Tag Archives: handmade

Blogs and Books and Podcasts Oh My!

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As you can see from the photos we were definitely not in Kansas!  We just got back from our 3rd year attending the wonderful Craftcation Conference  in beautiful Ventura, California. Craftcation is an annual four-day business and makers conference featuring industry professionals leading attendees in hands-on food & craft workshops, lectures and panels on creative business.  The location, a sleepy little seaside surfing town, is so creatively inspiring.  The hosts Nicole and Delialah of Dear Handmade Life do an excellent job of creating an open, inspiring and sharing community.

We learned about paying ourselves, pricing, wholesale, social media, blogging, newsletters and book proposals.  We took creative classes where we learned to play with image transfers and make stamped clay metal pendants.

We also met and learned about leading “handmade” industry authors, bloggers and podcasters.  We’d love to share some of our favorites with you.

Blogs:

  1. While She Naps by Abby Glassenberg.  Abby’s blog is a virtual fountain of information on topics such as running your small business to sewing patterns & DIY’s.
  2. Tara Swiger is a maker, author and small business genius.  Her blog will help you get serious about the financial and marketing aspects of your business.
  3. Wise Craft by Blair Stocker.  We especially love Blair’s craft projects that involve upcycling.  She has a wide range of talents and it is so fun to follow her adventures.

Handmade Business Books:

  1. The Handmade Marketplace and Grow Your Handmade Business by Kari Chapin.  These two books are excellent reference for people thinking of selling or currently selling their own handmade goods.
  2. Make it Mighty Ugly by Kim Werker.  This book is a funny and insightful weapon that you can use to slay your creative demons.
  3. The Brilliant Ideas Launch Pad and Make It Happen by Kari Chapin.  These inspiring workbooks help to generate and capture your best ideas & track your productivity.

Podcasts:

  1. Fresh Rag is a podcast hosted by Dave Conrey.  Dave’s energy is contagious as he lights a fire under us and shows us how to make more from our creative pursuits.
  2. Raise Your Hand.  Say Yes. hosted by Tiffany Han.  Tiffany’s podcasts involve so so many of our creative hero’s.  Listen now and every day.  She’ll change your life.
  3. Dear Handmade Life with Nicole Stevenson and Delilah Snell is fun, inspiring and has wonderful variety.

On a final note, CreativeLive is an excellent resource for creative souls.  They offer a wide selection of online workshops that you can watch for FREE.  Can you believe it?  Some of our favorite handmade guru’s are instructors.  Megan Anderson has an upcoming class where she’ll cover craft photography fundamentals , Megan Auman is teaching a workshop called Make a Living Selling What You Make and Nicole Stevenson‘s workshop is called Craft Show Secrets, How to Get In, Make Sales and Grow Your Business.  CreativeLive is also an excellent resource for photographers so spread the word!

All of these resources are at your fingerstips.  Check out our recommendations – we promise you won’t be disappointed.  Happy making!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hang Ups in KC Small Business Saturday & Cyber Monday Sale

Help us celebrate Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday!

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It’s our best sale of the year! Save 30% off purchases made Saturday, November 29 – Monday, December 1, 2014. Visit www.hangupsinkc.com and start shopping now. We have unique pieces that make great gifts for eveyone on your holiday list. Check out our Literacy Kansas City Collection to find gifts for the teachers and book lovers on your list. Check out our Band of Angels Kansas City Collection to find gifts for the musicians and music lovers on your lists. These two collections of jewelry help us to share our joy of reading and music, and allow us to give back to our community. See our website for more information on both of these great organizations. Just use the code HUTHANKSU when you are checking out to take advantage of this great offer.

We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for supporting our small business!

Kristi & Carolyn

Online Sale at Select Handmade in KC Shops November 1 – 7th!

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Have you had a chance to check out the talented artisans from the group Handmade in KC (www.handmadeinkc.com)?  This is a cooperative of local artisans who offer quality handmade products.  We are very proud to be a part of this amazing group of local artists!

Several of us from Handmade in KC wanted to help you kick off your holiday shopping with a 20% off coupon code to our shops!

