Back in May our theme for the month was The F Word: Failure. In our community forums we explored the topic of The Perfect Fail-- essentially the idea that you can do everything *right* and still come out with a bummer result. Maker Lynn Quire got vulnerable and shared the time that she new she literally had to close up shop. I think we all can relate to a lot of the things in this, especially making hard decisions despite what people will think.
Today is the final part of a very special series this week with two members who are soapers and upon first meeting decided to road trip to attend not one but TWO handmade conferences together! If this sounds like the recipe for a handmade buddy comedy movie (we'd see that!), well, we don't have video but we will bring you three blog posts. :) (read part 1 here, part 2 here)
Today is the second part of a very special series this week with two members who are soapers and upon first meeting decided to road trip to attend not one but TWO handmade conferences together! If this sounds like the recipe for a handmade buddy comedy movie (we'd see that!), well, we don't have video but we will bring you three blog posts. :) (read part 1 here)
We have a very special series this week with two members who are soapers and upon first meeting decided to road trip to attend not one but TWO handmade conferences together! If this sounds like the recipe for a handmade buddy comedy movie (we'd see that!), well, we don't have video but we will bring you three blog posts. :)
There often comes a point when makers realize they have more than a hobby on their hands-- they can actually make their passion a business. Kendal of K Keith Designs shares with us her transformation and learning some hard lessons. I was so delighted to meet her in person recently at Craftcation. Like so many of our members, she was incredibly business savvy and generous with her knowledge! I am so impressed with how thoughtfully she has managed her business. Enjoy what she has to share (and keep an eye for her business-- she's headed for big things!).
It's time to get a little nosy and pull back the curtain on another maker's studio! Today we are checking out the Seattle studio of #ahasmember Shelley Engstrom of Story Handmade Designs, a shop of thoughtful necklaces and needle-felted and macrame goods. Get to know her backstory a bit and check out her space! I especially love her sunny window. :)
For many makers, who often work alone, it can be an isolating experience. Attending conferences, like Craftcation or workshops can help build relationships, find answers to problems we can’t figure out in our business and connect us to a community who can offer support. After spending four days of listening to creatives and business experts, you’d expect to learn a few things, right? Read on for the top five things we took away during Craftcation!
Our most common question by makers here is: How Do I Get Ready for Wholesale? There are a lot of pieces to it and it looks a little (and sometimes a lot) different for every business, but if you're a maker thinking about scale is HUGE. It will help you make sure that you are maximizing your margins and don't find yourself in a "oopsie" pricing situation. Thanks to Dawn from our Austin Chapter for sharing her insights!
Ever curious about other maker workspaces? Of course you! Are we are all snoopy and who doesn't love a good studio tour? In this ongoing series, we check out our members' workspaces. Some are home offices and some are completely separate. But it's always fun to see the creative ways they set up their business. Enjoy!
Spring shows are happening! Catch these fine folks at awesome markets around the country. Our members will be at the shows below-- if you are vending or attending, feel free to say hello to them and connect. I would also love to know which shows you will be at this spring-- let us know in the comments. :)
Shows noted with * are members that also host shows/pop-ups
If you've ever wanted to breathe new life into your work, expand your audience and push your skills, then doing a collaboration could be amazing for you. BUT, they can also burn you if you don't go in with the right expectations. We are excited to have #ahasmember Kimberly of Lacelit share her recent collaboration and what she learned in the process.
One of the things that is hardest to do in business is predict where your business will go next. But if you are wanting to grow your business or even sustain it, planning for it now and implementing systems is key to making sure that growth doesn't crush you or doesn't look like what you wanted (read this blog post about burnout in a successful business). We're delighted to have members Chris & Andy Design share ways to prepare for this growth. You can learn more from Andy, who will be on our State of Making session on shows and booth design!
There often comes a time in starting a business when there is a tensions between doing it full time and still feeling you need to keep some element of a day job to be stable. A lot of fear can enter in at this time-- am I good enough to to do this? Will I make enough money? #ahasmember Ashley shares her journey from school teacher to running a full-time sewing business.