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A revised and updated edition of Craft a Creative Business, this is a must-read guide for anyone wanting to turn their hobby, craft or art skills into a successful business.
Fiona Pullen, owner of The Sewing Directory, covers every aspect of setting up a small creative business clearly and simply; giving advice on the importance of identifying markets, focusing on a USP (unique selling point), assessing the competition, making sure the price is right and setting goals. Also included are sections on product photography and videography, branding and legal matters.
Particular emphasis is placed on online selling, with detailed information on markets, blogging, using social media and the importance of analytics and SEO (search engine optimisation). Information on offline selling is included too, with notes on selling at craft fairs, trade fairs and markets, selling through retail outlets, running courses and workshops, and featuring work in the media. Every chapter is supported by practical activities to help you apply the lessons to your business, along with insights and advice from dozens of successful business professionals including Debbie Shore, Torie Jayne and Laura Strutt.
Foreword by Abby Glassenburg and Kristin Link co-founders of the Craft Industry Alliance
Your business and this book
Where do I start?
Self-employment and you
Is self-employment for you?
Before you begin
Your business and the law
Learning the law
Taxes and accounts
Insuring your craft business
Presenting your business
Using social media
Why use social media?
Providing value in your social media posts
Which platform to use?
Dos and Don’ts of social media
Setting up your social media presence
Other useful things to know
Online communities and content marketing
The online marketplace
Learning the ropes
Legal requirements for selling online
Setting up a website
Search engine optimization
Content and SEO strategy
Analysing your site
The offline marketplace
Why sell offline?
Selling at craft fairs
Selling through art galleries
Getting your craft products into stores
Getting featured offline
Promoting yourself offline
Networking at events
Fiona Pullen is the founder of popular sewing website, The Sewing Directory, which allows stitchers to find their local sewing shop, sewing school or sewing groups plus free projects and tutorials. Launched in 2010, the site rapidly grew to be one of the UK’s top sewing websites, attracting 1 million visitors a year and with a social following of over 80,000. You can find The Sewing Directory at: www.thesewingdirectory.co.uk
As a law graduate, Fiona keenly researched all aspects of running a business to ensure the success of The Sewing Directory. She has shared her knowledge in countless magazine features and seminars.
Fiona in lives in picturesque Devon with her husband and son. When not working or writing she loves to sew; enjoying bag making, quilting and embroidery and is an avid reader.
Many, that in recent times have found themselves with time on their hands, have begun to rethink their work situation - some by vocation, others by changing the rhythm of life, others by considering possibilities they never found the time to before, with too many obligations vying for attention.
For those who want to turn their passion for making handmade products into their way of life but do not know where to start, having a specialised guide in that sector can be the push they need. Each chapter provides suggestions and practical activities and steps to take to start building a business.
Fiona Pullen puts at the service of the reader her own experience as an entrepreneur and that of a multitude of creators she has advised, directing the process in a realistic way, showing different business options with real examples, guiding you on how to calculate prices, on creation of your own brand and promotional work in events and social networks or on legal issues (adapted to the British market) .
For her, it is important that it is not necessarily a linear reading but that the reader can consult the specific area in which a doubt has arisen. The information is presented in a very pleasant way and combines the text with essential ideas and highlighted listings in numerous boxes or in different tones.
With suggested activities, space for your own notes and an abundance of additional resources, Fiona presents you with all you will need to expand on her words of wisdom. From product photography to Google analytics, this book provides a plethora of information essential for making your crafty business a success!
Fiona understands all you'll need to know about setting up a small creative business and shares her advice clearly and simply in this volume.
To a run a successful business you have to be, or make yourself, good at all the administrative tasks that come with that particular territory. Most books on running art and craft businesses tend to concentrate on the business and forget the art. This one, however, is immediately user-friendly. Everything comes in bite-size chunks that you can absorb easily, headings are easy to follow and there are even illustrations that make reading fun. You could almost believe admin can be an art!
Making & Marketing a Successful Art & Craft Business by Fiona Pullen is a comprehensive guide to help you in your quest to establish a business around your passion.
Written from first hand experience, Pullen starts by taking the reader through the pros and cons of self employment and getting started, from market research, creating a business plan, setting goals and everything in between.
Then the book covers the nitty gritty of legal matters, including coverage of necessities like taxes and accounts. This section was particularly well done, very clear and straightforward.
