publication BREEZE was released in May 2018, and JEWELS will be released in November 2018.

From there, the concept of more e-publications and print publications developed and Making Stories continued to gain momentum.

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Throughout the creation and release of the first Making Stories publication WOODS, Verena and Hanna Lisa were the main drivers and dedicated much of their time and focus to the project. At the same time, they were also working full time in their own separate businesses.

While they had amazing support and people working with them on WOODS, it was clear that working in this way moving forward wasn’t going to be sustainable. For Making Stories to be able to continue in the way they wanted it to, something would need to change.

Hanna Lisa and Verena recognised this, and so they sat down and discussed the core tasks and what roles they would want to continue to play in Making Stories. They then looked at what they could outsource, this quickly led to the decision that the best course of action would be to grow the Making Stories team, enabling both Verena and Hanna Lisa to focus on their own contributions to the company.

They decided they wanted to bring someone on board as a team assistant to help look after some core tasks. So they put out the call through the Making Stories community and after receiving applications and interviewing, at the end of 2017, Team Assistant Ruth Werwai joined the Making Stories team. In addition to organising the test knitting for the publications, Ruth also looks after all the communications with the designers and yarn partners.

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In creating more publications, they acknowledged that they would need to be working with a Graphic Designer on an ongoing basis and wanted to bring someone on as a full member of the team in this role. This was to ensure that Making Stories had an overall visual consistency throughout publications, channels and between products. So Martin Schuchardt came on board in late 2017, and is responsible for all things graphic design, from developing cohesive layouts for new publications to refining branding and creating schematics.

Motivated by the idea of strengthening the reach and audience of Making Stories, Verena and Hanna Lisa also saw the opportunity to bring someone onto the team that had a background in marketing and social media. Thus Karen Wasson became part of the team in the role of Marketing and Social Media Manager in May 2018. Karen is now responsible for posting and answering comments on social media platforms as well as developing newsletters, blog series and other new and exciting marketing strategies.

To help strengthen the team even further, the most recent person to join Making Stories, in July 2018, was Alina Jordan in the role of Communications Manager. Alina is responsible for all interaction and communication with customers, stockists and our fulfillment partner.

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Other collaborators, current and past, have included; Vivian Kvitka, graphic design, Nicola Hodges, tech editing, Amelia Hodsdon, tech and copy editing, Ricarda Schüller, photography, Paloma Bryschta, Kim Lea Adam and Vivi Miciul, hair and make-up, as well as our amazing models, Melinda Dela Costa, Larissa Reuter, Caroline Frett, Myoung-Le Seo, Totinia Mateus and Michelle Frisch.

In growing the team, it was important for Verena and Hanna Lisa to ensure they had developed clear responsibilities and areas of ownership for each team member. This then enabled them to create a fair and transparent tiered compensation structure within the company. We will look into this more in a future blog post.

As the team is currently spread worldwide, it is important we have clear communication channels. Each week the team touches base via SLACK, asking questions and going through documents which are centrally based in Google Drive. There is also the opportunity to discuss projects, ask questions and provide updates via a Skype conversation in a weekly team meeting. All team members are able to keep an eye on timelines and designated tasks via Asana.

With new projects on the horizon and dream projects for Making Stories in the works, we may require more hours from existing team members or possibly even look at adding new team members. However we move forward, as Making Stories continues to grow and evolve, it is paramount that we do so mindfully and sustainably.

We hope you found this look into the evolution and workings of Making Stories interesting. Next month we are terribly excited to bring you a case study in how we work with designers by speaking with Emily Greene about her pullover that will be in our next print publication JEWELS.

If you have any questions you’d like us to answer or topics you’d like us to cover in this series, we’d love to hear about them. Pop them in the comments below and make sure you’re signed up to our email list so you don’t miss a thing!
 

Woolly Greetings,
The Making Stories Team