THe holidays (and everything else) dissected

They say this about having children, but it also applies to having a business baby. *REALLY* understanding what happened in your business and the entire environment it was living in over a year can be kind of hard to do. Social media, craft shows, wholesale, Etsy... keeping track of all of the changes can make your head spin.

In order to chart the course for our businesses after the holidays and into the new year, we are taking a look back with experts, insiders and makers to help us understand what's next. That's why we're hosting the second annual The State of Making online summit this Spring: March 9–24, 2017.

During the summit we will cover:

  • Holiday Post-Mortem
  • Craft Shows, Trunk Shows, Pop-Ups, and Booths
  • Product Packaging
  • Alternate Streams of Income
  • Products and Product Lines
  • How two makers have weathered the ups and downs of this last year

Want to go into the year prepared for whatever is coming your way? We have assembled 12 panelists for a deep dive into the year before and thoughts on the one ahead. Stay tuned for more about the panelists!

All sessions will be recorded already and are available to watch as replays for a fee. As a bonus, you will also receive five worksheets! #ahasmembers are able to watch the recordings for free. If you are a member please email us for details or check the forums for more information.

Missed our September 2016 summit? You can purchase it here, along with five exclusive worksheets!

Session 1: Holiday Post-Mortem

Thursday, March 16, 10am-11:15am Pacific

We take a 360 look at what happened over the holidays. This includes everything from Etsy to craft shows to retail!

Marci Toombs, Lula Mae (#ahasmember)

Marci owns Lula Mae, a gift boutique that not only sells handmade, but also teaches workshops in handmade and how to start your own business. She believes in doing everything she can to bring more makers to the world and ensure their success. She says, "Holidays make up for 1/3 of our year in sales! It is my favorite season, however it can also be stressful for makers! We wholesale our card line and production increase prep is a must."

Brandy Davis, Pigsey Art 

Brandy is the artist/owner behind Pigsey Art where she creates lasercut wood journals and home goods with literary and geeky themes. Founded in 2007, she started Pigsey Art in Austin, Texas with the goal of showcasing paper and wood at their finest. The mysterious appeal of the written word has greatly shaped Pigsey Art through the years as it has leaped and morphed into a bustling small business.

Session 2: Craft Shows, Trunk Shows, Pop-Ups and Booths

Friday, March 10, 10am-11:15am Pacific

Selling through shows can be a roll of the dice. Plus there seems to always be new shows or ways to do them. Our experts talk about selling at shows AND the trends we are seeing in booth design.

Andrea Zatarain, Chris & Andy Design (#AHASMEMBER)

Your booth should tell your story and be an extension of your brand. It also needs to be portable and modular to meet the various floor plan configurations. We can help you design the various components of a booth that will function well and look great. Tell your story through your booth design and attract the right customers who will love your work. We help elevate your business identity and presentation to the level of your craft and give you back more studio time.

Kristen Rask, Urban Craft Uprising

Kristen Rask is the President of Seattle's largest indie craft show, Urban Craft Uprising. She owned a store in Seattle, Schmancy for 11 years and now co-owns UCU Headquarters. She has been published 8 times and has been craft show vending for over 20 years.

session 3: Product Packaging

Thursday, March 16, 10am-11:15am Pacific

Packaging should sell your product for you. What's working and what's not? What are the packaging trends that lay ahead. Our experts share what they are seeing!

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Lilah Higgins, The Higgins Creative

Lilah Higgins is a Brand Designer to Creative Business Owners & Coaches. When she’s not chasing around her babies or working alongside her techie husband, she is providing her clients with logos & branding that converts and design consultation. She drinks her coffee iced and enjoys opening her home to people and telling the stories of Makers & Creatives. She's also the founder of the #waketomake hashtag on Instagram.

Mark Cordes, Norman's Printery  (#AHASMEMBER)

Norman's Printery (an off-shoot of Cordes Printing) specializes in beautiful printing and finishing techniques such as foil stamping, embossing, die cutting, letterpress, digital, offset and screen printing. Because of our in-house capabilities to do these techniques, packaging and branding items have become a favorite specialty for us. We have done packaging and wrapping items for candle makers, jewelers, gourmet chocolate confectioners, soap makers and various other maker items. Projects we have done include candle dust covers, small boxes, wrappers, hang tags, jewelry cards and branding items such as product cards, booklets, brochures etc. We love working with makers, producing packaging and branding items for them which help elevate the value of the items they produce!

session 4: Alternate Streams of Income

Friday, March 17, 10am-11:15am Pacific

Your shop doesn't have to stop with an Etsy shop and a couple of wholesale accounts. Explore different ways makers make money.

