A Co-op for CCA.
Jan 2023 - May 2023
COLLAB AND RESEARCH
- Google Sheets
- Google Slides
- Survey Monkey
DESIGN AND PRODUCTION
Sony Alpha 6300
- Art studio tools
- Risograph printer
- Design research and prototyping
- Experience journey mapping
- User interviews
- Video production
- Pop-up design
DESIGN RESEARCH, STRATEGY, AND STORYTELLING
MARKETING AND VISUAL DESIGN
About Chimera Co-op
California College of the Arts was founded in 1907 by Frederick Meyer to provide an education for artists and designers that would integrate both therory and practice. Chimera Co-op was born out of the idea that an art school should have a robust student store full of student work of all varieties including prints, ceramics, furniture etc., as well as official merchandise. The Co-op model provided a unique opportunity to create a “student-owned” business model that allowed for inclusivity, creativity, and room to grow.
When Armando first pitched the idea, I immediately thought, “Yes! We are an art school with incredibly talented artists and designers, why are we not selling their work?! Additionally, it was an idea that we could realistically produce and test within our timeline.
- Video Advertisement
- Cost Model Storyboard
- Customer Journey Storyboard
- Customer Journey Storyboard Refined
Design a business that sells student work and custom designed CCA merchandise.
Chimera Co-op pop-up launch at Arch Art and Supplies store, April 2023
CCA needs new merch.
Current CCA merchandise was limited and dull. Students couldn’t even buy a branded mug for their parents after graduation. We had a clear assumption, but what did students think? What were other art schools doing and what kind of business model would we use? Finally, if we landed on a co-op model, how would the business generate revenue and would it be a sustainable?
Student-focused, art school curated.
Establishing a new student store for CCA presented a unique opportunity for collaboration and innovation. We planned to attain as much information about our project as fast possible. We set out with flyers and a box of cookies asking students if they had time for a quick survey and also if they wanted a cookie. We received over fifty responses in the first two hours. Based on our research, which also included ten one on one interviews, the most significant insight was that students prefered a more community-based, student-led organization.
Posters with QR for the CCA student store survey designed by Savithri Valega, March 2023
Based on our findings from other art schools plus qualitative research, we decided to prototype a co-op model. It provided all the aspects of the user journey that our audience desired including community-led, high percentage of sales back to the artist, and flexibility.
BUILDING A PROTOTYPE
To test our assumption, we created a storyboard which clearly visualized the customer journey.
HOSTING A FOCUS GROUP
We asked a group of CCA students who already participate in CCA craft fairs what they thought about the business model and how it could be improved.
Aiming to balance customer needs and revenue, we asked, “How will this business make money?” We identified key partners (Arch Art and Supplies, artists, and designers), and designed a storyboard to test the cost model.
Students gave critical feedback on each storyboard. Planning for the pop-up, we reached out to over one hundred CCA students and secured ten artists and designers to contribute to the pop-up. It would be hosted at Arch Art and Supplies and would last two weeks - enough time for our team to evaluate proof of concept.
Mockup of online Chimera Co-op store, April 2023