tag: creative

the handmade marketplace

June 18, 2014

Posted by in books

the handmade marketplace by kari chapin (3)

many of you are probably familiar with kari chapin’s creative guide for crafters, the handmade marketplace. i’m excited to share that kari has just released the 2nd edition and it’s bursting at the seams with info for the artisan! kari teaches us how to make money (and a living!) at doing what we love by selling our crafts. the new edition has updated info on how to best utilize the latest on-line and social media opportunities for sales and marketing, perfect for the modern crafter!

i’m thrilled to be included as one of the experts for the ‘creative collective‘ in the book as well! inside, i’m sharing tips on blogging, how to get inspired, how to build a community around your craft and more!

There are so many great tips from business owners regarding branding, marketing, blogging, social, media, online stores, brick-and-mortar shops, etc. And I’m thrilled (and honored) to be included as one of those business owners… – See more at: http://www.papernstitchblog.com/#sthash.67Smh4i9.dpuf

you can find a copy on amazon, barnes & noble or on indie bound (all for under $12!).

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Posted by in indie biz

3 Easy Steps to Turn Your Dreams into Reality

It happens every New Year: at some point, we start to feel more stuck in the mud than motivated about our goals.

I’m facing the energy lull in my own business right now. The excitement of a new project has worn off, and it now requires dedicated effort. When I say effort, I mean I am trudging through the uncomfortable stages, fighting off procrastination, and using determined force to keep the momentum going on this thing. It’s not easy!

Good old resistance is rearing her ugly head, and I have no choice but to face her. In fact, having the courage to persevere when the going gets tough is what builds long-lasting success.

Today, I have a three-step formula that you can follow to achieve all that you desire:

Step 1: Act as if. Act as if you are already where you want to be. Imagine your biggest dream came true last week: all that you’ve been wishing on is now yours! Does that change anything about your day? Would you be wearing what you have on? Would you be doing what you had planned? Would your mood be the same?

To change your present attitude and act as if you already have what you want, think of the positive role models in your life, the people whom you admire. When you find yourself in a funk or you’re struggling to get a project completed, ask yourself:

  • What would my role model do if faced with a similar obstacle?
  • How would my role model be dressed today?
  • How would my role model manage the project I’m working on?
  • Would I be proud to show my role model this project/space/idea and the progress I’ve made toward building it?

Acting as if you’re already the success you wish to achieve will change your mindset and propel you toward becoming it.

Step 2: Create a Plan B and be stoked about it. I am working on a life-changing Plan A this year. I want Plan A so badly I can taste it! I visualize how it will unfold. I get carried away in daydreams, and I practice my reaction to Plan A coming true in the mirror. I love Plan A.

So that my desire for Plan A doesn’t turn into desperation, I have carefully drafted a second place prize: Plan B. In Plan B, I still achieve the feelings I desire, I just have to practice more patience to reach the ultimate goal (Plan A).

For example, let’s say you want to learn to speak French. You go and buy a course that will teach you the language, and then you set a rewarding Plan A. “If I get to third level French by the end of the year, I will travel to my dream destination of Paris, France for one week. I will become affluent in the French language using the week to practice speaking with Parisians.”

That’s a pretty lofty goal, but just imagine it! Picture yourself on the streets of Paris in the springtime speaking French. Allow daydreams galore in which Plan A unfolds in all its glory.

As you envision Plan A, you might realize some obstacles. It’s an expensive vacation and a long flight. How will you save the money and take that much time off work? Maybe you’ve never traveled so far, and the idea of leaving for Europe begins to overwhelm you.

So that Plan A doesn’t become desperate or hopeless, you need a hearty Plan B. In Plan B, you still learn French; that life-long goal still comes true. In case Plan A falls through (Paris for the week), you could go to Quebec for the weekend. You still get to practice French with native speakers, and it’s still a pretty romantic vacation. In fact, following through with Plan B will get you closer to Plan A. You’ll practice leaving the country, finding your way in a foreign city, and using the French language. I’d bet that once you conquer the Quebec trip, Paris will feel more doable than ever before!

