Saturday, June 7, 2008

Craft Business Links from around the web

I fall in to this weird category in the craft world. I'm not really interested in making stuff to sell. I don't have an Etsy shop, and when someone replies to my, "Thanks, I made it." with a, "OMG! You should totally sell that!" I kinda cringe. When it comes to crafting, I'm more interested in the process (as Diane so beautifully put in her meme) than the finished product, and money is the *last* thing that motivates me to make stuff.

What I am interested in is connecting with other folks engaged in the creative process and sharing their stories. I love reading about, sharing and writing about what cool things crafters are doing.

And one thing I've read a lot of is fabulous business advice from crafters for crafters on how to produce, market and sustain their crafty wares. Crafters tend to be some of the most generous folks around, and when it comes to business advice, they don't disappoint. And while a lot of business savvy comes through personal experience, there's a bevy of fantastic resources available to folks who are interested in making their craft their business.

Throughout my blog reading (I'm still well over 300 craft blogs on my Reader ... whewboy!) I've come across several posts from folks with loads of experience in building a craft-based business, and even though I'm not interested in making things to sell, I find the information fascinating and incredibly useful.

I've decided to pull all the links to these business advice posts in to one place, and I'll make a permanent link to this post in my side bar. If you come across links of business goodness, please email them to me (averagejanecrafter at gmail dot com) and I'll gladly add them with your credit. I'll try to keep them somewhat organized in the following categories: general business advice, marketing/PR, blogging/writing, craft shows/fairs/markets, and Etsy. And even as I try to get this published today, I keep finding more and more links to add. This will definitely be a "living post."

General Business Advice
Craft Business classes taught by Jennifer Perkins of Naughty Secretary Club
- learn from the marketing master herself! Classes include Starting Your Small Business, Marketing Your Business and Taking Your Business to the Next Level.

Diane's Staying Savvy Series - Diane is my craft guru, and her Staying Savvy Series is brilliant, fun to read, and chock full of fabulous advice.

Crafting a Business - a great column by Jenny Hart on VenusZine (click link to her profile and scroll down to see a list of the archived Crafting a Business articles)

Pink Chalk Studio's The Business of Craft Series
The Business of Craft: Starting
The Business of Craft: Pricing Part 1
The Business of Craft: Pricing - Cost of Materials

Crafty Business Then and Now - Diane interviews craft-blogger, Meggiecat, who shares her business advice from 20+ years as a craft business operator.

Special Topics in Calamity Business - a new series on starting and running your own independent business from Indie Fixx.

Roadmaps - From their web site: "a guide for discovering your passion, and in doing so, organizing your pursuit for creativity. A series geared toward those in the planning stages of their business, but will also cover a wide range of topics that more seasoned business owners may struggle with as well." - thanks to Joanie for sending in this resource.

Q&A With Jenny Hart on

Q&A with Tina Sparkles on

Q&A with Jennifer Perkins of Naughty Secretary Club on

Crafting a Business Interview with Meg Mateo Ilasco on CraftSanity

Tax Time Considerations for the Independent - from Etsy

CraftBoom has some great resources as well (via Diane ... of course! ;)

It's Business Time - an article from Jennifer Worick (of Prairie Girl Potions) on CraftStylish about making the most of opportunities to promote and sell your crafts.

Pretty Somethings - a blog out of the UK that offers advice on making money off your handicraft. There's information on everything from why you should start a blog to 10 Free Ways to Promote Your Handmaking Online.

Making a Living as an Artist - a newspaper article that profiles several artists who are making a living with their craft.

Pricing Jewelry and Paying Yourself - from Szarka

Marketing Your Art & Craft - A Podcast with Ryan McAbery - Also from Diane.

