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Just 4 More Sleeps! Thriver Circle Membership Opens April 4th.

Hey Thriver,

Whenever I open the doors to the Thriver Circle, I feel a little bit like a kid at Christmas.

You know, that feeling of excitement and anticipation, that you just can’t wait for that day to arrive?

I’m so excited to welcome a new influx of wonderful people into the Circle next week! Will you be one of them?

The Circle will be open to new members next week for 48 hours – from 11am on Tuesday the 4th of April to 11am on Thursday the 6th of April – Australian Eastern Standard Time (the time in Brisbane, Australia).

Those of you who are new around these parts might be thinking ‘what is this Thriver Circle that you speak of?’. 

The Circle is my private membership site for makers. It is filled with over 450 people who are on a similar journey to you – from those who have just the glimmering of a business idea, through to those who have been running successful handmade businesses for many years.

It includes a private forum, monthly exclusive workshops from me, live calls and chats, as well as access to my epic, year-long course Your Year to Thrive.

Access costs just $15 AUD per month (which is currently only about $11.50 USD/9 Pounds/11 Euros) and it’s on a rolling month-by-month basis – no lock-in, no huge up-front payment.

Of all the things I’ve created in my life, the Circle is the one I’m most proud of.

It’s something I wish every single creative could be part of, because I know how much it has helped those that are – and that makes me so ridiculously glad that I took the leap and created this community over two years ago now…

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

I can’t wait to invite a new cohort of amazing creatives to join us in the Circle – I hope I’ll see you there.

Jess x

P.S. Membership opens for only 48 hours – look out for my email when the doors open!

P.P.S. Got a question about Circle membership? Just leave a comment below and I’ll answer you personally.

[98] The Power of Putting Yourself Out There with Stacie Bloomfield of Gingiber

 

The thought of actively pitching yourself and your handmade business to the big wide world can be downright terrifying – but it is so vital to the growth of your business.

In this episode I chat with the super-inspiring Stacie Bloomfield, the woman behind the successful indie brand gingiber – a stationery and homewares business built upon her own illustrations.

Stacie and I have known each other online for a few years – in fact, she was one of the team of regular contributors here on C&T when it first started in 2013!

Stacie is full of passion and drive, and has built a successful business that has multiple facets: an online store and Etsy shop with over 13,000 sales; collaborations with Moda Fabric and The Land of Nod; and, her creations are stocked in over 300 stores around the US.

She discusses the growth of her business, how she and her husband manage their respective careers while also raising three small children, and how putting herself out there (even when it’s scary!) has contributed hugely to her current success, and how she is confident that it is going to help her business grow in the future.

 

Quotes and highlights from this Episode:

  • Over the years of running gingiber Stacie has learnt that she really needs to put herself out there and pitch herself.
  • Stacie now has a few employees but she still does all of the artwork and runs most of the day to day business tasks.
  • The business has certainly had it’s ups and downs in the 8 years it has been running.
  • Being a mum has been a challenge learning to juggle both a family (3 kids) and a small biz!
  • Stacie attempted to open a retail store when the building was sold from under her which brought it to a sudden halt only 6 months in.
  • It was hard for Stacie to not be discouraged by the challenges she faced but she knew she had to shake it off and move on.
  • Stacie designs for Land of Nod and has been for a few years which has been a great achievement for her.
  • She also designs for Moda Fabrics which is now starting to pay off.
  • Stacie admits she doesn’t get a lot of spare time but loves spending time with her kids.
  • Instagram has been a wonderful way for Stacie to be part of a community, to build relationships with customers and a great way to stay present.
  • ‘You can never stop marketing yourself and that’s the hard part’ {Stacie}
  • There is still plenty of hard work to be done despite the success of gingiber.
  • Stacie has big plans for the future of ginigber and is focusing on making sure she has the skills needed to get there.
  • One of her biggest inspirations is Emily McDowell who has paved a new way forward for creatives.
  • ‘The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.’ {Eleanor Roosevelt}
  • You can find gingiber online or on Instagram.

 

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’.)

[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 now 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’.)