Step 3: Keep your vision front and center. The things I’m working toward (new deck, family car for travel, tickets to Wicked the Musical, etc.) are plastered all over my office walls and Pinterest boards. Remembering what I’m working so hard for keeps me grounded and focused on my tasks.

I’m grateful for every luxury and reward that my creative business adds to my life, and I try to surround myself with reminders of the comforts it brings. Create a vision board for yourself to collect these desires and reflections. Appreciating them will only bring more of what you want into your life.

Best of luck in making your dreams a reality!

Photo by: lovefromginger.com

marketing creativity (1)
Lisa Jacobs is creative biz wiz who teaches online sellers how to get more sales and professional recognition. She owns the Energy Shop on Etsy and writes the blog, Marketing Creativity.

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Posted by in indie biz

hello, lovelies! i’m really thrilled to announce that lisa jacobs will be joining us each month to share some creative business advice with us! lisa is one of the most knowledgeable and talented creative gals in the business. she’s an absolute marketing guru and i can’t wait for you to get to know her better. i’m already taking advice from her post today!

marketing creativity (2)

image via love from ginger altered by lisa jacobs

Have you ever had a highly productive Monday? The kind of day that makes you think, “Look at all I’ve done! I’m going to knock it out of the ballpark this week!” Only to wake up on Tuesday and find yourself mentally and physically spent; so much so that it’s virtually impossible to get anything done?
That happens because each of us has a reserve of willpower, and when it’s spent, so are you.  It’s why most people quit the gym after January, and it’s also why the bakery is the last area of the grocery store (after you’ve used all your willpower to make good decisions in the fruit and vegetable section).

Moreover, an empty willpower tank is the black hole of productivity.

Since it’s the New Year and many of us are in planning mode, it’s a great time to talk about making the most of your working hours so that you can go the distance. This involves spending your time wisely, refilling your willpower tank more quickly, and expanding that reserve so it can hold more of your sacred energy.

How to Train Your Focus Muscle

Because focus is just that, a mental muscle that can be strengthened. Think of building your focus like you would train for long distance running. In order to improve, to go farther at a faster pace, you would gradually (and regularly) push yourself just past your personal breaking point. If I can comfortably run 2 miles in 20 minutes today, tomorrow I will have to run 2.25 miles in 22 minutes to build up my strength and endurance.

The same goes for your personal reserves of willpower. Your focus muscle needs to be trained for increased strength and endurance. First thing’s first …

Set a timer. As I write this, I have a free app called Alinof Timer counting down my 50-minute interval of pure focus. This helps me stay on track.

The level of energy or resistance I have for a task determines how long the timer will be set between breaks. Here is my guide:

  • Difficult tasks and grudge work: 15 minutes
  • Work I’m resisting, but perfectly capable of doing: 25 minutes
  • Work I enjoy: 50 minutes

The results from a laser-focused, timed work session are truly amazing. Try it out for one week to see how much you’re able to accomplish.

Identify your bad habits. True story: When I finished the first draft of this post, I opened a new browser window and went internet-clicking before I caught myself in the act. Mindlessly clicking around the internet is my favorite method of “checking out” during the day, and it’s my absolute best way to waste time.

What’s worse is, my internet clicking doesn’t look like a waste of time. It still looks like production. I answered an email and updated a social media status. That’s part of my job, and it’s a pleasure to connect with other creative business owners throughout the day.

The problem with that is: it’s taken me off the most important task at hand, which is writing this article for Going Home to Roost. Will that social work get done outside of my laser-focused production hours? Yes, it will happen no matter what, but my task (finishing this post) will not get done if I don’t push through the less fun (editing) stages and stay focused.

In order to honor your to-do list, you have to bring awareness to your favorite method of wasting time and avoid those bad habits.

