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Start a Handmade Business

Lesson 15 of 39

Whats in a Name?

Kari Chapin

Start a Handmade Business

Kari Chapin

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Lesson Info

15. Whats in a Name?

Lesson Info

Whats in a Name?

We're just going to die right in because it's a day too, so we're going to start off with some business basics we're gonna work on our foundation, which is something we're going to do a lot of today and tomorrow getting our business blocks into place and so if you have the workbook, we're starting on page forty one where we have a little welcome today to message and then we go right into the questions that we're going to start to answer in just a few minutes, so we're going to talk a lot about business basics today working on our foundation online venues, choosing an online shop rating item descriptions because that's really important talking about different kinds of policies you might want to have what your internal communication policy with your customer, what are your shipping policies? Feedback? Why is it important? And how can you make it work double time for you, which is really important, and then we're gonna work on item descriptions also and then in segment two and really exci...

ted about that. We're going to talk about my favorite topic marketing, which I love, and we're going to have special guests will and betsy from betsy and I, uh, very popular jewelry company based out of portland, oregon, and so check out their website if you are interested in learning more about how to have a skyrocketing jewelry business betsy went from selling your jewelry out of the trunk of her car driving across the country stopping it shop saying, look at what I make to now they have a beautiful shop and portland they just have celebrated an expansion a couple of weeks ago where they built out the back of their buildings so that they could increase their level of production which was amazing they are very inspirational and if you do make jewelry you know that it's pretty competitive so it's going to be great to have some mentors on that can really give us some good guidance about that. Um and then marlo is going to be here for section three and she is going tio walk us through taking much better photos of our small objects, which is a challenge for a lot of people. Tiny things are hard to photograph, but she has got it down and is going tio be an enormous help to making our online stores more successful and they were going to wrap up today with some more foundation building where we're going toe touch a little bit on pricing value sales, packaging your workspace and just how to keep all of this together so today is a jam packed day, so we just better dive right and and by die right? And I mean after I give you that big talk now now we can have in so we're going to start with what's in a name this is something that really challenges a lot of people choosing what to name their business. I recently did a book signing event where it was an open forum and I just let people ask questions and we spent the majority of that books signing it was an hour talk with people talking about what to name your business and this is because it really stumps a lot of people, they're not sure you're late. You're you're lame that's what you don't want your name to be don't make your name lame that's a treatable but you definitely don't want to choose a name for your business that's going to limit you in any way kind of way so if you were to just make jewelry and you thought that someday you might switch into other home good products are selling something else and you want to take your audience and your brand with you your name would need tio be able to to transfer with what you're doing on dh some people like to just use their own name as the name of their business that's what I have done but I am an author so it's good for my marketing to say, you know I'm carried shape in my websites carried haven dot com people can come there and know that well, me saying how to start a handmade business that's probably not really going to help me sell books, but if I can get you to remember my name than I can tell you about my book so that's a little bit easier for me the very first business I ever had when I was in my late teens, I was remaking furniture and I was selling that at art galleries into private collectors in colorado, and I thought I had a very clever name and that was funky, functional cz and I even spelled it in a funky way because I was like, really, really hip to things like that when I was in my late teens and now I'm so glad that I still do not use that name because that would be tough to sell what I make now and as my handmade businesses that I've sort of loosely had over the years I'm translated, I sold mittens I sold approaches I sold button's you know, if I was so calling myself funky, funky, functional that would have been hard tio get that across when I was trying to sell people mittens they probably would not want funky minton's, but but some people might say I might have been able to find a really great niche market there, so but eso to see me was really, really important and I want tio hear from you guys online why you chose the name that you chose and what you think it says about your business and I really want to break that down for those of us here in the studio audience why your business is called what it's called and if you think that that has helped or hurt your sales are the directions that you're going in and I've got to start with you rosalie because you're the obvious choice your shop is called ugly baby and larue rosalie has a brick and mortar shop in the pike's place market here in seattle and her her shop studio partner is named lauren