Most Popular Posts of 2016

As we wind down 2016, here are the top posts from the past year. Just looking back through these might help you gain perspective on the year that was!

Handling Copycats: Christina of Soap Seas shares her first business test

I think we all know that having work copied is an all-too common experience in the maker and greater creative community. It's never fun, but especially when you are JUST starting out it can be quite the trial by fire. Aside from navigating the legal, today's guest, #ahasmember and South Bay/Long Beach Subchapter Leader Christina Wennstrom, also notes what an immediate test of professionalism.  

The biggest packaging mistakes shop owners see

Landing the wholesale account is just the beginning. Actually having people buy your product off the shelf is quite another. And packaging plays a vital role in that. It is even a reason some shops won't pick up your product-- even if they love it! So we talked with an #ahasmember retailer about what packaging mistakes they are often seeing.

6 courses to better your business in 2016

We put together 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. They cover everything from social media, to wholesale to legal.

Tara Swiger: The customer path

My mind was blown by Tara Swiger back in October 2015 when I attended Schoolhouse Craft in Seattle. She laid out what you need to create a customer path-- a way to figure out what activities you do that will make your customer buy. The systematic approach made an otherwise overwhelming and guess-filled process one you could confidently perform over and over again. 

How to keep your cool at craft shows with Dear Handmade Life

Summertime is when the craft show H is O (heat is on ;))! And it's not just the weather that can get uncomfortable-- sometimes customers and booth setup can have you losing your cool. Which is why we asked Nicole, one of the founders of Dear Handmade Life and Patchwork Show, to talk about ways to not burnout out on selling by the end of summer!

From craft to commerce: The life and stages of a creative business

At our very first San Francisco Chapter meeting I met Vince of Vincie Bags-- and I no longer worried that we would find good people who cared about craft as part to help our new chapter flourish!

Vince is the kind of person who has honed his years of experience into generous wisdom and also hilarious insights. He is truly a craftsman and gives back unselfishly to his local maker community. I'm excited that he's shared how he has come to understand the steps of a successful creative business and ways to keep the cycle of "always learning" in your business.

Delivering the goods: The brand guide

Please give a warm welcome to Robert and Stacia Guzzo, founders of Handcrafted HoneyBee. This energetic #ahasmember business team has generously offered to share their recent, dramatic rebranding journey with our community. Here is Part 5, as told by Robert Guzzo, Co-Founder of Handcrafted HoneyBee, about their brand guide.

Is it time to go pro with your packaging?

DIY-ing packaging is often how makers start out in their business. But as you start expanding into wholesale and doing larger orders or even creating products that don't have "off-the-shelf" packaging needs, sourcing packaging becomes huge. We're excited to have two of our OC Chapter leaders share about their recent experience walking a packaging trade show.

The big list of wholesale resources for makers

This post was part of the launch of our FREE Wholesale Tuneup Series (which you can still sign up for here) and so we wanted to give you some wholesale help to go along with it. Here's our big list of wholesale resources our members love!

Looking for Helpers: Instagram and Etsy changes

This year, the announcement of a new layout on Etsy and the announcement of Instagram to start using an algorithm caused quite a bit of panic (particularly around Instagram) on the interwebs.

Mr. Rogers is famous for saying:

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

Guys, sometimes as adults we need a little bit of the comforting words of Fred Rogers in our lives. When business crises arise, it still applies-- look for the helpers.