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How to Build a Business While Learning Your Craft

Lesson 23 of 30

Student Examples: Finding Your Focus

 

How to Build a Business While Learning Your Craft

Lesson 23 of 30

Student Examples: Finding Your Focus

 

Lesson Info

Student Examples: Finding Your Focus

- [Megan] I do want to do a little Hot Seat just to see if anyone is struggling with finding their focus or if they feel like their focus should be a little more refined. And I'd love to get somebody up here to talk about that a little bit. So is anyone is feeling brave they want to go? All right, so tell us who you are what you do. - [Jordan] I'm Jordan Bowers, I make children's toys and bows, which I don't have with me. So I make these little bunnies, and then I also have a line of foxes that I don't have with me today. Yeah, I'm just feeling the focus is not super there. It is focused in the way that I'm presenting it, but in the background, I'm like, "Oh, but I want to do like a clothing line, like a capsule wardrobe for toddlers. And I want to... - As soon as you said that I was like, "I want you to do that too." - I'm like, "Oh, but maybe I also want to do children's house-wear type of things. Like decorative things for children's rooms and stuff. And I feel like it's not a crazy...

stretch, but it is another step. But I also feel...like right now I do these bunnies and I do hair bows for little girls, and I feel like there needs to be a third thing. I think in one of your classes you talk about that. - Yeah. So I'm a big fan of this like two things looks weird, three things look like different collections. So, in your case, really the best strategy is you have these points of focus, let's figure out what that best third thing is so that you can move forward in that. But first, let's talk about why you're feeling like you want to do all these things. Is it because you have a ton of ideas or is it because you feel you're going to sell more if you have more product or is a little bit of both? - I think it's a little bit of both. I'm always full of ideas. You're like, uh-uh, Pinterest, Instagram is dangerous territory for me. But at the same time, I do feel like I don't really want to make bunnies for my whole life forever. - That's valid. - Yeah. [crosstalk] - And just stretching myself creatively, but also I think of a capsule children's wardrobe like there's a market for that. - Right, right. Yeah, because capsule wardrobe is so in and so can you do it for kids? So, let's talk about maybe what are some of the different... (inaudible) So what are some of the different ideas? So you have the capsule children's wardrobe, what else are you considering as maybe a potential and another idea? - More like things for a kid's room. So you can make these fabric bins or... Yeah, and things that I can look at and even if I haven't made it before I'm like "Oh yeah, I can make that." Like I can figure it out. - So what are you seeing? And I know you have the bunnies and you have the bows. Why are people buying these? Are they buying them because, in this case, their kids are actually playing them or are they buying them more like decoration or are they buying them because they want a sort of heirloom that they can hand down? What do you feel like as a general motivation why your customers are buying this product? - That's a really good question. I do feel like it's a combination. I try and advertise because most of my competitors who make human dolls, not animal dolls, most of their toys are very light-play only, like display only. And so I try and encourage like, "These are made...you can swing them around. Yeah, you can chew on them and it's okay or..." So I try and advertise that as a selling feature. So I think sometimes people do buy that because it's like, "Oh, I want to buy handmade for my kid, but my kid is rough on things. So I need something that I can let them chew on or..." Okay. And then, why are people buying the bows? - The bows, I think it's just a trend. And I have a bit of a corner market. In Canada, there's not a lot of those sellers at this point. - So, when you're thinking about say the baskets or the decor in the kids' room versus the clothing, what do you see the parent who's buying this or buying the bow gravitating towards buying? - I feel like the parent who's buying this...oh, that's hard to say. I feel like the parent who's buying this at the price point that I would like to put it at would probably gravitate towards the clothing more. I feel if they're buying this, they're probably socially conscious of like, "Okay, I want something that's like North America made and I like this aesthetic." And yes. So I can see that more but I can also see someone going and being like, "Oh, I'm buying this bunny. Oh, and I'll grab these bins that match." And like, "I'm decorating my child's room and I want it to have the same style." - Yeah. So my gut lends towards the clothes for a couple of reasons, from what you just said. And I also think because you're talking about like, "This is the thing that the kid can actually throw around or whatever and it's going to hold up." And I assume that your clothing is also going to be clothing that a child can wear and play with it where they look cute, but you don't have to worry so much that they're going to rub a hole in it the first time they wear it. So I think a parent is going to appreciate that. And I think because people are buying these really because they're thinking like, "Okay, I can actually use them." That to me means they're more interested in the experiences that their child is actually having with products than they are with just making their kids' room look cute. - Yeah, that's true. - Which also lends itself towards the clothes and the capsule collection. And that can feel like a natural extension of the bows. And then the other thing that you can look at is like, "Okay, I have this bow and I have this doll who is wearing a dress, and now my kid is wearing a same or a coordinating dress and the bow." So I think there's a way to do that capsule kids line without it feeling like it's coming out of left field. Especially if you keep it small to start. So if you're thinking about that as an idea... So you feel like that's something you could work on over the next few months? Like you feel like, "Okay, with committing to it" or does that make you feel a little nervous. - That makes me feel nervous. Just because, like at this point, I have an 18-month-old and a three-year-old. And I'm home with them all day, and my husband's a teacher. So the idea of when will I even do that? I don't sleep already so. Okay. So I think there are a couple things to keep in mind here. One, you don't have to do it right away. There is no rule about that. And the other thing is you can think about rolling it out slowly and one piece at a time. So even though you know that your end goal is like, "I want to be this capsule wardrobe collection, maybe I'm just going to give myself the project of I'm going to start by designing one really great little girl's dress. And that's all I'm going to do." And so that maybe is something that then it starts to bridge that gap and could feel a little bit more doable, and it gives you that permission to say like, "I'm going to do a little bit more but I don't have to completely go crazy designing a whole new collection." Yes. Yes, because that seems like you're like, "Okay, that would have to be these many things and this many colors." And that's a lot, that's like months and months of a normal person going to work and working... - Exactly. And I feel like even though you have like the bunnies and the foxes, at the end of the day, you have a plush thing and a bow, and so i think you would add in one piece of clothing and it's not going to seem weird. Yeah, because at this point, definitely, the feedback I've gotten at crafters is people come up and they're like, "So you put the bows on the bunnies or like..." And like, No, no. Not at all." [crosstalk] - Right. So now it's like, "Okay, here's the dress that your daughter wears with the bow while she holds the bunny." And suddenly, it's the complete picture and it's all the same audience, and it's all the same parent. And it all works together. So I think that's a really good way to kind of expand your focus without going off in a totally new direction. - Okay, awesome. - Awesome, thank you. You can sit down. And you can take your bunnies with you or I