I have one copy of Handmade Marketplace to give away,
read to the bottom to learn how to win.

(photo from karichapin.com)

Oh, I can not tell you HOW excited I am about this book!

I was honored to be interviewed for it, to serve as part of the “Creative Collective” – the group of makers who contributed bits of our own experiences.

That was crazy exciting, but then I got the book in my hands.

And oh, I'm far beyond excited to be included in it, I'm thrilled that this book exists.
I'm thrilled I have something to recommend, as a complete resource, when someone asks “How do I start a crafty biz?”

It has everything a crafter needs to know/think about/plan for in selling their crafts. Craft shows, marketing, making their thing, wholesale, everything!

I have read a loooot of business books.
Most of them are geared to big businesses.
A few are aimed at truly tiny businesses (my favorite: The Boss of You)
Even fewer are about craft businesses (and the best, by Barbara Brabec are over 20 years old)

But this is the first book  for us.
Crafters who blog. And podcast. And sell online.

Obviously my review is wildly biased because the book is filled with people I adore (Kari! Kim! Diane!)…but my mom (who is totally out of the online-craft-world loop) called me last night to say “I can NOT put this book down! It's teaching me SO much!”

Thanks to the kind people at Storey, I have one book to give away to a commenter!

To enter: leave a comment with your business question and I'll choose one commenter randomly and announce the winner next Friday!

PS. I met the author (and everyone else mentioned in this post) on Twitter. Being a part of this book is just one of the fabulous side-effects of loving Twitter.

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56 Comments on Handmade Marketplace – book giveaway!

  1. Jessica
    March 19, 2010 at 1:21 pm (9 years ago)

    I always have trouble with pricing wholesale vs non-wholesale. Do I give a discount and how much do I discount?

  2. fanieart
    March 19, 2010 at 1:30 pm (9 years ago)

    What was the best marketing technique she used for her craft business, so far? 😉

    Thank you so much for this giveaway. I saw this book at my local bookstore first and now I just keep hearing amazing comments about it. Guess I'll have to get it! 😀

  3. Monica (aka monnibo)
    March 19, 2010 at 1:33 pm (9 years ago)

    Wow this sounds like a fabulous book!! Even if I don't win, I'm putting it on my wishlist.

    My question is, how do you price your time? Oh and another one is what platform (eBay, etsy, ArtFire) is best (selling fees vs. ease of use)?

  4. Riin
    March 19, 2010 at 1:35 pm (9 years ago)

    How do I figure out how to price things when I calculate materials and time and a living wage and come up with a number that's 2-3 times as much as what other people are charging for similar items?

  5. Tracie Barrett
    March 19, 2010 at 1:42 pm (9 years ago)

    How do you balance your time spent creating with the time spent marketing so you sell your creations?

    And this sounds like a great book. Even if I don't win, I think I'll be picking this one up! Thank you!

  6. hordover
    March 19, 2010 at 1:44 pm (9 years ago)

    What a great book and great idea!
    My question is: how do you use social media to market your work without having it take over your life (and keep you from making the things you need to make!)?
    Thank you again!

  7. Amy V.
    March 19, 2010 at 1:46 pm (9 years ago)

    What advice does she give about setting a price point for handmade items?

  8. turtle
    March 19, 2010 at 1:54 pm (9 years ago)

    How do you go about setting prices on your goods. When they are handcrafted sometimes it is difficult to determine (considering your cost, time, etc as well)?

  9. Teresa Sullivan
    March 19, 2010 at 2:02 pm (9 years ago)

    How do I make myself heard in the chatter of twitter, facebook, and blogs while making time to create? Also, I'd love to hear an answer to Riin's question (so many people end up paying themselves about 37-1/2 cents per hour, but I sure don't want to)!

  10. blondechicken
    March 19, 2010 at 2:02 pm (9 years ago)

    Hey Heather,
    I got asked this question so often, I taught a class on it (it's available for download, now that the live class is over): http://www.blondechickenboutique.com/index.php/
    One of the major points of the class is figuring out a way to make social media fit into your schedule!
    Tara

    ________________________________

  11. sdsures
    March 19, 2010 at 2:13 pm (9 years ago)

    Awesome! If I don't win it here, I'll order it from Amazon!

  12. violette
    March 19, 2010 at 2:18 pm (9 years ago)

    I would love to win this sweet book! My question is: How do i stop scattering my energies and force myself to focus on a few doable projects……i tend to want to do too many things and end up getting overwhelmed and not do any. Any help for scattered gemini's?

    Thanks.
    Violette

  13. Maya
    March 19, 2010 at 2:21 pm (9 years ago)

    I really like this book and intend to purchase it in the future. It holds so much promise and I've heard nothing but good things about it.

    I had to think what to ask because there are so many questions I could ask. What I have been thinking about most is “I've worked hard trying to set up shop and make my products excellent. Now I'm selling (and have been for 4 years) and keep trying to find ways to expand. I see lots of people doing well in my market area. How do I stop being overlooked? Or rather, how do I break past the stagnate state my business seems to be stuck in? How do you take it to the next level or can you even force it to go there if it doesn't happen 'organically'.”

