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Grow Your Handmade Business: How to Envision, Develop, and Sustain a Successful Creative Business Paperback – July 3, 2012

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Grow Your Handmade Business: How to Envision, Develop, and Sustain a Successful Creative Business
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  • The Handmade Marketplace, 2nd Edition: How to Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally, and Online
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  • Etsy-preneurship: Everything You Need to Know to Turn Your Handmade Hobby into a Thriving Business
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Editorial Reviews


Carefully defining such differences as “goals” versus “intentions” and “business” versus “personal,” Chapin draws the reader up through successive layers of consciousness, moving steadily toward that crucial juncture where what you do and how you think are absolutely in harmony. It is right at this point where you can “grow your business,” just as if you were tending a garden. There’s no mystery to the process, just a vigilant management of many tasks, all of which work together toward simple sustainability.

Crafters and artists or those thinking about turning a hobby into a career will find sound, practical advice here.

(Handweaver’s Guild of America)

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.

(Northshore Women’s Lifestyle)

Kari Chapin covers a variety of essential business areas such as mapping out a business plan, expanding production and distribution, finding funding, and addressing legal matters. Ms Chapin's marketing background and her "can do" attitude provides craftsmen the tools to grow their hobby into a successful business. Easy to read and well organized, this book provides practical advice for getting started or how to grow an established business. If your goal is move your creative business out of your dining room, then let this be your guide.

(Living Crafts)

The style of this book is crisp and refreshing. Chapin’s thoughts are invitingly readable and each chapter includes sound, practical advice from the Creative Collective as well. If you have ever wondered if you could actually make a living at your creative craft, Chapin has a wealth of answers for you.

(San Francisco/ Sacramento Book Review)

Thiswonderful book cheers you on and coaches you on how to make a livelihood from your passion, including stories from other creative people, their struggles, successes, and advice.  That’s not all, she also covers the business side, including developing budgets, strategies, and also funding.  If you’ve always dreamed of having your own craft business, or already have one and are looking into the next step, this is definitely worth checking out.

(Miss Modish)

This book will help take your business from the kitchen table to fulfilling your individualized dream of a fulfilling, meaningful, and lucrative creative business.

(Bead & Button)

It's an essential addition to an indie biz owner's bookshelf!

(Hobby Farm Home)

Whether you sell your art out of a swanky studio, populate your Etsy shop with stuff you make at your kitchen table, or just dream about doing something along those lines, Kari Chapin has a word of advice: plan. As is a business plan! In Grow Your Handmade Business, you’ll learn what creative people like yourself need to plan for in turning a hobby into a business. The book is readable, approachable, and supplemented by tips, tricks, and confessions from 24 other entrepreneurially minded folks.

(Lisa Congdon, artist, illustrator, author of A Collection a Day)

If you’ve decided to make 2013 the year you turn your crafting passion into a moneymaking venture, be sure to add Kari Chapin’s Grow Your Handmade Business to your required-reading list.

(Jay McCarroll, fashion designer, fabric designer, Project Runway season 1 winner)

About the Author

Since the publication of The Handmade Marketplace in 2010 and Grow Your Handmade Business in 2012, Kari Chapin has gained national visibility as a sought-after speaker at craft business conferences and events. She also offers one-on-one creative coaching and courses online. She's known for her effective coaching style and distinctive, supportive voice, along with her strong ability to market and network.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC; First Printing edition (July 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1603429891
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603429894
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.7 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,513 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kari Chapin is an author, creative business consultant, motivational speaker, teacher and podcast host. Before she began writing books and consulting, she worked professionally for 15 years in marketing and publicity departments at various companies and organizations across the US. Meet Kari at her website, There you can read her occasional blog posts, read the popular Ask Kari column, and find out how to listen to her podcast, AIM with Kari Chapin. AIM is about taking Action, finding Inspiration and creating an entrepreneurial Mindset and was partially inspired by the success of her popular books for creatives. You can also learn how to book Kari to speak at your event or how to work with her. The Handmade Marketplace now has a second edition, updated in 2014.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 52 people found the following review helpful By M. L. Risley on June 30, 2012
Format: Paperback
I loved Kari Chapin's first book, The Handmade Marketplace, so I immediately got the follow=up, Grow Your Handmade Business. While the Handmade Marketplace was more general, this second book is much more specific, with information on subjects ranging from identifying your dream business to writing business plans to marketing to budgeting..... and a whole lot more. I found the chapter on time management particularly helpful.

