Monday, September 10, 2007

You're a winner! (Craft Inc)

That was the subject line in a congratulations email message I received today from Adorn Magazine!

There was a giveaway posted on Adorn's blog last week. Apparently Chronicle Books had donated five copies of the book, Craft, Inc., that could be given away to Adorn's blog readers. To be eligible for the drawing one needed to leave a comment with a useful crafty-business tip.

Well I could add a tip - after all, I began selling doll clothes, soft animals, and clothing accessories as a teen way back in the seventies. I did the craft show circuit for years and years and years and learned quite a bit along the way. I was in on the seventies version of "go green" - who remembers the ecology clubs in high schools and the "give a hoot, don't pollute"? I refashioned clothing before it was fashionable to do so. I hand embroidered on my clothing designs I created. I decorated my home with homemade creations because I couldn't afford to buy items in the store.

Over the years I received so much positive feedback and encouragement but, as a single mom, I was too afraid to jump in and give up the security of my paycheck. In the busyness of raising two kids, working full time and carrying a full-time load of classes at the community college, the crafty business went away. As much as I loved the chance it gave me to express my creativity as well as all the wonderful people I met at shows (not the mention the extra income), there just wasn't enough time in the day to do it all.

Years later I began another sewing related business - a drapery workroom - but carpel tunnel put an end to that one. I decided at that point sewing would be for my own personal pleasure. But who knows what the future holds.

In case you're curious this was the tiny bit of wisdom that I contributed. What I wrote had nothing to do with being chosen as a winner - it was a random drawing.
- If you are excited and passionate about what you create and sell it will be evident when you talk about it.

- Don’t be “shy” about talking about yourself and your product every chance you get! Have your ten second spiel ready to go whenever the opportunity presents itself.

- Always have your professional looking business card with current information (including your blog, website, etsy site) with you so you can hand out two - one for them and one for them to give away.

- Don’t forget the power of your local newspapers - send a news release anytime something newsworthy happens with your business. A few years ago I had a design published in a magazine which led to a half page spread in a local paper, which led to new customers. This idea might seem a bit old-fashioned in this era of online news and shopping, but there’s something about being published in a paper that people respond to.

BTW, if you've ever thought of starting a business or even if you already have a business, check out the eighty helpful tips that were left by readers. The comment list would be worth printing out and keeping in a place where it could be referenced often.

I've read a lot of marketing books as well as craft business books so I'm quite eager to see what Craft, Inc. has to say. I'll be sure to share my perspective on the book as soon as it arrives.

So thank you Adorn Magazine and Chronicle Books! I hope it gets here quickly... Pin It


  1. Hi Sharon!!! Good for you!!! Congrats on winning!!!

    I must say... I already FAITHFULLY practice one of your tips... the biz cards are ALWAYS at the ready to give out to potential customers... I even attach them to orders once they are done... my husband has been known to tack them up on community boards in POs and Grocery stores!

    I'm definitely going to pirnt out the tips left by everyone!!!

    Congrats again!!!

    Lala :o)

  2. Congratulations, Sharon! I sure hope you can find a way to alleviate your carpel tunnel and get back to what you love doing ALL day long! Your talent never ceases to amaze me--and I'd certainly advertise you on my blog!


  3. What great tips, Sharon! And congrats on winning the drawing. Now I'm off to read those eighty helpful tips...

  4. Congrats!

    I have tried the craft show route and was never very successful at it. I found that people did not really want to buy, just look. And I was never very good at speaking up and promoting my products, which were priced relatively high. That is why I've settled on what I do now....alterations and custom.

  5. congratulations!!!!



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