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[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}
  • subscriptionschool.com 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.

 

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(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.

 

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(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.

[92] REDUX: 5 Time Management Hacks You Should Try Today

We all have the same amount of time in a day. So what sets apart those who are productive from those who aren’t?

How we manage that time.

In this podcast I go over five tried and tested time management hacks.  If you implement these into your life, I promise that you will find you are getting MORE done in less time, and with more calm and focus.

I use all 5 of these hacks on a regular basis to get my work done efficiently and effectively – and therefore do better quality work in less time – which is a win-win situation, for sure!

This podcast is actually a little peek inside one of the workshops I offer in the Thriver Circle – How to be More Productive by Managing your Time, Energy, and Focus.

What I share here today is less than a quarter of what I share in the full workshop, but it’s a powerful hit of information that – if you implement it! – will see your focus improve and your work flow.

P.S. This episode is a redux of episode 30. I managed to pick up an illness on my way home from Japan, and instead of subjecting you to a whole episode of my sounding croaky, I thought a replay of this useful episode was in order, instead!

Quotes and highlights from this Episode:

  • It is scientifically proven that multitasking DOES NOT WORK.
  • Your brain can not process two tasks simultaneously.
  • Instead it very rapidly jumps from one task to the other.  That transition period slows you down.
  • You will actually get LESS done if you are multitasking,
  • The better approach is single-tasking.  Turn everything else off, and focus on the singular task at hand!
  • Don’t check emails as they pop up throughout the day.  Process them instead, and then move onto the next task.
  • The Pomodoro Technique works with the scientific findings that after 90 minutes your brain’s focusing ability is tapped out.
  • After that period, you must reset your brain.  Grab a drink.  Go for a walk.  Stretch.  Play a video game.  Play with your cat!
  • Split your time between focused work, and then rest.  During the work, do nothing but work!
  • You can download an app to time your focused sessions.
  • When you know there’s an end coming, it allows you to be highly focused.
  • Chunking your tasks is another effective approach.
  • Create blocks of time for similar tasks.
  • You can chunk by the day or by the week.
  • Maybe your mornings are dedicated to creating, your early afternoon is for processing emails, your late afternoon is for marketing.
  • Or you can dedicate Tuesday and Thursdays to making, Fridays to marketing, Mondays to business.  What works for you!
  • This approach allows your brain to really dive deep into the task at hand.
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has suggested the matrix technique.
  • This method has you put all tasks into four categories, ‘Urgent, Important’ ‘Urgent, Not Important’ ‘Not Urgent, Important’ ‘Not Urgent, Not Important.
  • A great tool for prioritizing!  Keep in mind, it’s the Not Urgent, But Important’ category that often gets overlooked.
  • And lastly, but not least there is the two minute rule.
  • From Getting Things Done by David Allen.
  • If it takes two minutes or less, do it now!
  • When our brain has a task that it knows needs to be done, it loops and keeps coming back to that task.  Causing distraction.
  • If you can answer an email quickly, do it!  Let that loop be closed.
  • What strategies have you used?

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

[91] 7 Tips for Work at Home Creatives

We all crave the freedom of working from home, in our own space, and with the ability to work when we please.

Being a stay at home creative has so many benefits… but can also come with some hurdles that you need to work through in order for your business to be a success and for you to feel great about what you do.

It’s so easy to get distracted, procrastinate, and ‘fit in’ work around other tasks and errands. The key to successfully working from home is setting and sticking to boundaries around what is ‘work time’ and what isn’t.

I’d love to hear what works for YOU when it comes to successfully working from home – share with us in the comments, and enjoy this episode.

 

Quotes and highlights from this Episode:

  • 1: Have dedicated work days or work hours
  • You need to set boundaries for yourself.
  • Make sure you have set days off.
  • Most people have other commitments so having structure is super important.
  • 2: Have a dedicated workspace
  • It can be a distraction and a time waster trying to work in a space that is not dedicated to your work.
  • 3: Have a morning routine (see Episode 16)
  • ‘The way you start your day really influences the way your day goes’ {Jess}
  • Taking time for yourself every day is really important.
  • Treat the morning as if you are leaving your house to go to work.
  • Having an evening routine can be really helpful also.
  • 4: Have set times for certain tasks
  • Jumping from task to task can make it really hard to get things done.
  • 5: Don’t set more than 3 jobs per day
  • The ideal is to have a core job and two secondary jobs.
  • Remember that tasks generally take longer than you think they will.
  • 6: Plan your week ahead of time
  • Doing this gives you a clear idea of what is coming up.
  • Leave space for jobs that may come up unexpectedly.
  • Make sure you focus on getting the most important tasks completed first.
  • 7: Have a regular habit of getting out of the house
  • It’s not healthy to stay indoors all of the time. Make sure you have social plans, go for walks or take some time for yourself.
  • One of the perks of working for yourself is that you have this type of freedom, so take advantage of it!

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’.)

[90] Collective Store Pros & Cons with Christina Douglas

Have you ever thought of being part of a collective space for makers?

In this episode I chat with Christina Douglas who has played a major role in the establishment of a maker’s collective store in Melbourne.

Christina outlines some of the pros and cons of such a venture and some things to look out for. We also discuss running craft workshops and kid’s craft parties, so if either of those ideas are something you’ve wanted to do, listen in to this one!

If you have ever wondered how collective stores work; if you have dreams of opening your own, or would like to be part of an existing space, this episode is for you.

 

Quotes and highlights from this Episode:

  • Christina purchased a vintage caravan in 2013 and her business ‘Our Little Caravan’ naturally emerged from there.
  • The business recently entered a second phase and is now part of a collective store housing a few different businesses.
  • So what are the pros?
  • The initial cash outlay is shared.
  • It is easier to fill a shop when many come together than it is on your own.
  • Generally workload is shared among the creatives.
  • It is a safe way to test out your products in the retail environment.
  • A fantastic way to meet others and create a network.
  • Workshops have also become part of Our Little Caravan.
  • This happened naturally and they specialise in casual craft classes.
  • ‘Teaching craft workshops on your speciality is a great thing’ {Jess}
  • The Legalities:
  • It is so important to have terms and conditions in place where all the little details can be outlined.
  • Insurance needs to also be discussed and decisions made as to the structure of this.
  • Promotion of the Collective:
  • The promotion of Our Little Caravan has been somewhat organic. Facebook, word of mouth and Instagram have been the major players in the marketing plan.
  • Lessons learned
  • Choose a team of directors with different skill sets.
  • Don’t skimp on location.
  • Appoint a committee to decide what will be displayed in the store.
  • Decide if it will be a working space for creatives or purely retail.
  • You can find Our Little Caravan at the 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’.)

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