Price is personal. Especially for handmade businesses, where there is such a clear labor of love for sale. Sharon and Isaac share their perspectives on a tricky part of business. It's also extremely personal for this week's podcast guest, Kristen of PF Candle Co., who has to price her products to support her, her employees AND a growing family.
Aside from the occasional craft show or visit to a local stockist, makers largely do their work alone (except maybe a cat walking across your desk or a child tugging at at you). It can be hard to get peer camaraderie and advice from other makers who are more advanced in their career path.
Mentors can be an invaluable to a young and growing business, or to a business looking to make some "next step" leaps. But often they can be hard to find and even fleeting.
It feels like the easy and smartest thing to do when you're stuck-- take a course to help you with whatever it seems like you are struggling with or maybe even peruse the internet for a blog post or podcast for something, anything, to help!
Courses are GREAT! But we see all the time that a lot of people are afraid to make moves in their business and the answer is to course hoard.
Here's why a course might not help you the next time you're feeling stuck.
Your first craft show or even first couple can be pretty overwhelming (especially if you're an introvert!). The day is usually long, you're on your feet, you're answer a lot of different questions and you're always in that awkward balance of wanting to sell your stuff but not be pushy or hover. Community member Maria Aranes shares the lessons she's learned as newbie seller.
One of the things we've noticed in talking with thousands of makers about their businesses, is that frustrations often come when makers don't have a clear idea about what they want out of their business. They think they see a business on Instagram or see them on store shelves and think "Yes, I want that!" But the realities of that are much different than they realize.
We talk with three makers about how they adjusted expectations and had mindset shifts that helped them grow their businesses.
I cannot tell you how delighted I was to put this post together today! It included seeing the beautiful faces of so many makers in our community AND I got to relive the fun time we had at Craftcation with Sarah Deragon shooting our new photos. I hope you enjoy seeing the transformations as much as I did and that they inspire you!
This past spring at Craftcation we hosted a Think Tank (group feedback session) on packaging. We did not anticipate the high demand for this class. Apparently a lot of you have questions about the best way to package your products, especially for wholesale and especially about jewelry. So, we thought we'd get some of the smartest shop owners we know to share what they like to see when it comes to jewelry packaged for their shop.
We have some exciting new things happening with Academy of Handmade, along with some pretty big changes. There is a lot of information to share and get through, but I hope you will read on as we share how we plan to continue our mission of helping makers grow sustainable businesses. Plus, we’ve got a fun surprise at the end!
Back in May our theme for the month was The F Word: Failure. In our community forums we explored the topic of The Perfect Fail-- essentially the idea that you can do everything *right* and still come out with a bummer result. Maker Lynn Quire got vulnerable and shared the time that she new she literally had to close up shop. I think we all can relate to a lot of the things in this, especially making hard decisions despite what people will think.
Today we've got another chance for you to peep on a maker's studio space! This one has some pretty dreamy windows and is surrounded by what looks like a forest to this city-dweller. It's the business home for creative power couple Chris and Andrea Zatarian of Chris & Andy Design. Check out how they make it work for their multiple and varied business needs, plus learn more about how they built their business!
We think bettering yourself as a business owner through education is a smart move. One of our favorite places for top-notch handmade business education is CreativeLive* (friends of ours like Katie Hunt, Nicole Stevenson, Erin Dollar and Robert Mahar have done excellent ones, as well!). One of the best things about it? You're able to watch the live classes (and the re-runs!) for free. You can also totally be part of their live audience and one of our members Richelle of redscorpio has been several times. She shares what it's like and how to prepare for it.
We've noticed a huge trend on Etsy Wholesale: Starter Packs-- essentially putting together what you think would be a good typical first order for a shop. It makes a lot of sense since buyers don't have to guess quantities to buy or popular items, deal with minimums, etc. Starter Packs happen outside of Etsy Wholesale too, but they have especially taken off on there!
I asked our members to share their experiences with them-- both our members that are sellers AND buyers so you get different perspectives. Read on to see how Starter Packs can help you up your wholesale game.
One of my very favorite Jack-of-all-crafts people is Academy of Handmade Master Maker Robert Mahar. He is crazy talented and and any deserves any success that comes his way! Recently he collaborated with stationery brand Knock Knock on a line of vintage and crafty gifts. So we asked him how that happened and all of the behind-the-scenes to bring his vision to life.
Want to know who is really good at telling you what booths work and which ones don't? Craft show producers! A couple of our favorite show producers are the ladies behind Indie Craft Parade (they are accepting apps until 6/20 so get on that!) and they are sharing standout craft show booths from the stellar artists who sell at their shows. If your booth needs sprucing up or you are about to create your first one, then read on for some inspiration and tips!
Today is the final part of a very special series this week with two members who are soapers and upon first meeting decided to road trip to attend not one but TWO handmade conferences together! If this sounds like the recipe for a handmade buddy comedy movie (we'd see that!), well, we don't have video but we will bring you three blog posts. :) (read part 1 here, part 2 here)
Today is the second part of a very special series this week with two members who are soapers and upon first meeting decided to road trip to attend not one but TWO handmade conferences together! If this sounds like the recipe for a handmade buddy comedy movie (we'd see that!), well, we don't have video but we will bring you three blog posts. :) (read part 1 here)