(CLOSED) Win one of TWO places in the upcoming Set Up Shop ecourse!

1-Win Set Up Shop

I’m so excited to be bringing you the very first Create & Thrive e-course this April!

I’ve been dreaming of offering this course for a long time now – in fact, if you happened to be at the Problogger conference last year, you may have been in the audience when I was up on stage chatting to Chris Guillebeau about it. He (and those of you in the audience) told me it sounded like something people really needed… and so here it is.

I’ve been in this handmade business gig for quite a while now (5 years!) and I’ve learnt a LOT along the way. It’s certainly been less than smooth sailing, and I made SO many mistakes!

There are so many things I wish I’d learnt sooner, because they made a huge difference to the success of my business.

I’ve also talked to many a handmade business owner over the last few years, and the same questions kept coming up over and over and over again. So I thought “what if there was a course where someone could learn all the fundamental steps they need to take to get their handmade shop and business ship-shape from the get-go?”.

Now there is.

Set up Shop is a practical, detailed, step-by-step guide to take your online shop from Go to WHOA in just 30 days!

Maybe you’re yet to open your online shop… you’re in the planning and dreaming stages, and just need that final push!

…or perhaps you’ve opened an Etsy shop, but are just muddling along, not sure if you’re ‘doing it right’?

… maybe you’ve been successfully wholesaling, but with the way the retail market is going, you know it’s time to take the leap to selling online, too?

…or, you want to learn how to set up shop on your own website, rather than on someone else’s venue?

 

Sound like something you need?

If you want to find out all the deets about the course, just visit this page. Oh, and make sure you’re subscribed to the C&T updates, because the peeps on my list get first access to the course, and some levels only have limited places available…

Registration doesn’t open till later in March… but this week, I’m giving away TWO places in the course – one Gold Membership and one Silver Membership.

(Please note, this giveaway is now closed. Winners will be announced soon!)

How to Enter

Gold Membership Place

This place is a merit-based prize. I will choose the winner based upon your comment.

Leave a comment below telling me why you NEED this course. What difference would it make to your business… and your life? Is it that little bit of help you need to take you from hobbyist to professional?

Silver Membership Place

This is a random-draw prize.

Complete as many or as few of the entry options below. The more you choose to do, the more points you’ll accrue… and the more chance you’ll have to win.

 

By leaving a comment and completing some of the other entry options, you will be in both draws! 

This competition is open world-wide, to anyone who dreams of turning their handmade hobby into a business! All you need is a computer, some time during April to complete the course, and the passion to make it happen – because that’s something I simply can’t teach you. Entries close Midnight Sunday the 17th of March AEST.

Best of luck – can’t wait to meet you in the course!

Oh, and remember… if you don’t win, but still want to be the first to know when registration opens, subscribe to the C&T updates (you’ll get a free ebook, too – sweet eh?)!

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Jess

Van Den has written 379 posts in this blog.

Jess Van Den is the editor of Create & Thrive, and has been a full-time creative entrepreneur since 2010. She makes eco-conscious, contemporary, handmade sterling silver jewellery under the Epheriell label, and blogs about her jewellery and other beautiful things at Epheriell.com. You can catch her on twitter @JessVanDen.

Comments

Megan Thwaites
Reply

Hi Jess, my ultimate would be having an online business that I can operate from home, wherever that home is. I would love to be free of the need to live close to the city in order to earn my living and to be my own boss. I have spent the last 10 years assisting others in making their business a success and I feel ready to do the same for myself. A small place nestled away in the country with a few chickens is all I have ever wanted. I have been working on my very own small business in earnest since August last year but went about it all the wrong way, putting my energy into attending markets to kick start us off and neglecting the online aspects. I’m now facing having to give it up and go back to full time work, as we are yet to make a profit. We get a lot of lovely feedback from people browsing but find it difficult to close a sale. They do however take our card and are steadily joining up on our Facebook page, which is under-developed. So this is my cry for HELP!! A few things that you have said has caused the penny to drop about where I am going wrong so I would love to win a prize membership to your course and see if we can put some floaties on this sinking ship… and perhaps get me my little country oasis when all is said and done 🙂

Jess
Reply

That sounds like a gorgeous dream to have, Megan! I live something similar, and it is a dream life, for sure 🙂 Here’s everything crossed hoping you get there sooner rather than later!