  14. amycrook
    March 19, 2010 at 2:24 pm (9 years ago)

    I have a question that's vague and difficult, of course. 😉 How do you motivate yourself to keep making stuff during a slump? I have trouble with putting forth a lot of energy to make things without knowing if they'll ever sell…

    Yay book!

  15. blondechicken
    March 19, 2010 at 2:29 pm (9 years ago)

    This is such a good question, Maya!

    I think the answer is another question: Where do you want to go from here?

    Is there something you want to sell?
    Someplace you want to sell?
    Some goal you want to reach?

    -Tara

    ________________________________

  16. NatalieServant
    March 19, 2010 at 2:40 pm (9 years ago)

    How can I evaluate the effectiveness of advertising I've done & how can I gauge what advertising to do in the future?

    Oh, and I zipped over to my library's website & added myself to the list of those waiting to read this! (it's on order & I'm #10 in line).

  17. holycrow
    March 19, 2010 at 2:53 pm (9 years ago)

    What is the best form of advertising for a crafter just starting out selling at fairs and markets?

  18. Leanne
    March 19, 2010 at 3:02 pm (9 years ago)

    What should the balance be between social media promotion and traditional promotion for a DIY business?

  19. Melissa
    March 19, 2010 at 3:28 pm (9 years ago)

    I feel like I have so many questions…. How much inventory do you keep? How much do you take to shows? I'm personally wondering how many different weights of yarn I should carry. And the most important question, how do I win a million dollars so I can quit my day job and fully devote my time to my company? 🙂

  20. Rachel
    March 19, 2010 at 3:30 pm (9 years ago)

    Yay! I'm so excited about this book!

    Do you have any advice on balancing the various tasks involved in running a crafty biz? I'm experimenting with it, but haven't quite hit the right rhythm yet.

  21. MissAriane
    March 19, 2010 at 4:02 pm (9 years ago)

    Hi!
    I always have trouble with the price. How high? How low? Is it too expensive?

  22. Julie
    March 19, 2010 at 4:20 pm (9 years ago)

    Tara, you're so awesome to do this giveaway!

    How to price items *just right* is a huge question for me – losing money on products is such a bummer.

  23. paule trudel bellemare
    March 19, 2010 at 4:55 pm (9 years ago)

    Congrats! this is such positive actions/vibes!

    Q:would most people rather buy prints(cheaper) or original artworks(unique) online?

  24. Logan
    March 19, 2010 at 5:05 pm (9 years ago)

    I've not entered this realm yet, but as I get closer to graduating from college I'm really starting to feel the urge to explore the possibilities of producing my own products to sell. My question seems like it should be obvious, but where do I start? Is it wise to create a working inventory and then go about marketing those products?

  25. romilly
    March 19, 2010 at 7:48 pm (9 years ago)

    Oooh! Business questions! I'm reading everything I can get my hands on right now, too… So. What's the most important thing I should read to get an idea of the steps involved in opening a retail shopfront… actual bricks and mortar?

  26. karensworld
    March 19, 2010 at 7:54 pm (9 years ago)

    I knit and crochet various crafts especially afghans. I'd like to sell them, but am overwhelmed and not certain how or where to begin. I've thought about eventually setting up a website, but am not really certain about getting pictures uploaded, pricing, web hosting, web site creation, etc.

    Basically, what are some ideas on how to start?
    Thanks,
    Karen

  27. karensworld
    March 19, 2010 at 7:57 pm (9 years ago)

    I knit and crochet afghans and scarves and would like to begin selling them, probably online. I'm feeling overwelmed and confused on how to start and where to gather information. Any words to help a true sells beginner (especially to help confront the fear)?

    Thanks,
    Karen

  28. NESSY
    March 19, 2010 at 9:05 pm (9 years ago)

    Hey hun, i love love love your yarns and will deffo be putting that book on my wishlist you are a true inspiration

    My business question – as a shop owner, would you find it acceptable to have a wholesale price 25% less than your RRP than 50%?

    Thanks Nessy 🙂

  29. Chia
    March 20, 2010 at 6:58 am (9 years ago)

    How do indie dyers find yarn bases or have yarn bases made for them? I mean besides the obvious ones you can google that are geared towards novice dyers.
    monkalicious on Rav

  30. Kami
    March 20, 2010 at 9:19 am (9 years ago)

    This looks like a great book. I have just started selling my felted items; just did a local fair for the first time. I am exploring selling online and have just set up an Etsy shop. This book looks like it will answer a lot of the questions I, and others, still have about crafty business! I am going out to buy it if I don't win!

  31. blondechicken
    March 20, 2010 at 11:25 am (9 years ago)

    Chia – this is a great question!
    The short answer – set up a wholesale account with a yarn company that sells the base yarn you want. Louet is a popular one, as is Henry's Attic.
    If you want to create your own base, you can go right to the mill to get one spun to your specificiations.

    If you continue to pay retail prices for your yarn bases, you'll run into the same issue everyone who asked about prices is facing: you won't be able to charge enough at a wholesale price (to yarn shops, for example) to pay yourself!

    Thanks!

