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Handmade to Sell: Hello Craft's Guide to Owning, Running, and Growing Your Crafty Biz Paperback – Jul 10 2012
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"If you're a crafter who's dreaming of quitting your day job, this book will provide you the necessary know-how. Hello Craft is a non-profit trade association dedicated to crafters and the handmade movement, and their insider knowledge makes them a natural (and adorable) guide to its nuances." --BUST Magazine
"Once you have a business plan in place, how do you DO a business?...This book demystifies the art of pricing, branding, and photographing your work; helps you understand tricky concepts like copyright and taxes; and prepares you to sell in face-to-face venues (like fairs) and online." --Bead and Button Magazine
About the Author
KELLY RAND is a cofounder and executive director of Hello Craft, a director of the Summit of Awesome, a Crafty Bastards organizer, and coeditor of CraftingaGreenWorld.com. CHRISTINE ERNEST is Hello Craft’s communications director. SARA DICK is the CEO of Hello Craft and a director of the Crafty Bastards arts fair. KIMBERLY DORN is a cofounder of Crafty Bastards and Handmade Mart.
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And good advice is important in small business. A common statistic is that close to 99% of all small businesses fail within their first 3 years. What most people don't realize is that the successful businesses overwhelmingly had a better handle of business knowledge before they started. This is why it is critical to find successful mentors, do your research, and have handy guides to help you set up your business. Having a nice craft product is a very small (but important) piece of the business puzzle. You also need to get a good background in small business education. This book gives that start.
The start of the book traces a history of the current handmade retail craze. Personally, I believe that Gen Y will not let this be a cyclical fad. The increased technology and mass production that is everywhere has created a backlash love of locally produced, one of a kind items. Throughout the text, the idea that buyers want a personal connection to products is emphasized. This book gives three or four different formulas to suggest pricing your items. Many of the other books I read only gave one formula - which doesn't work in the real world. The need to develop various markets and income streams along with how and where to do so are given throughout the book. The proper role for online resources and how local, personal markets will affect your business are explained. Many anecdotes and personal stories of different successful crafters are scattered throughout the book, giving a real-life and personal feel to how this business works.
Scattered throughout the written text are numerous website addresses of different craft businesses for examples, online places to sell, and occasionally where to find more information. For example, in the section on taxes, the writers suggest going to [...] for further information. It is true that the IRS is its own best authority on tax advice. Many of these references are not listed in the appendix. I would also liked to have seen more references for those wanting more information on a particular topic. The advice given for writing a business plan is very brief. For some crafty entrepreneurs, it will be all the advice they need. Others will need to go deeper. I hope that when the next edition of this book is released, it includes a by-chapter list of online and print resources for those who feel they need more information. Also, since so many references are not in the index, it would be handy to read this with a highlighter and some sticky flags since it is good for lots of information you may need in the future. Of course, if these were added into the next editions by-chapter index, that would not be necessary.
Overall, this is a really good book for those looking to modernize their craft business, or those just getting started who don't have a current business education. I want to stress current here, because a good advertising campaign will understand current online media, and if you haven't updated your advertising strategies in the last decade, heck, even two years, you probably need this book.
[I received a complimentary copy of the book to review on my knitting site- BellaOnline Knitting. My reviews are always my honest opinion]
Many of us are faced with a myriad of decisions when creating our handmade crafts. When I finally came to the conclusion that there was enough interest in my jewelry, I hit the highroad. Proceeded to choose my most interesting jewelry and shortly thereafter everything seemed to fall in line - somewhat.
"Handmade to Sell" is a necessary primer for all crafters. It is a thorough guide to "running, growing, and owning" your own craft business.
I thought I knew most of the answers, but there were times that I barely squeaked out a profit. Silver and gold prices have fluctuated greatly during the past couple of years, along with other unforeseen escalating costs. One can't second guess the cost of materials, but this book is extremely helpful in learning the "nuts and bolts" of the crafting business.
How to price one's work, taxes, copyright, and trademark information is well documented. The author takes it a step further by prodding the reader to create something awesome which is critical for success. She also points out that excellent photography is a "must" sales tool.
Online shops, craft shows and fairs are wonderful venues for exhibiting one's work. All aspects of marketing are discussed in great detail. The index is a great compilation of trade shows to check out.
I would highly recommend this book to both seasoned and beginning crafters. Easy reading and excellent advice on all levels. Now is the time to get out your reading glasses, put your feet up and enjoy this extremely excellent guide to "Handmade to Sell."
Would recommend to family and friends if they are interested in getting paid for their talents.