Although I opened my Etsy shop in 2011, I would hardly consider myself a successful craft business owner, primarily because I haven't invested the time and/or effort to grow. Truth be told, the idea of selling what I make has been somewhat of a terrifying idea because of the likelihood of failure and rejection. Over the last year, however, my confidence has grown and I am facing my fears. Part of the reason for this change of heart is due to 2 books I read, which I will share with you today.
The fear of the unknown is a great one for me. I have had so many questions and no one to ask, as I don't really know anyone who is running a craft business and I feel weird asking strangers at craft fairs or online about how they run their businesses. The Handmade Market Place by Kari Chapin dissolved this angst. Not only is this book loaded with advice from successful crafters, but Ms. Chapin covers many of the various venues for selling your items and how to prepare for each one; all while building up your confidence in your ability to make great things.
Once I gained the confidence to start things up, I had questions about accounting and taxes. Like most crafters, I don't have a large disposable income, so I couldn't just hire an accountant and a lawyer. This is when Etsypreneurship by Jason Malinak entered my life. Although, the main focus of this book is on Esty specific businesses, it is a great reference for any craft business as it speaks in a language that people who are not accountants or lawyers can understand and includes downloads to help you make good business decisions from the beginning.
If you are just starting out or have been selling for quite a while, these books have some really great advice and tips to help you enter unfamiliar markets and creatively advertise your handmade goods. Like I said before, in no way do I consider myself successful, yet, but these two books have definitely given me the confidence and know-how to take the plunge and really get things going (hence, becoming a vendor at the Beehive Bazaar in May).
4/15/2014 01:39:01 pm
I agree that reading a few books and developing a business plan can go a long way toward a successful enterprise. I too have an Etsy shop called Southern-Linens and I spent a fair amount of time getting things organized before I actually began. These books are good suggestions.
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Hey there! I'm Kristin, aka Kit. Here is just a peek into my crafting mind. I hope you find something to spur your creativity!
Kit's Crafts Shop