Skip to main content

Start a Handmade Business

Lesson 6 of 39

Facing Your Fears

Kari Chapin

Start a Handmade Business

Kari Chapin

Starting under


Get access to this class +2000 more taught by the world's top experts

  • 24/7 access via desktop, mobile, or TV
  • New classes added every month
  • Download lessons for offline viewing
  • Exclusive content for subscribers

Lesson Info

6. Facing Your Fears

Lesson Info

Facing Your Fears

Isn't she fantastic she's like one of my favorites because she's just a truth teller it's hard in our business we all in our community I think that there's like this little mask that people put on like I make this beautiful thing and I have this beautiful website and I am beautiful pet he's always doing really cute stuff and I don't just make a sandwich I make a piece of war artwork that is edible you know that we can feel his hand makers and creative people like yeah what is nobody is like me nobody is like and emily for me anyway really is good about just being really and I really value that and appreciate that and so this is I wanted to show you all that this is the card she made that little over a year later now provides a full time living for more than just her now has caused her work to be sold all over the world can everybody read it it says I know we're not like together or anything but it just felt weird to just not say anything so I got you this card it's not a big deal doesn...

't really mean anything there isn't even a hard on it so basically it's just saying hi forget it and this her getting over the fear of like I can't make a living from stationary or nobody is going to pay four dollars for this card or I really can't have a stationary line and make a business those were all fears that she had and I mean, now she has a two thousand square foot studio space and it's incredible it's just it's just incredible, so she was not able to get past those fears, you know, in the world would just be a lot emptier, but so let's talk about our own fears, why don't we? Because I want to really wanted to get into that for the time that we have left during this segment, I really want tio help somebody get past some of their fears. Sometimes my husband and I have what we call a b y o f party, which is bring your own fear, and we just were, like, sit around to be like, an out it's mostly does me, but I'll say stuff like, I can't do that because I don't know how or I can't do that because nobody wants it or I can't see that I'm not smart enough, you know? So whatever it is that I'm feeling and then we just sort of figure out how tio like, take a virtual machete to that problem, and and I think I'm pretty good at it there's almost. I don't think I've ever been stumped when I've been working with a client on a fear that we could not figure out how to dissolve but they magic to getting past your fears is to want to get past your fears so there are one thing that fear does for us is it provides us with a lot of security it makes it possible for you to feel bad and oftentimes it's easier to feel bad than it is to feel good and I'm not sure why but it's a lot easier to say I can't then it is to say I can artists say it's not possible versus I could figure this out no matter what so fear provides us with a level of comfort that sometimes we just don't want to give up which is where I think it's important tio just say ok that I'm just releasing at I'm getting I'm getting rid of this fear because I'm not really interested in moving past so fears companion is honesty so if somebody is really trying to help you get past your problem our pastor fear and you're just not willing to hear it it's because you you don't want to hear and that's ok too you don't have to listen to anything you don't want to listen to but you do need to be honest with yourself about saying this isn't the right time for me to work through this obviously because I'm not willing tio listen to carries a reason and fantastic advice still ignoring it so that's on you guys but so I thought what we would do is actually take one of your fears who's scared somebody is and I'm going to even do some drawing groups you can't spell just fix it like that this is my tribute to emily my accidental tribute to emily ok, so someone care of here leslie um my photographs aren't good enough photographs not good enough what else have you got? Oh players to many people doing the same thing ah that's a favorite that is one of the most common fears that I hear teo many people doing it oh how people love to have this fear you have just one more yes can you choose just one more it's a hard won my passion from a business kind of contradicts the entire idea of when jury of wearing yuri okay do you want to explain that um because these are the business we're talking about here is it photography or jewelry? Jewelry, jewelry okay um I wanted to use the way people by jordan because I don't want them to find value in their possessions or anything outside themselves they have value as an individual because they this okay, so they're going to find value just from existing in the jewelry is going to be a bonus too that I wanted to be a reminder I wanted to be a reflection of them that's why it's climate reflections kind of actually means jam or treasure and I wanted to reflect that they can define to they can decide where the jury that can decide not to what the jury right? What? What the fear there that they're not going to understand how important they are or that they're not going to care or that they're not going to make the connection between your necklace and their inter jem oh my gym is right here I think it's mostly that um that if I do what I want and they do believe that they have value that they no longer need the jury even though it's something that comes back over and over again so you think that your jewelry could actually solve their problem to the point where they don't want to anymore? Hopefully or maybe I think that sort of boils down to fear of success you're afraid that you're really going to help them so much with something inside of them that you're going to d sets a good job that maybe they're not really going tio want or need your product anymore? I'm not even sure that that's it okay, so I want you to think about it I'm trying way we can fix that for you but let's really figure out like what the root of that fear is but so that your photographs of your jewelry is not good enough is that right? So congratulations on coming tio creative lives how to starting and made business and for being lucky enough to sit next to ms marlowe there because we are definitely going