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[117] Round Table Q&A with Thrivers in Winchester, England

 

This week, I’m bringing you something special!

When I was in England recently, I had a Thriver meetup – and 5 wonderful makers (who also happen to be Thriver Circle members) came along. We spent 2 hours talking all things creative business!

In the first part of the session, each maker had 15 minutes to ask questions about their business. In the second session, I opened the floor to general handmade biz questions.

I did record everything, but alas, half of the first session didn’t save (darn technology!) so today I’m sharing with you that second session – the open Q&A.

We cover some important topics – from pricing to finding and marketing to your ideal customer, to collaboration and SEO. We packed a lot in this short session!

Enjoy, and a huge thanks to my guests for not only coming along and being awesome, but being willing for me to share this with the world via the podcast. Their names and details are below – do check them out!

 

My Guests

 

Quotes and Highlights:

  • Adela sought advice on marketing her card-making business for adults, Della by Design.
  • Try bundling and marketing kits for events – hen’s parties or girls’ craft nights in.
  • Market these event packages on the website separate from the individual kits to increase reach across audience markets.
  • Victoria, of Toria by Victoria Jowett, asked about establishing a creative partnership.
  • Approach your potential partner with a concrete proposal package.
  • Ensure that collaborative partnerships are formalised in a written contract.
  • “Remember, when you’re working with someone else it doesn’t just double your problems it multiplies them as there are two people wanting to get things done.” {Jess}
  • Jo, of Stitches to Treasure, enquired about how to establish a business focus.
  • “You don’t just have to have one group of target customers. You make different ways to engage the different groups.” {Jess}
  • Use a variety of marketing messages and customers will connect with the ones that resonate to them.
  • Suze, of Suze Harris Decorative Woodwork, sought advice on how to set an hourly rate.
  • Ensure you cover all of your time not just the making.
  • In the early stage of a business your time will be skewed towards learning lessons. This will shift as you gain experience.
  • “You can do all the maths you want with your pricing but at the end of the day it’s just the starting point. It’s not the end point.” {Jess}
  • Remember business is about experimentation. Take risks. (Jess shares an anecdote about product lines that have been trialed and retired)
  • Victoria is looking to boost her SEO.
  • Ensure photos are saved with key words and your business name in the title.
  • Mix up your key words and utilise the power of the Alt Tag.
  • Adela wants to run an Instagram Christmas promotion featuring styled images with objects from other businesses.
  • Try working with a different maker each day to increase reach and build relationships.

 

Download or listen to this episode.

You can also subscribe to the podcast and listen to this episode on iTunes + Stitcher)

[115] Business Intensive with Steph Wallace

Sometimes, we just need to share our thoughts with someone else.

It gets us out of those endless loops inside our mind – where we go round and round on a decision without actually making one. Getting those thoughts out of our heads and sharing them with others can be just the ticket to finally breaking through and moving forward.

This week, I’m sharing another Business Intensive with you. You may remember this one with Judy Carlson from episode 110. This week’s guest is Steph Wallace from Mostly Miniature.

She discusses some challenges – such as the fact that she has been getting too busy in her business, and that this, along with caring for her child, is causing stress – as well as some ideas she has for alternative income streams.

It’s another fascinating opportunity to get ‘behind the scenes’ of another maker’s business!

 

Quotes & Highlights:

  • Steph Wallace is the founder of Mostly Miniature, creating handmade modern furniture for contemporary dollhouse renovations.
  • Mostly Miniature has reached a point of performing better than anticipated however Steph does not have enough time in the day to grow the business in its current state.
  • ‘Even if I had my child in childcare, a point would come where I have no more hours in my day to trade for money.’ {Steph}.
  • Consider bringing on employees to train and produce your products to free up valuable time in your day.
  • The choice comes down to, do you want to keep growing or do you want to maintain the business in its current state?.
  • ‘If you have reached the point where you are going to bring on someone there is an adjustment period that is painful because you have to spend the time not only making the product but teaching someone else to do it.’ {Jess}
  • An alternative option to employing people is to consider outsourcing components of your business to give you the freedom and flexibility to focus on your core strengths.
  • Other product options for your business may include digital products, craft kits or eCourses that do not consume as much time as your current product.
  • Start small and learn from that!
  • Having another business option is a great idea as it gives you another income stream and variety in your work.
  • ‘There is something we are passionate about, something we really enjoy and we want to share it with people. However we share it with people is what we need to decide’. {Jess}
  • Picture yourself in the future and determine which decision is going to give you the results you want!
  • ‘Making is secondary. It’s the running the business, forming communities and doing the marketing/storytelling that lights me up. The product is secondary.’ {Steph}
  • There is nothing wrong with capping your growth if you decide that you don’t want to employ people and expand.
  • ‘Sometimes it’s difficult to ask yourself those questions, you can get really good at avoiding them’ {Steph}
  • You are the only person that can make the decisions in regard to which direction you want your business to take – determine your overarching core values and make those decisions that support and reflect them!
  • Check out my past podcast episode with Steph here – How to Grow your Instagram Account.