    ________________________________

  32. blondechicken
    March 20, 2010 at 11:27 am (9 years ago)

    Thanks Nessy!
    The short answer – no. We have to make a minimum percentage in order to pay our bills. It just won't support our business to only make 25% on every skein of yarn.

    But other shops may have deeper pockets or different policies and it won't hurt to ask!

  33. blondechicken
    March 20, 2010 at 11:28 am (9 years ago)

    Romilly – I wish I knew! I've yet to find a good book about opening a retail space. There are those “How to Open a ____ Business” books, but I haven't found one for my kind of shop yet 🙁

    Let me know if you come across one!

    ________________________________

  34. chicsinger simone
    March 20, 2010 at 11:55 am (9 years ago)

    Hi Tara! Etsy or Ebay? Or a separate website altogether, or all three? xxoo

  35. Maureen
    March 20, 2010 at 3:08 pm (9 years ago)

    I am a knitter and how do you price the goods do you do what the cost is of the yarn and then double that for the cost of your labor?

  36. askthebellwether
    March 20, 2010 at 7:30 pm (9 years ago)

    How should you best handle a shift in business direction? I see myself moving from straight retail to more writing/teaching (and thus less retail, being a one-woman shop) — what's a good way to handle that? Should I already be discussing it with my current customers and blog readers, or should I wait until the shift is fully made, and then “announce” it?

    That's my business question, and I'd be interested in your response. No doubt, the book would also help, so I'll add it to my Amazon wish list in case the random number generator skips past me. Thanks!

  37. gerri newfry
    March 21, 2010 at 1:06 pm (9 years ago)

    i wonder how to interest people in my links. especially those to my etsy shop and blog.

  38. Ozge
    March 21, 2010 at 4:48 pm (9 years ago)

    How to start!? I have been doing many handcrafts ranging from laptop bags to dream catchers from sweaters to mittens.. But I just don't know where and how to start the online business. How to attract people's attention to my blog or website that I can prepare for these items..

  39. blondechicken
    March 25, 2010 at 11:25 pm (9 years ago)

    Congratulations Miss Ariane! You're the winner! Email me your mailing address to blondechickenbouiqueATyahoo

  40. Andi
    March 26, 2010 at 10:16 pm (9 years ago)

    I picked it up on Monday at Barnes & Noble, so happy to see you in it!

  41. blondechicken
    March 27, 2010 at 11:40 am (9 years ago)

    Thanks for letting me know! You're the first (outside my family!) to tell me!
    Yay!
    Tara

    ________________________________

  42. blondechicken
    March 27, 2010 at 11:57 am (9 years ago)

    This is a *great* question!
    I think it really depends on your relationship with your customers. If you are slowly getting out of retail by not restocking your shop, your customers might wonder why you're out of X. So letting them know could ease that. But telling everyone too early, might just drag out the progress.
    And it really depends on how long the shift is. Are you just taking more and more writing and teaching and once you have enough you'll close? If so, I don't know that you need to announce it. But you will need to figure out systems, so that you can spend less time on admin and more time on writing (I know this is always my trouble!) Automating some things and just stopping some other times, to make space for your new goals will make it smoother.

    Good luck!
    Tara

    ________________________________

  43. Karen Provost
    March 31, 2010 at 11:32 am (9 years ago)

    I would love to market my crafts on Etsy but I don't know how to begin and there aren't any books on Etsy at the bookstore – the clerk had never heard of Etsy!
    Thank you

  44. blondechicken
    March 31, 2010 at 11:35 am (9 years ago)

    Handmade Marketplace (the book I mention in this post) is all about selling crafts and covers Etsy…ask your bookseller about it!

    Good luck,
    Tara

    ________________________________

  45. msflowers
    April 4, 2010 at 10:21 am (9 years ago)

    What is the best way to find your target market-silk & dried flower arrangements when the florists don't want to tell you?

  46. msflowers
    April 4, 2010 at 10:23 am (9 years ago)

    How do I find out what my target market is in order to sell my silk & dried flower arrangement when the florists I've spoken to won't tell me.

  47. lindascoggins76
    April 5, 2010 at 6:57 am (9 years ago)

    I checked this book out at the library last week and have been reading it and looking at the websites of the “Creative Collective” and thinking I would really like my own copy. Your website is very inspiring and that's what I need. I love painting with oil. Seascapes, Roses, Barns.I would like to make money at it. This book is definitely helping me to get going at it.

  48. blondechicken
    April 6, 2010 at 10:23 am (9 years ago)

    Well, you need to think about who would buy your product. Don't rely on anyone else's assessment of the market. Just ponder “who would buy this?”: what magazine would they read? Where would they shop? What do they like to do? Are they internet savvy or not?
    In my experience, defining the target market isn't as important as getting to know the people who DO buy your thing and making more stuff that they will like.
    In other words, just focus on getting your first few sales and then getting to know your customers!

    Good luck,
    Tara

    Blonde Chicken Boutique
    Local, Sustainable, Colorful Yarn

    ________________________________

  49. Kirsty
    April 7, 2010 at 6:16 pm (9 years ago)

    Where do you go to find out if there are safety regulations you must meet regarding the craft you make, such as children's clothing?

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