Grow Your Handmade Business

 In 2010, Kari Chapin’s The Handmade Marketplace became an overnight phenomenon, teaching crafters how to apply marketing savvy to develop smart, distinctive product presentations for success in online selling venues such as Etsy. Chapin’s advice has set thousands of crafters on the entrepreneurial track, with 90,000 copies of The Handmade Marketplace in print.

In her new book, Grow Your Handmade Business: How to Envision, Develop, and Sustain a Successful Creative Business, Chapin answers the most common questions asked by readers of her first book: “What’s next? Can I make a living doing this?” Chapin coaches her readers on exactly how to make a livelihood from their passion, in a friendly voice that everyone can relate to. Not only for crafters, but for all creative entrepreneurs who want to own a business, this book guides them through the intimidating process of creating the important business plan.

Chapin calls upon some of the most successful creative professionals, her Creative Collective, to share their struggles, successes, and best business advice. The diverse group includes a copywriter, business strategists, crafters and handmakers, career and life coaches, a teacher, painters, and illustrators. This is an invaluable opportunity for readers to learn from the experiences of these creative gurus.

From determining goals and finding mentors to the nuts and bolts of developing business plans, budgets, marketing strategies, and investor relations, Grow Your Handmade Business covers it all. With this definitive guide at their side, creative entrepreneurs ready to grow their business beyond the dining room table might discover that their dream of quitting their day job has, at last, become a reality.

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Praise & Acclaim

“Grow Your Handmade Business is the most comprehensive book yet about thriving financially
as a maker. In simple, no-nonsense terms, Kari and her contributors talk frankly about
budgeting, licensing, marketing, time management, loans, taxes and even the law. Knowledge
as power is at the heart of Grow Your Handmade Business, and whether you are new to the
handmade business world or attempting to grow your business, you will get something really
valuable from this book.”
— Lisa Congdon, Artist, Illustrator, Author of A Collection a Day


“Kari Chapin has written a must have book for the indie handmade business owner. Thorough,
insightful, and actionable, Grow Your Handmade Business is a must-read roadmap for anyone
launching a creative business today. The book is chock full of smart commentary and tips from
Kari and her “creative collective”, a super insightful group of well known business owners and
coaches who add their voices of experience. This is a must have book for the creative indie
entrepreneur and library.”
— Nancy Soriano, Media & Brand Strategist, co-founder of The Creative Connection


Grow Your Handmade Business, Kari Chapin speaks to those of us who want our creative
businesses to thrive, inspire, and flourish. Thoughtfully written, it’s packed with real life
practical knowledge (from her and the book’s contributors) on how to achieve sustainable
success with your creative business. I wish this book were around when I was in the early years
of growing my own business. It’s so important to have a trustworthy circle of guides who have
experiences and solid information on how to grow your creative business. This book is exactly
that – a trustworthy guide.
— Kelly Rae Roberts, Artist, Author of Taking Flight


“kari’s thorough understanding of the intricacies of the left and right brain, of the creative and
business, of art and commerce places her in the top of her field. if there was ever such a thing
as a creative business therapist, i would, without a doubt, be laying on the couch in kari’s office
gladly throwing cash at her.”
— Jay McCarroll, Fashion Designer, Fabric Designer


“Kari has created an extensive guidebook for creative entrepreneurs; a professional tool
box filled to the brim with rock solid strategies, techniques and directives that will put
you into action and right into growing the business of your dreams. ”
— Amy Butler, Amy Butler Design, Ltd.


“Chapin (The Handmade Marketplace: How To Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally, and On-Line)
aims this business-planning-with-a-twist book at the Etsy crowd, including artists, musicians,
crafters, and cooks. There are two main sections: “Mapping Your Dream” and “Planning
for Success.” The first section is shorter and covers identifying the best type of business to
create, discovering skills and strengths, setting goals and benchmarks, and getting help from a
mentor. The second section focuses more on the nuts and bolts of running a business and covers
business models, time and money management, marketing, legal aspects, etc. Chapin writes in
an engaging and conversational style, incorporating examples from her own experiences as a
marketer who has worked with artisans as well as those from many other entrepreneurs.
VERDICT Crafters and artists or those thinking about turning a hobby into a career will find
sound, practical advice here. By focusing on artistic and creative enterprises, this book may
appeal to readers not normally interested in more general business books. Recommended.”
— Library Journal


“In her first book, The Handmade Marketplace, Kari Chapin and her well-chosen Creative
Collective, taught us the how and where of creating a crafty business. In her new book, she and
her band of successful merry makers walk us through the nuts and bolts, of maintaining and
expanding a craft-based business.

Who wants to think about marketing, P&L statements, licensing, lawyers and business plans? You do if you want to make a living at your business. This book makes it almost painless. You still need to do the work, but Kari has cut through the puffed up, polysyllabic language and posturing that most business books spin that makes it all seem like some secret society. She makes the big stuff all seem doable. Plus if you are still stuck, she introduces you to a whole bunch of people who can help.

Just like her in her first book, she gathers experts in each topic to share their experience and advice. I love the feeling of working community this gives, that no one is alone doing their work, even if you are in your pjs on the couch.” —