to take care of that for you but what makes you think your photographs are good enough? Has anyone ever sent you an email that said I really want to buy this necklace with that photograph sucked no if I didn't get it that a necklace or a boat used has anyone ever said anything like that? You know, I've only been taking pictures of my jewelry for about three or four weeks ok? So you're just starting so a lot of this is you know you're just starting something new you're really developing a business in a product and that is just scary so it's not that your photographs aren't good enough it's that you're not feeling good enough about what you're doing right now right are you like what I do know it's it's I have a really specific idea of what a quality photograph looks like and mine are quite there well that takes practice remember we're all beginners we all start somewhere with our photographs marlowe the first time you took marlowe makes jewelry is well marlowe the first time you ever take a picture of something made where you like hot dog got down way the first photo that I put upon my etc shop tomorrow it was awesome e I just read I just read some comments yeah mark chat rooms yeah but you know how your how your response people who are how they're responding to you so catherine had said that she's making me cry and I'm so touched by what she said um native love cos said right mimi said me too carol said hugs for her and then katherine said I want to buy from her now and then may have love company said we to know people are people are really responding to what you're saying is I just want to let you know that yeah, good I mean, just putting yourself out there and like being able to express that from the beginning it's really helpful I mean, it does sound to me like you haven't failed yet, right? Have you taken a bunch of pictures of stuff and thought this is the very best job that I can d'oh where and you know, but and that you're right now and that you're failing because you're not taking the best photographs possible? It has to do with part of an expansion that I want to do because I want to also offer our prince of my jewelry so that it's not just something that you're wearing you can have it around the house and have a constant reminder like a talisman and um yeah, I knew if I wanted to just tell a photograph of the jury by itself that actually selling the story it's just nobody's gonna put that out there so how do you think you can get better at taking photographs? How can you conquer this fear of taking that the shots that really express what you're trying to sell with your jewelry you're not just selling a necklace you're selling ah feeling to somebody how how can you learn to take those photographs? How can you get past this fear of not being able to express your vision in a photo a lot of practice practice that's true more classes for classes um I want to get better equipment investing and being able tio create the business that you really want so we're going to call that investing because you do definitely need that to make the business that you really want to have and so you think too many people are doing this um jury in general yeah I don't know how many people have like the exact same style I do, but so you're not even sure that's true jewelry is the most popular craft, so it is hard for people to feel like they're standing out but you're not even sure father people do it I don't know how many I know there is that you do it yeah and when you started talking to us about making your jewelry it sounded really unique to me like you, you said it's more than just a necklace. So is that really just a perceived fear of, like, or is it something you've actually come up against? Um, I've been trying to network and join communities, and, uh, yeah, it just feels like there's a lot, there's, just so much out there. So, is it possible that you're letting yourself get overwhelmed by the thought of not doing well in using that as a mechanism from stopping herself from moving forward? So you're just sort of inventing future problems that may or may not have a mayor, because I haven't tio be a really expert at that, that is something that I can definitely recognize, but that is really what it sounds to me like what you're doing is just deciding on future problems that haven't really happened yet in order to slow yourself down now, sounds about right, so why do you want to limit yourself? No idea, that's a tough one, I still can't always figure that out myself. Can you think of anything that you could dio so in the workbook? I've made all of these sheets and there's a lot of fun, because there's, just so many dang fears that I really want you all to be able to write down your fears and figure out how to get past them a little bit can you think of anything that you khun dio just even starting today a different way you could think about your business in order tio get over or to start pushing through one of these fears it would take some thinking ok so I'll give you a hint um that if I was the boss of you this is what I would say just decide it's going to work it's azizi is that you're going to own a successful jewelry business set the intention I'm going to be able to sell the necklace is I want to sell and express them of the photography that I want tio have I'm going to figure that out my intention is is that I can work that out and you don't have to know the how yet you just have to know that you're going to do it all right well people are just really relating to I guess just the fear of my doing this right is this you know is this good enough I mean I feel like we all have so similar affairs you know be more just so what do you kind of well I haven't interesting one from from would ji and it was a conversation going on but I'm afraid of letting people down and that they would never come back or think that I'm unprofessional which I think is interesting that even though you're providing um a craft, a service or whatever that you're so inventing that image that they're going to be let down by it yeah I would really try to trace the backs it I would try to trace that we're back to the beginning where did that come from? You know, did you make a macaroni necklace when you were a kid and somebody was like what? This is crap? I'm never wearing this macaroni necklace I mean, where does that come from that you're trying that you're afraid you're going to let people down because until you put your work out there you can't get any feedback from people so you know, you haven't had a chance yet tio have that sort of learning experience about your work, which is exactly