counter create hit Grow Your Handmade Business: How to Envision, Develop, and Sustain a Successful Creative Business - Download Free eBook
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

Grow Your Handmade Business: How to Envision, Develop, and Sustain a Successful Creative Business

Availability: Ready to download

Are you ready to make a living from your craft? Learn how to map out a financial plan, expand production, automate distribution, address legal matters, and much more. Start growing your business beyond the dining room table and leave your day job behind.


Compare
Ads Banner

Are you ready to make a living from your craft? Learn how to map out a financial plan, expand production, automate distribution, address legal matters, and much more. Start growing your business beyond the dining room table and leave your day job behind.

30 review for Grow Your Handmade Business: How to Envision, Develop, and Sustain a Successful Creative Business

  1. 5 out of 5

    N.

    Properly speaking, this book should have been called "Sprout Your Handmade Business." It's about building your business from the pre-conceptual stage, not about growing an existing business. The first half is entirely "What do I want to do? How do I think out my plan?"; half thought exercise and half inspirational talk. Not really for me, so I skipped it. Part Two touched on keeping accounts, registering your business, taxes, overhead, etc. This was why I picked up the book. Only, the content was Properly speaking, this book should have been called "Sprout Your Handmade Business." It's about building your business from the pre-conceptual stage, not about growing an existing business. The first half is entirely "What do I want to do? How do I think out my plan?"; half thought exercise and half inspirational talk. Not really for me, so I skipped it. Part Two touched on keeping accounts, registering your business, taxes, overhead, etc. This was why I picked up the book. Only, the content was so vague it could have been boiled down into a five-page tip sheet titled "Stuff you need to check off to make sure your local tax authority doesn't show up at your doorstep; also, you need to make sure you have a functional workplace and can pay your employees if you have any." I understand why an introduction to starting a craft business wouldn't want to discuss codes and regulations that are regional or could change from year to year, and I wasn't expecting it to, but I did expect more content. Very, very light on information. Disappointing overall, but I'm also clearly not the target audience.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Individualfrog

    This book isn't very deep, and it says pretty much what any old book or website about entrepreneurship says. I found it randomly in my teeny tiny local library and added it to the pile of DVDs I was taking out, along with a book on Bay Area architecture. It has that relentless, aimless, shallow blogger/YouTube channel cheeriness, "Hey guys, what's up, so I'm really excited about today's video because it's all about taxes! Taxes are totally important and can really make or break your business. So This book isn't very deep, and it says pretty much what any old book or website about entrepreneurship says. I found it randomly in my teeny tiny local library and added it to the pile of DVDs I was taking out, along with a book on Bay Area architecture. It has that relentless, aimless, shallow blogger/YouTube channel cheeriness, "Hey guys, what's up, so I'm really excited about today's video because it's all about taxes! Taxes are totally important and can really make or break your business. So here's what I have to say about taxes. OK, first I have to say that I am not an accountant, and I don't know anything about the tax code, so take this for what it's worth, but it really worked for me. So my top tip for taxes is, pay your taxes. People don't know this, but you actually have to pay them quarterly. You really wanna try to pay them every three months. OK, my next tip is, hire an accountant to do your taxes for you. The tax code is really hard, and you don't wanna make a mistake. There are all kinds of accountants out there, so just search on Google for one that fits you. Alright! I hope you found these tips helpful. Please like this video, and click subscribe, and be sure to share this video!" In addition to her own Top Tips, Chapin enlists a "Creative Collective" of bloggers, craftsters, and people with mystifying Late Stage Capitalism job titles like "Brand Voice Ally" and "Inspiration Leader", on hand to provide their own contentless clichés in punchy magazine-style space-filling boxes ("Be you. If you express your uniquity, you'll attract the right people to you", etc). Christ, there's even a whole chapter on 'setting intentions'. And yet...somehow...I don't know...maybe it's the nice spring weather lately, but it was just fine. Three stars, "I liked it." For whatever reason, I found the sunniness rather soothing and encouraging than alienating and soul-crushing as I usually do. Part of it was that she does go into somewhat more detail with examples of how you can "look at your numbers" rather than just stating that you should and leaving it up to you (it's really important guys, did you know? to look at your numbers, if you're in business.) I also appreciated what idiosyncracies came through, like Chapin's interestingly strange take on being inspired by others, calling them a "virtual mentor" or even "virtual board of directors", following people whose work or business or life you admire, and imagining them as guiding you. Kari, more weirdness like this! Express your uniquity! But I think the thing which won me over the most was when early on she says hobbies are great, and even sort of encourages a tentative grey zone between hobby and business, seeing how it goes before committing. I feel like so many entrepreneurship things place a bizarre, dour, irrational pressure to Be Professional on you, that there is only bankruptcy, homelessness, and early death awaiting anyone who is not willing and able to COMMIT 110% and WORK TWO FULL-TIME JOBS and subject oneself to grueling misery, grinding joylessness, declaring oneself herem to the service of Mammon. (I saw one interview with some venture capitalist jackass or something who first said more people should be entrepreneurs, don't be scared! and then, the very next moment, clearly not recognizing any contradiction here, that if you are an entrepreneur you have to be the best in the world at what you do...) But in this book I found a paragraph or two (in a magaziney sidebar, natch) saying go ahead and do your hobby, keep track of expenses and time, see if you can sell what you make, and if you want to commit more time to it, and that was really nice to read. I think, honestly, in my own life the idea that I had to be 1000% ALL IN and NOBODY WILL TAKE YOUR SERIOUSLY unless you're COMPLETELY PROFESSIONAL IN EVERY WAY FROM DAY ONE, thinking about doing things "for production", imagining factories or retailers or whatever laughing at me, or myself failing and dying on the streets because I like to sleep, eat, go to the movies and out for a walk, has caused huge creative blocks and set me back decades. And I've been extremely productive in the last couple weeks, since taking this book out. I say to myself, just think of this as a hobby, that might turn into something later. That is OK.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Larissa

