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Etsy’s Going Public Plus a Free Mini-Course For You!

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Happy Friday! Did you hear all the talk this week about Etsy going public? If not, you can read articles on both Bloomberg,  Time and Mashable. I am curious to know your reaction to this? I have heard buzz all over the internet from anger, tentative excitement and someone who just said that they wished they started Etsy. Haha!

I am about to release the 5th Edition of The Etsy Kit so talk about Etsy is giving me a lot to think about. Some people are very successful on there and will not feel threatened while others are worried that they will get buried even more. I read a quote from Marlo Miyashiro that said “what makes shareholders happy – more revenue, right? More revenue means that there are more buyers buying stuff…and isn’t that ultimately what we all want / need?” I like her positive take on the matter. My husband who is finance also agreed that he wished he started Etsy but also said that lots of good will come with the bad that people fear. Honestly, I meet people all of the time who have never heard of Etsy. If this could be a way for more people to discover places to buy handmade then I believe that is a positive change. I also think more sellers will like the control and autonomy of creating a presence outside of Etsy too.

As for The Etsy Kit, I am thrilled that it is filled with tips to help a seller stand out in such a large marketplace including the recent changes. I am glad that it also helps people navigate creating a public persona for their brand and tips for having their own website. It was originally created to help makers serious about growing their business and will still enable them to do that in the current environment.

Speaking of The Etsy Kit, I was approached by some friends to share an upcoming DIY Bundle with you that is filled with ecourses and ebooks. When I saw the lists of items included in the bundle I thought it was the perfect companion for The Etsy Kit. Along with tons of DIY there will also be books on photography, selling at crafts fairs, checklists, and social media advice that will help help you take the info in The Etsy Kit even further in growing your business. The DIY Bundle will go on sale next week and I will be sharing a giveaway that I am a part of but in the meantime you can sign up for this free mini-course, Rediscover Your Creative Side in 4 Simple Steps. I know that we are all creative here but I am looking forward to seeing how this course might freshen my perspective a bit. I believe that sharing the course also helps you possibly win one of the DIY Bundles. Just click the image below if this sounds interesting!

Ultimately, I want to create a space for you to learn, explore, share, grow, connect and expand your horizons as a small business. Since Etsy is growing let’s also focus on how we can grow our businesses and together as a creative community! Enjoy your weekend!

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Giveaway: Sewing To Sell: The Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Craft Business

FrontCover_FullSize-480x600I have something fantastic to share with you today! Virginia Lindsay of Gingercake Patterns & Designs has released a unique new book that might be the answer to your creative sewing dreams! Usually when a new sewing book comes on the market you get all excited for the new patterns and fabrics used in the book but you can only make them for fun. That is fine and dandy for people who enjoy creating and sewing on the side but what about those people who love to sew, enjoy coordinating fabrics AND want to make money doing it? Sewing To Sell: The Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Craft Business is here to save the day! The best part? The first half of the book plus the tips included throughout the book apply to anyone with a craft business or looking to start one!

I have known Virginia for a few years now and am so thrilled to see her share her expertise, her beautiful designs and her passion in this book. Most of you come to this blog for inspiration and tips regarding running your small business so I believe you will truly value the information shared in this book.

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The first part discusses:

– finding your style

– discovering your audience

– sewing tips

– selling strategies

– interviews with successful creatives

The second part includes:

– 16 sewing projects

– complete patterns and tutorials

– categories such as “best sellers” and “best use of materials”

– suggested pricing for each project

– “made to sell” tips

The whole books shares:

– bright, colorful, beautiful photos

– tips for success

– encouraging words

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C&T Publishing and Virginia Lindsay are giving away one copy of this book! Hooray! Check out more of the book here then just fill out the info and leave a comment about this book below to be entered. A winner will be chosen at random next Monday. The giveaway ends Sunday, January 18th at mindnight Mountain Time.

Also, I encourage you to check out the blog tour Virginia has created for this book because you will see many of the designs from the book re-created by talented designers and bloggers. Check out her Facebook page to follow along! She also sells patterns and shares tutorials on her website, Gingercake Patterns & Design.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 *** The winner is Anita Johnson!!! Congratulations! I will be in touch with the details. I hope everyone else gets a chance to check out this amazing book! Thanks so much for entering! ***

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I think the first thing I want to make is the organizer shown above! My mind is already planning the fabric combinations. I’ll share it here when it is finished! Good luck!

Photos From Our Holiday Gift Exchange!

The holidays are always such a whirlwind so I love it even more that so many of you slowed down to create and send a package to another creative this year! I still have photos coming in and will add to this post as they do but here are a bunch of fun ones!

gift1I loved seeing the progress of this custom watercolor painting from Maat Silk for Plumeti Joli!

sneakpeekSneak peeks from Rosy Toes Designs and Hug A Tree With Me.