Mignon
Reply

Hi Jess, I have been recently been thinking of opening an shop with Etsy. I have been reading through the Etsy hand-book, which I’m sure you already know is a great resource. Knowing you are a successful Etsy seller I have also found your post very interesting.
There are 2 reasons why I have started my business – Nittens & Patches. My husband has recently been put on a disability support pension for a heart condition, that meant I was put on New Start. Having been a stay-at-home mum I have very little work history experience or recognised skills, which made getting a job which made finding work very difficult. Living in a regional area didn’t help much either. So I thought about what I could do from home myself using the skills I have gained from my hobbies. I started with an shop on MADEIT, it’s a bit slow going at the moment, I often feel I’m just muddling along hopping it will all work out in the end – there is so much to learn my poor little brain hearts some days.
The other reason I started NP is because I just love creating. I have always knitted, sewn, made cards, cakes & cookies. I go a little crazy if I go to long without being able to ‘make’ something. I guess what I’m trying to say is this is my dream job. I get to make things & be at home & available for my family when they need me. Plus, being online I can do it from anywhere – bonus!
Mignon 🙂

Jess
Reply

The Etsy Handbook is awesome! Having an online biz is so awesome for those of us in regional and rural areas (or those who want to be)!

suzi
Reply

Gosh where do l start! l have been running my online biz for about 3 years, and along the way had two children – which is the reason why l had started selling my craft online in the first place. Initially (meaning the last 2 years) its just been a biz to basically pay off my craft addiction. But l think l have finally woken from my 24/7 sleep deprivation coma and realized that if l stepped things up, l could do this full time. I am still time tortured and most of my crafting and admin is squished into the minisqueal time between the kids napping and late at night. Things have to change!! l have to think and do smarter, as having a tired, grumpy mummy is not doing anyone a favour, primarily my children suffer and so does the business. So this year l am purely focusing on increasing my knowledge and having the right tools behind me to really push my biz to the next level….and Jess l really do believe your course can help me do so! I really do believe that having a fellow crafter share their knowledge and experiences is far more valuable than listening to some money making guru from the states. You live and breath craft, your australian and you have achieved….thank you so much for the opportunity

*crossing everything to win*
Thanks
Suzi

Jess
Reply

“Time tortured” <-- oh boy, that's no good! But good on you for going ahead with your biz regardless! And thanks for the lovely vote of confidence 🙂

Christine Robinson
Reply

I had decided a while ago that 2013 is the year of my transition from hobbyist to businesswoman, and, you know, when things start falling into place with ease, you’re following a good path… Like how Jess has been on my radar, first as an Etsy seller where I bought some of her jewellery, then last year I attended a BrisStyle session where she presented a great session. Now, she’s there to hold my hand as I’m preparing to launch into the market place. What great timing for me, and, it seems, for others too!
Teach us how to create & thrive 🙂

Jess
Reply

Transition away, lady!

Jordan
Reply

This course sounds fantastic! I’ve been looking for something like this for a while now.

I launched my business back in December which started out as a small hobby. Sales have been slow, but the more I create the more I realize that I need/want this to succeed. I’d love to be able to sell full time, I have so many ideas in my head that need to be expressed!

Can’t wait to hear more about it.

Jess
Reply

Sounds like you’re in just the right place for this course, Jordan!

Katherine Keller
Reply

Well, it’s a bit intimidating reading all of these wonderful stories.. which is one reason I’ve been putting off selling work online for years. So I’d be starting from square one. I work full time but am a free lance calligrapher and artist and paper crafter. I’ve decided that this is my year to break through the fears and excuses and do what I really love. Your course popped up at the perfect time and I’ve decided to follow the yellow brick road to see where it leads. Thanks for using your experiences
and practical knowledge to help others. This is exciting!!

