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Monetize Your Craft

Lesson 6 of 10

Licensing & Product Development

Vickie Howell

Monetize Your Craft

Vickie Howell

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Lesson Info

6. Licensing & Product Development

Lesson Info

Licensing & Product Development

So licensing and product development this is this is a next step so this is not something that you're going you know unlike teaching which we did before the break where that's you could you could do that you could walk out the door and make that happen for yourself you know, relative amount of time this is something you need to work up to a little bit you need to establish yourself enough that a company is going tio want tio invest their money to co brand and promote your name unless you decide to do it completely on your own which is an option and we'll talk a little bit about that this is just this's a ball of one of my errands from one of my urine lines sheepish it used to be available and jo ann stores mainstream stores and that's a little hat that I designed on it and that's really all I have to say about that so that so what they did this is kind of a licensing deal in a sense so I picked I knew what kind of I wanted to roving urine which is becoming your lettuce and I and I paid...

tam picked all of the colors myself so in that way I kind of designing urine but I'm not back there I mean I had nothing to do with the spending more than anything the anything so really it's kind of product development but it's also licensing because this is what I needed for my branding so for me because what I do involves sort of in a way I'm kind of my own product I need that I need that name that logo to be on things but I'm also a designer so it's it's a it's kind of a a dual purpose thing so I'm I've had a couple of years or one two, three, four five six seven different yearns over the past I just have a high end one and then this is ah mid range one yarns and I'm hoping to have some tools and I also going to have a bunch of kits coming out so there's a lot of different ways that you can create your own products and but I wanted tio bring on some friends of mine to talk about product development and licensing because they are killing it right now on this category so these are my buddies kathy and steve I know them back from the days when we all had shows on the network and hd tv they were the hosts of creative juice remember? Yeah um I adore them I adore them. I was once trapped in a house and then in vermont in a blizzard with them it was actually a bunch of hosts it was it was a blizzard with valentine's day blizzard we're all shooting a christmas special and um we had gotten this house and it's not slumming it I mean there were heated floors in a wine cellar we were fine but it was all the cast and crew we got snowed in and steve blesses all hard he thought he would take a shovel in and get us out of there it was awesome so I just love them I've been in touch and I really I really respect them so they they're also their their spokespeople for mod podge so what they did is they aligned themselves with a really solid already existing brand but then they built on that by creating their own products so they have over fifty mod podge products that they now have their own picture on his well then they have over two hundred jewelry pop products for a separate jewelry line that they have then they have their hot glue glue gun helper which is what they're holding right there and they're mod melters which is this product right there and they actually invented those on dh they invented thie helpers so they are really just shining beacons of examples of how you can be a creative entrepreneur. So without further ado dio let's chat with kathy and steve if they're ready hi buddies on just for the record I almost got us out of that cabin with your stuff I can't even tell you we all lined up chairs like with wine against the windows and were just like, oh, this is good we just sat there watched him like I'm getting audio like I finally he was like just give me a glass of water also knows also even there's worse things to have happened then had a bunch of awesome people together who are crafting creative in vermont right? It was good times it was good times but it was fun it was a great memory so you have really as I was saying in the intro you've really killed it in this category and I wanted you to talk about a couple of things first of all, I wanted to talk about in general what your arrangement is so I want you to talk to people about what the differences between just licensing your name or developing a product and then we're going to move them on a little bit later and talk about why you chose to go with a particular company versus on your own so you want to start there? Yeah yeah there and you know we're a little bit different as faras you know, we basically for the most part invent products and designed the lines opposed to um let's say versus like an illustrator who would take the license name and put it onto a product so we're inventors we invent things for the craft industry tio make things better and so for us that you know, the licensing aspect of what we do have our names, brandon on a few things, but for the most part we invent the new systems or the new crafting tools says we have a lot of tools out there too, so we're not necessarily inventing the paintbrush because that's been around forever, but we are inventing, you know, how small we need it to pete, the little tiny barred melts and things like that. So for us, I would say we're more of a product development and venture type then we are licensing type, but we've got time surprise, obviously that do licensing more, and I think there's benefits to both sides are absolutely open and it's also kind of well, you know me and care for you are such a team where I think for us to be able to invent different ideas and products is a lot easier having the math right now because I can come up with an idea and she'll be like no and the reasons why I would have done it on my own, I would have put so much energy into it because your solo and you having somebody to bounce things off of his very important other than family and friends who are very great idea yes, yes, yes, but when you have a partner helping you with that you know, you work through it and say, well, these are the reasons why we shouldn't do it or absolutely, this is fantastic let's go for it benefit teo, I often say, gosh, I wish I had somebody just to bounce those ideas off of that the way that you guys have with each other, your relationship is just invaluable talk a little bit about because I actually didn't know that you were prime minister, primarily inventing, I feel like I've known you for so many years, and I find out new things all the time. But with interesting to me is you have these two creative types who are creating things, right? You're creating all kinds of crafty things. So what is the transition like? Is that a natural transition from going to creating an artwork piece to actually creating are developing a product well for us, because many time most like our entire mold system came about because I wanted to be able to make the same embellishment over and over and over and over again without spending a fortune. So most of the times, our products, our design and invented because of a need that we see and you know, what happened was we were actually doing a product where we needed a little little I remember what a water that's, a bird or something you know, you went to the craft store to buy three birds and it cost you three, ninety nine, but we needed one hundred of them. Yeah, so that's, where the cold mold system came out, you could actually make one hundred little birds for but, you know, at that point to it's, like so for us, when we're when we're making and designing whatever being art piece, or so in case wherever we're constantly thinking, like what's cool could make this easier. What can make this faster? What what's out there that could needs a twist like so we're always thinking, what's, the next level of what we're doing and that's a great that's a great point, just what needs a twist so you don't always inventing a product doesn't always mean, you know, starting from absolute scratch, if you could do that and you find something than rock on, but a lot of times it's just putting your own initial spin or your own personal spin on it, you might see a theme here I said the same thing about teaching you need to find your own niche and so talk a little bit about your for me, like the big leap that when I really noticed that you were inventing really noticed was when you you came out with your hot glue gun helpers tell me about what that process was like how did how did that come about? Because if you look at it it was it's such I like of course of course you will use silicon why would you not talk to them about what? What hot glue gun helpers are and then how that came to fruition? You want to say what happened, theo okay, so the helpers basically was a tool kit that