Book Review: The Handmade Marketplace
It's designed to provide beginner-level advice for anyone who's thinking of making money from their handmades. And did I mention it's darn cute, with sweet illustrations by The Black Apple and Jen Skelley throughout? What's it about?
With chapters about branding, workspaces, marketing, publicity and establishing an online presence, this is a thorough (but nurturing!) guide to starting your own small business in handmade retail.
Kari covers sticky, tricky subjects like sales tax, credit cards, audience research, and time management - to name just a very few - in a gentle manner that makes the giant to-do list facing any crafts entrepreneur seem, well, do-able.
Kari's admirably focused on community, introducing the reader to crafty friends ranging from the founders of powerhouse blogs design*sponge and Decor8 to Etsy stars and influential workshop leaders. Just as importantly, she encourages the reader to find their own crafts posse who will support them as they struggle to hit craft fair gold.
Handmade Marketplace is somewhat US-centric - this applies mostly in the areas having to do with tax and accounting. But there's plenty for crafters the world over to learn from.The projects:
This book doesn't have projects, per se, but there's certainly plenty to do! From designing a business card to buying the supplies for your first craft fair, The Handmade Marketplace will guide you from step to step without inducing a woolly panic.
There's copious information on how to photograph your work, navigate Flickr effectively (who knew that you could put up to 75 tags on each image?) and generally market your work in a way that will get you a booth at a craft fair, a contract with a shop, and - with a little luck - a career in craft.
The book is full of interviews with successful craft professionals and extremely useful checklists. Shorter bits of testimony from Kari's Creative Collective - her name for the group of crafters she's become close to during her career as a crafter and stylist - pepper the book, giving a personal dimension to the advice on offer.
Interestingly, there's not a single photograph - this isn't a book for drooling over other peoples' crafts, it's about doing (and selling) your own!Craft type?
If your craft fits on a craft fair table, The Handmade Marketplace offers advice you can use.The Handmade Marketplace (Storey Publishing) is available on Amazon and at fine book - and craft - shops everywhere.