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Pretty photos and packaging from Ma Petite Valisette and One-O!

gift6Triangles and circles form Blackbird Bags and Broken Winged Bird.

gift3Fun and festive packaging from It Just Flows, Rosy Toes Designs, Broken Winged Bird and Berry Sweet Treats. (clockwise from top left)

gift7Bright colors from Joyful Linens and Saluda Farm Girl!

gift4Stationery and a coveted scarf (so cute) from Blondies Shop to A.J. Wear Jewelry.

gift5Batches of goodies from Berry Sweet Treats, Little Gold Fox Designs, Cats Eat Dogs and Plumeti Joli,  . (clockwise from top left)

gift8Packages from me and a heart pillow plus a handmade paper necklace from Dream Tree Crafts.

Thank you for all of the amazing photos! I can feel the love shared during this exchange! Now I am wondering if you would interested in doing a spring or summer one when it is not the crazy holiday season. Let me know your thoughts!

Pinterest Playlist: Best Day Of My Life

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With all the talk of goals and resolutions this time of year, I thought you might like to build a playlist to pump you up! So I created a group board on Pinterest where we can start sharing songs that do just that!

Today I am sharing a song that has become our morning anthem in the car ride on the way to school. We play it on weekend mornings too. It came out in 2013 but singing about never looking back, never giving up and having the best day of your life is just a great way to start your day. It’s called Best Day of My Life by American Authors and you can play it below.

I thought it would be neat to discover what each of you listens to to get energized and to get you pumped up about a project you are working on. Share below in the comments or on Pinterest! (This is my first group board and I believe we have to be following each other for you to pin – if you have tips for this let me know!). You can pin from Amazon, iTunes, Spotify or elsewhere. If you share here, I will pin the song to the board later.

It can be new or old – cheesy or classic – don’t hold back! I can’t wait to hear what you love listening to!

Happy weekend + happy listening!

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/80677407″ params=”color=c75a9b&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

How to Make it Happen ALREADY in 2015

Make it Happen in 2015 by Lisa Jacobs

Are you ready to make the most of the New Year? I love a fresh start, and I know so many of you feel the same. Today I’m going to share a few tips and prompts to review 2014 that will help you kick off 2015 with better perspective and clear goals. This exercise is an excerpt from Your Best Year 2015: Productivity Workbook and Creative Business Planner.

How to Perform a Business Review
  1. First, you need to set goals! You can’t check your progress without something to compare it to. I know that there are people who are against goal- and resolution-setting, but I can’t imagine life without them! They’re my blueprint to success. If you’re new to this type of work, you will absolutely love my annual planner, Your Best Year 2015. You can also check out my 7-day series, A New Year for a New You – on my blog.
  2. Create a system to track your progress. This is my main source of motivation, and I have many tools to help me track my progress. Creative business are personal, and as their owners, our perspective is always too close. Even when the business is succeeding, it often feels as though you’re constantly giving without return. I track my progress with monthly income reports, in addition to the progress log myself and other members keep inside The Luminaries Club.
  3. Adjust your goals accordingly. What you set out to do in the new year may change within a few months. Jack Canfield said, “You don’t want to get to the top of the ladder only to find out you had it leaning against the wrong wall.” As soon as you realize you’re headed for something you don’t actually want, it’s okay to redirect.
  4. Cross off finished goals. It’s such a rewarding feeling to go back on your goals and cross off what’s complete, even if it’s eleven months later, as seen here.
  5. Scrap or determine an end-time for unfinished projects. This is one of the most beneficial parts of the review: it empowers you to let go of unfinished business that no longer serves your plan. Your business will naturally evolve as it grows, and as the months pass your focus will shift. That’s natural and healthy! Hold your vision loosely and allow it to lead the way.
Be the CEO

Next, you have to put on your CEO hat to get a clear perspective. As creative business owners, our product or service is personal. As a result, our perspective is always too close. YOU need to be your own non-objective CEO when determining what is and isn’t working in your business. Ask yourself:

  • What was clicking this year? In what ways was my business running smoothly?
  • What areas of my business are feeling out of sync?
  • What results would I like to achieve in 2015?
  • What activities, products, actions or ideas worked this  year?
  • What was your best creative payday this year?
  • How can you create more results like that next year?
  • What didn’t work for you this year? What do you need to stop doing?
  • How can you eliminate those activities next year?

I’m wishing you the brightest future + much success! If you’re ready to make it happen already in 2015, join me in review and reflection by working through Your Best Year 2015: Productivity Workbook and Creative Business Planner. Share your review with me on social media using #YBY2015. Until next time and all the best, Lisa Jacobs

lisawashi

Lisa Jacobs — Marketing Creativity

Lisa Jacobs writes Marketing Creativity for fellow creative spirits who aim to build a career with their own two hands. She leads group webinar programs and offers one-on-one coaching designed to help you get paid to be … you.