    Thank you Kari Chapin for writing a business book for people who are starting small and are creative! I learned tons from this book and I am fully intending to read "The Handmade Marketplace" as well. Mostly what I loved about this book was how it broke things down into simple steps. For example, the "intentions, goals, tasks" model. Instead of focusing on a huge goal you have an Intention and then goals under that, and then very simple tasks under that. I have a notebook with goals outlined thi Thank you Kari Chapin for writing a business book for people who are starting small and are creative! I learned tons from this book and I am fully intending to read "The Handmade Marketplace" as well. Mostly what I loved about this book was how it broke things down into simple steps. For example, the "intentions, goals, tasks" model. Instead of focusing on a huge goal you have an Intention and then goals under that, and then very simple tasks under that. I have a notebook with goals outlined this way. Then I flip through looking at things that are crossed off across a wide variety of goals and decide what manageable tasks I can do next. I highly recommend this book!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Coons

    As an Etsy seller, I was hoping that it would give me tips on marketing and growing my business. However this book was about how to start a business and had nothing to do with handmade at all, so I felt the title was misleading. The only difference between this book and my college text books was this one used pretty font and pictures. It's a great reference for starting a business but not for what I wanted it for.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Albrecht

    This book was so incredibly helpful for a very un-business minded girl to step foot into the business world. This book enabled me to take very practical steps in kick-starting my business and left me much less intimidated than when I started!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Cassie

