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Start a Handmade Business

Lesson 2 of 39

Creating the Lifestyle You Want

Kari Chapin

Start a Handmade Business

Kari Chapin

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Lesson Info

2. Creating the Lifestyle You Want

Lesson Info

Creating the Lifestyle You Want

Hi I think this is the most nervous moment I've been waiting for this to happen for so long and beginnings are always a little bit scary which I think is true whether you are starting a business or coming on to creative life so I'm so glad that we're all here though, and I'm very grateful to be a creative live and especially to be in seattle it was really important to me to come to a town to do this first workshop where I already felt really comfortable and really loved the creative community that seattle has and where there are so many people that I like so much and I'm very grateful to be here and excited for these next three days part of why I like seattle so much is because it matches the vibe in the community really match what I wanted to create for myself which is why I started my own business five years ago after I was laid off from a job that I had that I really loved and I think that one of the main reasons that we all want to start a creative businesses because we are actuall...

y looking for a kind of lifestyle that we want to create for ourselves and that that's where we usually get started we want something a little bit different whether it is to not work for somebody else whether it is tio have more control over what we what we do with our days and how we spend our time that it just doesn't start with I have an idea and I'm going to make a million dollars it starts it starts somewhere else with the feeling that you want tio make something different for yourself and you want to create something and I think that that's something that we all have in common is that we want tio have a very specific kind of life that speaks to the kind of person that we are, and then we figure out how to put a business into that, which is why we're here. I wanted to say that for you to make the most of this course there's a couple of things I want you all to deal, and the first thing I'd like everyone to do is really participate one of the most important things about working for yourself and having a business and working at home and, um and working at home and trying to figure out howto build and create and sustain that life you want is building community. I can tell you that nothing really wonderful happens in your life if you don't have people around you who can understand that and you want to support you and you want to be a part of that whether it is selling your work, whether it is trying to figure out how to do a certain aspect of your business or whether it is doing an event like this your community is really what comes together to lift you up and to support you when you're trying to do anything new and so if you're just starting out and you aren't feeling very established and you're not sure where to find people, I'd like us all to focus on this opportunity of being together creative live right now as a way to start our community and if you already have a community, this is a great way to grow your community. I'm going to ask you a lot over the next three days to share things on twitter or instagram and may be connected to your twitter if you can using a specific hashtag and that way we can all find each other so if you find somebody else he's using the hashtag you can look at their work you can figure out where to find them and you can grow your own network and grow your own community which is really going to be the one of the best parts of the foundation of your business that you can build and so please participate and share your questions and share your stories or your comments if you have a great situation that you can relate back tio something somebody else is going through whether it's in the chat room are on social media or something that we're talking about please chip chip in chime in and in time, in time, in time, worship, whatever, whatever you want to dio your musical, you khun time, and if you're you know, handy, you can ship whatever, maybe play some poker in there, just take a gamble, but get involved, because that is how we build things by involving them by involving other people. If I just wrote a book but never tried to share with readers, then I wouldn't be here today, I wouldn't be anywhere that I've gone for the past five years if I wasn't really untested in building my community and trying to do that in the best ways that I can so contribute, participate, and is there any contribute and participate and use the workbook? So in the workbook, the workbook is actually something I've always wanted, tio create it's, sort of a companion piece to the handmade marketplace and grow your handmade business, and I've I've never been able tio get anybody to agree, tio, like, actually make this with me. So I'm really glad that I'm doing creative life because I was able to do it here and it's, just space for you to actually write down the things that we're talking about, so instead of you needing to get a notebook or worrying about using something precious or you can type on your computer screen, you can print it out, although it is pretty big, so I don't know about that exactly, but it is black and white, so if you did decide to print it, it's not going to use any color ink, which is a little bit of savings, but the workbook is really important to me because I really wanted to make a space for people to actually do the work, eliminate one more excuse from actually getting started. We're moving forward and so really, really excited about that. Um, so with that being said, I know that you guys had a great pre show where we heard a little bit about from everybody a little bit from everybody, but I was wondering if in this studio audience, if you could to share your name