ludek and she has a business called the rue so larue belongs to lauren and ugly baby belongs to rosalie right and rosalie I know that you have had to spend a lot of time explaining your name to people it has proof that the word baby in it so they're expecting some baby stuff so can you share with us what your name journey has been sure when we were my husband and I started this company together and when we were trying to figure out what to name it I don't know if you can see it but we ran across this baby picture of my husband on the day he was born oh nice to show that and I had gone home to meet his family for the first time and his mother show me a folder of these, one of which had been cut out and it was like they tried to give it to someone and they gave it back on all the rest of them were intact, so we talked about what an ugly baby he waas and just decided oh that's a great name for our business maybe not, but it's actually come tio we did ourselves a favor because people who are some people are insulted by the name ugly baby andi make some things that are kind of insulting so on our shower, so that sort of pushes those people away before they even come and look at our stuff people who would probably not not be into it anyway. So not your ideal client, not my ideal client. So people, I know people actually tell you that they think the name is a mean or not not very nice like, how do you respond to that when someone has a criticism of something as important as the name of their business? Well, I think that those people and I don't share the same sense of humor, and if they can't see that this is sort of an ugly baby, then I don't know, you know, so that's great you're not interested in pleasing everybody no, I'm just saying that it's not your job to make every potential customer really happy yes, just your job to connect with your ideal client. Who's goingto laugh right when they see the name ugly, baby. Right. Okay, thanks so much. Thanks so much, d'oh. Any of you want to talk about why you've chosen the names? Yes, heather. I am had originally named my website, my name heather salisbury dot com because I figured it would be easy for people to remember and to find me. But my last name is not traditionally spelled like salisbury. So I find a lot of people have a hard time finding my website and mixed media is not all that I do, so I have explored a lot of other names, and I have purchased the website creatively happy as an overall name because I find that that kind of encompasses everything that I like to do, and it doesn't limit me to just my name or just my artwork. It kind of figure that I can use that kind of is a main aim to do everything underneath whatever direction I decide to go. So so I spent a long time thinking about it, trying toe come up with something that wasn't limiting like you talked about for future down the road, so yeah, so I like it it's, creatively happy, creatively happy dot com yeah, okay, great. Great is does anyone from online have any name stuff I know it's a huge struggle it is a huge struggle I would love to share one from anything's in the beginning when I had a regular job I created jewelry bags headbands bos basically accessories plus digital illustrations I saw salan zazzle they couldn't figure out a name that would include it all and so I chose any things oh now I get it its capital and capital e things and I was thinking like northeast but anything you hear anything king's maybe I just ought it to I was reading it all day yesterday but you getting it did not make me get it another that's so funny and she says just yesterday when my name was read on air did I realize it could be mispronounced northeast things so my bad but I guess if I did it yeah then somebody else is doing it too but it's that clever like anything yeah anything's so it's it's really interesting it's if somebody else is going to make that mistake if one person does it somebody else is going to do it and some of the tricks that you can boy to figure out how you really feel about your name is by saying it out loud a lot practice answering the phones saying it I actually got a hair cut at a salon with a little bit of a crazy name called what do you do and it came highly recommended, so I decided to give it a try. They even though the name was a little off putting like I didn't really want a haircut that said, like what to do about me? And I asked the woman when I was sitting because the owner of the salon happen to be cutting my hair and I said, why did you name your salon whip todo? And she said she had this fantasy when she opened it in the eighties of her employees, answering the phone, saying thanks for calling what teo and that everybody had called this long would be like I there, so fun. And she said she's never hired a single person who would do it so instead when you call there like this hello, what do you do? They don't really sound very empty at all, but so it's a really good way to figure out how your name is going to sound coming from other people by saying it out loud by pretending to answer the phone by uh, imagining it being typed on your printed materials you know how much space is it going to take up on? What is it really going to say to your customer about you? Does it give you room to grow? Does it give you room to sort of change your mind about the direction of your business? There's a lot of questions in the workbook and it would be great if you guys would start to fill out the questions that will help you figure out if your name goes with your ideal clients and how how that's working so a couple of things you want to think about what name your business is what does it say about your business overall and if you want to change your business name I want to let you know that this is