How to Turn Your Craft Hobby into a Business: A Review of Craft Inc.

BattyTurning your craft hobby into a business is a pain in the butt, and nothing is going to make that fact any different. Whether you sell at craft fairs or on consignment in a local shop or on Etsy, making your business legit in the eyes of the law involves lots of hoops to jump through and lots of fees to pay.

At least Craft Inc. makes the process a little more understandable, if not any less annoying.

Craft Inc., written by Meg Mateo Ilasco, is a handbook for the crafter who wants to start a crafty business. It starts out at the beginning, speaking first to the person who may have nothing more than an idea, then takes you through the nuts and bolts of setting up a business, to financial and legal planning, to market research and publicity, and on through production, pricing, wholesaling, hiring employees, and on and on. Interspersed among the business sense are interviews with other successful crafter entrepreneurs, focusing on their own business methods and featuring their own sage pieces of advice.

I’ve been using Craft Inc. as my own personal bible while I struggle to make my own craft fair, Etsy, and consignment hobby a legitimate business, so I can tell you from experience that, although the book does lay out a step-by-step process, that process is still just about as clear as mud to this particular creative girl who doesn’t know a ton of math. Here’s why:

[*Photo courtesy of She’s Batty and the Crafting a Green World flickr pool. Want your crafty photo featured on Crafting a Green World? Add it to the flickr pool!]

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4 thoughts on “How to Turn Your Craft Hobby into a Business: A Review of Craft Inc.”

  1. I already bought Craft, Inc. I liked it, but I had the same thought as you about the vagueness of certain instructions. And, I totally agree with your assessment that most new crafters-turn-sellers will need a lot more hand-holding than any books can provide!

    I laughed at the idea that you consider yourself a novice at selling your crafts; in case you didn’t already know, I look up to you as a role model for my possible-eventual foray into *really* selling (and not just to a couple of supportive relatives). πŸ™‚

  2. Here is one happy thought after reading your substantive, clear-eyed review: This sounds like one to check out from your local library instead of buying.

  3. I will admit that I’m a thousand times better at what I do than I was at my very first craft fair–I kind of cringe thinking about that first-year set-up now! This Christmas season has been big, especially, so I have high hopes that it’s signaling a general upswing in sales and show quality, etc.

    My library copy of Craft Inc. is already well-thumbed just by me, and it is actually on my to-buy list. Even though it’s not perfect, I think that it’s got all the necessary components that need to be checked off in order to run a legal, profitable business.

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