Market Your Craft Online with Jennifer Perkins - A Crafty Pod Podcast from Diane Gilleland

Jennifer Perkins of Naughty Secretary Club is a marketing mastermind. She frequently posts great information about Craft businesses and marketing. Here are a few of my favorite posts, but you can always check out a full listing of her posts tagged with "business" for more information.
Promoting Your Brand New Website
15 Tips for Maximum Newsletter/Sale Effectiveness
Navigating the multitudes of Social Networking sites
Bringing Home the Crafty Bacon - a podcast interview with Jennifer Perkins from Vickie Howell's CRL Podcast
A Few Small Business Tips

The Crafty Chica is offering a teaching a class in Phoenix called Kamakazie PR for Your Art Business. If you're local to Phoenix, you should definitely try it out. Here's the link for the current class listing (as of June 2008): Secrets of a Crafty Chica: Kamikaze Promotion for the Indie Artist From Kathy's blog: I never thought I'd share either one of those types of classes, the subject matter is hard-earned and dear to my heart. BUT, sometimes you have to let things go to make room for new ideas.
She always has such a great philosophy behind her actions, and I love that. She's so cool.


A great post about starting up a crafty blog - written by Susan Beal, with tips from Diane Gilleland of Crafty Pod fame.

Deciphering and Adding widgets to your blog - from Green Kitchen

Crafty Blog School
- from Floresita posted on Feeling Stitchy (the Flickr Embroidery Group blog)
Part One - Where do I blog?
Part Two - Choosing a Template
Part Three - Name your blog & Create a Header
Part Four - Blogging Photos From Flickr
Part Five - How to put that darned thimble guy in your sidebar
Part Six - How to take better pictures of your crafts
Part Seven - Getting Noticed

How to Start a Craft Blog - from Meet Me at Mikes - part 1 of the series
How to Market Your Craft Blog - from Meet Me at Mikes - part 2 of the series
How to Make Your Blog Cuter - from Meet Me at Mikes - part 3 of the series
A Rough Guide to Having Nice Blog Manners - from Meet Me at Mikes - part 4 of the series

Basic Skills for Craft Publishing - by Tammy Powley [via The Savvy Crafter]

How to Pitch Your Craft Book Idea - from Chronicle Books

Publishing a Craft Book, With Christina Loff and Kate McKean - A Podcast episode of Crafty Pod from Diane Gilleland.

The Freelancers guide to Setting Perfect Deadlines - from LifeDev

Craft Shows/Fairs/Markets
Ways to attract visitors to your booth and help them remember you after they leave, from The Small Object.

Craft Fair Tips - also from The Small Object via CRAFT

How to set up a craft booth at weekly farmer's market series - from Fluffy Flowers, a 5-part series on setting up your booth

Craft Fair/Market Checklist - from badskirt

Etsy (and other online marketplaces)
Tips on sculpting a successful Etsy shop from VenusZine

Etsy Selling: How to Raise Your Profile Profitability by Susan Beal for CraftStylish

Etsy Holiday How-To 2008 - #1 Packaging
Etsy Holiday How-To 2008 - #2 Branding Your Shipping Materials
Etsy Holiday How-To 2008 - #3 Creating Labels and Hang Tags
Etsy Holiday How-To 2008 - #4 Photographing Your Items

The Etsy Seller Handbook: All Our How-Tos about Selling

How to Run a Successful Etsy Shop - from greenbean baby art via CRAFT

Shop Makeover Series - from Etsy

A Word About Shipping
- from Cicada Daydream

Taking Pictures of Your Products

Product Photography Part 1
- from Making It Lovely
Product Photography Part 2 - from Making It Lovely

Shooting to Sell: Taking Better Photos for eBay, Etsy and Instructables - from Photojojo

Etsy Holiday How-To 2008 - #4 Photographing Your Items

From the Feeling Stitchy Crafty Blog School:
Part Four - Blogging Photos From Flickr
Part Six - How to take better pictures of your crafts


  1. Wonderful links! Thank you. I am not inspired to create by making money, either, but it's also what I love to do----and there's that saying, ya know: do what you love... I guess I hope that someday that saying will ring true for me... Again, thank you for this resource!

  2. hey, girl!
    maybe you're not making stuff to sell, but you're something even rarer: as Wendy Morgan calls herself, you're a Dot Connector!