 

Download or listen to this episode.

You can also subscribe to the podcast and listen to this episode on iTunes + Stitcher)

What Thriver Circle Members have to say…

 

Hey Thriver,

I may have been the one who created the Thriver Circle, but it is the members that make it the amazing community that it has grown into.

(There I am with three long-term current members – Sue, Vera, and Jayne – at last year’s Artful Business Conference!)

Without each and every member of the Circle, it would still be incredibly valuable, sure. All the exclusive workshops I create for members, the Your Year to Thrive course, the personal access to me every weekday…

Those things are super-useful to you and your business journey. But the thing that really makes the Circle so valuable are the members. The people who, just like you, are working to grow their handmade business.

Their support, their stories, their answers when you have a question, their compassion and support when you’re having a bad day… THEY are what make the Circle shine.

So, today, I wanted to share what they have to say about the Circle.

Last week, during one of our regular live chats, I asked if anyone would be willing to share their feedback on why they love the Circle.

 

Here’s what some of the current members had to say:

 

“So glad I joined The Thriver Circle after doing the Set Up Shop course. It is the best place to find like-minded, creative people who love to inspire and support each other. Jess and team supply sooooo much practical information and resources to really help get you on your feet in home-based business. Can’t recommend highly enough.”

Thriver Circle Member Paula Priaulx

 

“It seems to be the best handmade biz info I’ve seen on the web. The workshops are so helpful and have answered numerous questions I’ve had. The Thriver community is awesome and always there to lend a helping hand to others. The Thriver Circle is soooo worth while!!!

~ Thriver Circle Member Tammy Ward Hass

 

“I wasn’t sure if I’d get much out of joining the Thriver Circle but I gave it a go and now I can’t imagine where I’d be without it. The information and support I’ve received has truly been invaluable.”

~ Thriver Circle Member Chrystel Galea

 

“Jess, thank you for being so awesome. I am happy to be part of the community and grateful that I found you. Eveyone else, never stop believing that you are awesome, you are. You make dreams come true.

~ Thriver Circle Member Raun Norby

 

“I love that there’s a community of like-minded makers at my fingertips who are always there to support each other. No question is too big or too silly to ask! Someone has always been in the same position and is so happy to help.”

~ Thriver Circle Member Jaime Nuske 

 

“I love being part of the Circle! It’s wonderful to be able to seek advice from, be inspired by, and share experiences with an amazingly supportive bunch of people who genuinely get what running a handmade business involves.”

Thriver Circle Member Dyani Evans 

 

“I love the Thriver Circle! It’s my go-to place for like minded creatives in handmade businesses. A place where I can share my wins and also the hard times, with people who will understand; be supportive and – importantly – often come up with solutions.”

Thriver Circle Member Suzie Horne

 

Membership is open right now.

 

If you want to make 2017 THE year your business thrives, join the Circle today, and you’ll receive the information and support you’ll need to make it happen.

You can find out all the benefits of joining the Circle at ThriverCircle.com.

Ready to join? Click here.

I hope I’ll see you there, and that myself and the Circle can be part of helping you to grow your handamde biz in 2017 and beyond…

Jess 🙂


 

So, what exactly IS the Thriver Circle, anyway?

 

Hey Thriver,

If you’ve ever thought:

‘What exactly IS the Thriver Circle, anyway?’ or ‘What would I get from joining the Circle?’ – then this post is for you 🙂

 

 

The Circle Is a Unique Community

 

The Circle is a world-wide community of makers from all disciplines and walks of life.

Our members are jewellers, ceramicists, knitters, artists, designers, paper-cutters – they span dozens of different media.

There are Circle members from Australia, NZ, America, Canada, the UK, Europe, Singapore and more… we are a global community of passionate creatives who are focused on making our passions into a thriving business – and we believe in supporting each other to reach our goals.

