Indie Business

Why It's Hard for Makers to Find Mentors (and How to Change That)

Why It's Hard for Makers to Find Mentors (and How to Change That)

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.

Listening to Your Customers and Responding to Their Needs

Listening to Your Customers and Responding to Their Needs

Understanding your customers and their needs has the power to transform your business. Today we’re talking to Ali Puckett of Buttonhead, a personalized keepsake shop. Since 2007, her business has transformed and evolved from providing what she describes as ‘random retail design’ to a successful, highly personalized customer experience. Today, she shares how she reached that turning point and what she's gleaned from that experience. Thank you, Ali!

Is Your Business Still Trying to Fit Into Its Footie PJs? It's OK (and Even Encouraged) to Outgrow Things in Your Business

Is Your Business Still Trying to Fit Into Its Footie PJs? It's OK (and Even Encouraged) to Outgrow Things in Your Business

There is something very weird in growing a business that things that were "musts" in the beginning no longer are such as you progress. If you are someone is in anyway nostalgic or enjoys certainty, then this is a particularly hard truth to deal with. Even if your not, growth is awkward and outgrowing things can be difficult. 

6 Courses to Better Your Business in 2016

6 Courses to Better Your Business in 2016

In yesterday's post, we talked about avoiding Shady McShadersters and seeing the signs of courses and businesses that don't deliver on their promises. Well, today we have a roundup of some amazing courses from AHAS members, friends, and colleagues, all chosen because of their stellar reputation and because they address areas of business makers often struggle with.

Do Your Finances Need Sprucing Up?

Do Your Finances Need Sprucing Up?

One of the scariest things about running your own business is that everything is on you. So, when you are DIY-ing your financials that can feel EXTRA scary. That's why I asked Lisa of Timeline Organizing to talk about it. When I first met her, like a lot of organizing types, she was clearly very put together. But what impressed me most about Lisa is how sensible she was in her approach and was not into one-size-fits-all solutions. Which is a relief because I know my business doesn't look like everyone else's and I don't want to be judged against them.

Lisa will be teaching you how to organize your books next Tuesday in Long Beach. Don't miss it!

GROW Your DIY Business Panels

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We've not event had our kickoff event yet (THIS THURSDAY) and have now just announced two May events! Author and indie business supporter Eleanor Whitney is curating two SoCal GROW Your DIY Business Panels in support of her new book! 

Her book, Grow: How to take your do it yourself project and passion to the next level and quit your job,  addresses the issues many entrepreneurs and solopreneurs face when starting out. Whether their projects are based in independent publishing, music, food, art, craft, activism or community work, Grow enables readers to clarify their project vision, get organized, set goals, create a plan, raise funds for, market, and manage their do-it-yourself project.

“I see it as a practical field guide for creative people with great ideas for independent projects that shows the way to success and sustainability on one's own terms,” Eleanor told us. 

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The Academy of Handmade is excited to be sponsoring and participating in her LA and OC events. Both panels are chock full of speakers who have been on the front lines of a growing an indie business (KC and Sharon are blushing to be included on both panels). These events are sure to spur great discussions and connect people with varying degrees of DIY business experience to each other. We're all about a community and support here!

Check out the panels and panelists below and please do RSVP so we can get a rough idea for refreshments. Excited to connect with you there!

LA PANEL
Friday, May 17 at 7 p.m. 
Stories bookstore 
Echo Park

PANELISTS:
Shannon Flaherty Randall: writer and creative consultant with Sunland Studios
KC Cooper Sears: Co-Founder of the Academy of Handmade Artists and Supporters, owner of craft business Make. Shop. Live. 
Sharon Fain: Co-Founder of the Academy of Handmade Artists and Supporters, owner of Right Brain PR 
Grace Juhn: Owner of craft food business Cake Bar 

OC PANEL
Sunday, May 19 at 3 p.m. 
Creative Outlet Studios
Costa Mesa

PANELISTS:
Delilah Snell: Co-Founder of the Patchwork shows and Craftcation DIY business conference, and owner of The Road Less Traveled in Santa Ana 
KC Cooper Sears: Co-Founder of the Academy of Handmade Artists and Supporters, owner of craft business Make. Shop. Live. 
Sharon Fain: Co-Founder of the Academy of Handmade Artists and Supporters, owner of Right Brain PR 
Michaele Musel: Artisanal food consultant 
Dave Conrey: Creative business consultant, graphic designer and owner of the blog Fresh Rag