with me in the name of your business, so people online confined you and if you are online, if you would like tio, talk to us in the chat rooms and say what your name and your business is or what kind of business you would like to create, I would love to know more about that. And so it is nice to meet you. I'm glad that you're all here and please again share with us, which you guys please say your name's, heather salisbury dot com by other I um makes me the artist and on instagram my name is creatively happy one creatively happy one yeah that's the number one r o n e o n e o n e o n ly yeah so and I'm a mixed media mixed media artist okay I saw you you ride motorcycles right there aye dios mio adventure that's a whole different thing but that's my youtube channel that's the happy thought ok happy yeah hi kathy and I have a business called kathy's routes and I guess I'm kind of a creative graphic designer turned creative problem solver s so I'm just trying to get ways tio find new ways to use this pew cliff that my mother and invited invented and then create like new products like all right other things that got cancer you're going to develop a whole line yes develop whole line and then use my illustrative accretive ability to do new patterns and colors and you know things up and do some fun stuff so the practical side is the product and then the fun side is the decorating illustrating ok, so you get a lot of different things I have a shop called kathy kathy drops and perhaps at yeah whatever that yeah and then a looks like kathy shops dot com ok thank you so fun to be here. Thanks. Yeah so glad and I'm glad you're here thank you um I'm aaron duncan and I have my business is rembered arts w r e n I haven't etc shop as well as the website and that's renberg arts dot com friend bird art stopped wonderful thanks! Hi, I'm kathy and my business is catch I craftsy eighty as h y crafts hatch shy cat chai craft hacks shy cress ok and I have a website catch sight crafts that calm and my etc shop is also catch I crafts and all my social media. I have an instagram account and facebook and twitter also catching thanks for coming hi, I'm leslie home! I have a nazi and a facebook page that both klein odd reflects k l e I and nobody um and I have a blogger and a twitter that are both climate reflects and on my block is a explanation of what climate is all about on my make handmade jewelry, and I'm really, really excited to be here guys have to say, when I saw you talking in the teaser about this class, I cried, I'm really excited to be here because you were like, I love that you're bringing tears to my eyes that beautiful, beautiful cat, thank you so much for coming. I am very happy that you're here I fell on know marlo and I'm a jeweler, I can be found on twitter and instagram that I'm a cute stuff and yeah, you know, I'm really looking forward to this class actually because I'm thinking about kind of expanding my my custom jewelry line into the bridal market some kind of focusing on that went on here so it's going to be people are always getting married I weighed could only get pets to marry that way okay, nice to have more than you and also full disclosure rosalie is my real life friends and my super sweet petting powell we send each other letters in the mail way d'oh and my shop is called ugly baby and ivan etc shop you can also find it at shower art dot net we're going to talk about that shop name in a little while ugly baby that's where you can find rosalie so thank you very very glad that you're here ok there you carry yeah if we share a couple from yeah well I in that sort of minding that really, really so jennifer lynn eyes online and she says my business is called nightly doodles I'm an illustrator who specializes in whimsical puny illustrations I just wrote and illustrated and encouraging book for teen girls and strive to save the world one doodle out of time and my book is called how being stubborn, depressed and unpopular saved my life what's wonderful I've actually seen that book and I got that she's here yeah, she had a kickstarter and it was really popular my community and it's great great that you're here jennifer that's really cool howto howto save the world one doodle at a time, mary well someone people sharing their stories we dio way have hello my business aim is scavenger anne and she's from cheshire are england on she has is an alternative embroider and seam stress well, thank you. So having any england's? Yes, this's international you guys serious? Speaking of international a vera cosman it was from kuala lumpur, malaysia said I don't have a business yet although I'm hoping to start one soon I've got my supply of chocolate so I hope I managed stay awake I hope so too well and I'd like to see some people who are currently working in one area and then looking to like marlo expand into something else. This is a perfect time for those people to so we have jordan bowers, who has an empty shop and a blogged cotton fox shop on etc and cotton fox dot see a dog must be in canada. I have been making women's fashion and jewelry but I am taking a break from those products and hoping to start in baby products so do you find that a lot carry that people are in one area and then decide that that maybe is not quite right and switch around yeah, I think a part of that is his inspiration is just everywhere. So it's really easy to start doing something. And if you maintain a creative habit, even if you do something for fifteen minutes a day, that sort of letter brain know that you're really open to being inspired all the time. And so the more momenta mu keep, even if it's small, the more things will come to you. So it is. You know, when I started writing books, I never really thought that I would be a teacher, but it just everything evolves and changes which is number one a fantastic reason to own your own business, because you can make those decisions and number two the more you work, the more work comes to