With this summit, we are featuring the stories of maker and their years leading up to the summit. Today's post looks at the year for maker and #ahasmember Amy of Monster Dance Designs. Amy is a multi-talented artist who has made shrewd and strategic decisions about her business to make it sustainable.
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your business.
A: I'm a geeky mom with a passion for history and power tools. As Monster Dance Designs, I design and sandblast glassware for those who want to put their personality out on the table.
Q: Overall, what did the last year look like for you?
A: There have been some big up and big downs. It was my first year of being a full time handmade business, and I've had to adjust to a less predictable income throughout the year.
Q: What is the biggest lesson you learned?
A: I realize now more than ever the importance of having specific niches, and keeping them in mind all the way from the brainstorming process through marketing and branding.
Q: How are you anticipating and making changes for holiday 2016?
A: Last year, a couple of shows early in season were so successful, I found myself struggling to keep inventory in stock for the rest of the year. This year, I started on my holiday production much sooner based on last year's pattern.
Q: What about your 2015 holiday? Or are the holidays not your “big” season?
A: The last six weeks of the year is GO TIME. It's always a hustle.
Q: What was your proudest moment of the last year as a business owner?
A: Myself and some other business owners were invited to speak on a panel about handmade small business at PAX South (a massive game/geek convention). Seeing so many women showing up to learn and carve out a place in such a male dominated arena was inspiring, and I was so proud to be a part of it.
Q: What is one business tool or product that became invaluable to your business this last year?
A: Canva. I feel like I've been able to polish my professional look and have so much more engagement since I've been making most of my sharable graphics using it.
Q: What business tool or product did you decide, “Nah, actually I don’t need to deal with this”?
A: Hootsuite. I'm actually getting more done since going back to an old school spreadsheet style editorial calendar.
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