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).
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.)