    Thanks for posting all these resources. I will certainly be forwarding your post link to oh, about sixty zillion crafty bizzers. And I particularly love that there's a link to "How To Make Your Blog Cuter". That is SEW Seventeen magazine circa 1978. Lovin' it.

    yr fan

  3. Wowee! What an amazing resource! Thank you so much for pulling all of this together (and for the nice shout-outs)! XOXOXO

  4. I love this post and I totally understand what you mean about not wanting to sell what you craft.... I find it so hard to sell what I make because I take so much more pleasure in just giving it away. I know it sounds weird, but I think you understand it! :)

    Thanks for linking to Feeling Stitchy! There's 1 more Crafty Blog School Post, by the way, called Getting Noticed:

    You rock, Rach! :)

  5. Thanks for creating such a great list of resources here! It's really good to see all of this compiled in one place.

    Like you, I have no intention of ever selling anything I make. For me it's all about enjoying the process of creating.

    However, these fab links - I'm going to check out the ones about making your blog pretty for sure!

  6. This is such an informative post - I have booked marked for future reference. I just love making things - and if I sell the odd thing here and there it is a bonus (although most of it turns into personal gifts to those I love)- but I simply love making stuff .. anything ..and can't seem to stop ;-)

  7. Thanks for all the resources!! Not just for the business advice but for a lot more great blogs to read :).

  8. hey! I'm just delighted to find another crafty blogger who makes items but is not interested in selling them! I'm that way also--and everyone is always telling me to make stuff to sell--but that would take all the fun out of it---and I just love giving nice handmade things to family and friends...and yes, it is mostly about the process and exploring new ways to create( I rarely make the same thing twice)
    I do have a few items in my Etsy shop--but so far I have sold about 3 things that way---selling is just not my focus.

  9. Thank you so much for pulling all these amazing resources into one place! I too, love to read about people who are sucessfully doing crafting whether it be selling them or just creating for the sake of expression.

    And while right now I'm not selling anything I have considered it as a way to fund my thrifting obsession! So this post will definitely help me decide if its really something I want to do. Thanks again!

  10. Thanks for all the nice comments, y'all! And I don't think there is anything at all wrong with making a business off your craft - I think it's fabulous, actually. I just know enough about myself to know that I'm not a production kind of gal, but I'm thankful for those who are!

    And I've already added two more links, so this will definitely keep growing. I've got the permanent link in the sidebar as well now.



  11. Great stuff, Rach!

    I've seriously been considering taking a hiatus on the selling front. I still love doing custom orders, but I'm just not feeling the production for selling at the moment.

  12. I have all sorts of links too! Thank you for the inspiration ie "crafting for money" I toil with that with each new creation.

  13. Wow! Thank you! I too am a crafter who just really likes the process...and the toys...but most of all the people. I am linking this from Marimello too.

  14. Holy! I am a little overwhelmed just looking at this list. Thank you for generously putting this collection of info out there!

  15. Wow Rachel these are great links I can't wait to go through all of them and thanks for including some of mine. I'm going to repost about it this weekend on my blog.

    Oh and even though I am one of those people that does sell my crafts it's not the money part that gives me the joy either. I still get giddy just from creating, well that and not having to wear panty hose at an office job anymore.

  16. Rachel, thanks for adding the link I suggested for Road Maps at DFM, I think it's a fantastic series of articles and relates to Berlinswhimsy's comment on "...doing what you love...". Hope the readers are aware I haven't written them, just recommended them :)
    BTW, I'm still making my way through this list - it's a great resource, even though I don't sell.

  17. Be sure to also add to your links ;-)

    Jon - Create Unique Memories

  18. What a great resource! Thank you!

  19. Can we be best friends? LOL I like to make stuff just to make it too. And I'll be in Texas in a couple of weeks!

    Super great list of resources!!


  20. Fantastic list of links! Thank you!

    I just wanted also update you that the Roadmap series is now

    Thanks again!

  21. I chanced upon to view your blog and found it very interesting as well as very informative, i was need such type information, which you have submitted. I really thankful to you, this posting help a huge number of people. Great ... Keep it up!


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