Don't Let Your Craft Business Skills Rust: Summer Reading List

Over the summer we beach, we BBQ and we soak up the sun. But our business skills can also rust a bit in summer's heat. Our resident librarian, KC, has combed through her shelves and the internet to bring you great summertime reads that will keep your business muscles flexed. Stick them in your beach bag or download them to your iPad... no one has to know you're catching rays and increasing your business savvy!*


The Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant at a Moment’s Notice by Todd Henry

By far this book is one I gift the most. Reading it sparks your inspiration without being overwhelming, thank goodness! It can help give you tools to harness your schedule and motivation level to sync and optimize your functioning. It can be really taxing come up with great ideas and waiting for them to just come to you sometimes just can’t happen. This book is a perfect hand-holder that helps breakdown what you are giving your creativity to so you can harness everything effectively.

Any and All of The “Inc. Books” by Chronicle Books

These books are extremely helpful for crafty businesses. There are great testimonials and insights from people who actually know what the hell they are talking about when it comes to handmade businesses. There is a really good section on blogging, recording your sales and other goals, and other things that may feel a bit scary even for veteransl.

GROW: How to Take Your DIY Project and Passion to the Next Level & Quit Your Job by Eleanor Whitney

This field guide for creative people is a helpful book that explains how to break down tasks so that they are manageable and less daunting. We had the pleasure of working with Eleanor for our two GROW panels to start off the book launch. If you missed the panels, you can learn the great tips Eleanor shared in her book GROW. Also, we have wrap-up of the GROW events here on our blog.

New Dress a Day: The Ultimate DIY Guide to Creating Fashion Dos from Thrift-Store Don'ts by Marisa Lynch

Marisa has a talent for taking the most ridiculous vintage frocks and modernizes them into outrageously gorgeous new outfits. This book highlights her process and shows great before and after shots to inspire you to revamp your own wardrobe.  t is a great way to get inspired and rework some of your old clothes for the summer!

The Handmade Marketplace: How to Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally, and Online AND Grow Your Handmade Business: How to Envision, Develop, and Sustain a Successful Creative Business by Kari Chapin

Kari Chapin is a genius! Her book The Handmade Marketplace was one of my first business books I picked up to help me with my business, Make. Shop. Live., and is a great place to start your journey of selling your crafts. There are great insights from artists and crafters that are both helpful and inspiring. These books are a must for handmade artists pursuing their passion of selling their goods!

The Right-Brain Business Plan: A Creative, Visual Map for Success by Jennifer Lee

Creatives can have a tough time creating things like a business plan, or expressing exactly what paths they hope their business will take. This book is exactly what you need to create a visual explanation of your business plan. The exercises included in this book will expand your understanding of what you want in your business while creating helpful collateral to illustrate action plans and goals for you to work towards. This book is really good for creative blocks too!   

Craft-a-Day: 365 Simple Handmade Projects by Sarah Goldschadt

This book I am coveting.  I have wanted to push myself to complete a 365 Project and I think this book would be perfect in navigating a great way to exercise your DIY skills.  I also think sometimes shaking things up creatively and trying a new medium or approach is helpful to an artist’s process. This book seems like a great tool to shake things up with no advance skill or crazy tools.

Handmade Weddings: More Than 50 Crafts to Personalize Your Big Day by Eunice Moyle

I am so angry this book wasn’t available when I was planning my wedding! It is literally the best book I have found for wedding décor and invitations. I find the projects extremely relevant for parties, as well, and it is my recommendation that if you were to invest in any book with projects for a wedding or party this book should be it!

Must-Read Blogs for Makers

Oh My! Handmade Goodness

How About Orange


Going Home to Roost

The Purl Bee


Crafty Pod

Studio DIY

Indie Fixx


*This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and eventually purchase something, Academy of Handmade will receive a small percentage which will go toward the continued support of handmade businesses. Just know that we never link to anything that we don't think is helpful and amazing!