The coupon code will be effective November 1 at midnight and end November 7 at 11:59pm Central Time.
All you need to do is find the products that you’d like from the shops listed below.  You will need to check out from each shop individually (not a collective), and enter the code: HANDMADEKC to receive 20% off of your purchase at that shop!  And then do it again for another shop listed below!  Happy shopping!
Beadery Destash
Creations by M & J
The Costume Wrangler
Handmade by Lolo Z
Hang Ups in KC
Hey Paul Studios
Ni-Chern Designs
Nuggets of Goodness
Only Little Wing
Remnants by RJ
Simply Classic Jewelry
Stik A Pin In It
Thyme2Dream
The Tulle Box
Vintage Wedding Gems
Violet’s Buds

Taking Flight With Lu & Ed, a MON-STOROUSLY Cool Company

We are thrilled to introduce you to Cody, the human behind a mon-storously successful small business that is environmentally responsible and gives back to the community.  IMG_2664

Q:  Can you tell us a little about yourself and how Lu & Ed was started?
A:  I’m Cody, a monster making mom living in the Midwest, and owner of Lu & Ed! I moved my small family to Kansas City from the East Coast in 2009 and downsized majorly – into my mother-in-law’s basement. Desperate for some storage that wouldn’t take up much of our precious floor space, I dreamed up toy storage for my son that we could hang on the back of the doors for him to put his toys in, in the form of a monster he could “feed”. The next day, I drafted the pattern and with the help of my mother-in-law, learned to use a sewing machine, and several hours and many laughs later, the very first Mon-stor ever was born.
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Q: Where can we purchase your Monster?
A:  I opened my Storenvy shop (http://luanded.com) in 2009 and have been selling there exclusively ever since! It is a free to list, use and sell platform and the people behind it are super passionate and always readily available to answer questions and help their sellers succeed! They have really helped me shape my brand & products into what they are today. ♥
Q:  What are you most proud of in your business?
A: As Mon-stors have evolved over the years, so have my efforts to run a green business. I think it’s important to do good where you can, and I knew I could make a positive ecological impact with products and business practices. In 2011, I switched from purchasing new fabrics to purchasing post-production fabrics from thrift stores and textile discards from factories. When people learned about my eco-efforts they started donating fabric, bedding, and clothing to me to turn into Mon-stors. It takes a bit more effort, but I am proud to say now all Mon-stors are made from 100% upcycled and recycled fabrics. I package and ship all of my products in recycled food boxes and use biodegradable tape. Even my business cards are eco-friendly now, printed on recycled paper that is biodegradable. Saving the world – one monster at a time!
Q: Can you please tell us a little about your social media schedule and how it impacts your sales?
A:  Community is so important when you are an entrepreneur.  I have built a cozy & happy tribe of monster lovers on the internet and I am so thankful for the communities that I am a part of that helped me get where I am. I think when a  lot of people think of social media, they think “marketing”. When I think of social media I think “community”. I don’t use social media solely to sell my stuff – I view each person I interact with as a friend, and that helps me build lasting connections and opens the doors for so many more opportunities and partnerships and conversations!
Q:  What is your advice for someone considering launching a business in the handmade marketplace?
A:  My biggest advice for someone just starting out in the indie world is this: Success does not happen overnight. It doesn’t even happen in a few weeks, and most likely not even in a few months. It can take YEARS before you “make it”. Go into to this prepared for a long, hard road. Join communities and build organic friendships in the industry. Be kind to everyone, even the naysayers and bullies, and always be positive. Don’t complain about how slow the road is or how hard it is because perspective is 90% of your success – if you are excited and positive about your business and efforts, that is contagious. Others will be too!
And the big one? Always keep learning, from the pros. I read Inc.com and Entrepreneur.com all the time, even if it isn’t geared towards the handmade niche it is invaluable information from marketing and small business professionals. Try to only take advice from writers that can quote the source of their information and statistics and have the experience to back their content. You can never learn enough, because things evolve and change quickly, so make sure you are consuming good information while it’s fresh off the press and apply it in any way possible to help your business grow!
Q:  How do you give back to your community?
A:  As Lu & Ed has grown so has my desire to contribute to my local community of children in need. I reached out to artists I admire & collaborated with them to create a program I call Team Team Lu & Ed that proudly supports Drumm Farm with as much as 100% from Team Lu & Ed products going to the group  home environment for children in the Missouri foster care system, helping make the lives of the children who reside there a little more wonderful!
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Check out Cody’s Mon-sters – how could they NOT bring joy to all children – young & old?  Lu & Ed (www.luanded.com) is also a part of the Made In Kansas City Initiative.  Check out this amazing group of local talent at www.handmadeinkc.com.