The chapter covering the myriad ways of presenting your business and creating a brand offers invaluable advice and is accompanied by lovely photographs. The world of social media and its use to your business is particularly topical and has been almost totally revised since the last edition, providing up to date advice on this fast changing area.
The business of selling your product online and offline conclude the book with lots of good tips and ideas about where to sell your wares and exactly how to do it, like how to get your product into stores.
Every aspect of starting and running your own craft business has been thought of and addressed in this book. This is a must read for those starting up!
Not sure on how to turn your hobby into a career?
Fiona Pullen holds your hand as you navigate every aspect of setting up a small creative business. The book is divided into chapters that deal practically with self employment, legal matters, branding and marketing, social media, selling online and in the the real world, as well as running workshops and networking, Each chapter is supported by practical exercises to help you apply the lesson to your business, along with insights and advice from dozens of successful business professionals making this a must-read guide for anyone thinking of setting up their own business.
Required reading for anyone wishing to turn their hobby into a business, Fiona Pullen's updated and revised Making & Marketing a Successful Art & Craft Business is a must. Fiona explores every aspect of setting up a creative business with advice on identifying markets, setting the correct prices and goals, as well as how to photograph your work to best advantage. There is also plenty of useful information on branding, legal matters, online selling, craft fairs, and featuring work in the media. Each section is accompanied by practical activities to help you apply the lessons to your own business.
Theres been a fairly steady stream of books on this subject over the years but, up to now, theyve usually been written by or for (or both) the business professional. This one differs in the first instance by having as its author someone who is active in the field she writes about.
The second, and even more important, aspect is that this is aimed at those who are primarily creators rather than entrepreneurs. The presentation is bright, pithy and written in everyday language. There are no lengthy treatises on legal and commercial practice although this is all covered. Rather, short paragraphs and breakout boxes sit alongside simple to-do lists. Although this is a complex subject, learning about it doesnt need to be intimidating. If you were thinking of putting a toe in the water but were put off by the immense list of what you need to know and do, this is immediately reassuring the moment you open the pages.
Running a business isnt a simple exercise, although you dont have to start with a chain of shops and a host of staff. Maybe you just want to sell your own work from your home. Do that and a lot of the difficulties go away. You can deal with the problems of success when you have them. You do need, however, to know how to price, present and market your work and Fiona has plenty of advice that will help you avoid the pitfalls that entrap many a newcomer. Early failures can easily put you off, as well as being expensive, but follow the simple guides and you should be rewarded from the outset.
There is necessarily a lot of detail here and this is, at 256 pages, not a slim volume. However, the layout makes it easy to locate the sections you need. Following Fionas excellent advice is not difficult and can even be a pleasure.
I was delighted to receive a copy of Fiona Pullenss revised edition of Making & Marketing a Successful Art & Craft Business to review. This is an updated version of Fionas first book Craft a Creative Business, that was published by Search Press in 2015, and brings it up to date on such issues as: social media, and the increase in video content; legislative and tax changes; and updated links to valuable resources. As a longarm quilter in the creative industry, I was really interested to read this book and see what information was relevant to me.
Over the past 4 weeks Fiona has been writing for the website, click here to see the articles, and giving an overview of certain topics which are covered in much more depth in the book. The main areas it covers are Where do I start?, Legal matters, Presentation, Social media, Selling online and Selling offline. Each topic is broken down further into sections and the comprehensive index at the back means you can find what you want really easily.
The book is one that can be read from cover to cover but is also a great book to dip in and out off on the subjects that you are addressing at the time. I know how much video content is at the forefront of social media these days but know nothing about how to go about it. If I am going to take that step I want it to be worthwhile and not another drain on my time. So I jumped to the social media topic straight away. There was great advice on all the different aspects of social media and what I really liked was the real world examples that were provided and insight from other creatives in business. Also all the links I visited worked hooray!
I think a lot of us who are in the creative industry come into it in a different way than other businesses. Quite often what started as a hobby can lead into a money making venture and sometimes we dont stop and think whether it should or do a lot of business planning beforehand. The section on Is self-employment for you? is a great jumping off point for figuring out whether you really do want to take on everything that is involved with self-employment and the activities included in there could prove invaluable in making this decision.
On a totally practical note I love the size of it it was perfect to slip into my handbag and read whilst waiting for children at various activities!
