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My Books

handmade marketplaceSince its original publication in 2010, Kari Chapin’s The Handmade Marketplace has inspired thousands of crafters around the world to find the courage and know-how they need to make money — and even to make a full-time living — from doing what they love best. Now, this best-selling guide has been completely revised and updated to include solid information on the latest on-line and social media opportunities for sales and marketing, as well as fresh advice and invaluable tips from successful crafters and artists.

With Kari Chapin at your side, you can live a more creative life and enjoy a lucrative career at the same time.

Here’s what readers from the US are saying:

Making a living as an artist is hot topic these days. Tricky at best, it is an elusive career choice but very desirable none the less. Kari Chapin’s down to earth, savvy advice strips away much of the mystery, whether you are knitting hats for babies or painting images to reproduce and sell on Etsy. She has brilliant insight into a variety of ways of approaching marketing, especially helpful insights into online avenues.

Some longish passages (thank you!!) by Grace Bonney (Design Sponge*) and Holly Becker (Decor8), 2 of the most popular art and design blogs online, clarify how to pitch a product. Building any sort of business is difficult.

Making things and selling them may be the hardest, particularly if you are in love with what you do. Kari makes it a step by step process that might just help you succeed. – M. A. D.

For newcomers to the world of craft and handmade, this book is AWESOME. It covers everything from just starting out and what to do when your well of inspiration runs low to what things you need to know to do your taxes properly. I know I’m not alone in being a creative person who’s MUCH better at the art parts than the business parts so I need all the help I can get and this book is a lifesaver! – T. D.

I’ve been toying around with the idea of opening an Etsy store for a long time, but was pretty overwhelmed by the process. This book has been so helpful for me! After reading this book I am totally confident in my ability to succeed in the handmade marketplace. Thanks Kari Chapin for writing this book! – B&B

Read more reviews from Amazon here.

Here’s what readers from the UK are saying:

I stumbled upon this book via a blog and after viewing the sneak peek pages purchased it with excitement! It is by far the best money i have ever spent and is even more inciteful and inspirational than i could have expected. Everything you need to know to set up a craft business,from idea conception to selling online, marketing and sales. I recommend this for any level, from people already selling like myself or someone with a dream. Brilliant resource. – Emme Lou

I adore this book. I chose this and Craft, Inc (also good) to get some advice about making the most of my Etsy shop. The Handmade Marketplace is full of brilliant tips that seem so obvious you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of them. The book is very up-to-date with information on using social media and marketing strategies as well as the business basics. I particularly liked the sections with input from well-known crafty businesspeople, such as reps from Etsy and Ravelry. I would definitely recommend this book and have done already to all of my crafty entrepreneur friends! – E. T.

This book covers everything you could possibly want to know about selling your handmade crafts, whether at local fairs or online, or both.
It is filled with great advice from the very basics – simple ideas which leave you thinking ‘why didn’t I think of that?’ – to much more complicated stuff like creating a website or a blog (which I did after reading the book and didn’t realise how easy it would be).
I can’t praise this book enough. I found it really inspiring because lots of the ideas are really easy to put into practice. All you need is a little time and a little effort.
Highly recommended! -D.W.

Read more reviews from Amazon UK here.

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.

Here’s what readers are saying.

“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 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.”

Bestselling author Kari Chapin (The Handmade Marketplace) and needle-felting artist Kerri Wessel concoct a delightful “cookbook” of more than 30 amazing felted foods. The menu features such fare as Good Morning breakfast dishes; Diner Delights; Farmer’s Market fruits and vegetables; Sweet Tooth desserts; and Holiday Treats—like heart-shaped lollipops for Valentine’s Day. Also included: detailed instructions for turning these tasty-looking projects into snack-size jewelry, magnets, ornaments, hairclips, and paperweights.

Here’s what readers are saying.

“This book is fantastic, the basic supply list is well thought out (using pet brushes as carders is genius.) It gives clear instructions with images to go along with it. The shading on all the items is well done and easy to follow. I can easily see these felted foods in a childs kitchen replacing plastic ones. I plan to make the chocolate bunnies for my childrens Easter basket.

As a felting teacher and enthusiast I highly recommend this book. The skills you develop making these projects can easily be applied to future felting projects.”
– Trisha T

“First of all the book is beautifully illustrated, designed and printed…..pure class! Kerri Wessel’s felted food pieces are whimsical and masterfully done. The pieces often brought smiles to my face….they are choc full of personality. I found this book to be perfect for all levels of needle felting. Kerri and Kari provide the beginner with the info needed to get started yet describe techniques like working highlights into your piece which will help the advanced felter achieve a more realistic and natural finished piece. An excellent resource and a delight to add to your bookshelf.
– Glider53