Jess
Reply

Oh, what a gorgeous craft, Katherine! So glad you’ve decided to take the leap!

Vick from in.cube8r
Reply

Hey Jess, as you know I’m a bricks & mortar kind of gal……….but I see the need to have an online presence that also include an online store – so i definately need your help!! Look forward to partaking in the course 🙂

Jess
Reply

You know my perspective – an online arm is vital for any B&M shop these days 🙂 Love to have you in the course!

Daisy
Reply

I’d love to get back to my artistic roots and make a modest living from it. I’ve maganged to get into a financial situation where I can realistically look at breaking away from 9 to 5 but now I need the skills and knowledge to make this sustainable as a an income, in terms of marketing myself and giving myself the best chance of making this work in the long term. And that’s where a fantastic course like this would come in….

Jess
Reply

Sounds like it’s just the right time for you, Daisy!

Sandra Gould
Reply

hi Jess,
I’m new to all this (credit largely to Jane0fAustralia). I began a new business ‘TheFatHusband’ when I resigned from teaching last year. Boy! What a task I had ahead of me. I am only just treading water. I have been watching you and trying some ideas for myself. Now my hubby is facing redundancy, I need to step up a few notches. I believe this course will help me immensely. I have wanted to add an online shop to my site to sell my homemeade products, but I need to upskill to do it. I can’t believe how overwhelmed I feel! You are offering me a way to solve a problem at a price and pace I can manage, as well as develop a new skill and do wonders for my self esteem. This sounds like the best opportunity. Thanks for putting it and yourself out there to help others.
Cheers,
Sandra

Jess
Reply

The beauty of a course like this is the direction it gives you. I know how overwhelming it can be to try to learn things by yourself – it’s possible, but it takes a LOT of time!

ThisLilPiggyBlog
Reply

I opened This Lil Piggy – Handmade Soft Soled Shoes for Babies, Wobblers and Toddlers in December 2012. I wanted to sew with purpose, I wanted a creative outlet, and I desperately wanted to hang with the cool kids (engage with my creative community) – so when I couldn’t find fabric soft soled shoes for my boy, I knew that was my calling! I turned the ‘man cave’ into a sewing room and went into production.
Shortly after setting up my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/thislilpiggyshoes) I was approached by a few stockists in my local community and have since enjoyed selling wholesale and on consignment (but made rookie mistakes). I have also been selling directly through Facebook, at the markets and with less success (so far) through Etsy…

BUT is my pricing right and how do I source wholesalers, and not just those in my local area? Once I have sourced stockists what are the rules? Do I need flashy packaging, how do I design and source this? Do I need a business and marketing plan? When do I stop putting money into the business? Other businesses often approach me with showcases and promotions but how much of my time/product do I set aside for this.

I would love to win your competition because I need guidance from an expert on how to turn my hobby into a full-time business… without losing the house, or my sanity (if that’s still there)

Best wishes,
Bec

Jess
Reply

Hey Bec – wholesale/consignment isn’t something we’ll be covering, but pretty much all the other questions you mentioned are definitely things that will be addressed in the course!

Tracey Sully
Reply

Hi Jess, I would really love to be involved in your class!!!
Since mid last year I have followed your blog, brought many e – books and read books, you have suggested, as well as given your name to other creative people telling them to read your blog. It has been a wonderful source of information
After heaps of research, I have my product already to launch and feel ready to open a shop and show the world, what I have created. I haven’t been able to take this step due to fear of failure and always thinking I might do something wrong!!
With your help and expertise, I would love you to guide me. Thanks for the opportunity.
Tracey
Little Bear Company
New Zealand

Jess
Reply

Woohoo Tracey, how exciting!! Don’t let that fear hold you back, lady 🙂

Claudia Mazzotta
Reply

Hi jess wow, this is so exciting. You are so successful at what you do, that do this course taught by you would be awesome! I am a mother of three and sell my jewellery to friends and family but you know what I’m ready to take that almighty jump into the online world except I’m scared!!!! It all looks so hard. Here’s hoping I get the opportunity to work with you to unravel the mysteries of the online world. (I’m going to sound like my five year old pick me pick me!)