came about because we were so sick of burning our fingertips on hot glue so we thought, why not have you know, just a finger cap can't we might not have one sitting there? Why not just have a finger cap that's made out of silicone it's heat resistant so that then you could actually stick your finger in hot glue and number of yourself so again that on that started yeah, there they are the same life manicure so many times they're brilliant. So what s so you take something that's a simple is just this little finger caps but the way then what's the next thing so then there was glue tools and paddles at the map we didn't invent a silicone matt but what we did come up with is a way to package it all together and presented for the crestor because that's you know, put a hot guy here that's liking what go well, and because you think of silicon, you probably think about baking right, but that's a natural progression, it's just one of those, of course, of course it's heat that's perfect. They also made a pink so that you could really see them on the aisle. That was also brilliant. That was brilliant, thie original, the original prototype that we have for them that was a was a baking that it was a big that and it was like, you know, but I'll tell you one thing that happens to we wanted it to be four times the size that it was so it would roll out on your tire dining room table. People leave a lot of people craft on their dining room tables or their coffee tables, so that was the idea. Well, we got kids waking talk about working with the company a lot of kick back it's frustrating, but we always said, you know, if you stick with something long or not, you're going to be able to benefit from it, so we're back that was supposed to be four times that side never came about because the people on the reasons for they probably thought the price was too high, there is not the real estate in the craft stores when you're selling mainstream craft stores, real estate is everything there's only so there's only one ill for the glue items there's only one or two hours so that that changes everything it's not like a specialty store where they're like I like it. I'll find a place will scoot something over. No, they measure it down to the millimeter so it's done so far in advance. So, like, for any other planets are coming in that that are, like, you know, a year before now they found their spot in the store so it takes a long time. Yeah, yeah. Before I let you go, you just talked about how it can be a challenge working with companies had you did you ever think about just inventing these things on your own and going through the patent process on your own? And, well, the answer to that question, vicki, is absolutely, yes. But the other thing is you. If I had a million dollars, I could do it, and it cost a lot of money to start up, not convey product an idea going into concept into the practice to be made in mountain. It's made its a lot a lot of money. That's great. The great thing about working with companies is they do put up all that money up front. They do, do they meet with the retailers they meet with the marketing people all that and that they do we get the opportunity to basically design it make sure it's perfect before it goes out in the stores and they take care of the rest and they have in house chemists I mean they're not if they're not back there trying to figure out how to make that hot glue like the perfect shade of sparkly pink I'm assuming yes if you are the exact or what or what what degree that he needs to be set at like they got help is what I'm saying even for example suck they they have help on dhs that's another thing to know if you have an idea but you're like I don't actually know how to make this brings us to fruition that's ok just have clear drawings a great blurb maybe do some kind of a mock up even if it's like I just did a market for this loom that I wanted to try and get made and it was like a little piece of balsa wood and he's like tiny little framing needles it was a hot mess but they're like ok, we see where you're going with it they just need visual representation yeah in total that's in development and from the dollar store mere so that's far going yeah it doesn't have to look perfect along the council kind of gets across with words and drawings you're good yeah and I think the other thing that's important is the why like why you need to have this maid who's going to craft with it? Who is going to purchase this? Why is it heated and that's, a big the half of the battle, just convincing incorporate people who usually don't craft at all. Yeah, why this is needed, and I think the other great thing is, don't waste your time on e talk. This is hard to say, like an idea that might it's got to be really solid, always a lot of time with companies and yourself, your own personal time by trying to flush out this idea. That's not gonna quite work, that makes sense. Yeah, yeah, really, really great information. Thank you guys so much for being here with me. Miss you guys already? I saw them recently at a craft conference, but we're always working so we don't get to really hang out, but so awesome to see them. You should check them out on social media. We've got that up on the slide right now for you to find them and also in the bonus materials all of the people that I'm mentioning today, whether it's, just a quote or their guest, I mentioned them at all, even if I'm pointing out just a picture that I took. I put there you earl in there because I think it's really nice to see other artists, other die wires and what they're doing to be inspired and also maybe uses just a resource. All right, um, I have one little coat for you from somewhere, some from another friend. His name is ed roth. He owns a company called stencil one. You may have seen his stencils in aaron brothers. I think I believe that they're in. They might be in michael's. He's. He's got a lot of placement. He does a really cool, funky kind of urban inspired stencils. He's really, really inspiring. And I wanted to ask him for if he had a little tip for anyone for for all of you about licensing and he said, when licensing your art, make sure to ask the company to sign a non compete. This is a big deal to prevent them from squeezing you out of the formula later, people, I mean, you want you want to have faith in people, I totally get that, but you're a business person, so if they think like, well, I love this like daisy stencil, but if I just made it a poppy and did it myself, I could squeeze, I don't to pay royalties anybody I've already created this base because I had this name designer well, that's how that's, how independent designers, you know, get screwed to be honest with you. So just be smart, be smart and if your gut is telling you that you can't trust people or this isn't a good deal, don't think it's going to be the only time you ever get offered anything it's really important to trust your instincts, all right, before we end this. Listen, I have a call to action for everyone. I want you to do your own research of the craft genre and see what tools of the craft one of yours choice and see what tools our missing whatever it is that you love to do if you love to paint if you love toe craft beer if you love toe right music if you love to knit whatever it is if you've ever found yourself making something and like had to jimmy rig something to work, write that down because it could be a potential tool eso just come up with three three and remember remember what kathy and steve said it could be something that exists already but in a totally unrelated genre so make it translate into whatever your genre is good yeah, we have a question from the online audience that they're licensing a pot spot would like to know can you give advice about negotiating, licensing and royalty fees? Get a lawyer I mean honestly it's hard it's hard it's hard especially when you're starting out tio spend the money on that, but if you can have somebody and even if you just pay a paralegal, it doesn't have to you have to go full on full on lawyer have somebody look over those terms um she's asking about negotiating like individual terms she didn't give details, but it sounds that way yeah, yeah um I would also do some some web searches on dh look up different deals there's so much information now at that at the your fingertips do your research first but I highly, highly recommend not to put your signature on that line until you've had somebody who knows the law. Look at it don't, but you have to also be really realistic. Your company is not going to give you a fifty percent royalty there, just not it's, usually between about three and ten percent, depending on if it's mass market, which means they're going to be making there. Going to be producing fifty thousand hundred thousand pieces of town of peace, is the percentage will be a lot lower because you're working on mass. If it's a smaller boutique, you'll probably get a higher percentage, but they're going to make less of them, so it'll vary the percentage of very but just do your research and have somebody else look.

