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SHIFT with Create & Thrive

You’ve been running your creative business for a while.

Things are going okay… but you really want MORE. You want to get moving, put your foot down, move your business up a gear.

You need to SHIFT.

Join us on a 30-day virtual roadtrip to take your business from 0 to 100 (or hey, 0 to 60 if that’s your thing…)

You bring the snacks, we’ll bring the trip plan.

Get ready to #SHIFTyourbiz

CarolynI just want to send out a HUGE thank you Jess!!!

Honestly, I was a bit wary about signing up for the course because I've done a few in the past and read books that really didn't seem to help. But this workshop was amazing - loads of information!

I feel like I've read so many books and essays on information that never really hit the point. But your course not only gave me concrete steps and plans to get me going but more importantly, opened my eyes to the true purpose behind what I do.

Carolyn Kospender

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SHIFT registration is currently closed.

To find out when SHIFT is again available, register for our email updates.



Is the future of your business shrouded

You’ve got the business, you’ve got the basics sorted: you’ve made some sales, connected with customers, worked hard to get to where you are. You’re already convinced that you CAN make it happen – but you feel a little stagnant, a little lost, a little overwhelmed.

Your biz started as a hobby, and grew organically. But now, business is picking up, time is getting scarce, and you’re starting to realise that you don’t have a roadmap.

You’re not quite sure that that your car is on the right road, heading to the right destination. You’re not sure which route to take – or which highlights to stop at on the way.

You know you can’t do and see everything on your journey – so you need help working through the process of getting clear on which sights are the right ones for you, and how to fit them into your schedule.

Heck, honestly, you might not even be sure you’ve got the right car for the trip!

Do you need to get clear?

Do you need to get focussed?

Do you need to get organised?

Do you need to make a shift in your mindset?

Are you ready to take your business up a gear?


SHIFT will help you with all this and more.

It’s broken up into 4 weeks of lessons that take you through 4 aspects of your business.


Week 1: The Road Map – Where you’re going.

We focus on the ‘bigger picture’ – things like your core values, business/brand story, niche clarification, and business planning.


Week 2: Packing the Car – Have you got the right stuff for your trip?

We look at the nitty-gritty details of your business – do you have the right products/branding/copy/tools/pricing/etc. in place to move in the right direction and tell your story clearly to reach your ideal customers?


Week 3: The Trip Plan – How are you going to spend your time?

This week’s all about time management. Do you have the right systems/processes/support structure in place to maintain and grow your business the way you want to?


Week 4: The Slideshow – How are you going to tell your story to those who want to hear it?

Marketing is what this week is all about. By this point, you’ve crystallised your story, revamped your time management, gotten the details right – so it’s time to get the word out in an intelligent, non-time-wasting and targeted fashion. We’re focussing on customer communication, PR, visual marketing, and giveaways with a lesson devoted to using Instagram strategically.


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Is This Trip for You?

terriThanks so much for the class, Jess! It has been just what I needed to get moving (and know how to get moving) to make my shop more successful!

Onward and upward!

Terri ~ Smiling Cat Studio


SHIFT is for you if:

  • You’ve been in business for a while, feel you’re doing pretty well, making some money, and gaining momentum… just not quite as fast as you would like.
  • You’re already selling online, with your own website – either selling there and/or a venue such as Etsy.
  • You’re already working solid part-time hours or full-time on your biz.
  • You’re struggling to keep on top of everything because your business has grown, and you need strategies to manage things more effectively and efficiently.
  • You are a maker, artist, designer, vintage or craft supplies seller, OR have a creative service-based business.
  • You’re at a cross-roads with the direction you want to take your business. You need help to get your head straight and decide which direction to go. Or, you know where you want to go, but you need a kick in the pants to get going.
  • You want to clarify the story of your business – then use this story as the foundation of all the marketing you do.
  • Your product line is getting a little bloated, a little messy, and you need help to work out how to tighten up and overhaul it in order to align more effectively with your newly clear direction. Ditto for your photos, descriptions, SEO, and branding.
  • You do a bit of marketing via social media, and maybe a splash of PR here and there… but you don’t really have a coherent plan. You want to learn how to use Visual Marketing, Instagram, strategic giveaways, and PR to your advantage without adding a huge burden to your already busy day.
  • You want help and support from me and a community of like-minded creative businesspeople who are passionate about working smart, and building a business that supports the lifestyle they want, their way.


SHIFT is NOT for you if:

  • You’re just getting started with your business. You need Set Up Shop.
  • You don’t know the first thing about selling online or using social media. You need Set Up Shop or one of our Create & Thrive Guides. This course assumes you have been selling online for a while.
  • You think you’ve got it all figured out already, thanks.
  • You only run your business as a hobby during the few hours a week you can spare around a full-time job.
  • You aren’t willing to go back to fundamentals and examine the very foundations of your business to ensure they aren’t built on sand.
  • You are 100% sure of the direction you want your business to go in and how to get there.


Does your business need a jump-start-

What we’ll be covering in detail:

Each week will feature 6 lessons – one each day Monday – Saturday delivered to you via email + a Rest Stop on Sundays. Each lesson has a narrow focus and one or more Action Steps for you to take.