Jess
Reply

Trust me – it’s not hard, but it does take a bit of learning! 🙂

Laura Anderson
Reply

I NEED TO BE PART OF THIS COURSE! i have had a few personal tragedies over the last couple of years that have made me realise life is so short and i really need to be filling everyday doing something i love, not just something that pays the bills. so i have set up an online store selling childrens clothes, dolls and softies that i make. this is what i love doing and i want it to become a fulltime career, not just a hobby that makes me a little bit of extra money. i need some guidance on how to make this happen… actually i need a lot of guidance. this course sounds perfect and i really hope i win a place in it!!

Jess
Reply

Totally agree with you – life is short, and man, we need to spend our time doing something we love!

Vanessa
Reply

Hi Jess,
I run a Mamma’s Market on the Sunshine Coast Qld – a boutique style market full of handmade loveliness. I want to win this course so I can pass on the information to our many stallholders that don’t believe in themselves and the value of their handmade products.

I am a mum of 5 children and work from home to organise the market. I love learning and putting to use new skills to help others thrive in business.

Jess
Reply

That’s a brilliant goal, Vanessa – love that you want to help others with this 🙂

erinbeutel
Reply

Hi Jess, I only discovered your sites today (via blogcast FM), but I love them already! I have had an Etsy shop for years but I haven’t had the time and focus to do much with it. Now I feel it’s time to buckle down and make this a real business. I have lots of ideas but I struggle with focusing on one at a time and knowing which ones will actually be helpful to my business. My husband has found a job that he absolutely loves but our finances are very tight. We both feel that the best thing for our children is for me to home-school them and foster their love for learning and their highly creative minds. My daughter already goes around telling people that her Mommy is a “phrotographer and jewelry maker” and I want to show her that her dreams to be an artist and writer can are attainable. I think this course would help me to develop a solid plan for my business so I can bring in some much needed supplemental income and teach my children about art, work ethics, and the power of the creative community!
Thanks
Erin

Jess
Reply

Welcome Erin! Focus is a HUGE thing for us creative entrepreneurs – we have SO MANY IDEAS ALL THE TIME that it’s a struggle to stick to one thing long enough to make it happen 🙂

catseatdogs Makes and Bakes
Reply

Hi Jess, this sounds like an amazing course and one to get me really moving forward with my shop and business and life and joy! I want to make sure I keep the balance of blogging, marketing, creating and selling. I fear my scales are not always evenly balanced sometimes, so I would love to complete the course and get on track and stay on it! Thanks as always, Clare x

Jess
Reply

Oh, those pesky balance scales! We all struggle with them, but for sure, having a system in place helps a LOT!

Sue Flewell-Smith
Reply

Hi Jess. Your competition sounds just like what I need. I’m sitting here at my 5th consecutive market having sold not a thing!! ( actually my daughter sold a dress for me the Saturday I had to work in the day job!). I am not sure there is a market here in Hervey Bay for the clothes I design and make so I will have to pull out all stops to revitalize my etsy store. My clothes are not over priced but the retail market here does seem to think so.!!! I am hoping for more sales in a wider market ;-/
Sue

Jess
Reply

Oh Sue, that sounds so frustrating!! Sounds like getting serious about an online shop is just the ticket 🙂

Sally Steele
Reply

I can’t begin to tell you what it would mean to me to be chosen for a spot in your e-course, Jess. I have long admired your jewelry, your striking product photographs, and your overall branding for Epheriell. I aspire to make such a cohesive image for my own jewelry shop; I have this picture in my mind of my perfect online shop replete with breathtaking photographs, skillful descriptions, and a rock-solid brand image. The reality of it, though, is that I tend to lose sight of the bigger picture and get carried away with trivial details. As it is, I read so many articles on product photography, pricing, branding, SEO, writing product descriptions, and the like that I feel like I can recite certain pieces of advice from memory. My struggle is molding all the pieces together into a concrete whole. The most frustrating part is that running my own shop is what I want to do with the rest of my life—its creation is my passion—but I just can’t get my burning desire for success to translate into an actual storefront on either Etsy or on my own (yet-to-be-created) site.

