Reported by Sarah Moore
Many of you are probably like me, you have a million crafty dreams just waiting to become a reality. Perhaps you are a designer or hobby crafter. Maybe you have sold some of your work at craft shows, or on Etsy. Or maybe you just love to make for the sake of making, and don’t know how to take your hobby to the next level. Craft Inc., Turn Your Creative Hobby Into A Business, and its companion title, The Craft Inc. Business Planner by Meg Mateo Ilasco were written for you!
How do you start a business? Will you need a business license? What will your start up costs be? These questions and more are answered in Craft Inc. These books are current, address market needs for 2011, and are entertaining as well. I especially enjoyed the interviews with professional creatives Ms. Mateo Ilasco sprinkled throughout the books.
As a creative entrepreneur myself, I got a lot out of the chapters titled “your business mind,” and “marketing and publicity strategies.” I only dabble in selling my crafts, but those of you who have dreams of making a living selling at craft shows will find the chapters about production, pricing, sales, and order fulfillment especially useful.
The chapters about your creative and business mind will help inspire you, while the rest of the book provides solid advice to help you see your dreams solidify. Reading sound business advice, specific to the industry, can really help you decide where you will need additional resources and help.
I especially appreciated that the author speaks to the reader as if s/he is a professional with a desire to design a real business, not just sell their wares at a few shows. Ms. Mateo Ilasco speaks as an expert to the entrepreneur… not just the dabbling creative, as so many of these books tend to do.
The planner was designed to be an accompaniment to the main publication. It’s a place to keep all your important documents, business license and tax ID numbers, contacts, suppliers, etc. It is spiral bound and contains section dividers and pockets. It even has a note pad/to-do list in the front.
The planner is really a portable business plan. It is designed to help you create budgets, predict costs and revenue, and set goals. I love this aspect of it. Having all your data and dreams in one place can be very helpful to your business growth. The author has also included many quotes from professional crafters to further inspire you.
I will say that I wish the book was 3-ring bound, so I could remove some of the pages I won’t use, or make multiple copies of those I’d need more of. I don’t really need the pages about packing for a craft show, but those of you who do shows regularly will find them very helpful. I really love the section about trade shows. Industry trade shows are often overlooked and I participate in quite a few.
The planner will help you create your business – from budgets to booth design. But even if you are a more experienced business owner, you will still find the book useful to store all your ideas in one place.
Leave it to Chronicle Books to produce books that are attractive, current and useful. All in all, I found these books inspirational. If you are dreaming of taking your hobby to the next level, as a designer, crafter or creative entrepreneur, then I would recommend this collection.
Our friends at Chronicle have given us a copy of Craft Inc. to give to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment on this post and answer any of the questions below:
Why do you want to read this book? Do you currently own a craft business? What do you use to stay on track?
One comment per person, per article, please. Winner will be selected on Friday, May 27, 2011.