Taking Flight with Nicole from Ni-Chern Designs

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When planning this blog series on the entrepreneurial journey of small business owners we immediately knew that we wanted to feature Nicole from Ni-Chern Designs.  Nicole is smart, collaborative and giving…everything that a successful entrepreneur needs to be.  She understands the need for community in the handmade entrepreneurial world and when she couldn’t find a community that fit her she created her own!  How is that for initiative?  Check out this community of talented artists (including Hang Ups in KC) at:  http://handmadeinkc.wix.com/home.

If you are wondering what her company name means, Ni-Chern (Nee-Churn) is Nicole’s Chinese name, meaning little girl.  Nicole does some of the finest work we’ve seen and has an eye for fun, vibrant fabrics.  Her creations have been featured several magazines including This is KC, The Pitch, Vintage KC Magazine and the Better Homes and Gardens Do It Yourself Magazine.

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Check out Ni-Chern’s website at www.nicherndesigns.com.  Here is a peek at a few of her creations:

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Ni-Chern Designs is a part of the Made In Kansas City Initiative (www.localstart.org) and donates 10% of her profits to the non-profit organization Kids TLC (www.kidstlc.org).  We could go on and on about this dynamo handmade entrepreneur but thought it would be more fun quiz her about how she got started, what drives her and what celebrity she would love to see using her products.

Q:  When did you start your sewing business and why?

A:  I started my business back in 2005. At first it was the lack of handmade items out there and I needed to pay off my student loans. As we all know when we starting out with handmade business, there is no income in any of this!  So I refocused and went with my desire to help out by donating 10% of my proceeds to preventcancer.org for the first few years.

Q:  What has been the single best thing you’ve done for your business?

A:  Connecting with fellow handmakers. I think a lot of times when we start out, all we can think about is how to make money, but the best thing that I’ve done for my business is to make friends and connect with other people. There is a difference between connecting professionally and just making friends. I always hope that the connections made will turn into a lasting friendships!

Q:  What is your favorite business book or blog that inspires you?

A:  The business blog that has caught my eye recently is Create and Thrive.

Q:  If you could have a celebrity use your products who would it be?

A:  Oh man, I really like Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Stone, and Rachel McAdams. So, I guess any of those ladies would be great!

We would like to thank Nicole for participating in this blog series and for including us in her circle of handmade friend-preneurs!  Find Ni-Chern Designs on Facebook at www.facebook.com/nicherndesigns, follow her on Twitter @nicherndesigns and on Instagram at www.instagram.com/ni_chern.

We are always looking for tips, tricks and feedback.  If you have a fabulous entrepreneurial story please share it with us in the comments section!

Best wishes to all of you!

Kristi & Carolyn

Creativity Is Contagious Feature Artist: Holly Shaw of Haleighanna’s Hands

We love our “Creativity Is Contagious, Pass It On” series so much that we are going to extend it for the entire month of October.  Send a short bio on you or your creative business as well of some photos of your creations to me at Carolyn@hangupsinkc.com and Kristi & I will share your creations with our friends!

We would like to introduce to our friend Holly Shaw who is the artistic genius behind Haleighanna’s Hands.  We met Holly at a show last March and immediately hit it off with her.  She has a wicked sense of humor and her creativity is off the charts.  This is how Holly describes herself:

“I am a Midwestern girl who decided to follow a dream and moved to Portland, Oregon. I left a corporate job so that I could work on getting to know myself better as an artist. Most of the day is spent in my studio, working with paper, paint and glue. I actually started out scrapbooking and then moved on to mixed media. I opened my Etsy shop so that I could recycle my stash (turning my art into cash to buy more supplies to make art). It was an outlet for my hoarding.”

Here are some of Holly’s most recent pieces:

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Please visit Holly’s online store at www.haleighannashands.etsy.com.