    A great, REAL overview of starting your own arts/crafts business. I love that it addresses that business is not for everyone, and that it's okay to have arts/crafts just as a hobby. :) It includes lots of advice from people already in the business - SO helpful! Quotes I liked: "Focus on your specialness and how you're different from all your competitors. Don't seek to fit in or cash in on trends or be similar to anything you've ever seen before. Be different. Be brave." (Jena Coray) "You can be pas A great, REAL overview of starting your own arts/crafts business. I love that it addresses that business is not for everyone, and that it's okay to have arts/crafts just as a hobby. :) It includes lots of advice from people already in the business - SO helpful! Quotes I liked: "Focus on your specialness and how you're different from all your competitors. Don't seek to fit in or cash in on trends or be similar to anything you've ever seen before. Be different. Be brave." (Jena Coray) "You can be passionate about a lot of things without needing them to be your main source of income. Hold a few things you love to do in abeyance, and do them when you're feeling a creative lull. . . . Having a few creative tricks up your sleeve is a great way to beat the dreaded creativity block." (Jay McCarroll) "There is nothing wrong with having a hobby that brings you much joy, offers you an outlet for your creative expression, and makes you feel good. It doesn't have to go beyond that . . . unless you really, really want it to." (Kari Chapin) "Running your own business is not for everyone. When I was fifteen, I wanted to be a dancer. I had a wonderful teacher who said 'You dance because you have to, not because you want to.' The same holds true in having your own business." (Alison Lee) "I work very intuitively and just move in the direction of whatever feels most exciting and fun." (Jessica Swift) "Your goals should be your friends; they should excite you, and you should look forward to working towards them. Goals are not chores. In fact, if any begin to feel like a chore, you need to reevaluate. If a goal seems too hard, make it easier." (Kari Chapin) "'Don't let best get in the way of better.' . . . I'm a perfectionist, and I find myself putting off tasks until I can complete them perfectly. But what ends up happening is that they don't get done at all. Done is better than perfect." (Nicole Balch) "I'll work on a design until it's perfect in my eyes, then I'll photograph it and release it on the Internet. Depending on the response I get, I'll either save the design for a different time or I'll start production. This method has a huge success rate in more ways than one!" (Sue Eggen)

  7. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    Things to keep in mind I thought I would get more out of it, but I realize I am in the unique position of having worked admin and operations for a nonprofit -- so I know that the things she talks about on the business end are true. I didn't realize that nonprofits and handmade businesses run so parallel but it makes sense. They often start the same way: in someone's home. This focuses on the business side of starting your own business. How to track your expenses, things you should invest in, looki Things to keep in mind I thought I would get more out of it, but I realize I am in the unique position of having worked admin and operations for a nonprofit -- so I know that the things she talks about on the business end are true. I didn't realize that nonprofits and handmade businesses run so parallel but it makes sense. They often start the same way: in someone's home. This focuses on the business side of starting your own business. How to track your expenses, things you should invest in, looking at income trends, getting legal help. If you know nothing, this is a good start. If you know the basics, it's not groundbreaking. But it's nice to know you can probably do it if you want.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ietrio

    Handmade is just an excuse for weird pagination and weird choice of fonts. Anyway, this is a book for middle class people who do have a decent income and would like to play as entrepreneurs. It takes a long time to do what this book suggests. It is not for anyone as the successful are good at doing one thing and than they hire other people who are good at doing other things. Finally, this is a nice variation, but the same: send me $5 and I will tell you how to become a millionaire by asking peopl Handmade is just an excuse for weird pagination and weird choice of fonts. Anyway, this is a book for middle class people who do have a decent income and would like to play as entrepreneurs. It takes a long time to do what this book suggests. It is not for anyone as the successful are good at doing one thing and than they hire other people who are good at doing other things. Finally, this is a nice variation, but the same: send me $5 and I will tell you how to become a millionaire by asking people to send you $5. The author is a shark specialized in selling dreams to people who have too much time and less worries about money.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Colby

    This gives you a good base knowledge if you are thinking of starting a business. It has some great questions to think over/discuss and a lot of examples. Worth your time if you are starting up a side business or selling a hobby.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    Good for those who want a creative business, but don't know what to create. Not so great for those of us who are already working on one. Not very in depth.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Melindannk

    Really great book filled with useful steps and ideas.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Samantha Grenier