Class Description

If you’re a maker, chances are you want to make things – not spend time chasing down opportunities to monetize your art. Let this course do that work for you! Whether you’re a knitter, crocheter, artist, designer, sewist, or a master of any other craft, this class will teach how to make money with your hobby.

This class will help you take the drive you put into your making and translate it into earnings. Vickie Howell is an author, designer, TV host, maker, spokesperson, brand ambassador and consultant. In this class, she will teach how to you:

  • Pitch your ideas to publishers 
  • Get your creations licensed 
  • Feel confident when selling, and talking about your craft 
  • Promote yourself and your craft 
You’ll get inspired by first-hand advice from Vickie’s guests including editors, web celebs, working artists, company reps, and bloggers.

Whether you’re a stay-at-home parent looking to supplement your family’s income or a maker already profiting in the creative business of your choice, this course will offer the insight, inspiration, and tactical advice to help you craft the business of your dreams.


Beatrice Alatorre

Love, love, love Vickie!! Her class had a lot of informative topics that I know I will use! Thank you Creative live for such an awesome class!! I love seeing what other classes I am interested in taking!!!

Kristen McDonnell

Hi, Everyone! I was one of the lucky few today who spent time live in studio with Vickie Howell! Vickie has always been a crafting inspiration to me. Today, she took crafting inspiration to a whole new level, with in depth professional insight into all the facets of making money doing what we love... crafting! She is organized, experience, on point and completely invigorated the entire room to ACTION! Our lunch conversations were lively, immediately following this course, on all the exciting things we felt called to action to begin immediately to develop the crafting career of our dreams. A huge thank you to Vickie Howell and CREATIVELIVE! *Kristen. Studio Knit on YouTube!

Jennifer Purtee

This class is amazing!!!! I learned so many new things. The "guests" were amazing and very helpful and give some great insider tips. Thank you Vickie!!!!!