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[36] C&T Q&A 3

This week – in the third Q&A podcast – I answer three great questions from listeners that many of you have probably asked yourselves at some point.

How do you cope when you decide to change your brand direction – specifically: what do you do with that heap of materials you have that no longer fit your brand direction?

What do you do when someone asks you ‘how did you make that’?

Finally, is asking your customers for reviews a good idea? How should you approach this?

And as always, please keep the questions coming!  Send me an email, let me help – that’s why I’m here…

Quotes and highlights from this Episode:

  • Don’t dilute your brand by using materials that aren’t in line with it.
  • You need to think about what this will do to your brand.
  • Sell on old stock, mark it down to a sunk cost or re-purpose your old supplies.
  • Follow the clear idea of your brand and make it stronger.” {Jess}
  • The people who are going to buy from you are not the same people as those who would make what you make.
  • Your customer is the person who can’t make what you make.
  • Tell a story of your process, a story of how your item is made.
  • Put some detail of your process in your product descriptions.
  • Make process a positive part of your marketing.
  • Episode 8 – How to Deal with Copycats
  • Reviews are the lifeblood of micro businesses like ours.” {Jess}
  • The more positive reviews you can get, the more confident a new customer will be in buying from you.
  • Asking for a review is asking the customer to go above and beyond the transaction.
  • Be aware that asking for feedback runs the risk of reaching people who may not leave a 5 star review.
  • Asking for personal feedback rather than a review is a great way to find your happiest customers.
  • Don’t be afraid to follow up with your happiest customers – those who’ve already told you they love their purchase – to ask them for a public review.
  • Keep your follow ups simple, sweet and genuine.

Download/Listen to this Episode



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Van Den has written 320 posts in this blog.

Jess Van Den is the editor of Create & Thrive, and has been a full-time creative entrepreneur since 2010. She makes eco-conscious, contemporary, handmade sterling silver jewellery under the Epheriell label, and blogs about her jewellery and other beautiful things at You can catch her on twitter @JessVanDen.


Jocelyn Serone

Great podcast again, Jess! I totally agree with sharing your process- my experience is that it makes my product seem more valuable. I often get ” Oh, I didn’t know so much went into making a dress!” My question is…. what can I say to people (not my customers, but people in similar businesses) who ask me where I source my fabrics.My niche is that I use only Australian made fabrics, so these are quite hard to find.My usual answer is to laugh it off with ” Oh, I can’t give away make secret sauce recipe”, but some will still try to push further.Any suggestions would be great 🙂 Thanks


I think it’s fine to say you what you do – that you’ve worked hard to source the right fabrics for your brand, and that’s part of your Intellectual Property. The humour technique is great. And I think if someone disrespects that decision after you’ve already been polite about it, just ignore them! You don’t always have to be ‘nice’ – especially when they’re not being nice back. You gave your answer. Done. Good luck x

Jocelyn Serone

Thanks, Jess, for the confirmation- I hadn’t thought of it as protecting my I.P, but of course, it is 🙂

Emily Mulroney

Thanks Jess, another great podcast! I found the narrowing of your brand really helpful, as this is something I’ve struggled with in the past. Asking for feedback has always been very difficult for me, so your tips are something I will endeavour to do 🙂

Carolyn Kospender

I love that you can hear the crickets in the background haha! Very relaxing 😉

What say you?