In this book, Kari has a brand new Creative Collective....a team of industry professionals who share their experience on all aspects of running a creative business. Jessica Swift's section on crowd-funding was timely and informative, while the Q&A with Michael Elliott on accounting and taxes was a real eye-opener. Same with business attorney, Bettie Newell. That tax and legal stuff is what we normally gloss over, but here they drive home the importance of it. It was super fun to see Jay, the season one winner of Project Runway in the book as well.

This book is perfect. It's written in a casual, relaxed tone that seems more like hanging out with a friend who is giving you much-needed advice while sitting at a coffee shop...almost just like Kari or her Creative Collective is there with you....which I am very thankful for since a lot of the topics (like taxes) are normally dry and boring. Chapin makes it not only easily bearable, but also kind of fun. The advice is invaluable, and I can see that it'll become a well-worn book I'll be referring to again and again.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Shala Kerrigan TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 24, 2012
Format: Paperback
Grow Your Handmade Business : How to Envision, Develop and Sustain a Successful Creative Business is written by Kari Chapin, the same lady who wrote the popular guide to selling things you make, The Handmade Marketplace.

Where The Handmade Marketplace focused on marketing your designs and projects for sale, this book focuses on how to build a business. It's a good book for anyone who feels overwhelmed when they start thinking about going professional to sell their goods.

You wouldn't expect a reference about business to be engaging, this is engaging and informative. Since the author really loves the DIY/handmade movement, that passion shows. There are lots of contributors who add their own stories and how to apply those tricks to your own business. I actually read the book cover to cover while sitting in my yard in an afternoon.

She does a wonderful job of explaining how to write a business plan that you can present to banks for loans. It becomes a lot less scary when you see it laid out in a friendly, conversational tone. She explains it in detail in easy to understand language.

She also has a section on choosing mentors. It defines different kinds of mentors. It also explains a bit about the mentoring process and how to find one through your local SBA. How to approach someone as a possible mentor and what to do if your are approached.

The section on plans and goals also explains how to manage them so you can handle them without being overwhelmed. Your plan and goals can be as flexible as you want them to be following her tips. The idea of setting an objective to reach and then making goals that are achievable to reach that objective is a good tip for business and for life.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Books and Chocolate TOP 1000 REVIEWER on August 25, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is a great book for anyone who is ready to take their creative hobby to the next level. Writing from personal experience and the expertise of other successful business owners, Chapin offers a plan that covers all of the issues involved in turning a hobby into a dream job, including coming up with a business plan, expanding production and distribution, finding funding, addressing legal matters, filing taxes, and setting goals.

Chapters include Identify Your Dream Business, Goals and Intentions, Get Some Help!, Business Plan Preliminaries, Budgets and Budgeting, Making It All Legit, and Professional Support and Where to Find It, to name a few. Although the author doesn't go into lots of detail to cover every aspect of developing a successful business, this book does serve as a good starting place with an overview of the key issues.

The section that helped me the most was the information on developing a business plan because it will help me identify not only what kind of business I want to have, but also lets me see what I don't want which is also important.

Anyone who has a creative hobby or even already sells at local craft shops or online venues such as Etsy but is thinking of taking it to the next level of a sustainable business will benefit from the good information in this book.

I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher but the opinion of it is my own and was not solicited, nor was a positive review required.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Taj Mahal on September 3, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a guide to opening your new business, this is a must-read book. It's very well written in a friendly manner with no over promises. Everything I've read so far makes sense. Not the typical dry business book---I am a graphic designer and my partner is an interior designer---this book was written for us! I bought 2 copies--one for her and one for me! Get it before it's gone!
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