My Year in Making: Amy of Monster Dance Designs

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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.

Q: Where can people find you online?
Facebook, Pinterest: monsterdancedesigns
Twitter, Instagram: @monsterdanced


We are looking back and looking forward at all of the changes that have happened in the maker industry this last year. From craft shows to wholesale to Etsy. We're talking with experts, insiders and makers alike.

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