Week 1: The Road Map – Where you’re going.

  • The road so far – and your Most Awesome Moment.
  • Are you heading in the right direction, or are you driving aimlessly?
  • Why you NEED to clarify your Core Values.
  • Is your branding telling the right story?
  • How to find your micro-niche, and why you need to.
  • How to maintain momentum even when you’re running low on gas.


Week 2: Packing the Car – Have you got the right stuff for your trip?

  • A clean and focussed product line,
  • Branded, stellar photography,
  • SEO-ready, story-based, benefit-filled descriptions,
  • Packaging and supplies at the right price,
  • The right pricing for where your business is at NOW,
  • The most efficient and effective tools and equipment.


Week 3: The Trip Plan – How are you going to spend your time?

  • Processes and systems you need to have in place.
  • Time management strategies for the creative solo-preneur.
  • Do you need help – in any area?
  • Accounting and bookkeeping to make your life easier.
  • Is your website working for you or against you?
  • The most important thing that you must make time for.


Week 4: The Slideshow – How are you going to tell your story to those who want to hear it?

  • Intro to Visual Marketing.
  • Social media strategy and ‘featured accounts’ on Instagram.
  • How to utilise the Content Cycle.
  • Is your customer communication a delight for you and them?
  • How to do PR right.
  • How to utilise the strategic giveaway strategy by making connections.


SHIFT also features a few lessons from guest teachers:

  • Brigitte Lyons of B/Think Forward on PR
  • Karen Gunton of build a little biz on Visual Marketing
  • Elle Roberts of Studio Exsto on Biz Planning



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starryI think SHIFT is the perfect course for anyone who has already established their business but needs to raise it to the next level, and I don’t think it matters if you sell handmade, vintage, or supplies because the course covers how to completely review your business as it is now, and how to shift it to where you want it to be.

I really appreciated using the course to incorporate change so that I am ready for increased sales – becoming more efficient with bookkeeping and even managing and shipping orders is something that a business needs to cope with growth, otherwise what is the point of having that dream spree of sales if you can’t handle it.

I also think other creative business owners will love the other course elements like creating or reviewing their business plan in a manner that’s not daunting, or creating their branding and cohesive shop style.

I also used the course to take the plunge into an area I’d been dreaming about (and dithering over) for a long time – at least two years of my life had been spent wanting to get my original photography in store as postcard and gift tag sets.

First I dithered about whether to put it in my existing store, Starzyia, then I thought no go separate, then realized I’d have to register another business name, more dithering between options, and finally Etsy introduced a formal application to have outside printers used and that effected me.... Two years and I hadn’t decided how to handle my dream product, or even had any of the product produced!

When I signed up for SHIFT - before I even started - I ordered my first postcard designs to be printed because I knew I would make a decision one way or another, and I’m delighted to say that they arrived during the course and I began to offer them in my original Starzyia stores online, and at market.

I could not be happier with finally achieving this task that I had over-complicated and gotten bogged down in.

Starry Raston

Meet Your Teacher

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Hey Thriver! My name is Jess Van Den, and I’ll be your teacher for this 30-day journey we’ll be taking together.

I’ve been running my own online handmade jewellery business – Epheriell – full-time since 2010, and it keeps myself and my husband busy each and every day, making jewellery to send all around the world. We make a profitable income from our jewellery – and more importantly, we are free every day to wake up and live the lifestyle we adore – which includes travelling around our own country of Australia and overseas on a regular basis.

Before I figured out how to turn my passion into a thriving business, I was a qualified teacher. So, it was inevitable that I would reach out and share what I’ve learnt over the last few years with you here on Create & Thrive, and through the courses I run, the Thriver Circle, and the ebooks I’ve written. I also teach creative business elsewhere – such as the recent #EtsyResolution bootcamp that Etsy Australia invited me to lead alongside Clare Bowditch, and I speak at conferences and events regularly.

Everything I teach here in SHIFT is something I’ve learnt the hard way – through trial-and-error in my own handmade business.

I’ve done the hard yards – but you don’t have to.

I’ve taught thousands of creative business owners over the last few years, and I love nothing more than hearing from a student that something I shared with them caused an ‘a-ha’ moment that revolutionised their business and their life.

My mission is to help you realise your dream of creating a successful, thriving business – because I know how happy it has made me. I want you to experience this joy, too.


Your Investment

 Silver Membership – $125*

 Gold Membership – $235*

 Platinum Membership – $695* 

  • The course, delivered to you daily via email.
  • An ebook of the entire course content at the end so you have a super-convenient way to use and refer back to the course content for ever. I don’t believe in taking course content away from you once you’ve paid for it.
  • Access to a private members Facebook Group where you can ask questions of your fellow students (I pop in there, too, of course, with a daily prompt and to answer questions) and make connections to people who are at a similar level in their business as you.
Everything from Silver Membership plus:

  • 2 live one-hour Q&A calls during the course to allow you to talk with me and to ask questions in a more in-depth fashion.
  • Case Studies featuring four successful creatives sharing how they SHIFTed their business for the better:
    • Cath Young of My Bearded Pigeon
    • Camila Prada
    • Tracy Matthews
    • Megan Eckman of Studio MME
  • Bonus material – ebooks + guides – including…
    • Build Your Visual Marketing Mojo by Karen Gunton
    • Your choice of one of our Create & Thrive Guides
    • Audio ‘Meditation & Mindset‘ training from Tracey of Flourish & Thrive Academy (Tracy happens to be a yoga teacher, too!)
Everything from Silver and Gold Membership plus:

  • A 3 Month Mentorship with me. This mentorship entitles you to 3 half-hour one-on-one Skype calls over the 3 months following the course + half an hour a month of email time. I’ll be there to give you personal feedback, advice, guidance, and to be your sounding board for new ideas and new directions.