We communicate via a private facebook group that only members can access – it’s a safe space to share your struggles and successes. I am active in the group every weekday, and you can always tag me if you want my personal advice.

Sure, there are a lot of free FB groups out there… but as everything in life, you get what you pay for. The Circle is the most supportive, positive space I have ever seen in my years in the handmade community – and members will tell you the same.

Running a handmade business can be super-lonely and isolating – especially if we live somewhere where we don’t have access to a strong local handmade community.

What do Circle members have in common? The Circle is full of people just like you, who get it – they understand the hard work and challenges that go along with growing a handmade business specifically.

 

 

The Circle is an Educational Resource

 

Do you enjoy the Create & Thrive Podcast? If so, you will love the workshops and other educational resources that are available inside the Circle.

I have created 28 (and counting) exclusive video workshops for Circle members, covering a huge range of handmade biz topics.

I run one live call and two live chats each month. During the call, I do Business Intensive interviews with members of the Circle, where we analyse their particular business in detail. Every member is eligible for a Business Intensive, and you also learn so much from listening in and commenting on other member’s BI calls.

Finally, you get exclusive access to my year-long course – Your Year to Thrive. There is no other way to access this course, and it is included in the monthly cost of Thriver Circle membership.

 

 

Still have questions?

 

Just ask me! I promise I don’t bite 😉 Leave a comment below, or shoot me an email, and I’ll get back to you personally as soon as I can.

 

If you want to join us in the Circle, don’t hesitate.

Membership is only open 4 times a year, for 48 hours at a time. This membership intake will open on Tuesday at 11am AEST (Monday evening US time) and close on Thursday the 6th of April at 11am AEST (Australian Eastern time, or GMT+10) (convert to your timezone).

 

Membership is only $15 AUD per month, paid via paypal subscription. You can cancel any time – no lock-in contracts, no big up-front cost.

If you’re not already convinced that the Circle is for you… why not try it out for a month for the price of a good magazine and a cup of coffee and find out for sure?

My goal is for you to be learning what you need to in order to turn that small $15 a month investment in to hundreds – if not thousands – of dollars a month of income from your business.

Let’s make it happen, together!

You can find out more right here.

 

Jess 🙂

 

Introducing Meredith Ireland!

Jess here: today I’m so happy to introduce you to the fabulous Meredith Ireland – my new right-hand gal! Grace has had to move on, but happily, Meredith has come on board to take up the mantle of helping me to keep Create & Thrive moving forward into 2016 and beyond.

I’ll let her tell you more about herself, but for now, just let me say: welcome to the team, Meredith!

~ Jess x


Mere wall weaving

I was lucky to grow up in a creative family, and I found my true creative passion when I was 11 years old.

My mother took me along to an introduction to textiles course and I fell in love with the ancient, colourful craft with endless possibilities. I went on to complete a diploma of Fine Art and Design at The University of Tasmania majoring in Textiles when I was just 16 years old (before I finished year 12)!

It has certainly been a naturally evolving path for me to reach where I am today – and I think it will continue to be so.

I have had to make big decisions in order to follow my creative path… but they have always felt like the best decisions.

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Opening my brick & mortar store – Old Franklin Shop – in July this year was a huge milestone.

Not only was I supporting myself as a creative but I am now supporting others. What started as a huge responsibility is now an absolute pleasure.

Promoting, supporting and marketing other makers work is a wonderful job! I still don’t know where this will take me as my ideas are constantly evolving. I think this liquid element is something that attracts me to the creative lifestyle.

Mere loom

I have had many ups and downs with motivation – especially when I have the most to do: but my mind never loses inspiration.

Meditation and writing helps me to calm my constant ideas and thoughts on a daily basis and also stops me from chewing my partner’s ear off all day!

Mere wall hanging

My work is my life now which I really enjoy. I am not very good at doing nothing.

I am constantly thinking of ideas for growth and development personally, creatively and financially.

A day off for me means taking my laptop outdoors or spending an afternoon with family. All is melded into one busy but satisfying schedule that is constantly changing. I am lucky enough to have people around me that support this and help me through hard times but also help me celebrate successes.

I’m so excited to have joined the team at Create & Thrive, which has been a long-term source of confidence building and resources for me since the day I registered as a business.

~ Meredith

 


 

Find out more about Meredith

Shop/Website

Instagram: Old Franklin | Old Franklin Store

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