possible it's difficulty if you're already really established but this is one of the things that came out of that book signing discussion that I really had were some pretty good stories of people who started their business one way and then their name teams diff they had it under their name and the work that they had to put in to change their business name but that it is really possible and if you feel like your name is going to adversely affect your sales or your relationships with your customers or people confined you or if they're just confused by it if it's sending the wrong kind of customer your way because maybe they think you are northeast versus any then you know and you're getting a lot of upset people from maine saying you know where's the lobster that maybe you would you know want to consider changing your name that it is entirely possible but there's a lot to think about as you name your business and it's really fun by the time you figure it out what you really want toe call your business so once once you decide what sort of name you have or you want to have there's a lot of things that you need to d'oh to make sure that you can actually have that name you need tio check to make sure that nobody else has it because that is a bummer particularly if you have invested in materials that you then just have to recycle because somebody else already has your name so it's really important tio make sure that you can actually have it then you need to determine if it fits in with your branding if you really love your dog and you held your business I love back stern charlie parker for example that wouldn't really relate very well if I was selling bridal jewelry jewelry you know that customer wouldn't be able to make that connection between what I was selling and what the name of my business wass so really deciding that your customers going to understand and relate to your name is very important it's also important to think about how does your name make you feel if you're just simply following a trend or choosing a name that maybe says something about you as a person that you hope to change or that you want to be different than you might not want to keep repeating a fact about yourself over and over again when people say what's your business name and you'll say lazy girl designs or something you know, maybe not such a great I did tio keep repeating the fact that you're that you think you're lazy so there's there's a lot to go into how does your name make you feel about yourself? Um, consider running your name, passed a few friends and ask them for their opinion. When you hear this name, does it reflect what I make her? What I'm trying to sell ask people for what they think about that people that you can trust who can give you some really good feedback? And then I'm really remember to keep in mind a lawyer for your customer relate to it. Yes, I do have a quick question because I having worked on training exercises with naming things, I know how important it is to do that search and make sure that especially pulling a trademark things make sure that it's there on that you don't have conflicts because it's one of the hardest things to actually d'oh and so we had a question from and studio as well as olia how do you figure out if someone is using your name? Is there a place to search on dh then how do you find out where do you search these other names? Think about what kind of business you wanna have and then search in the spots where you know you're going to be you could do it doing business as sir but you can do a google search work on your google mba is emily said you need to look at all the online venues that you might be interested in selling on so and I think my last count of popular places to sell your things online I had twenty three so if you wanted teo you know be very thorough than you would check all twenty three o r as many as you can find online venues to see if somebody is already using it you can put it into at twitter, you know really look around in all of the different social media sites and see if people are using it now when you're on social media you could call your business ugly baby but tweet as rosalie gail if you wanted to so that's not you have to really do your due diligence and dig deeper but all the places where you think you would want your business represented check their check with your local and state officials if you're in the united states do a really thorough google search a long time ago even used to type it into popular blogging platforms like wasn't available at you know dot wordpress dot com wasn't available on type pad wasn't available in square space you know where was somebody else in the world using it in some sort of popular platform that I might need to put my business on and you'll be surprised what you find I recently helped a client come up with the tagline for his business and I thought it was pretty unique and then I found it on four blog's had that title that were connected to a very specific community so if somebody really remembered his slogan or tagline and typed it in they might be sent in a different direction than when what he actually sells so it is a lot of work and it's one of the name of your business is one of the first stumbling blocks that keeps people from starting because they really spend a crazy amount of time trying to get it perfect so my best advice they choose a name that gives you room to grow that's available and that then you get it in those places so you know you secure it for yourself through email and this ties into our to our email accounts too when we first start out a lot of us don't have an email address that's at a dot com so and as you begin your business and start to communicate with their customers, you don't want to send them e mails