what that is and I think that that that conversation was going on with very amusing as well is just that though they see it maybe on etc and then that they're going to be disappointed when they when they get it in their hands after they buy it has that ever happened? Anybody in this room know getting something of anything like what? I never happened to me I mean, sometimes I've been like, oh, I thought it was going to be a little bit different, but I was so glad tohave the item I don't think I've ever since and empty cellar and email that said didn't check that return policy and that was a big mistake, you know? I mean, I even brought my wedding rings from an online maker that I had never met before and, you know, I just I think people aren't just buying exactly what your make their buying into your lifestyle they're buying into their lifestyle ah valuing handmade goods and supporting an independent person that there's so much more value that they're getting from what you make versus just like a hairball. So keith and the chat room said my fear is that I won't move past the planning stage I love setting goals, making lists, planning fall through that's what I want to dio really make it happen rather than thinking about it and planning to and I know from my own personal experience all the things that I dreamed of doing and wanting to dio you know, you you want it, but then you're scared that if you go down that path, you won't like that well when you get there, you won't enjoy it, so I just feel like actually getting there may be this fear of success do you think that's I do think that that's for your success and so that's I'll just come right out and say that's my number one fair that's the number one thing that really holds me back all the time is I'm afraid of of being too successful and the responsibility that comes with that that that's going to somehow restrict my freedom and cause me teo need to respond to this thing that I've done all the time, and I just I just don't want to ever have to do that. So I mean, and getting started is often the hardest thing you know is going to stand up here in front of you guys for three days, and I could imagine myself having a really great time, but you know what? I couldn't get over the first fifteen minutes I just kept thinking, I don't know how to start, I don't know how I'm going to walk out on that stage, and I was obsessively watching all these creative lives like watching the the teachers and the instructors come out like, what are they saying? What are they doing? Where do they look, how they just get started? You know, keith, I want you to set an intention in some sort of actionable goal that you can begin to propel yourself forward that has to do with your hand made business, and it could just be the date that you want to open a shop or it could be getting ten products made that you khun practice photographing. But just set one goal and then share that with us so that we can help hold you accountable to that, because having an accountability partner or the community around what you really want to d'oh is how you can get past the planning. I'm a natural researcher, I will read everything there is to read about a subject and by all supplies needed. This is why I have, like, twenty years of knitting needles and don't know how to net a single thing, but I have, like, twelve meeting books at home right now and more yarn than you could imagine, because I'm fascinated with it, but I'm not actually ever going to do it because after I did all the reading, I sort of feel like I'm of the personality type that says, ok figured that out. I read all those books I bought, all those supplies I dreamt about that I'll set, and then I just move on to something different. S o that happens to all of us. Well, I'm just I'll go over the concept of it briefly, maybe since it's in the workbook, but it's one really great way to figure out what you want to dio, and this is page twenty three um and there's a chart in here for your perfect work day, and this is an exercise I learned. From one of my virtual mentors martha back who wrote this really great book called finding your own north star which is self lb but boy did it help myself so I highly highly recommend that book and this ideal day exercise has really helped shape my business and what you do is you just begin thinking about your day from the moment you wake up in bed your eyes are still closed so you're laying in bed and your eyes are still closed you know what do you hear your bird? Sure being your dog being restless is your cat miao ing like what what do you hear and then you take yourself minute by minute up until the time you go to bed what did what how did you get dressed for work that day? Where did you go to work? What did ugo who did you talk to you figuring out and so you have to do this under the impression that your business has everything it needs money is not an object your family is safe and protected and taken care of. You don't have the normal stressors driving, so you're essentially in your perfect life you have any kind of money and support that you could ever want but you're still going to work you own a business because even in your perfect world your business owner, how do you spend your day follow that follow yourself like through this path and you will discover so much like maybe in your ideal date you just call your accountant say run the numbers so maybe that means that you really don't want to be attached to your own the responsibility of doing your own books maybe it just means that you want to oversee somebody doing your box because you need to be attached to your boats but you don't have to do them yourself but you're really discover all of the things that really excite you about having a business and all of the things that you're not so excited about having a business if you're not worried about money you're not worried about your family you're not worried about what you're going to do you already have the perfect kraft handmade item business in mind in your business is going smoothly what do d'oh figure out what your ideal day is and it will change the kind of day you have tomorrow I know that tomorrow you're ideal days watching segment there day two of starting a business with very jamon but beyond that once you figure out what your ideal day is it will change the work you decide to dio or how you decide to procrastinate or how you can tell your fears because you don't want that for yourself it's not in your ideal day and you actually get to control that because you're the boss

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.