might just steal them for my friend's kids. Anyone else want to talk about focus or you guys all feeling okay? - [Denise] I have a different question for you. Focus...I feel like my brand, as a whole, is very focused. I find myself, since I do personal and wellness care, a lot of my stuff is very much on the healing side of things like medicinal, natural medicinal stuff. And then the other half is like bath products, like bathing salts, bath soaks. That kind of stuff. And I'm thinking about skincare in the next year or so. So, is that too broad or should I keep it more focused to just one thing? - Bring your products and pop up here. Let's talk about this for a half second. - Okay, Denise Power. I do personal wellness care. All organic, non-GMO. I brought some of my best-sellers. My hand sanitizer is very moisturizing, no alcohol. And muscle relief salve is what I use instead of Ben-Gay or Icy Hot, that kind of stuff. - Yeah. I feel like I want to steal all of your products... - You should use it. - I'm like, "I need this right now. My feet my legs are tired of standing." What I'm doing? - Hand sanitizer. - Oh, I probably need that too. - We can hand it around. - Lovely. All right. So, if your issue is that you feel like you have these two things that don't feel as related as you think they should be, right? Explain that again. - I'm afraid because I do have a lot this realm, the muscle relief salve, I have a burn relief salve, congestion relief. The relief area, medicinal. And then I also in the past little bit have rolled out like bathing salts and more like in the beauty realm of things. So I'm afraid of it getting too spread, too different so that it's all... - Yeah. So I think in your case, it's almost like your perception of it is different than maybe how a customer would perceive it. Because when I hear those two separate things, to me they don't feel as unrelated because they all live in my bathroom. - That's what I'm hoping, but I don't want to just assume that that's what other people see. - No, that really is the case. I don't look at this and think like, "This is a totally disparate idea." But now I'm curious if maybe you're talking about them in a way that's showing that uncertainty and if there's a way to address that. So like when you say, "I make personal wellness products," that might actually even be confusing. What's interesting about that is that I don't really know what that means. - Yeah. And that was like me trying to run everything in like I make personal care and wellness care. Like deodorant and healing things. And so, maybe I just need to come up with a better way of describing what I do. - That's what I'm thinking. That's actually why I made you come up here because I think that's really the conversation we need to have. Is like how are you describing it? - Because I know a lot of people say I do apothecary stuff. But I'm afraid of there's so many people who call it apothecary. I don't want to just be... - And all I think of when I hear apothecary is that episode of "Friends" where Ross finds the apothecary table, right? I really do, I'm not even kidding. And how do you guys I know that I can drop all these "Friends" references and you won't judge me. I'm sure you're judging me anyway, right? But for me, and I think anyone who is about my age, probably has that same response when they hear the word apothecary. They don't think products they think, "My apothecary table." And more people are going to think that because MTV just started re-airing all the episodes of "Friends." So now, a whole new generation is going to think, "My apothecary table." So, what are some other ways... So if you were to walk into a store, how are they describing these types of products? - Well, that's the thing, they're in two different places. - Okay, so where are they in the store then? - Well, definitely, the muscle relief, congestion relief, that would be with the medicines. And then, the bath salts and the oatmeal soaks, and that kind of thing would be with bath, and soaps, and shampoos. - So they are technically in different areas, but at the same time, when I picture say my Target, those things are... - They're all in the same... - ...they're all in the same little area. So what's the all-encompassing... What have you been calling it? Personal wellness? - Personal and wellness care. - So, what do you guys think? Do you guys... Self-care. Body care. - Healthcare, body care? - Yeah, like personal body care. But there is like... - I feel like personal and body is redundant. - [crosstalk] - So, can we just say body care? Okay, can we just say body care. - When I say 'body care' of a lot of people think, "Oh, so you make soap and lotions?" I'm like, "Well yeah, I have a body butter." That was like our original, that and the hand sanitizer. But I also have like the burn relief and the muscle relief and that kind of thing. People don't think of healing-type things when they think of body care. - Righ. You can't go so specific. You can't say 'skin' because you do things more things than the skin because you have the dry shampoo and other things. - Right. Face wash. Yes. - What else? I mean, have you guys also thought... - I think self-care. That's... - Self-care? - Yeah. - Matt. - And adding what makes your product different than like something you buy at Target is the natural aspects... - And that's why I always try to tell them it's all organic it's all non-GMO [crosstalk] essential oils... - ...or like natural you. Something like that connection rather than just describing like, "It's like different types of like care thingies." It's natural... - Essential oil-based product. - Sarah. - [Sarah] I would maybe research. I know people that own an acupuncture studio and then they also make salves like what you're talking about. So maybe research people in the health industry how they're describing it. Because it does seem to relate to that kind of a person more than just generic shopping for soap at Target. It's more of a targeted audience. - Right. And the other thing I think...okay, so how do you describe it in a way that reflects exactly what you do for the customer? So it's almost like we make it so that every product in your bathroom that goes on your body can be natural. Like you could stock your entire bathroom with our products. From the medicine cabinet to the bathtub. Yeah. So I think thinking about it that way too like you, instead of trying to think about like a category, you own a room of the house. And so how can you use that to describe it? And not only do you own a room in the house but you make everything for that house that's completely natural. Like safe to use. - Yeah. That's the whole reason we did this was I wanted...like technically you could eat everything that we make. So, your kids, when they get into stuff, you don't have to worry that they're going to die of poison. That was the whole reason we started the company in the first place. So... - Right. Well, and I know we're talking about focus here, but I also think like it's okay if focus presents other opportunities. So now I think if my whole thing is like I own the bathroom, you can also make some natural bathroom cleaning products too, and then you could literally own the bathroom. And so it's like, "Okay, my medicine cabinet is low, under the sink is low, go to Denise's website, stock, stock, stock. My bathroom is done. And I know that my kids can eat all of it, not that they should. - I don't recomment it. - Not that they should, but I don't have to worry that what I'm putting on my kids is bad, I don't have to worry what I'm putting my on myself is bad. And like you guys own that room. And that I think is a better way to think about it because then all of that stuff is related to your customer. So whether you're trying to deal with a burn or take a relaxing bubble bath or you didn't have time to wash your hair today and so you're throwing on the dry shampoo, you own the bathroom. - That's cool. - Yeah. And that's super focused. - Yeah. - Right? - Mm-hmm. - Awesome. [crosstalk] - ...a little bit to play with there. [crosstalk] - I will trade you. - Wait, I get this and you get me? - Right? It's fair. You still have a little bit of tweaking to do in terms of like the exact language and I think that's a better way to think about it. So it actually keeps you focused but lets you expand at the same time. - That's really cool. - Which is really my favorite kind of focus. Awesome, you can go ahead and have a seat.