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A business manual (which is essentially what this book is) could be a very dry and boring read. But this book is not at all boring or dry. Fiona Pullen has a writing style that is fun and entertaining to read.
Plus, Search Press has done a great job with the layout. So, you dont get pages and pages of text. It is broken up with case studies, bullet points, action plans, notes etc, which make the advice easy to follow.
This is a book that you can plough through, or dip into, depending on what you need.
Practicality. It is all very well being given a theoretical guide to running a business, but its all too easy to read such a guide, then take no practical steps. So, you might as well not have bothered at all.
The second thing I love about this book is the downloads. So, once you have read a theory like how to write a business plan, you get a download to fill in. This will guide you through the steps to produce your own business plan.
Plus, the book is full of little tasks for you to carry out. If you really go through those with diligence, you cant fail in your business.
How often do you get to learn from an expert? Well, perhaps this is the most valuable aspect of this book. Fiona has done it already. So, this isnt some lovely classroom theory. This is an expert passing on their knowledge and expertise. Really, thats priceless
Click here to read Katie Dean's review in full.
As the owner of a very new craft business I found this guide to be invaluable. The book itself is bright and very visual, with photos and text laid out very clearly. The real world examples from professional business owners are very helpful (and often reassuring!) and I'm really glad that there are practical activities included.
Making and creating is often the easy part of being an artist or owning a craft business - the actual business side can be daunting. This is a handy sized book, as in small enough to carry with you, but its packed with information.
Divided into sections, Starting, Legal, Presentation, Social Media, Selling Online/Offline. Each is colour coded, making it easy to find the information you want. Written in easy to understand terminology, interspersed with hints and tips, and activities to try.
Whether starting out or re-assessing your business, there is lots here to help you move forward - very worthwhile for any creative who wishes to promote their work in a professional business manner.
This book is amazing, and I wish I had it for reference a few years ago when I started my small business. I love the way everything is broken down into small digestible chunks so you can dip in and out to relevant bits without having to wade through pages of heavy going text.
I found the social media sections particularly helpful and I am already working out how to implement some of these ideas into my daily tasks. Be prepared and have a notepad and pen to jot down ideas as you go through.
This book would suit someone who is at the very starts of their business as EVERYTHING you need to think about is covered, but it will also suit someone with an established business to polish and learn new marketing techniques. Highly recommended and comprehensive! Mine is already full of post it notes!
This book is fantastic. I have a very new craft business and this book is helping me tackle the mindfield of the jargon. Fab book and well written!
This book is going to be incredibly useful when setting up my new business. The information is laid out clearly with great photos and lots of real-world examples. The style of the book lets you dip in and out of the sections as you need them and there are extensive lists of further reading and links at the end of each chapter - all of the topics have been really well researched. There are also practical activities which made me sit down and think of things I hadn't even considered. I can see this book is going to be incredibly well-used as I set up my own business.
This book is very well written, in language and terminology which I found easy to understand. I was particularly pleased to see clear guidance about craft business insurance and the laws applying to toy-making. It's packed full of useful guidance, laid out in a clear manner.
My only criticism might be the fine font used for the body of the work, which I found quite small and less easy to read than I might have preferred. However - it's such a useful reference book, so I can live with that!
Well laid out. Broken down into easy stages and giving suggestions for each area to tailor to the individuals needs
"The Craft & Hobby Association UK (CHA-UK) highly recommends Craft a Creative Business as a must read for anybody starting-up or working in the craft industry! It gives you insightful knowledge, helpful hints and tips written in an easy to read format by the incredible Fiona Pullen.
Craft a Creative Business is the perfect book for anyone thinking about going into business in the craft sector. Ive known Fiona Pullen for a considerable number of years, and during this time she has delivered the popular The Sewing Directory website, which has gone from strength-to-strength. She is very knowledgeable, and this book is a practical guide and will hold your hand through all the business jargon including how to get to grips with social media.
I received this book as a Christmas present (2015) - I read it cover to cover! It's an easy read and the little activity tasks help you to focus on different areas.
I found the sections on online selling and social media particularly helpful. I put into practice many of the suggestions, and this has resulted in a steady increase in web traffic and followers.
I regularly refer back to the book and have recommended it to friends developing creative businesses. A must for anyone with a creative business.
Craft a Creative Business has been my bible these last few months and my notes are extensive. I couldn't have created my website without it.
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