How to rock your handmade business: Tips from 15+ creative entrepreneurs

Over the past 3 1/2 years, I have had the opportunity to interview many talented creative entrepreneurs here who have shared not only about their businesses, but also advice for fellow entrepreneurs. I have combed through over 50 interviews and have put together a resource of advice for creative business owners.

Whether you are a seasoned professional or just getting your feet wet, these 15 tips from creative entrepreneurs will inspire and motivate you and encourage you to push yourself forward with your handmade business.

Love What You Do

“Enjoy the process, enjoy the people, and be open to new experiences and challenges…when you don’t get the results you expected, don’t let that get you down – learn from those experiences and figure out how to do things differently. But make sure you have fun doing it!” -Bev Levreault of Black Cat Dog Designs

“Do what you love and love what you do.  Don’t get too discouraged if something doesn’t sell right away.  It takes time for the right person to see what you do.  Make sure you create for yourself not just to sell.” – Judy Russi of Angels ‘n Everlastings

“Enjoy it!  It is a lot of hard work and it will take up more time than you can imagine….so enjoy it!” – Liz Stewart of Lush Beads

Push Yourself and Take Chances

“Diversify. That is, create a healthy mix of products and offer them through different sales channels. Multiple income streams are a smart way to maintain a steady, balanced income, especially in the handmade business. But do your research first, and make sure each channel is appropriate for your product.” -Stephanie Reppas of October Design Co

“Don’t be afraid to approach someone about your business and always have biz cards on you.” -Tanya Chin of Zinnia Designs

“One thing I learned in doing business is “you will never know unless you try.” I am not waiting for the opportunity to come to me but I am chasing them instead.” -Eujin Neila of Uni-T

The sewing machine, threads and thimbles on a fabric.

Persevere

“Don’t give up. It make take you a while before it is the success you want it to be but if you love it, be persistent and it will eventually pay off.” -Katty Huertas of Katty’s Handcrafts

“Sometimes you have to take risks (like saying no to school, and yes to starting a business). But if you put your heart into it, believe that it’s something special, and have a good team / support system around you – you will find all your risks paying off!” -Kayley Reed of Wear Your Label

“Don’t ever give up on your dream, just keep doing it. You will run into times when you think…huh, this is it, no one else is ever going to buy anything from me. But just wait, stick to your plan, find a small thing to do to move your business forward that day and do it, then another.” -Gregory Morris of Slippin’ Southern

“Make sure your business is a true reflection of yourself and your values, and don’t give up! It can take a lot of time to build your business, but it’s worth every second if it’s something you truly believe in.” -Whitney and Jess of Moody Sisters Skincare

“It’s okay if you’re not successful straight out of the gate. In fact, it’s probably better if you fail at first. It will give you the incentive to dig deeper, become an expert at your craft, and really understand your business and what you have to offer.” -Dana Saulnier of The Patterned Peacock

“Don’t underestimate how much time it’s going to take you and don’t expect overnight success. It happens to some people but most of us put a few years in before figuring out what works and what doesn’t. So don’t get discouraged if at first you’re not making much profit.” –Arlette Laan

Laptop with digital camera and a coffee cup.

Set Goals

“Define what success means to you. Knowing what you want is important. Shoot for manageable goals and write out steps to achieve them. Make meaningful connections with other people in your business.” -Jen Gubicza of Zooguu

“Don’t confuse tasks with goals. This is a challenge we often face, in the sense that it’s often easier to just produce a batch of this or that than it is to forecast a season.” -Sara & Phil of Rocks and Salt

“Set clear goals and make sure all your business activities will help you meet those goals. This will help you prioritize, especially when it comes to marketing and promotion.” -Jelene Britten of Jelene Britten Designs

“Be very clear about your business goals, and write a business plan. You should understand if your goal is to ultimately make a living from your business, or if you’re happy doing it on the side. Quitting your day job doesn’t have to be your goal, but you should be clear on what you’re trying to achieve. Once you figure that out, you can write a business plan and set up metrics to keep yourself on track.” -Ana Campos of Toil & Trouble

Build Your Skills

“There are people all around you in your life with different skill-sets. Recognize what each of them can offer you and build a team of people you can go to for advice and support.” -Pamela Bates of Bates Mercantile Co. 

“I cannot stress the importance of good photographs. My wife Karen does all of our product photography and we both have seen firsthand how sometimes the items picture can make it or break it for how well it might sell. Good lighting, an interesting yet not too distracting background and clear imagery are the basics to a good picture.” -Ralph Helmrich of UnkamenGifts

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12 thoughts on “How to rock your handmade business: Tips from 15+ creative entrepreneurs”

  1. It’s so inspiring. I used to think I was missing a key personality ingredient in ever succeeding.. because everyone else seemed worlds ahead of me. Now I realize we all contain these bits and pieces of the drive and talents to succeed. I love to hear advice from people.

    1. Oh, I know what you mean! I’ve come to realize we all move at different paces in come from different directions, but like you said, it’s there for all of us, just in different formations.

  2. Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor

    I love these tips and they are so true! You can’t be successful in your creative endeaveurs unless you love what you do.

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