Your browser (Internet Explorer 7 or lower) is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how to update your browser.


Navigate / search

[97] How To Expand Your Business with Poppy Treffry


Most of us have no idea where our business will take us or where it can take us. Will it grow? Do you want it to grow?

Do you have visions of your business expanding beyond just you? Maybe you want to be the next Dinosaur Designs, Jonathan Adler… or Poppy Treffry?

In this episode I chat with Poppy Treffry, who runs a very successful creative business that has shown impressive growth since she began. Poppy is from Cornwall, England, and currently runs her own textile business, which has grown to the point where she how has 2 retail stores, and 15 staff. All her work is still handmade locally, and designed by Poppy.

Poppy shares the how’s, the why’s, the challenges she has had to face, and the experiences she has encountered along the way.

If you ever plan on expanding your business – or, if you’re on the fence about the idea of having employees – don’t miss this interview!



Quotes and highlights from this Episode:


  • Poppy’s little business evolved naturally and she made sure she took every opportunity available to her.
  • Her first staff member started with her within her first year of business when wholesale orders started rolling in.
  • Poppy decided to open her own retail store when she was pregnant with her daughter but it was a couple of years later that it became a reality.
  • Poppy now has two retail stores – both in seaside towns. Bliss!
  • Poppy hired her sister as help with marketing quite early on.
  • The next pair of hands needed were for packing and shipping orders.
  • There are now four people working for Poppy as makers.
  • There are now 15 members including shop staff, workshop hands and sales staff.
  • Poppy now has the title of ‘Design and Direction‘ within the business.
  • Managing the peaks and troughs are one of the biggest challenges she faces as a small business.
  • ‘Having enough time to be good enough, to be creating something new, something good and something that’s going to keep you ahead of the game is a challenge.’ {Poppy}
  • Selling to large retail stores and featuring in print have been great highlights fir the biz.
  • Social media and email newsletters have been vital for the business and a great way of keeping in touch with loyal customers.
  • You can find Poppy Treffry online here.


Download or Listen to This Episode

(You can also subscribe to the podcast and listen to this episode on iTunes + Stitcher – just search ‘Create & Thrive’.)

[96] Passive and Alternative Income Streams


It can be very daunting having to rely on only one income, especially if it is from your handmade business.

I know many successful makers who also have an income stream other than just their craft business – and I am, of course, one of them!

Why? Well, I enjoy having a few different things going on, so having a few different businesses/projects going on fulfils the need for variety and challenge; and, I also like the fact that my income is not 100% tied to one thing – my handmade business only. Could we live on the income from our handmade business? Sure. But there is a security in cultivating alternative and passive income streams – both to live more comfortably, and to tide you over if slow times hit.

In short: you can still be a ‘successful maker’ if you don’t make 100% of your income from selling handmade goods. It’s okay – and I think, a really good thing – to have other income streams coming in.

In this episode I discuss a few different forms of passive and alternative incomes that you could consider running alongside your biz, and I hope this inspires you to think outside the box and consider setting up some form of alternative or passive income stream for yourself.




Quotes and highlights from this Episode:

  • Passive income and alternative income are very different things.
  • Passive income is where you get paid over and over again for work you did once.
  • Alternative income is another way of bringing money into your life such as working for someone else.
  • Over time you can work towards not needing an alternate income stream.
  • There are numerous options and paths you can take to make the extra money you need and these include the following:
  • 1. You can teach your craft to others in-person.
  • 2. You can create online workshops, courses, videos or e-books.
  • 3. You can join third party sellers to sell your designs online such as Society6 or Redbubble.
  • 4. You can design, package and sell your own patterns, kits or printables.
  • Think about these as possibilities on top of your craft as it can be so worthwhile.
  • ‘What you want ideally is a passive income stream or an alternative income stream that reinforces your main income stream.’ {Jess}



Download or Listen to This Episode

(You can also subscribe to the podcast and listen to this episode on iTunes + Stitcher – just search ‘Create & Thrive’.)

[95] The Pros & Cons of Amazon Handmade & Shopify with Linda Blume from Rustica Jewelry


There are so many selling platforms available to us that it can be daunting to figure out which ones to try.

Many of us get started on Etsy – and for good reason – but where else might you be tempted to look for an online sales platform?

In this episode we give you a behind-the-scenes look at 2 potential options – the venue store option of Amazon Handmade, and the stand-alone website option that is Shopify.

I chat with Linda Blume from Rustica Jewelry who has used both platforms after seeking to expand from her Etsy store, which she started in 2010. When she took her jewelry business full-time in 2015, she looked to expand her online platform – and she shares her experience with both AH and Shopify in this episode.