Class Description

Are you a maker in the first phase of starting a business? You have a great business idea or beautiful product to sell, but not enough time to focus on both your craft AND selling your product. Well, this class is for you. 

Considered one of the most respected crafters in the business, Megan Auman will show you how you can concurrently work on your craft, grow sales, and focus on marketing initiatives that will get customers in the door. Megan is a designer, metalsmith, educator, and entrepreneur who has built a multi-faceted business around her passion for great design and sustainable business. Her designs have been featured in Design Sponge, Better Homes and Gardens, Cooking Light, and more. 

In this class, she will show you:
  • The who, where, and when of your business; who you should be selling to, where you should sell, and the right time to launch 
  • How to adapt your business and your product line as your business grows 
  • How to make money in the beginning stages of your business that allows you to justify spending more time on your craft
Learn the essential skills needed for having a successful craft business. There's no better time than now, so reserve your spot and turn your craft into a profitable business.

Reviews

Liana Badea
 

I truly enjoyed this class, as it is very detailed, but straight to the point. 30 modules, more than 10 hours, it is so worth it! I also loved the interactive part of it. Building your business from scratch is not easy, there is so much to do. This class gave me some important pointers and valuable guidance, thank you Megan! I strongly recommend this class to anyone who wants to work smarter, not harder and be successful.

Kristen Girard
 

Fantastic class! If you have never taken a Megan Auman class, this is the perfect one to start with. It filled in some knowledge gaps that I didn't know I had. Lots of great basic knowledge that I haven't been able to find elsewhere. Super helpful!

Maike Armstrong
 

First of all, it's so fun to learn from Megan! She is so motivating and enthusiastic – making you feel great about your business even when you are just starting out. The class is well put together, easy to follow and has simple, actionable steps to follow in order to actually move forward. I definitely recommend you check it out for yourself!