Maker’s Dozen:
12 Alternatives to Selling Handmade Goods Online

Etsy Makeover Quick Update: Wins and Challenges


This is just a quick note to give you some further insight to how things are going with our Etsy Makeover experiment. Since our last chat, Michele has since completely overhauled her branded images, so the shop now looks completely in sync. When it all came together, she understood why I was recommending she take a more active approach to switching all the images over. The shop now has a very cohesive feel to it, and as things go on Etsy, we've found someone who is copying her style already. A more important aspect to this update is that Michele has sold 3 high-end scarves/shawls since she got her shop cleaned up. That's not a huge amount, but considering she was at a point of selling about 1 a month, that's a 300% increase in sales, and each at a decent price point. With a combination of nice, unified imagery, and a move to a more high-end product, she's starting to see the value in what we are creating for her shop. I won't call it a success yet, but I think we're headed … [Read more...]

Talking Shop With Julie Astrauckas, Round Two


I'm happy to have our friend, and one of our most popular guests, Julie Astrauckas of Julie Ann Art back on the show for another round. At first I was a bit worried I invited her back on too soon, but then I realized it had been almost a year since our last chat. Since so much had happened with her business, I thought it would be a good time to check back in and see how things had changed for her over the past year... and things have really changed. As you might expect, we talk extensively about Etsy and all the hub bub that's been rolling around people's tongue's lately. If you didnt' get enough of my conversation with Danielle Spurge last week, you will certainly get your fill of opinions and experience in this one. We also talk about how much her business has grown, and what she believes is the reason behind that success. I grill her on what she plans to do next to grow her business and the answer might surprise you (or maybe not—you decide.) Post-Rollin' "Definitions belong … [Read more...]

From Stitch Engineer to Vocal Proponent of Success—Danielle Spurge of Merriweather Council


I'm not going to lie to you, folks. I'm on fire today, and somebody may get burned, but it won't be Danielle Spurge, or lovely guest on today's the show. Danielle and I met through a mutual friend on Twitter, and subsequently through B-School, and even though I am not the kind to drift toward thread arts, I found her attitude refreshing. I asked her to come here and tell her story about being a maker, and how that's changed her life. We tackle all sorts of topics, but the overarching theme is, "Stay Hungry." Things Danielle and I discuss: The new Etsy landscape What social media platforms work for which tasks Does Facebook still matter? How much does personality play in her business Being a military wife And, reaching out into new media waters It's a fun conversation, and one you will enjoy. Just know that after the chat, I pretty much eviscerate a whole legion of people about their attitudes toward Etsy and certain sellers online, specifically Three Bird … [Read more...]

There’s Only One Way to Be a Champion. Don’t Ever Lose!

The other day, I was listening to a podcast episode about a start-up company, and in that conversation, the founder and his wife were having a conversation about how far the company had come, and how much further they had yet to go. The founder expressed to his wife that despite all the trials and tribulations they had been through for the company, he only had one single thought about where they stood now. This Is Only the Beginning! Those words shot through me like a lightning bolt through an Oklahoma farmhouse. I knew in that moment, that even though I was quickly approaching my 2nd year in business, that I was only just beginning this journey. So many lessons learned in the last few years, and I'm starting to feel a bit more of a journeyman, but there's this twinge in me that knows I have only scratched the surface of what I could possibly achieve. It's a remarkable feeling, and I don't know how else to put it into words. First there's the effect of meeting so many awesome … [Read more...]

Jenna Soard Says You Can Brand… and Pole Dance


One of the best parts of my work is getting to meet all the awesome creative folks. Sometimes those folks end up being kindred spirits, and today's guest is no different. Those moments usually end up being the best conversations, as is the case with my chat with Jenna Soard of Jenna is a branding specialist with a focus on design and entrepreneurialism. What I like most is her sass, especially when it comes to her own branding (hence the atypical business head shot she sent me). In this conversation, we talk about many things, including branding, B-School, and pole dancing. Yes, we do go there, and it all makes sense once you hear what she has to say about it. In fact, she even tries to get me on the pole. You'll have to listen in to see how that went down. Relative Links Join B-School! Jenna says You Can Brand Her Dating Site Join the Fresh Rag Army Music: Fall in Love With Me by Yung Bae … [Read more...]

Creative Business Success at the Corner of Marketing and Purpose


Many years ago, I hopped onto the blogosphere trying to share my thoughts on what I believed made up good marketing strategy for businesses. Shortly after, I ran across Sean Howard, a marketing pro who both enlightened and confounded me with his knowledge of the subject. I would read Sean's posts voracity, and still have plenty of moments where I had no idea what he was talking about. I knew it was important stuff, but it was on a level far beyond my grasp. Since that time, Sean and I have become friends, and connected on many levels. As both a successful marketing professional, and an accomplished photographer, it was only fitting that I brought him on the show to shop talk our way through purposeful topics, and a little bit of obscure pop culture. Relative Links Sean Howard Photography Creators 2.0 - The free book that shouldn't be free. (or should it?) Taking the Leap podcast Music: Sooner or Later by Trixie Delight … [Read more...]