Not Martha

Craft, Inc.

I’ve done my time with small business books. When I started thinking about opening a small business I sought out various how to publications with titles like Doing Business in California, How to Start a Crafts Business and various Nolo publications. All of these things seemed to touch on setting up a workspace and pricing for wholesale without actually giving me any clear picture of the world I needed to learn about, and most of the books were published before people were selling things on the internet so there was a whole chunk of options not covered. Craft, Inc. is the book I was looking for back then, and it’s a book I’ll clutch tightly as I grow and expand my business.

If you are considering starting a business Meg Mateo Ilasco works through all the the things you didn’t know you needed to know about, giving you a clear picture of what you need to do. She takes plenty of time to talk about how to protect your creative property and what you need to do to become official, marketing plans, financing, all the things that can be overwhelming when jumbled in your head are covered in an organized manner and with a clear voice that makes everything seem so much less terrifying. She addresses businesses that are a single person working in a spare room, through hiring publicists and outsourcing production. How to set prices, how to sell wholesale, when to attend trade shows, and when to show at them, what the heck Net 30 Terms are, and how to sell online. There is lots of talk about websites, online communities, how a blog might help your businesses with tips from Grace of Design*Sponge.

Throughout the book there are interviews with business owners that I was eager to read – Jill Bliss, Rena Tom, Lotta Jansdotter, Jonathan Adler and Denyse Schmidt are just some of the names. It’s fascinating, and quite soothing, to hear about how they got started and grew their businesses.

Meg Mateo Ilasco certainly has the experience – her custom wedding invitation business grew out of side works he was doing while in grad school and she now has a shop full of amazing stationary, books and textiles. She has a blog called Designer’s Library and has written two previous books, The Space Planner: A Home Decorating Design Workbook and You Can Wear It Again: A Celebration of Bridesmaids’ Dresses. She’s also the person behind the Mod Economy sales that occasionally make me wish I’d stayed in San Francisco.

The book is designed well, with the transitions into interview sections or lists clearly defined. The pages are laid out cleanly and reflect the friendly but informed tone of the book. The list of resources at the back is full of sites I know about (craft fairs, crafting communities) and sites I need to know more about (societies, trade shows, outsourcing).

You can read more reviews of the book: by Ahn-Minh, Home by Sunset, Oh Joy! and a very thorough review at Venus.

You can buy the book on the Chronicle Books website, and also at Amazon.

Lucky you, I have books to give away! The excellent people at Chronicle Books gave me three shiny new copies to give out. If you’d like one please leave a comment with your email address below.

I’ll use the truly random number generator to pick three people. The cut off date will be this Friday, August 24th, at noon Pacific time so, 3 p.m. on the East coast, and I’ll announce the winners on Monday, August 27th. (Small print: I reserve the right to move the entry cut off date earlier if I get a whole lot of entries or if anything gets strange. But I don’t expect it to. Scott will act as a completely biased but uninterested third party to keep me honest. If you have not commented on this site before I’ll need to approve your comment, so please don’t fret if it doesn’t show up right away. Check back at the end of the day and it’ll most likely be there.)

Good luck!

update: The winners have been chosen by the random number generator. Congratulations to Letty, Shannon, Carrie, Kim, Leanne and Sarah!

· comments [818] · 08-20-2007 · categories:books · craft ·

818 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jes // Aug 24, 2007 at 7:32 pm

    Am I really too late? :( I’m only now getting time for favorite blog reading. I’m trying to figure out to to run my little handmade, jewelry business and feel like I’m treading water on so many things. I would adore this!

    Please, please throw some of us late readers in the pot, too?? :) Thank you for the book review!

  • 2 Alyson // Aug 24, 2007 at 11:07 pm

    I think I’m too late…but the book looks amazing! I’ll definitely request it at my local bookstore.

  • 3 dhruti // Aug 25, 2007 at 3:48 am

    i really would like insights on how jonathan alder, denise schmidt, lotta jansdotter say about how to keep your dream business ‘in business’ as sometimes romantic notions do fly out of the window when you really get down to the brass tacks; and at some level you do want the inspiration to stay even if the sheets get hard to balance!

  • 4 Kristin // Aug 25, 2007 at 4:58 am

    This book looks awesome :)

  • 5 marie // Aug 25, 2007 at 7:48 am

    i might be too late… but if not, count me in!

  • 6 suzanne // Aug 25, 2007 at 8:11 am

    I’d love to get this book. Especially since I can’t find it at the libary near me.

  • 7 witchdoc // Aug 25, 2007 at 1:14 pm

    I would love a book.

  • 8 cindy // Aug 25, 2007 at 5:43 pm

    sad… i think i’m a little too late! :(

  • 9 Wyrd // Aug 25, 2007 at 9:17 pm

    trade you for some seashells from the seashore!

  • 10 swarna // Aug 27, 2007 at 9:19 am

    Just the thing i was looking for

  • 11 Sara // Aug 27, 2007 at 12:18 pm

    help me be craft and business savvy.

  • 12 lydia rose // Aug 27, 2007 at 1:56 pm

    need advice badly!

  • 13 Mary Jo // Aug 27, 2007 at 5:23 pm

    I’d love the book as well!

  • 14 April // Aug 27, 2007 at 9:12 pm

    Awesome just what I need!

  • 15 Queen Bee // Aug 28, 2007 at 12:41 am

    I’d love a copy of this book, it looks fab!

  • 16 angela // Aug 28, 2007 at 7:14 am

    yess pleeassee!

  • 17 kerrence // Aug 29, 2007 at 7:07 am

    I just found out about this book, and suprisingly my local Chapters had but a couple copies of it (even in small town Ontario, Canada!). So far I am really enjoying all of the advice and is has provided me with alot of positive reinforcement with regards to everything that I have been working towards. It is definitely worth the 20 bucks, however I think it is cheaper to order it online… if you can wait!

  • 18 Jennifer // Aug 29, 2007 at 10:47 am

    I’d love one!

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