I've been doing a lot of reading recently. I've been researching like crazy for my Etsy shop, even before it opened. There have been so many web sites & books that I have found very helpful in my preparation for opening my shop & I am still finding them helpful now as I work on growing my inventory & figuring out the best ways to market my shop to customers. I wanted to share these resources with you in case you too are thinking about opening a creative business soon.
1) Etsy's Seller Handbook -This is the obvious source of tons of info if your planning on selling on Etsy, and even if you're not. I love reading these blogs as they come in, and have read the archives of them pretty completely. I get new posts in my email inbox too so that I wont miss any important changes or great ideas for marketing or new trends.
2) Lisa Jacob's Marketing Creativity - Not only does Lisa have an amazing blog & web page, if you sign up for her mailing list she also sends a few very informative PDFs she has put together: "Budget for Success", "Convert Views into Sales", and "The Success Series". I have found each of these helpful in figuring out what areas of my shop plan should be priorities.
3) April Bowles of Blacksburg Belle & Mayi Carles of Heartmade - Both of these gals are adorable & so SO informative. They each post one business related video a week, and they always have different ways of thinking of things so that you come to re-evaluate things you thought you had figured out. Thinking of things in a new way can open you up to new & improved possibilities! They have tons of products too that they sell to help small business owners out. I haven't purchased any of them yet, but keep feeling my finger twitching on my mouse to do so...
4) Handmade Success is an amazing site. I have Jordan's web page bookmarked for reference & I also have her Etsy Success Kit which is unbelievably informative. So much information all wrapped up with a bow. Believe me, it's totally worth purchasing it. It will save you a lot of time researching, she's done it for you!
5) Miss Modish's Tip Top Pitch Kit - I actually won this in a blog contest & am so glad I did! Her kit contains tons of great tips on how to pitch your product to blogs & magazines. It includes tips on figuring out where your best fit is, what editors are looking for, how to build a relationship with them & how to actually send out your pitch. I haven't started doing this yet, but will probably read this 50 times over when I start.
6) Clare Yuille's Indie Retail Academy - Clare's collection of documents & a podcast contains so much information about getting your products in stores. Her word is good, because she owns a store in which she sells handmade goods. So she knows what stockists like, and what they don't because she is one! I'm sure she's experienced everything. This is another one of the things that I haven't started focusing on yet, since I'm just starting out, but I'm glad to have come across this & read it so that I know what it involves so that I'll be ready when the time comes.
7) Craft, Inc by Meg Mateo Ilasco - I double heart my local library, and I picked up this book there while I was still in the planning stages for my shop. This book is an amazing first step to help you figure out what you're getting yourself into, and thinking about how to go about building up your product & how to market it & where you want your business to go.
8) Fire Starter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte - I love love love this book, I do. I got it from the library as well, but now that I returned it I kinda want one of my very own. It's that good. She has a way of really pumping you up & making you think big about your business. She talks like she already knows you're a rock star & you just have to go get what you want & I love that. It's filled with inspiring quotes as well. I kept thinking "I need to bookmark this" or "I need to write this on my chalkboard to remember" as I was reading it. Buy it, really, do so.
So those are my top 8 sources for information thus far. If you're setting up a new shop or thinking of doing so, I hope you check out these sources & that they help you out as much as they have me!
*This post contains some affiliate links. If you purchase one of the books I recommend from Amazon, I will receive a small payment. Thanks!*