I’m going to be honest here, when I was a child I was a bit of a handful. Not only was I one of those kids you would see in the amusement park strapped to a leash, but I was also a master of knock-knock jokes and a perpetual tormentor to my two younger brothers. Many times have I heard the words, “be patient!” and “who broke this?!”
Somewhere in my path from 4 to 14 to 24, I’ve mellowed out a bit. The exact cause cannot be pinpointed, but I think it had to do with the fact that I love to read. Quiet time with a book seemed to soothe the little beast that I was. I’ll always remember something my Grandma told me after she busted me tossing some books around and stomping on them,
“Jessie, books are our friends.”
For some reason or another, this little statement has stuck with me. Eventually shelves filled with Babysitters Club, Goosebumps, and Nancy Drew novels gave way to college text books, though those were usually sold back to the bookstore promptly at the end of each semester. Today my bookshelf – or rather pile of books that can no longer fit on my bookshelf – is cluttered with everything from Anne Rice to ancient Greece to Abigail and John Adams (two of my faaaaavorite historical figures) to books filled with sewing patterns and cutesy projects.
Whatever you choose to read, there’s a lot to be said of both quality and quantity. To read too much, in my opinion, is nearly impossible. Recently I’ve taken to reading as much as humanly possible on turning creative thought into something tangible and worthwhile. There is a ton of information around the internet about how to make your handmade art into more than just a hobby. Though that may be the in-a-pinch way to read up on the subject, nothing can beat the wealth of knowledge that can be gained from sources in print.
One of the most informative works I’ve read so far in terms of handmade marketing has to be The Handmade Marketplace: How to Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally, and On-Line by Kari Chapin.
Not only is this book beautifully illustrated, the information is presented in a way that makes marketing actually quite interesting and understandable. How to decide if your craft is in demand, how to set up your online presence, how to build your brand, even how to get involved in selling your creations at local fairs and markets – it’s all here. While I’m no book reviewer – nor do I really feel the need to try to be – once I read this book, I knew I had to tell people about it. I first handed my copy off to Alex (a fellow misc•maker, whom you shall meet soon) as she was just beginning to sell her crochet masterpieces. Next, the book was passed to Elizabeth, another collaborator here. pssst – Liz, give me back my book. Now I’ve taken my praise to the internet – Do you see what you’ve done, Kari Chapin?! What I’m getting at here is that if you’re interested in learning how to market your work as an artisan, this book will definitely take the edge off that big “M” word – Marketing. If you’re on the search for a sort of text book for crafty business models and resources, I’d highly suggest taking a look at this book. This book is definitely my friend :)
(Disclaimer: I have received absolutely no compensation to prompt this review.
I’ve merely enjoyed learning from this book and I wanted to share the knowledge.)