It was after the author Alison McNicol had researched and written her first book, ‘The Craft Business Handbook: The Essential Guide to Making Money from your Crafts and Handmade Products’, that she realised she had collated so many fascinating interviews jam packed with useful tips that another book was in order. This second book, entitled ‘Craft Business Heroes’, skips all the usual ‘writing a business plan/how to register as self-employed/pricing your products effectively/advise on using social networking’ info out there to assist people wanting to take their hobby more seriously, and gets straight to the good stuff. Those first types of books are of course fantastic, and every serious crafter/designer-maker should probably get hold of one at some point for practical advice. But sometimes you want to get straight to the fun bit: being inspired by wonderful and successful people doing what you want to be doing and making a living from it!
‘Craft Business Heroes’ really appeals to my nosey nature, McNicol asks all the important questions about the development of each interviewee’s business. Her clever questioning includes how they begun to take their hobby seriously, where they run it from, if they employ any staff, the effectiveness of trade fairs in comparison to other methods to grow their businesses, how they fit their business in with the rest of their lives, and so on.
Maybe it’s her positive and friendly approach, or perhaps it’s down to how genuinely helpful most crafty people usually are, but each interviewee is so open with their responses and clearly keen to assist and encourage other creative people to learn from their own successes and failures.
McNicol has split this book into subsections relating to a variety of crafty business categories: Jewellery, Paper Goods, Homewares, Sewing and Fashion/Accessories. It makes sense to structure the book in some way, and there are, of course, some common questioning within each category, but I would encourage the reader to explore every interview, not just the ones from the section closest to their proposed crafty business genre. Each interview is a gold mine of ideas, tips and advice that often transcend creative disciplines.
So now to the important bit: how to get your hands on a copy of this awesome book for nothing! We have one brand new copy of ‘Craft Business Heroes’ to give away to one lucky crafter/designer-maker to be sent to them for free. If you would like to be in with a chance, please leave a comment on this blog post with your name and a way to get in touch with you (email address or link to a site/blog with an easily accessible email address). Also in that comment, please tell us at least one independent designer-maker or small creative business that you admire and why. On Sunday 20th May 2012 at 10pm a winner will be selected using a random number generator and the winner will be contacted. This giveaway is open to anyone living in the UK (sorry international crafters). Any questions about this giveaway (but not entries), please email craftaganza (at) gmail (dot) com.