you. The more you create, the more creative you get tweet that eyes a perfect you carry on with their very lives. Yes, anyone else, sir, we'll have so many ways you have australia, australia awesome! I wonder what it's in the middle of them that's? Why that's? Why our person joining us from malaysia said they needed to say wait because it's in the middle of the night they're going to be with a rio de janeiro julia from rio that's exciting, really global global very make more well, thanks so much well, I think that where we're going to start out after after we've gotten going a little bit here is to really talk about what do we value in our work? What makes us all want to do this really understanding who you are and we're coming from and that kind of life that you want tio lead and create is where a successful business starts and we're going to talk about how we're going to set ourselves up for success with intentions, goals and tasks and this is a really great way to manage our to do list and figure out what we want to dio and when we want to do it it's really eso easy justus a person who is living to get caught up in details and feel like there's never enough time and I'm not really sure what I'm doing and so we're going to try to figure that out and help it out a little bit on dh then later we're going to talk tio my good friend emily mcdowell who is a stationary designer and she just was at the national stationary show in new york city where she won five louis awards, which is phenomenal exciting she has a business that really took off and we have some great examples of her work to share and show you and then we're going to talk also today about your business story and your brands and why you want to have this business, how you're going to create it, and how that's going to come together in a cohesive vision, and we're going to do a lot of digging into if your sales aren't so great if you're feeling like you're not getting the traffic that you want her, that you desire, how to make that happen by working on who you're really talking, teo and how you can best communicate with them with your words and with your look and then later this afternoon we're going tio talk all about craft shows that we're actually going to make a booth live here on the stage. I have a special guest coming in, kate terry, who is a wonderful visual merchandiser, and she's going to come and help somebody from our studio audience creates a booth from the ground up. We're going to see some great before and after pictures and really figure out how to make that booth pop. And then on day two, we're going to do some online business basics. We're going to talk about marketing, which is my absolute favorite business topic that I love so much, and we're going to have special guests will ceverett and betsy cross from. The brand betsy and I a jewelry dot com they have such a great story and a really wonderful people they just had this big expansion to their business they really are a great example of smart growth innovation and teamwork they're husband and wife team so I don't know about anybody else but if you've ever worked with your spouse it be super toe have some really positive examples of how that can work out tio to be the best, but we're also tomorrow going to do a small object photography workshop with marlow is going tio teach us how to use what we have at home or what we can easily get to take the best photographs of our small work that we have and I'm really excited about that because foot arrests are the number one thing that people say they're caused them to buy or didn't I when they're on your online shop so we're going toe solve some problems there and figure a couple of things out and we're going to go into the behind the scenes of your business, which is something that we all have tio stay focused on even though sometimes it doesn't feel like the most fun part but without that stuff you can't have the good stuff so we're definitely going to be in there and doing that and then on day three blog's websites and social media everybody loves to talk about that business planning and why I believe you need at least a one page business plan sort of build yourself a math to figure out where you want to go, we're going to do that. We're going to have a great p r and media segment where we talk about getting media attention for your business, whether it's online or local media or even print media. So we're going to figure out how to make pitches. How to tell your story what's the hook how can you get some attention from other companies or big blog's? How can you find influential people that can help you out? And so we have a special guest for that to my friend christina, and then we're going to wrap up on day three with business brainstorming how tio, take your products, how to make everything you make work at least three times free, which is one of my favorite things to dio and we'll have the guest there, claudine helmets, who is a wonderful, wonderful artists, and I hope that you check out her work, I just want to jump in and give a shout out what is so cool about cristina lof of being one of our guests, is that she's a creative, live employees. As well. She is a part of our marketing group, then she's, based down in san francisco. But she came up here to be on the show. She actually does marketing for the craft and maker yunel so it's, a perfect little little mesh. But she thinks I'm excited to hear what she has to say, what's your world, so I'm so glad to do it. When I was trying to think of someone to do that segment with me, I was like, kind of communicating with people a few people, and I found myself saying, like tina, who would be so great? And I was like, hey there, what are you doing on wednesday, june fourth, and then also, could you please come to seattle? So I'm really glad that that worked out, because it's going to be fantastic, and we're going to get a great behind the scenes glimpse of that from a real pro.