from margarita lady crazy night nine twelve for which is you know what a well like that doesn't say hey spend three hundred dollars on this necklace for your wedding with me so you know you need to choose any that you're going to be able to have a good email, what that people are going tio really connect with and respond tio but the thing is is you just have to do it so even though it does take a long time don't let it be something that stops you work out the best avenue that you confined for choosing a name and then just get it done I think that's huge advice like if you wait till you found the perfect thing yeah this topic for me personally I can't I am I have like a I have ah you earl addiction s o I'm just like what's the name what's the name and then I'm calling her like at all times of the night what about this one? Just like rolling their eyes at the third boy thank you but I'm just saying the chat rooms this is really resonating with people everybody has their story you know people are it's just it's a very heartfelt thing for people yeah it's very, very personal that's why I say saying it out loud and imagining it on business cars or on stickers air on your tags is really important and double checking does it fit in with your branding? Is your customer going to like it are you going to want to say it forever? I mean think about the poor whoop de do lady is still like she sounds so sad now look to do so it zbig deal and you do have to pay a lot of attention to it, but you can't stay folk this on it forever eventually you just need to pick a name and move on don't let that be something that stops you from deciding to open your shop because you just can't get to some place where you absolutely I don't always absolutely love you know, calling my business carry cheapen and it's important in the umbrella in the umbrella topics to to make sure that you do have some room to grow back when facebook first let us have what they were then called fan pages I made a fan page for the inmate marketplace when it came out in two thousand ten and then that sort of hurt me as I released more books because people on ly wanted business advice on the handmade marketplace page and I wrote it I co authored a needle felt ing book or I wanted to share somebody's great shop or something wonderful handmade that I had bought and people were not as interested in engaging with me on the handmade marketplace page because it wasn't what they expected from there when if I had started with a carried shape, an author paige then people would have been more open to receiving whatever kind of content I felt like giving to them because it was going to be coming from me versus on a on a specific topic. So no matter how hard you try, you might run into a couple of glitches, but you just have to be able to figure out what they are and how toe push past them. Are there any questions on names? Yes, ok, great. So a couple of people have asked this pauline said, if I do three different things, how do I name it? I do pet portrait, which I named pet portrait's by paula, but I also want to do christmas crafts, and now I'm getting into furniture. Well, that actually sounds like three different businesses that may be really warning three different business names. One thing you could do, paula, is make your three ideal client sheets and then figure out if they have any interconnecting points is the overall theme that connects all of these people furniture, pets in holiday family? Is it special occasions? Is it you know, really what unifies the ideal customers that you're most likely to have for all three of those businesses and see if you can find some name that would address all of that at once, but if not if, that pet people don't sit on furniture at home, then they're going to be alienated by whatever that is, so you just might have three separate businesses there that you can maybe file under paula's enterprises and then have very clear places for people to go when they come to your web site or your shop. But I think with such three divers, um, then use that you have our options that you have that you might want to separate that out because they are pretty different, you know, right to ask a couple more questions, of course. Fantastic it's a big topic it is, it is a big topic I built in a lot of time for it because it's hard, yeah, so a question from kathy, if you find someone else is using or has used a tagline or name that you want to use, but it seems now to be redundant or inactive, or maybe it's not even can you go ahead and use it? I am I'm going to be really honest and say that I wouldn't, and that I really don't know I'm not a lawyer and it would really depend on if that person had trademarked it are copyrighted, it are invested in it, or really they're just taking a break, I would contact them and ask them how what they're doing, I'll tell a little bit of a personal example from that is my husband's name is eric nixon, and he had and that's a pretty common name, actually there's a very famous soccer player in the u k who's named eric nixon and the famous eric nixon writes my eric nixon, everyone said one was like, I can't believe you got our domain. Well, you've got her name on twitter like, you know, he makes these funny jokes all of the time, but if eric or to give him that, I suppose that that would be possible, but he really hasn't, and he has an ask for that would be between you and that person, and then I think you should cover yourself legally in case they change their minds. But as somebody who is not an attorney, I don't want to give you any official advice on that, but I just wouldn't say like, oh, there haven't used it for a couple of years. I'm just going to hop on in there, because if they already have it, then they can take his