    There is a lot of good stuff in here- lots of things I personally NEVER would have considered. Some such items on my NEW agenda: hiring and guarding oneself with an accountant and attorney and to begin preparing for PR. There are a lot if great references as well... I believe I've signed up for 3 newsletters through my progression of the book. I'm at the seedling stage of my small creative business. The big things hovering over me right now are setting up my Business Plan and refining my brand. T There is a lot of good stuff in here- lots of things I personally NEVER would have considered. Some such items on my NEW agenda: hiring and guarding oneself with an accountant and attorney and to begin preparing for PR. There are a lot if great references as well... I believe I've signed up for 3 newsletters through my progression of the book. I'm at the seedling stage of my small creative business. The big things hovering over me right now are setting up my Business Plan and refining my brand. There is very little information in this book regarding identity, and the BP info feels sparse. The only thing I really learned from plotting my plan is thy I can really personalize it to stamp it with my brand. The exercises sprinkled throughout are rarely accomplished during a single sitting. For some, I wrote down the exercise so that i can reflect on the idea later. I'm still plugging away at my goal list, and I've got a vend-diagram in the works to help me clarify my brand so that I can write my official mission statement. Some of the exercises really halo me organize my thoughts. I was wary of Grow Your Own Handmade Business when the first 150 pages read as a hand-held guided tour of how one should continuously fantasize about a dream business. In hindsight, this actually tone down many of my "first step" anxieties, and makes my dream feel genuinely attainable. At least I know Kari Chapin believes in me, right?

  13. 5 out of 5

    CJ

    As the owner of a small (very small) business, I’ve often wished that I had a friend who could hold my hand and help me with all the details necessary to making that business successful. Kari Chapin does that admirably with this little book. She’s walked these hallways and she very generously put what she learned into a really convenient package. Grow Your Handmade Business is split into two parts – figuring out what your dream is and figuring out how to make it a reality. Chapin has questions a As the owner of a small (very small) business, I’ve often wished that I had a friend who could hold my hand and help me with all the details necessary to making that business successful. Kari Chapin does that admirably with this little book. She’s walked these hallways and she very generously put what she learned into a really convenient package. Grow Your Handmade Business is split into two parts – figuring out what your dream is and figuring out how to make it a reality. Chapin has questions and exercises that will gently guide you through the entire process from what’s in your head to brick and mortar. The bonus is the advice she includes from her own “Creative Collective”, a group of people she knows with various types of businesses. This Collective provides amazing nuggets of wisdom throughout – giving real life examples of what Chapin has just covered. I’m struggling now with where I want to take my business and this book is going to help me figure out what I’m going to do next. Straightforward with no nonsense advice, I’m going to dive in and see where it takes me.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ksenija

    A good source for anyone who's thinking of starting a business, not so much for the people who are already in the midst of things Also, it is exclusively directed towards the USA readers, as many (or even most) of legal things are quite different in other countries. It is a good starting source for inspiration as it gives a thorough overview to what exactly running a business means nowadays, and that is something the so called 'creative' people often neglect or even worse, ignore. About one four A good source for anyone who's thinking of starting a business, not so much for the people who are already in the midst of things Also, it is exclusively directed towards the USA readers, as many (or even most) of legal things are quite different in other countries. It is a good starting source for inspiration as it gives a thorough overview to what exactly running a business means nowadays, and that is something the so called 'creative' people often neglect or even worse, ignore. About one fourth of the resources and mentioned links is defunct by now (May 2015) and even author's own website is not in a presentable condition. It is a pity, because it would add some value to the book. Also, I can't help but wonder why didn't she include some worksheets or checklists. It's a shame.

  15. 4 out of 5

    AJ

    I definitely recommend this book for anyone who is considering letting their creative ideas blossom into something more. I began looking through this book a few months ago, and since then, Kari's advice and wisdom has helped me really shape my endeavors into a business! Kari provides insight on income, on websites, and even on all the terms and confusing things like taxes with which I had no idea where to even begin. Definitely the book that got me started on my creative business. Now I'm going I definitely recommend this book for anyone who is considering letting their creative ideas blossom into something more. I began looking through this book a few months ago, and since then, Kari's advice and wisdom has helped me really shape my endeavors into a business! Kari provides insight on income, on websites, and even on all the terms and confusing things like taxes with which I had no idea where to even begin. Definitely the book that got me started on my creative business. Now I'm going to read the one she wrote before it!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ethan Jones