None of my close friends or family are very entrepreneurial, so even though they support me 100 percent, I just have to hope that their judgment is sound when I ask for advice on whether or not light blue fits in with my brand, for example, or whether they think my target customer is more likely to use Pinterest over Facebook. Ultimately, I realize that these decisions are mine, but I can’t help but wonder if I’m even on the right track. A shop critique would be invaluable for helping me to see the shortcomings that I’ve blinded myself to throughout the process and for helping me to see my shop from an impartial point of view. I want to learn how set up my shop without making unnecessary mistakes; I realize that there will be mistakes—many of them, even—but I want so badly to succeed that I’m willing to do whatever it takes. Having a place in your e-course would truly make all the difference in my efforts to succeed.

In many ways, I feel like I’m standing in a darkened tunnel. When I first began trying to find my way out, I was completely blind, but I have since seen flickers of light coming from many directions, each flicker no brighter than a single match. Right now I am stumbling around as I attempt to follow these pieces of advice in the best way I know how. But I am daring to hope that what you have to offer will be that blazing torch that will show me the way out of this shadowy passage and into the daylight of my fulfilled dreams—a place where the unreachable becomes the attainable, and where I can stare into the brilliant sun of possibility without blinking. I commit that if I am given the opportunity to learn from your expertise, that I will give it my all—no hedges, no holding back; I will pour myself into learning from you as fully as I can. I am now asking you to offer me that opportunity. Thank you for your consideration.

Respectfully,

Sally Steele

Jess
Reply

You have a way with words, lady – you sure you haven’t got ‘be a writer’ down on that dream list – because you should! And you’re not alone – many of the things you’re struggling with haunt us all from time to time 🙂

Carolyn
Reply

Finally at the age of almost *ahem* 40, I have figured out what I want to do when I grow up and it is not my government job (from which I am currently on maternity leave). The opportunity to learn how to really get the ball rolling on turning my creative hobby into a way to help support my family would be amazing. I’ve had some success with selling at markets before, when I lived in Melbourne, but now that I’m back in Victoria, B.C. where markets are not as abundant as in Australia, I need all the help I can get to figure out the online world of selling.
It took a number of years of trying and heartbreak for my husband and I to fulfill our dream of having a baby. The thought of going back to an office job and missing out on her early years is half of my motivation for really giving it my all to get a home based business up and running. The other half is my desire to do what really makes me happy and to lead a simpler life filled with purpose. I want instill in my little girl the confidence to know that she can create her own path in life – but first I want to create my own path so that I can show her by example.
Thanks, Jess, for the opportunity to learn how to really start clearing the way!

Carolyn G.

Jess
Reply

First – congratulations on bringing your most important little dream to life 🙂 I love your plans for her! Second – awesome, awesome, awesome. What motivation – you can do it!

Chloe
Reply

Dear Jess,
Thank you so much for this rare opportunity, your determination and your passion for helping others. =) I’m 22 and opened my first etsy shop when I was 17, but what I wanted from my hobby then, is a world away from what I need it to be now.
I’ve battled with an anxiety disorder for half of my life, but the truth is I’ve never felt more afraid than I do today. It takes time to unlearn fear, but It’s time my family doesn’t have. Running my own business from home would allow me to be self sufficient and help me to relieve some of my mums financial burden. I need to employ myself, because right now, no one else will.
I know I have the talent and the drive. All I’m missing is the map to guide me there.
Chloe x

Jess
Reply

Chloe – I admire you, girl! It takes some serious determination to battle anxiety disorder – and not only are you not letting it STOP you, you’re actively going out into the world and chasing after what you want. Brilliant! x

What say you?