Craft Inc.: Turn Your Creative Hobby into a Business Paperback – Jul 6 2007
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About the Author
Meg Mateo Ilasco is a designer, writer, and illustrator based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She was in grad school when she started designing wedding invitations for extra money. Eventually her company became a full-time job, expanded into stationery and accessories, and was featured on NBC's Today and in The Knot. Meg has since sold that business and has launched an eponymous housewares and gift company, Mateo Ilasco. She recently debuted a home office line called Utile that has sold well at See Jane Work, SFMOMA, Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, Fred Flare, Curiosity Shoppe, and elsewhere. Visit her at www.mateoilasco.com.
Inside This Book(Learn More)
Top Customer Reviews
Second, it is a business-minded book written by and for creative-type people who sometimes lack the business/numbers sense... I lack it, and the book was so easy for me to understand.
Third, it really puts starting your own craft business within reach, and gives you ideas and options about how to get there in a way that suits you. Full of invaluable advice. I recommend to anyone who is planning or dreaming of starting your own craft business.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Taking advantage of the internet is a must for anyone in business these days and Craft Inc. has some wonderful gems to offer in that regard which I am putting to use as I write this. The information is laid out in a non-intimidating way that lets you decide which methods are going to be best for you.
I am inspired by the interviews with successful crafters of various mediums and how they got their start!
If you are thinking about taking your hobby to the next level, this is a good place to begin your journey and you will not be sorry you purchased this book.
Mateo Ilasco uses Craft, Inc. to hit all the major points of starting your own crafty company. Her writing is crisp and tailored perfectly to today's crafting audience. The chapters are loosely organized around topics such as: is starting a business right for you; overview of business topics; making your product identity; marketing (with heavy emphasis on internet and trade show techniques); production and pricing; and how to live beyond the dream. She teaches you how to make business and marketing plans and how to act when you're invited to trade shows. The book also contains many internet resources to help you along the way to turning your crafting hobby into a profitable business.
Craft, Inc. contains a lot of good information over a very broad scope. Mateo Ilasco covers a lot of ground in 160 pages. I'd almost recommend that you read this book twice. Once to see the variety of information in the book and a second time to really understand what to do with the information. There are lots of check lists to make sure that you have what it takes to open shop or successfully attend a trade show. She also includes some very good questions to ask yourself about why you are doing what you are doing with your craft and business. The book includes many positive success-story interviews, illustrating that craft businesses can and do make it in the real world.
I personally loved the final chapter, "Ups, Downs, and Next Steps". While knowing business plans and marketing styles is important, this chapter goes into the specifics of what to do if your design gets plagiarized, or if you burn out quickly, or want to end your business because it's not doing as well as expected. These are important things that happen to new entrepreneurs and usually get glanced over or forgotten from most business-oriented books.
On the flipside, while the book contains a lot of information, the information it contains tends to be broad and generalized. This is a book that caters to craft-people but it should be read in conjunction with other business books out there. For example, the book talks a lot about marketing and where to go to market your wares. But it doesn't really tell you the specifics of making a great marketing plan that grows with your business over the years. I also would have liked to see more interviews with crafters; especially one or two where turning their hobby into a full-time business didn't live up to their expectations. Adding a touch of realism to all the bright and shiny success stories would ground this cheery, "can do" book back into reality. Craft, Inc. also focuses mostly on US markets and techniques, so I'm not sure how useful this book would be on a global scale; even though Mateo Ilasco does mention outsourcing globally.
The bottom line is that Craft, Inc. is a good, solid book to introduce basic business principles to crafters who think they want to open shop and sell their items. It gives you a complete view of the business process from creation to ending your business gracefully. Like most craft books on the market, this one has a nice graphic design and color scheme that seems to cater to woman crafters over men. But don't let that fool you as Mateo Ilasco does illustrate that the book works for anyone.
My only criticism is that the Your Business Mind chapter could be a bit more in-depth, but given that the publisher probably wants to keep the book at the manageable size that it is, this chapter is still a good starting point, and it's up to the crafter to get more info from, say, the SBA.
I had borrowed this book from the library, but after reading it, I will definitely be buying my own copy.