Radvent Giveaway: Grow Your Handmade Business by Kari Chapin!

This year I had the honor of contributing to Kari Chapin’s latest book, Grow Your Handmade Business. It’s geared toward artisans, crafters, designers and DIY-ers who are trying to get on an entrepreneurial track. Personally, I love having this book on my shelf alongside all of the other business books I’ve purchased and pored over, but this is the only title I own that is specifically geared toward me as a seller in the handmade marketplace. In her book, Kari answers some of the most common questions we all have as we start out: “What’s next?” “How do I make a living doing this?” “What kinds of marketing pay off and what’s been sort of a bust?”

To answer these questions, Kari called upon her “Creative Collective” (that includes me!) to share their struggles, successes, and all of their business advice. Reading this book is not only full of great inspiration and motivation to build an independent business with your own hands, it’s also a valuable opportunity to learn from the experiences of tons of creative geniuses who have been there.

From determining goals and finding mentors to the nuts and bolts of developing business plans, budgets, marketing strategies, and investor relations, Grow Your Handmade Business covers it all. With this definitive guide, your dream of quitting your day job may become a reality. Pick it up for crafters on your Christmas list and I promise it’ll be very well-received! And if you have time, go through the book first and highlight all of the quotes from me for them. Wink.

I have one book to give away from Kari Chapin herself, and it’ll go to a randomly chosen commenter! To win, just leave a comment below and I’ll pick a winner on Friday the 14th at the end of the night. I encourage you to share this giveaway with your friends to help me spread the word about Kari’s awesome new book.

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+ four = 5

18 thoughts on “Radvent Giveaway: Grow Your Handmade Business by Kari Chapin!”

  1. Angela says:

    This looks like a great resource. I need to read this book!

  2. Taylor says:

    I’m opening a new shop in just a few days, so this could come in handy. Thanks for the opportunity to win this, Megan.

  3. Karli H says:

    Such an adorable cover!

  4. Jill F says:

    I could definitely use a copy of this!

  5. Val says:

    Dying to read this book!

  6. Laurie says:

    Awesome book idea! Thanks for the opportunity!

  7. I checked this out at the library with a bunch of similar books, but didn’t get the chance to read it. I’d love my own copy.

  8. annabelvita says:

    I’ve reserved this at the library but I’d love my own copy!

  9. Amanda Schwery says:

    I would absolutely love this! I’ve been trying in vain to sell my stuff for so long it seems

  10. Anna Vargas says:

    I need this book in my life. Maybe freelance design can be my full time job, someday. Or a cake pop business?

  11. heartfeltartisan says:

    This has been on my wish list for months! Heard great things about it so fingers crossed!

  12. Alison says:

    What a great giveaway! Not only for an educational purpose, but I can add to my P-L obsession stash ;) But seriously, this would be a great gift to myself being new in my entrepeneaur life.

  13. Christine Barker says:

    I need this book. I’m happy creating handmade treasures but its time to take my abilities to the next level. I’m asked if I teach or sell and I’d like to be able to confidently say an an emphatic yes and list the number of retailers I’m sold in. Please pick me!

  14. Marleen Hoog says:

    I loved the Handmad Marketplace too, so I do give it a try

  15. Jessica says:

    Would love to win this!! I’m very intrigued after reading your description about it.

  16. Erin Human says:

    Would love a copy of this book!

  17. maike says:

    YAY! I’ve been curious about this book since seeing the cover of it pop up on your site. Thanks for describing it in more detail. I’m wishlisting it now, but being a lucky winner on Friday would be even better.

  18. Megan Heese says:

    I love hearing from successful business owners, in Omaha, especially. I’ve learned so much from the small business owners I do know and, even though there is always struggle involved, it’s so inspiring to hear success stories.


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Alice Elfie’s Day Off

Alice and I stayed home today so we could start making presents for our family. It's hard to find much time to be together and do any of that between getting off work and bedtime, so we both took a day off! We listened to the Mariah Carey holiday Pandora station all day and had personal pan pizzas delivered for lunch, and ate all the cookies we wanted from a cookie exchange we went to last weekend. Here's what we made, including links!

OOTD: Clothes to covet

Today Alice and I are staying home to work on all of our Christmas gifts together! With my new work schedule, there isn't a lot of time between work and bed to finish any meaningful projects together, so we both took the day off to make and wrap all of our gifts. One thing on my gift list is this outfit. If we don't sell out of my size before the holidays, I'll definitely be buying it from the store. Usually I just buy whatever I want as things come in or order extra for myself, but during the holidays I want to give all of our extra inventory a chance to sell at full price before I snatch it up.

Clark & Company: Young guns in the Omaha music spotlight

This summer was the first time I heard Clark & Company’s music. I was at a friend’s house for a big party and the place was buzzing with lively discussions between friends reuniting and new introductions being made. I heard Clark & Company in the background of all this fun, and it was the kind of sound that you at first think is coming through some speakers somewhere. Soon, singer Sophie Clark’s beautiful, soulful voice caught my ear, and I began paying more attention to the music than the conversation.

Starting a Storefront

So I've never worked clothing retail before. In college I worked at a record store for a while, but it was pretty much exactly like the movie High Fidelity and thus not a legit retail experience. As we were preparing to open our first retail location for the Hello Holiday offices, everyone who knows me kept saying stuff like, "Well, I hope you can handle retail." "I think you're gonna find that running a physical store is a lot different." "Well, I look forward to hearing how THAT goes." It's like when you're a parent and you say stuff like, "I'm planning on taking my kid to work most days," and other parents knowingly go, "Oh, YOU'LLLLLL see."

I opened a store. Here’s what it looks like.

On November 25th, right before Thanksgiving, Sarah and I opened Hello Holiday's first brick-and-mortar location. When we started Hello Holiday, we had no intention of opening a physical store, but one thing we are both good at is seeing opportunities when they arise and reacting to them quickly to take advantage of them. We had had some success with local pop-up shop events, and when a retail space came over in one of Omaha's coolest neighborhoods, we knew we had to take it. We're excited for the store because it'll give us the space we need to grow. The front is the retail showroom, the back will be our offices when we finish construction, and our growing online fulfillment operations take place out of the full basement. With this space, we'll also have the opportunity to carry more independent designers from all over the world and take more risks with designers that would be harder to sell online. When customers can feel the clothing, see the lining, feel the zipper, see how it looks on, they're more likely to feel that emotional connection to these designers. It's not just a connection to an object, to an item of clothing, but a connection to a maker--a designer--who may live thousands of miles away. It's someone we believe in and support, and we're exposing their work to hundreds of thousands of new supporters through our store--both online and now with this physical location.
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