If you’ve ever considered either platform for your online shop, don’t miss this episode!



Quotes and highlights from this Episode:

  • Amazon
  • The day the store went live orders started streaming in.
  • About a month in this slowed greatly and sales continued to decline as Amazon accepted new makers to the site.
  • The fees were quite high per sale – upwards of 12% – and there is now a monthly fee, too.
  • A huge barrier for Linda was communication. There was no direct way to contact customers and so it became super hard to sort out issues and custom requests.
  • Set up was relatively easy but it was obvious you were part of Amazon rather than a stand alone brand.
  • Shopify
  • Shopify charges a monthly fee to use their platform – there are different levels.
  • Analytics for Shopify are very helpful to track your customer’s habits.
  • There is support there when you need it and more often than not it is quick to access.
  • Shipping can be tricky to charge correctly when you pay for the lower priced subscription.
  • There are some limitations to what you can do but you learn to work with it unless you can afford a higher monthly payment.
  • Shopify also offer an import option which Linda used to transfer her items from Etsy which saves bucketloads of time setting up your store!
  • You can find Linda on her website: Rustica Jewelry.


Download or Listen to This Episode

(You can also subscribe to the podcast and listen to this episode on iTunes + Stitcher – just search ‘Create & Thrive’.)

[94] How to Use the Subscription Model to Grow Your Handmade Business


Offering a subscription club or box can sound really exciting, but also appear a little daunting with our already busy schedules. So, is it for you?

In this episode Felicity from Cratejoy gives us a rundown on the ins and outs of being part of or running your own subscription service for your creative business.

You can be part of something that is already established or start a small one of your own – but whichever path you decide to take it can be a great way to market yourself and help find and build your customer base!

P.S. I share my own experience running a subscription club – the Epheriell ‘Earring of the Month Club’, which I ran a few years ago!


Quotes and highlights from this Episode:


  • Subscription boxes are a great way to bring in some extra income into your creative business.
  • You can set it up as larger one off payments or monthly payments depending on what works best for you.
  • So, should it be exclusive?
  • It can be exciting if people know they are receiving something extra special or something no one else has.
  • Themed or seasonal boxes are a great way to help you decide on the contents.
  • When it comes to pricing you need to work out what makes you happy and go from there.
  • ‘You need to look at this as a marketing activity’ {Jess}
  • You need to make sure you get involved with boxes that fit your aesthetic.
  • Packaging is really important here as it needs to fit well with your work and it needs to be professional.
  • The ‘unboxing’ experience needs to be considered.
  • ‘People can cancel anytime so you want to keep them excited’ {Jess}
  • is a great place to start when thinking about being involved or starting your own.
  • Always start small with something manageable.
  • Cratejoy market exists as a searchable subscription box marketplace so make sure you check it out!
  • You can find Cratejoy on their website.


Download or Listen to This Episode


(You can also subscribe to the podcast and listen to this episode on iTunes + Stitcher – just search ‘Create & Thrive’.)

[93] How to Successfully Combine Art and Design with Annie Everingham

I can’t remember how I first stumbled across Annie Everingham – but when I saw her work, and read her story, I knew I had to have her on the show!

Annie runs an art + design business in Newcastle, Australia. She created beautiful abstract art, and she begin as a designer with a background in fashion, before demand encouraged her to also move into fine art.



I was impressed by her work, her brand, and the success she’s achieved at a relatively young age, so I wanted to find out how her business evolved – especially as she mixes fine art with design so well.



I hope you enjoy this episode – there are lots of gems of wisdom, and lots of down-to-earth reality about the challenges of growing a business – and plenty of laughs, too – we had a great time recording this!




Quotes and highlights from this Episode:

  • Annie’s partner is also her business partner and has a background in business which helps the business keep moving forward.
  • Annie has faced some huge challenges to get her business where it is today and has had to make some big decisions about the direction she wanted to go – primarily, moving into the fine art world, and the balance between art and design in her business.
  • ‘Self doubt and worrying about what might happen is deadly’ {Annie}
  • Annie sells her work through some fantastic stores around Australia and online through her website.
  • The next challenge for Annie is to expand the lifestyle and homewares side of the business.
  • Annie tries to stick to a Monday to Friday, 9 to 5 type schedule, but she has experimented to find her own rhythm of work.
  • Instagram has been one of the best marketing tools for Annie.
  • ‘Be brave’ {Annie}
  • You can find Annie on her Website, Instagram or Facebook.


Download or Listen to This Episode

(You can also subscribe to the podcast and listen to this episode on iTunes + Stitcher – just search ‘Create & Thrive’.)

Photos of Annie and her ‘Hello June’ Print via her website. Photo of Annie by Sophie Tyler Photography.