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Jelaine_400x400 -Thanks Jess for all the lessons. I've still got a lot to action but it's been really helpful to be able to focus on some of the things that just kept slipping by the wayside.

Several lessons really helped me focus on my how I communicated with my customers and I’ve seen great results since making a few small changes.

I love the fact that I can go back to revisit lessons. As my business grows and the challenges change, this has become really valuable!

Jelaine Blythman


Are you driving your business aimlessly-


I’ve done Set Up Shop, is SHIFT for me?

YES! SHIFT is the perfect follow-up to Set Up Shop… once you’ve worked through all the content, that is, and seen some growth in your business. I wouldn’t recommend jumping straight from SuS to SHIFT, because there is quite a gap in the level of content I’m covering in this course.

We touch on some of the same elements – like branding, product line, pricing, etc… but at a much deeper level than we did in SuS.

SHIFT is really designed for those that have been running their business for a few years, and have already attained some element of success.


Can I do SHIFT if I haven’t done Set Up Shop?

Absolutely! Though, if you’re just getting started with either your business in general OR with moving your business into the online space, SuS is the course for you.

In SHIFT, I assume you know things like: how to set up a website and blog, how to take decent product photos, how to navigate social media, how to run a mailing list, basic marketing techniques. We won’t be covering basics, we’ll be delving deeper into more conceptual information and specific techniques and strategies.


I don’t have a product-based business, will SHIFT help me?

In short – yes – but it is designed primarily for product-based, independent makers, artists, and designers. If you sell vintage, great! If you sell craft supplies, absolutely. If you re-sell cheap electronics, not so much. If you have a service-based business, you will still get a lot out of the course, though there might be a few lessons that don’t apply to you specifically.


Hey, I noticed that you only charge $85 for Silver Membership to Set Up Shop, but more for SHIFT… even though they seem pretty similar. Why is that?

You’re correct – in that the structure of SuS and SHIFT are similar – 30 days of lessons via email + access to a private FB group. I charge differently for two reasons. First – the content in SHIFT is deeper and more complex. Second – I actually made a very deliberate decision when I launched SuS to keep the base price super-low. Why? Because it’s a course for beginners: those who are just starting out, and are unsure if they’re really going to succeed with this thing. They don’t have as much confidence (or money) to invest in a course. Those of you taking SHIFT, however, are in a different ballpark. Your business is up and running, you’re committed to it, you’ve made some money, and you’re ready to invest in its growth. I actually feel (and many students have told me) that SuS is worth way more than I charge for it – more in line with what I’m charging for SHIFT – but I’m committed to making it accessible to as many people as possible. Hence the price difference.


Can I just pay you for a mentorship rather than buying the Platinum level of the course?

No, sorry! I only offer this sort of mentorship relationship to people who have invested in and worked through my courses. It saves us both a LOT of time, because I don’t have to spend it teaching you all the stuff covered in the course. We use the course content as a springboard to help us navigate our three months together and kick butt!

Put your handmade biz in high gear!

How much time will each lesson take to complete? I’m already busy, surely this is too much for me to keep up with?

Make no mistake, this IS a time-intensive and content-intensive course. You get one lesson delivered each day via email. I believe in giving you a HUGE amount of value when you do one of my courses.

Some of the lessons might take you a scant few minutes – some may take you an hour or two… and some might be so life-and-business changing that you have to go back to the beginning and start all over again.

There are some rest stops in there, though, where you can either catch up on a lesson you’ve missed, or just take a break.

I am running this course in the daily email format for a very important reason – habit + process. (If you’ve taken Set Up Shop, you’ll be very familiar with the format.)

Each lesson builds upon the last, and by getting that email every day at the same time, it will prompt you into the habit of thinking about your business daily – a MUST for anyone who wants to succeed. I always say – even if you can’t promise yourself to complete the Action Steps of each lesson on time each day, commit to sitting down and at least READING it when it hits your inbox. Just that one step can be paradigm-shifting for you and your biz.

If you’re concerned about how much time you have to complete each lesson, remember this: you have LIFETIME access to the course content (you even get it delivered in a handy-dandy ebook at the end of the course) and also LIFETIME access to the Private SHIFT Facebook group.

Even if you don’t ‘keep up’ and complete all the lessons first time through – the lessons and support group will be there whenever you need them.


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SHIFT registration is currently closed.

To find out when SHIFT is again available, register for our email updates.