much time. Is they want actually thank you. Yeah. And so, kerry, when you do find a name, what what all should you do so should you buy dot com dot net dot is should you buy all the ur else for that name or do you just by dot com and then do you go and get your facebook page your twitter you get your depending on what you do do you have like a process of what to do once you find your name I personally advise that you get in all the free places that you might wanna have it and that then you keep track of where you got it and what password she used for those web sites more than once have I checked background on website but like I always say I own that but I don't know how to get to it if you're going to buy more than when you are all I think that that's a personal choice if you really are attached to that comes there's so many I think are they called vanity you girls now that there's so many of those options that you know maybe people are like carrying a little bit less about dot coms if they can get dot me or figure out there's I think there's no studio arts there's a lot that would connect with our community that people have those options now that I think that what you purchase is really up to you but I think if you wanted to register yourself in the u s as a d b a which I don't wantto go into that too much because our audiences global here, creative lives, so I don't want to give a lot of us specific legal advice that doesn't apply tio our audience in general, but I would definitely get another free spots where you wanted it, and usually when a new one, a new social media platform pops up, I just hop in there, even if I'm not ever sure if I'm going to ever find something. But if I do decide to find something in the future will be under carrie chapman, you know? So I just kind of stay on top of that and claim claim my spot when I can, and I do recommend that people do that. Do you have any questions in our studio audience on timelines? Is there I know about looking for specific charles and stuff, but for taglines, how would you go about making sure nobody else was using attack? When? How important is it tagline versus the name? I think that that depends on the kind of business that you have as hand makers taglines can help reinforce what you sell, but I'm not sure that they're always necessary. If you're getting the same kind of questions from your customers again and again, like, well, what is this exactly like rosalie might want to say ugly baby? Each art for your shower shower art never be alone in the bathroom again that's a good one rosalie no, I probably am slogans for a couple of weeks now and she's not taking any of my awesome free suggestions if you're getting the same questions from your customers again and again then a tagline can help reinforce what you sell but people will let you know if you need to do that or if you need to start out doing that if you have if you hold a website and its needs a tagline to reinforce that, then you'll sort of know when you need tio investigate those options but I don't think that you have to say about to start my business to begin today better get a name a tagline slogan all that jazz you could just start with a great business that you really like our great name that you really like and that resonates with with your customer and with what you're trying to d'oh the democrats well, I think that if you're not for myself personally I'm not really happy with my name, but I find it maybe I can support it with graphics or take line so what what's the name of your company again? Kathy's wraps kathy's wraps and so yeah, that doesn't really seem like party stuff you know, like maybe you're gonna make delicious the sandwiches yeah rto you know so my take line is more than just a pretty bait face base coming off that right more than just three days, and so I don't know if it's too late to change my name. I've been in business for about eight years, but so I try to support it with graphics as you develop your business and try to grow it. I mean, now, since you're doing a really big push, teo, increase your market substantially it's actually not about time to try changing your name, particularly since you have so many different products that you offer. Starting with some of those products is like a spinoff of the bases on, then slowly changing the rest of people know what to expect from you. I do have a lot of options that you could explore their agenda here if any of you online remember kathy's products from yesterday if you were with us, their bases where you can change the pattern on the outside, that clip on the backs of pews. And did you see in the in the social media that a lot of people had advice free of other things they would do with your product? So I didn't knock a look? Yeah, you should definitely check it out a lot of people are saying I'd love that in my studio told my pencil pencil barry would love to put this from my kitchen in there, that would make a really cute herb garden that I could bring your friend, and I mean, you were getting quite so. You should definitely check it out. Well, I think you do that. People, people online. If you khun let's, try to crowd source you a new name and see what you can think so. It's cathy's wraps now, and maybe people could submit suggestions and tackling the very life so catholic and find him later. Maybe you couldn't look him all over. Thank you today. Thank you.

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.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Marlos Photo Notes and Light Box Instructions

Start a Handmade Business - Workbook

Karis Inspirational HD Wallpaper

Kari Chapin Bonus Starter Pack

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes



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.