Stacia Guzzo, Handcrafted Honeybee

Stacia Guzzo is the owner and founder of Handcrafted HoneyBee, a business that focuses on selling educational skin care kits for girls and smart skin care for women. Handcrafted HoneyBee currently has incorporated several diversified models of selling beyond traditional retail and wholesale models, including subscriptions, YouTube series with supportive content, Facebook parties, and private label work. The combination of alternate streams of revenue alongside traditional streams of revenue have contributed to their overall revenue multiplying 5x in the last year--something which has been very exciting for the Guzzo family! Stacia lives and works in Tehachapi, California, along with her husband (and business partner), Robert, and two sons, Elijah (age six) and Isaac (age four). 


Tara swiger, Tara swiger

Tara Swiger helps makers and artists build sustainable, love-able businesses and become their own best business expert. Tara has taught around the world at conferences, trade shows, and fiber festivals. Her book, Market Yourself, was published by Cooperative Press in 2012. on the weekly podcast, Explore Your Enthusiasm, she explores non-gross marketing, personable social media, profitable pricing, and workdays that work for you. 

BONUS: Navigating Politics and Controversy in Your Business

With Online and Social Media Strategist Meighan O'Toole
Wednesday, March 22, 10am-11:15am Pacific

Meighan is passionate about connecting people to technology to make their work and personal lives easier and more enjoyable.

She is a Digital Strategist empowering creative businesses through social media, content creation, and cultivating community online. 

Over the past 10 years she built her presence online by pursuing a curiosity to connect and share information with others through blogging, social media, and technology. She also started My Love for You in 2017, an art blog dedicated to sharing art she loved-- from yarn bombing to fine art.

Meighan has worked in Silicon Valley as a social media strategist for Yahoo, community manager for Fandom (Wikapedia’s community site), and WIRED Magazine in San Francisco, CA. She's been working in and around the digital space for 12 years.

Session 5: Products and Product Lines 

Thursday, March 23, 10am-11:15am Pacific

Beyond the wholesale basics, planning new products and creating product lines can help you figure out where your business is headed. Our experts share what they're seeing with product development.

Marlo Miyashiro, The Handmade Showroom (#AHASMEMBER)

Handmade in a mall? Yes! Drawing from her 20+ years of experience as an independent jeweler, arts business consultant, community organizer, teacher, and mentor, Marlo M. opened The Handmade Showroom in the summer of 2015 as a highly curated pop-up experiment in just half of a 2400 sq. ft. space on the 3rd floor of downtown Seattle’s premier shopping destination, Pacific Place. In less than 5 months, the Showroom grew to become a permanent storefront introducing a new customer base to the best handmade goods created by over 100 artists and makers from all over the Pacific Northwest region of the US.

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As the owner of Frolick Jewelry, wholesale and tradeshows generate the majority of my businesses revenue. There's a lot to learn as you launch into wholesale, and I share all of the tips and best practices I've learned along the way in my book, Adventures in Wholesale".

SeSSION 6: The Maker Perspective

Friday, March 24, 10am-11:15am Pacific

Our makers dish on what the holidays were like for them, how 2016 went overall and where 2017 seems to be headed.

Carolyn Caffelle, The wishing Elephant  (#AHASMEMBER)

The Wishing Elephant specializes in gifts for young children with the philosophy "getting dressed should be fun". Our line includes clothing, accessories, dress up and costumes. Our business has been impacted greatly by the changes in Instagram's algorithym as well as Etsy's ever competitive marketplace. We hope to give you insight on how we are changing our approach to position ourselves to be more successful this year.

Kimberly K. Taylor-Pestell, Lacelit

Kimberly Taylor-Pestell is the artist and owner of Lacelit, a handmade stationery and home goods company featuring ink and watercolor illustration and hand lettering. Lacelit is all about sending intentionality through the post and creating starting points for meaningful connection through pen and paper. Having discovered her passion for art several years after college had come and gone, Kimberly is mostly self-taught and delights in the imperfect symmetry of drawing and painting freehand. She recently illustrated and hand-lettered two books of poetry, "Sage Words" and "Sage Spirit" by Jet Widick. Her work can be found online and in brick-and-mortar shops, and was recently featured in "Stationery Trends Magazine." Kimberly resides in Monrovia, California, with her husband and calico tabby. In her spare time, she enjoys blogging, knitting, working with instant film and composing for piano.