    Grow Your Handmade Business by Kari Chapin taught me an immense amount about business but I also found myself left with as many questions as answers after reading this book. Clearly this book is not the be-all and end-all of business books, but I think it has something to offer for most people interested in business. While somewhat juvenile in sections and overly repetitive in others, Chapin does a good job of outlining the basics of business and how to grow one from the point of view of an arti Grow Your Handmade Business by Kari Chapin taught me an immense amount about business but I also found myself left with as many questions as answers after reading this book. Clearly this book is not the be-all and end-all of business books, but I think it has something to offer for most people interested in business. While somewhat juvenile in sections and overly repetitive in others, Chapin does a good job of outlining the basics of business and how to grow one from the point of view of an artist. Overall, good, but not great.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Josh

    Not a bad read. Mostly the same info / guidance as other books of this type. However, I did appreciate the q&a session sections with individuals such as an attorney & CPA ~ this was helpful to gain an understanding of how they look at creative professionals and what a new craft business owner should look for / ask before entering into an agreement with them. Not a bad read. Mostly the same info / guidance as other books of this type. However, I did appreciate the q&a session sections with individuals such as an attorney & CPA ~ this was helpful to gain an understanding of how they look at creative professionals and what a new craft business owner should look for / ask before entering into an agreement with them.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Saija

    I didn't find it to be as useful as its predecessor was, but I would still recommend it nonetheless! As a small business owner starting out you need all the information you can get, and this book is still a good tool. (Her first book though, was absolutely fantastic, and I recommend having read that one first before this one)

  19. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    Very useful advice on how to grow and develop personally as your business flourishes. Good guidance on the ins and outs of selling handcrafted products and how to use the social media to your advantage. I need to go back through it and do the exercises a few months down the line to see if any of my plans for world domination need tweaking. ;)

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Morris

    This book was not at all what I expected it to be. That said, I still found it to be boring, and mundane. The entire book was about making a business plan for your hobby, but no information about how to achieve anything in the plan. The author should have taken more time to give examples and direction on how to take steps to fulfill the basic goals associated with this type of business model.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Heidi

    Kari writes about developing a business plan for your creative business in a very approachable manner. Her insights into how creative brains work (and resist work) was spot-on for me. I loved that she included several other artists and makers and their experiences and advice added so much to the book. A must-read for anyone trying to make a creative business (like mine!) work.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jan Waller

    Yet another business book for the worst business woman on the planet. I think I'm going to write a blog post about all these businessy books I've read. That and find a support group to break the habit.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

    This book compiles everything I've read about starting a small creative business into one easy to digest handbook. Perfect for someone just beginning their research or anyone in need of some small business clarity.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Felicia

    I really wanted to like this more, but I found a lot of the information to be very basic. Maybe if this is your first month or two in business this would be of more help. There really wasn't enough coverage for online based businesses for this to be worth reading for me personally.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Cecile Hibbs

    Kari Chapin's second book carries on the tradition of being incredibly easy to understand and follow. A wealth of fantastic advice for creative people interested in starting their own small business/creative side venture.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Trish

    Not quite what I was hoping for. I felt the book was more of a supporter for your creativeness but not so much helpful info to help you "grow". Lots of focus on developing a business plan, which I am beyond.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Milka

    This is a good follow-up to The Handmade Marketplace, where Chapin goes into more details on how to grow your business once you've started it. Nothing in there is rocket science and makes it easy to implement once you're ready to take those steps.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Deanna Lack

    Some of the exercises in this book were very revealing for me but a lot of it didn't feel useful. Worth looking over but it was a lot about finding a mentor, hiring professionals, etc. that I really didn't need.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    What a lovely, comprehensive book. This would be essentially helpful to someone just starting out. Yet, it also caused me to think a little more intentionally about what I am already doing with my business at www.CarroTopStudio.com. Well done Kari Chapin! What a lovely, comprehensive book. This would be essentially helpful to someone just starting out. Yet, it also caused me to think a little more intentionally about what I am already doing with my business at www.CarroTopStudio.com. Well done Kari Chapin!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Katherine

    This book was great! It was more intended for someone who already has a business and wants to grow it instead of someone who has taken up a hobby and wants to try to make a little money off it. But it still gave me a lot of good things to think about. It also has a lot of nice writing prompts.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.