[165] 10 Things I’ve Learnt in 10 Years in Business


This month marks my 10-year business anniversary!

I wanted to celebrate the milestone by sharing 10 of the many, many lessons I’ve learnt over my 10 years in business.

From the importance of self-motivation; the natural waxing and waning of enthusiasm and passion; the non-linear march of progress; and the joy of self-direction, I discuss the things about being self-employed that I love – as well as the things that are an endless source of challenge.

I hope you enjoy this look at my own personal business journey, and that you might see some of your own experiences reflected in what I have to share.



[164] Should you Offer Free Shipping: the Pros and Cons {Members Only}

To offer free shipping or to not offer free shipping – that is the question.

More and more handmade sellers seem to be moving towards offering free shipping in their online stores – especially if you sell on Etsy, as they make it easy for a buyer to see in search which items have free shipping, and which don’t.

But – is free shipping something you can realistically offer? Can you make it work for you – or is it going to cost you more headaches and more money?

In this members-only podcast episode, I talk about my own experiment with offering free shipping, as well as a number of pros and cons – both from my own experience, and gleaned from discussion on Facebook with members of the Thriver Circle and the wider Create & Thrive community.

After listening, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic – if you’re a Thriver Circle member, come over to the FB group and share your thoughts using the hashtag #freeshipping.


>>Become a member of the Thriver Circle and listen to the full episode right now.<<


Listen to the Intro:


[163] PR: How to Pitch with Brigitte Lyons


Do you wish you could see your handmade creations in your fave magazine? Or maybe get a feature on a podcast?

If so, you need to do some PR – public relations – and get in touch with them!

But how should you go about doing this? What sort of email is most likely to pique their interest and get you the chance to land a feature?

In this episode, I pick the brain of PR expert Brigitte Lyons, as she explains what PR is, and how to use it to spread the word about your business – for free!



Quote and highlights from this episode:

  • “As you get started with PR try to cultivate a mindset that you have something of value to offer.” {Brigitte}
  • When you have a product, traditional media is a solid place to start. Print media and online outlets that do regular product round-ups mean you can develop and reuse one pitch. The energy needed is low but the success rate is also low.
  • “The cost benefit to pitch a podcast and being on the show is so incredibly strong.” {Brigitte}
  • Have your business gaining momentum then invest time into your PR – use the time to be selling your products at the start.
  • “PR is not a replacement for sales – it will never fix a sales problem.” {Brigitte}
  • Make PR part of your marketing project flow.
  • With your pitch, tell the story of how your work fits into the coverage they already have.
  • “We don’t need to know your life story to feature you on my blog.” {Jess}
  • “When you are looking to pitch your PR, look for places that already cover other products that are similar to yours.” {Brigitte}
  • A good guide for pitch length – “If you have to scroll down it is too long.” {Brigitte}
  • Do your research to assist with your pitch and look at show notes, read blog posts and examine features.
  • Avoid your pitch being too short – two sentences is insufficient to get your story across.
  • Ensure you address your pitch to the person’s correct name!
  • “For people who are busy or receive lots of pitches you need to stand out.” {Jess}
  • Limiting it to one follow up enquiry ensures you do not pester the person you are contacting.
  • If you decide to outsource your PR, look for a person or agency who knows your industry.
  • Check out Brigitte’s work here!


[162] 7 Reasons to Sell your Craft Online


Do you like the thought of making money while you sleep?

Of not having to make an order till you’ve already been paid?

Or how about having your weekends all to yourself?

All of these reasons – and more – are why I personally LOVE selling my jewellery online.

The invention of the internet has made growing a successful handmade business more accessible, more possible, and more convenient than ever before.

I’ve done it – and it wasn’t even imaginable to me 10 years ago when I started that I could be making a full-time living from selling my handmade jewellery online.

But I am. And I know thousands of other makers and artisans are doing exactly the same.

How are we doing this? By creating enticing, well-functioning, cohesive, and professional online shops to sell our craft all over the world.

Selling your work online has SO many benefits.

In this episode, I outline 7 reasons why you might want to sell your craft online!



If the thought of setting up online is overwhelming… I’ve got you.

I’ve taken over 1,000 makers through my flagship course, Set Up Shop. 

Actually, it’s more than a course: Set Up Shop is an integrated system of lessons and projects that will take you from having no knowledge whatsoever about selling online, to knowing everything you need to know in order to get your shop set up right – right from the start.

In the words of Set Up Shop Alumni Karen Lynch: “If you have ever thought you would like to have an online presence, but have lacked the confidence or know how, this is the course for you. If anyone has ever said “Your stuff is great.  You should sell online”, and it’s been a dream of yours for too long, you need to make those dreams become a reality and do this course.”


The course is starting again on October 1st, with a one-time-only 20% discount offer!

Find Out More



Stacey’s made over 3,300 sales in her Etsy shop alone… and Set Up Shop helped get her there.


Hey Thriver,

I’ve got a story that I HAVE to share with you.

Stacey Howard of Max & Me Designs took my Set Up Shop course a few years ago, and since then, she has not only continued to be my student, but is also now my dear friend.

She’s built a wildly successful, full-time handmade business – all while having and raising her 2 kids.

She is a shining example of what can be achieved when you have a good product, fierce drive, and the right guidance.

She’s done so amazingly well that I actually had her on the podcast a while ago to share her story – and her tips for how she turned her handmade hobby into a full-time business!

You can listen to that right here.

And, if you too want to set up a stellar online store (on Etsy or anywhere else), don’t miss this class of Set Up Shop .

I’m offering a one-time-only 20% discount on the already super-redonkulously-affordable price to celebrate my upcoming 10 years in business!


Tap or click here to find out more…

Jess 🙂

P.S. Over 1,000 makers all around the world have taken the course – don’t miss it.


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