When I wasn’t spending my weekend frolicking about Austin’s gorgeously curated shops with a delicious latté in hand, I was hard at work reading The Handmade Marketplace by Kari Chapin. What? Why are you laughing? It’s called multi-tasking!
But back to the book that just might make y’all crafting rock stars. I’ll just say this, whether you’ve spent the past 15 years working as a Director of Marketing or hiding in a cave knitting nose cozies, if you want to dive into the business of “handmade,” this book has important information for you!
By breaking the book up into three parts with narrower chapters within, Kari (mind if we call you Kari?) makes the information easy to absorb. She starts out with “Getting to Know Yourself and Your Business” which covers topics like building your own creative space, goal setting, branding (what it is and how to do it), legal stuff (in a way that didn’t make my eyes glaze over, nice,) pricing your work and hiring help. Then she moves on to “Spreading the Word – and Images” which includes the basics of marketing, tips for photographing your creations without spending $1,000,000 on photo gear, how involvement in the craft community can help your business, blogging, advertising, social media (twitter&such) and even some ideas I hadn’t considered like Podcasting. Does anyone have a great craft-based podcast that they listen to? The third chapter, Getting Down to Selling, gives the scoop on selling through craft fairs, online and brick-and-mortar stores and other creative ways to make $$ doing what you love (assuming that what you love is making stuff by hand.)
Kari’s writing style is approachable and and entertaining and a huge part of the books success is the inclusion of her “Creative Collective” which is a group of “remarkable artisans, artists and businesspeople…[who] share their top tips and experiences in selling their wares.” And when we say “remarkable” it’s no joke… we’re talking Amy Karol, Emily Martin, Grace Bonney, Holly Becker, Jenny Ryan… and the list goes on. Want to know what it takes to get featured on Design*Sponge directly from Grace? Or what makes a good tutorial straight from the mouth of Natalie Zee Drieu, the Editor-in-Chief of a little site called CRAFT? yeah, me too.
And I have to make a note that I found this book incredibly useful even though I don’t plan on selling my wares any time soon. Even if your website/blog is your business, you will find this book valuable and informative. Oh, and the illustrations by Emily Martin and Jen Shelley are perfection.
Thanks Storey Publishing for hooking us up with a copy of The Handmade Marketplace. We give it a Prudent Baby gold star! If you want to get serious about making your craft business a success, this a great book to pick up at any fine bookseller. Go make millions… or even hundreds doing what floats-yer-boat!! yeah!