Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Book Review: The Handmade Market Place

Good Morning,
One of my Christmas's gift from last year, was a book called The Handmade Market Place. I wanted a business type book that explained how to turn your love of crafting into a fairly successful business. Let me tell you if you have an Etsy shop, a real shop, if your selling at stores, or doing craft shows then you need this book.

Get your copy at Amazon!

The book is broken up into three parts and within those three parts are twelve chapters. The book starts with setting goals and building your craft space. The author Kari Chapin got a whole bunch of artist together, to give their opinions on the topics talked about in the book.

In one of the sections Kari talks about inspiration and how to find it and get it back, if you lost it. One of my favorite quotes from this section is from an artist Yvonne Eijkendujn. She said  "I need to be surrounded by the things that inspire me, that make me happy, and that I find beautiful to look at. It's all about me, really. In my former home I painted the pantry a bright pink, and people asked me why since nobody was going to see it. But I have to look at it everyday!"

Another section that I found really interesting was chapter 2, which was all about branding your business. To me this chapter is so important because it's the foundation of your shop, or items your selling. In this section they go through good branding, your business name, logos, and your defining image. Artist Amber Karnes said "Branding is a complete and total image. Not just a logo or a color scheme or a certain product line, a brand has to make people buy into the IDEA."

This book also covers marketing, how to take photographs, your crafting community, blogging ( which was a fun chapter for me), advertising and publicity, and the book even goes into how to sell your work at craft fairs, online or at brick and mortar stores. 

Like I said above the blogging chapter was really fun to read, most things I had all ready done but I learn alot of other new information that I never even thought of. Now since most of you are bloggers out their I thought I would share the Three Rules for Blogging Success from Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge 
1. Focus on what makes you YOU. If you have a background in a certain field or live in an interesting area of the world that hasn't been covered alot focus on those things. Blogs that are about interesting fields always stand out from the pack.
2. Keep things simple- it's always better to have fewer post and content if those fewer things are original and thought - provoking 
3. Focus on the editorial content. Sure, ad revenue can be nice, but it shouldn't be the focus of a site. Focus on what you love and write about that; the rest can potentially grow from there.


So in a nut shell, I feel this book is so rich with information that it can be helpful at any stage of your business. This book answers all the basic questions and becomes a great guidebook, if your really thinking about trying to make money from your crafts. I'm so happy that I have a copy and to tell you the truth this is the first craft business book that I read from cover to cover. In the past I would start reading a craft business book, but it would get boring and I would throw it to the side. The dialog in this book is really upbeat and entertaining which made me want to read it more. 

If you read this book or have read another craft business book that you love leave a comment below sharing your thoughts!

Enjoy,


* All opinions are my own and this review is not being sponsored. 

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