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Crafty Business Week – Book Review & GIVEAWAY – Craft Inc.

 

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.

GIVEAWAY!
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.

Disclosure

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

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24 Responses to Crafty Business Week – Book Review & GIVEAWAY – Craft Inc.

  1. Avatar
    iam_artisan May 24, 2011 at 11:04 am #

    I was looking for this book since I had the Creative Inc {collaboration with Oh Joy}. How I wish I’d win this one… the Creative Inc was a lot of help for me. Im definitely sure, this one can add more to that knowledge. I’m into craft business and I love joining fairs, however, I really feel there’s something lacking to what I’m doing. I really think, this will help me to widen my thoughts about it… {oh pretty pls?} =)

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    Amanda May 24, 2011 at 11:37 am #

    I’ve been wanting to start a business with my crafts! What a great book to win!

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    Dollie May 24, 2011 at 11:48 am #

    I have been wanting to start a crafty business for a while now. These books seem like a great resource to have!

    Dollie
    dolliescreations at gmail dot com

    (I can’t seem to sign in using blogger)

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    Shanna May 24, 2011 at 12:04 pm #

    I have a craft/art business with a biz name and license. I have been selling my hand-made wares and art at craft shows and through friends. I just recently made the leap into making this my full-time employment. I would love this book to help me transition into making my part-part-time craft biz into an organized and disciplined endeavor. Thanks!

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    Anne Temple May 24, 2011 at 12:34 pm #

    I want to take my crafting to the next level and I woud love to win this book.

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    amy in sc May 24, 2011 at 1:55 pm #

    I have wanted to learn more about taking my crafting too the next level as I do not currently have a business. Staying on track??? I have no system in place!

  7. Avatar
    Shannon Duffy May 24, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

    I am planning to start my crafting business this summer to allow me to work for myself and spend more time with my family. What a great resource this book will be for me! I can’t wait to check it out! Thanks for the opportunity to win!

    BTW–everytime I try to leave a comment using Blogger, it won’t allow me–there is always an error.. =(

  8. Avatar
    Michele May 24, 2011 at 2:16 pm #

    I have been looking for guidance to the next step in launching my business into the big crafting world.
    Could really use this book!
    Thanks for the opportunity to win
    Michele

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    Patchi May 24, 2011 at 2:16 pm #

    This review came at the perfect time! I have a great idea (at least I think it is – LOL) but I have no idea if it’s feasible. I’d love to know the step-by-step of putting the business together and how much it would take. So far all I have is random notes in a diary, this is just what I hoped existed!

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    Elizabeth May 24, 2011 at 2:53 pm #

    I am in the process of starting a new business selling my scrapboook layouts and embellishments. This would be awesome to have!!! Thanks for the opportunity! http://visionsofpaper.blogspot.com/

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    Rebecca Ednie May 24, 2011 at 3:45 pm #

    I am easily the worst business person out there. I could so use this book. Organization is my worst enemy!

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    Barb May 24, 2011 at 4:15 pm #

    I have wanted to own a craft business for many years now. This looks like the kind of info I will need to make my dream real.

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    Linda McClain May 24, 2011 at 6:07 pm #

    Ooo – count me in. I own Catered Crop. Which, for now, is a blog with linking parties/challenges and some of my own crafts included. But, its also kind of my retirement plan. I hope to sell the crafts and monetize the blog in a few years. I’d love to make sure I’m on the right track for establishing it as a source of revenue.

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    kathy s May 24, 2011 at 6:15 pm #

    These books look and sound fantastic they would be so helpful- I am a crafter- focusing mainly on cards at the moment but do other things as well- I have started teaching card making and would love to advance to selling some of my crafts but have no idea how to go about this so the books would be a great advantage. Thanks for the chance

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    margie c May 24, 2011 at 6:30 pm #

    These books are currently next to buy on my wishlist! Great review! I am looking to go to the next level with my lil shop and hope that these will give me the extra tools that I will need!
    Thanks for the review! and the chance to win them too 🙂
    hugs, margie

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    Rosalie May 24, 2011 at 8:04 pm #

    I do currently own a craft business and I’ve looked at this book several times.

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    Scrappy Rat May 24, 2011 at 8:43 pm #

    I have an etsy shop that makes me pretty happy, but I’m highly aware of my own lack of business know-how. I’ve seen these books online and neeeeearly bought them but then thought about ones I’ve read before that were minimally helpful at best. Thanks for reviewing these. They look pretty cool and definitely worthwhile.

  18. Avatar
    AShu93 May 24, 2011 at 10:09 pm #

    I would like the advice this book gives to help me do things a little more professionally.

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    rush May 25, 2011 at 1:25 am #

    i want to seriously look at how i can go about selling my things, and i think this book would help to point out things that i need to consider before the sales.

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    Deanna May 25, 2011 at 1:39 am #

    After over 10 years with a school district, I was laid off due to the economy. One of the first things that my mom said was that now I could finally do something with all my crafts materials & talents. Even if I do not win these books, they seem worthy of purchase at this time in my life. Thanks for all the information that you share!

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    Anita W May 25, 2011 at 5:00 am #

    These books look fantastic, I am currently in the process of setting up my own online business. I have spent the day with my hubby designing a website, thank goodness he is a computer geek and can do all those things.I would love to win them to help get off on the right foot.

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    Diane S. May 25, 2011 at 10:58 am #

    I would love to have this book, as my hubby is now laid off and I have been thinking of getting an Etsy account and starting my own business-this would be such a help to me!

  23. Avatar
    debpaint16 May 25, 2011 at 2:19 pm #

    I have always wanted to start a craft-based business, but lack the information needed. I have trouble with organization, and this looks like the book to steer me in the right direction! Thank you so much for the chance to win!
    debpaint16@aol.com

  24. Avatar
    rudie2shoes May 26, 2011 at 4:50 pm #

    I would like to start a craft business in the future!