Hello and See You Later


Hi, hello, and how are you? It’s been a while… we’ve been MIA from your inbox and social media for several months while we took a break for the holidays. Part of this was to leave you alone during your busiest season of the year, but there’s another reason: we needed some time to ourselves to map out shutting things down.

Yup, you read that right. We are leaving the Academy of Handmade. There are lots of reasons for this, but essentially we’ve been burned out for a bit-- for reasons related to and unrelated to AOH-- and just didn’t see going forward as sustainable.

Before we get to what happens next, we first want to take a moment to say THANK YOU-- thank you to all of our supporters and members and customers and participants and readers and podcast listeners. Truly we have loved working with you and it’s your energy and enthusiasm that has probably kept us going longer than we realized. Looking back on over five years of working with makers, we are so proud of the work we have done and the community we supported!


Before we wrap this up, we wanted to thank people who have really been so key in believing in us, supporting us and cheerleading us! This really has been about the friends we made along the way.

Our team: Nessa, Lisa, Sandy and Miriam-- it was such a pleasure working with you ladies!

All our former chapter leaders... you ladies really believed in us and worked hard to help other makers!

Our awards winners and nominees, including our three Master Makers: Jenny Hart, Erin Dollar and Robert Mahar... so honored and amazed by your talents!

Our super-friends and cheerleaders: Lizzie Mae, Rosalie Gale, Holly Marsh, Rebecca Saylor, Nicole Stevenson, Tina Rodas, Jenn Lamb, Katie Hunt, Annika Chaloff, Robin Soltis, Kimberly Taylor-Pestell, Tiffany Kuo... and so many more that we're for sure forgetting!

Our serial experts: Stacia Guzzo, Kirsten Pumphrey, Kylie Fattor, Adrienne Wiley, Lela Barker, Arianne Foulks, Marlo Miyashiro, Lisa Anderson Shaffer, Sarah Mandell, and Carolyn Caffelle. You all made our programming and content better!

All of these people have been incredibly kind and truly want to help the maker community become stronger.

In Our Absence...

There are a few business we heartily recommend you turning to in our absence. They are certifiable friends of makers. :) We'd never steer you wrong! Please check them out.

Dear Handmade Life
Lucky Break Consulting
Creators & Adventurers
Trade Show Boot Camp
VA for Makers
Smart Creative Social

What’s Next...

Now, to what happens next.

First, we’ve been fortunate enough to find a great maker and online personality who’s going to run the Academy of Handmade - Brittany Lynch.

Brittany is the owner of multiple crochet and craft blogs, the Dollar Yarn Club and also the host of the very successful Handmade Business Summit. We hope you’ll all give Brittany a warm welcome.

Secondly, we’ve migrated almost all of our YHBTV episodes over to YouTube. Visit our channel to revisit your favorites or peruse some killer topics we covered - so pop over and check it out.

Thank you for joining us on our adventures and for supporting us, supporting you!

With a tear in our eyes and a big handmade hug,

Sharon & Isaac.

The 3 Types of Maker Business Failure (with One You're Already a Pro at Overcoming)

The 3 Types of Maker Business Failure (with One You're Already a Pro at Overcoming)

One of the hardest things about running your own business is having to deal with failure. It’s isolating and extremely discouraging-- which can create a downward spiral if we’re not careful.

We talk about the three ways I think makers and other creative businesses typically fail-- with two of them stinging the most and one of them that most makers deal with pretty well. Once we know what kind of failure we are experiencing, we can better make a plan to move on (I’m not saying it will be easy, but I’m saying we can!).

My Year in Making: Staci of Crafty Staci

My Year in Making: Staci of Crafty Staci

This is our last week for The State of Making: An Online Summit! It has been a phenomenal time and if you missed any of it, the replays are up... but only if you register! Make sure you don't miss the last two sessions, too.

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 Staci of Crafti Staci. She's learned a lot about niching, timing and listening to what the numbers say. Enjoy!  

Work-Life Balance

Work-Life Balance

Today we're tackling the always-challenging topic: work life balance. Ugh. Yeah, we know it's a buzzy term these days. Still, its current buzzword status doesn't change the reality of the struggle for self-employed people to find a sustainable, enriching balance between
work enterprises and life priorities.

For makers, balancing work and life seems particularly fluid, thanks to the creative, personalized nature of our products and production techniques. So, we enlisted two makers (and by enlisted, we mean they very graciously volunteered) to talk to us about their work-life balance journeys. Thanks so much to these ladies-- Laura Bray of Laura Bray Designs and Rachel Allene of Rachel Allene Photography + Lettering!

From a Place of Abundance: Why Marketing Will Never Work Without Generosity

From a Place of Abundance: Why Marketing Will Never Work Without Generosity

A few weeks ago I was invited to speak about marketing and collaboration at an event for female creative entrepreneurs. I thought about what I could add that isn't already widely available on really good blogs (like Tara Swiger's, Caitlin Bacher's, Danielle Spurge-Swavely's, etc.). It didn't seem like there was much to say that was new.

But as I thought about it, I really thought about why people so often "go wrong" when heeding the advice for doing marketing or creating collaborations. And that's because I think the ideas of collaboration and marketing will crumble eventually (particularly for ) if they don't come from a place of abundance.

Fraud or the Real Deal: How Do You Know?

Fraud or the Real Deal: How Do You Know?

I was recently was on a podcast and the topic of Shady McShadesters came up-- you know people who are just selling crap but present it like it's a bar of a gold. Anyway, the host asked me if I went around outing people who were like this. I told her for the most part, no. If someone asks me I will give my opinion, but otherwise it's really just secondhand info that would be inappropriate to throw out. It's also the catch-22 that if you say something about them very publicly, you start to also look like the weirdo.

Paige Poppe: Video Content for Makers

Paige Poppe: Video Content for Makers

Is one of your New Year's resolutions to tackle video? If it is then I would like you to meet Paige Poppe. As a young artist it might seem like she has a leg up when it comes to video and Youtube, but she proves that it's a powerful tool for connecting with your audience no matter your age. Her videos are engaging and fun. It's funny what happens when people are humans on social media! :) On the business side, though, Youtube is the world's SECOND largest search engine after Google. 

Have you tried your hand at Youtube? What's been your experience? 

Print Therapy: When Your Business Voice Changes

Print Therapy: When Your Business Voice Changes

We hear plenty about brand overhauls... calculated decisions to make our brand better, stand out and reflect things we weren't highlighting right before. But often we aren't overhauling our soul or voice.