WARNING, this book review ended up being rather personal…so skip down to the picture if you just want the review
Lately, I’ve been
reading devouring a different genre of bookage…non-fiction, creative entrepreneur, creative small business know-how…or at least, this is how I categorize it. Now, I have always considered myself to be a rather creative individual, but in the last couple years I have to say that my creativity has grown into something else…something more then just an attribute
it’s become my perspective on life,
how I understand my surroundings,
how I’d ideally like “to make a living”.
Now, I can’t say this whole perspective thing happened overnight. It’s been a conglomeration of numerous things that have occurred during my life so far and actions/opportunities I have jumped on. I went through a time of severe confusion through most of 2008. This time was full of great mental turmoil, but the kind of turmoil that is a creativeartpumpmonster. Basically, 2008 was probably one of the most creative years of my life..and also one of the most enlightening. Long story short, it was during late 2008 that I made decisions to pursue things and opportunities
(even though my confusion was still there) that were G-R-E-A-T decisions. Decisions that had to have been known to be a “good” decision. Decisions that I attribute to something that is hard to put into words…but I guess, it’s similar to trust; trusting yourself and your subconsciousness in all its un-tapped glory.
2008 was the year that pushed me into momentum in terms of creativity (Trevor, I wish I still had that shirt >:) I believe it was 2010 when I finally opened my etsy under that whimsical name of Windeymoor…by 2012 I had decided to claim a DBA as Grey Theory and rename the store to Grey Theory Mill. I went through all the motions, got a seller’s permit and my business license…I rode the high of becoming “official” for a few weeks before I slumped into this weird uneasiness…”now what?” I would think to myself, “I have no idea how to do business like businesses do.” Basically, I had achieved some goals I had set for myself (thus the high), which was great, but now I didn’t know what my next steps were…I didn’t know how to set the next set of goals for Grey Theory…which was this name I was now completely, officially, behind.
Anyhow, now enters a slew of podcasts, pep talks, research, and books (some won’t be making it to this part of the blog….because I didn’t think they were too hot…)
I mean, I’ve always held/continue to hold a pretty eclectic taste in terms of reading material (yeah, I’ve read a few compelling textbooks from cover to cover, because I actually was enjoying myself) but this is category or genre, is so applicable to my life right now that I can’t get enough, so without further ado, The Handmade Marketplace by Kari Chapin:
The overall design of this book is fabulous.
It’s a square, it has handmade looking text, custom illustrations, and is not printed in black ink. The design feels alive, welcoming, and is easy to read.
The author collaborates with individuals she calls her creative collective. There are 30 people in this collective, some names I recognized (Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge and Holly Becker of Decor8), some names I checked out (Emily Martin of the black apple) that comment on different topics throughout the book. Additionally, I really enjoyed that every time someone from the collective commented, it was in a handwritten script.
The book is divided into 3 parts: One–Getting to know yourself and your business, Two–Spreading the word…and images, and Three–Getting down to selling.
The organization is stellar, covering everything from naming your business, hiring help, marketing pointers/ideas, and selling (online, craft fairs, and in retail stores).
Overall, I was really impressed and encouraged by Kari’s book. Granted, I had already done some of the things I was reading about, but it’s always nice to see the thoughts you’ve executed matching up with someone else’s psyche…it’s like checking the back of the math book for the correct answer!! I would have to say that my favorite sections in the book were the ones that dealt with how to put together press release kits and how to approach people in the media. There are some really valuable tools in here that I think handmade small business folks would benefit from greatly!
You can pick up this book from Amazon
and, rather exciting, Kari Chapin has just released her second book that I will be needing to read! It’s called Grow Your Handmade Business and is also on Amazon.
Anyhow, I’ve got quite a few books I need to start/finish for this section:
–Accidental Creative: How to be Creative at a Moments Notice by Todd Henry
–The Icarus Complex by Seth Godin
–Escape from Cubicle Nation by Pamela Slim
How about the crowd out there? Any books you’d recommend? What have you been reading lately?