Class Description

Most artists and crafters are easily inspired to create new work, but getting inspired to build a business that shares that work with the world can sound like a much more daunting prospect. Kari Chapin, author of The Handmade Marketplace and Grow Your Handmade Business, is ready to teach you everything you need to know to break into the online marketplace and share your work with the world.

Kari will help you determine the online sales venue that’s best suited to your handmade goods. You’ll learn about the pros and cons of both selling through an existing online marketplace (like Supermarket or Etsy®) and setting up your own independently-operated website. You’ll also develop the optimal marketing strategy for sharing your products with the world, from social media to blogging to branding and packaging. Kari will cover essential best practices for running a successful crafting business, including confidently setting price points, creating media kids, acting as your own publicist, and much more.

No matter what you make, this course will give you the confidence to see the things you have to offer as uniquely valuable to customers, the inspiration to take your work to new heights, and the foundation you need to ensure your business’s success.



Kari Chapin's course, Start a Handmade Business, was a game-changer for me. Her content was presented in such an accessible, engaging, easy-to-digest, and oftentimes hilarious way. At the same time, she did not sugar-coat things. Having a handmade business is a job and requires work. I love that she emphasized that fact. Not only did she give the nut and bolts of how to start a handmade business but spent a lot of time on the emotional component of being an artist trying to sell her work. Her guests (Skype and in-studio) were well-chosen and showed the rapport she has with her community. This showed that she lives what she teaches. The interaction with the studio audience and online community was integral to the course because it showed real-life examples of business owners at varying stages in their career. (I was so lucky to be one of the studio audience members. I will forever be grateful for this opportunity!) This class was a comprehensive look at handmade businesses that everyone from fledgling businesses to more established businesses can benefit from. I highly recommend this course! Thank you Kari for sharing your mind-blowing wisdom and warm and fuzzy heart with us! And thank you CreativeLive for having this awesome resource for the creative community! --Cathy Pascual,


Well, it's been a few days since the course and I am still pumped. Kari said a few things in particular that I needed to hear and I'm so grateful for that. I have been involved in the facebook group she put together and I am so happy about that. It's an awesome resource and my fellow creatives have been very helpful and encouraging. I totally recommend this course to any creative entrepreneur at any stage in their journey. Plus she is cute, funny and has just the right amount of snarkiness. I so enjoyed it!

a Creativelive Student

I loved this course with Kari Chapin! Her wealth of information delivered with such an honest and funny voice was refreshing and inspiring. I have accomplished things in the last few days that have languished on my to-do list for a year or more, largely due to this class. Kari is very down-to-earth and just plain adorable! I highly recommend this course for anyone creative who has or wants to have their own business.