Understand your personal energy cycles. There’s a natural order to things: A new idea comes with a giant burst of productive energy. It’s exciting! It’s fresh! It could attract loads of fame and fortune if it all works out. So naturally, you get right to work.

Then somewhere towards the middle of the project, the energy slows down and the idea requires effort. You meet resistance, and your shiny new project suddenly doesn’t seem so fun anymore.

I feel quite confident that many of you in creative business can relate to this resistance. What I want to propose today is that you can overcome it, and each time you do, you strengthen your focus muscle far beyond your wildest dreams. Every time you push a project into completion, you enlarge your willpower reserve. When you bring awareness to your energy cycles, you are more likely to overcome resistance and feed the momentum your business so desperately needs.

Here’s wishing you all the best in love, life and business in 2014!

marketing creativity (1)
Lisa Jacobs is creative biz wiz who teaches online sellers how to get more sales and professional recognition. She owns the Energy Shop on Etsy and writes the blog, Marketing Creativity.

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Posted by in design

creative teleseminar with amy butler

i’m so excited to join this creative teleseminar with amy butler tomorrow night, and i thought you might like to join in as well! amy will be teaming up with her life coach, hildie, to talk to us about how to live YOUR creative dream (you can read more about her story here).

from amy: “If you are an artist, creative spirit or a design entrepreneur I know you can benefit greatly from this event. You are here for a reason and the timing is right for you to receive the support and inspiration your soul is craving. You are a treasure and a gift! I can’t wait to spend time with you! Lots of Love, Amy

from hilde: “When was the last time you felt riveted by your career? Ever? The average American lifetime includes 90,000+ hours of work time. If you aren’t rating work an 8 or above on a scale of 1-10, you need help. Isn’t it time you confront the fact that nobody is coming to fix this problem but you? It’s time you figure out how much power you have to create and maintain a career you love. In this teleseminar with special guest, artist and designer, Amy Butler of Amy Butler Design, we will show you how to tell the truth about what you really want and find your courage and develop a plan to go for it. Whether you’re interested in starting your own business, getting a new job or taking your career to the next level, this teleseminar will have you DEAL!”

“Deal with Your Creative Career” Tuesday January 28th from 8:30 – 9:30 pm ET . $25. Register here.

photo via amy butler

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Posted by in indie biz

Would You Like to Build a Better Creative Business?

Hello, Roosters! I’m Lisa Jacobs (of Marketing Creativity), and I’m here to talk to all of you creative artists and makers about something special I’ve co-created with Timothy Adam (of Handmadeology). It’s called the Build a Better Creative Business course.

Earlier this year, Tim and I put our heads together to figure out what we could do to tackle the underlying frustration we feel just below the surface in the handmade community. People desperately want to build a successful online storefront, thriving business, or popular blog, but they’re just not sure how it’s done. We deeply know and understand that frustration. We’ve been in the business for several years, and we’ve both simply refused to accept ceilings or plateaus. In order to grow and expand, we’ve had to do a great deal of research. Through trial and error, we’ve learned what works and what doesn’t.

To make things easier on you, Tim and I created a learning curve.

The Build a Better Creative Business course is for makers and artists who are all in and ready to turn their passion into profit. We’ve collected lessons from experienced creative business owners who have all paved the way in one form or another. Inside our course, you’re going to learn how to create the results you want, and you’re going to enjoy a supportive group, a personal coach, and experienced mentors along the way.

How it works:

The course is run on a password-protected website, most classes are led in text format (written out as an in-depth article), and participants have three months’ access to the material. Enrollment is open for the current session now through September 30, 2013 (though it will close early if the course sells out before then).

There are sixteen classes inside the course, nine of those are led by either myself or Tim. The rest of the classes are taught by an extraordinary line-up of expert contributors.

In addition, you will receive six weeks’ worth of unlimited, private coaching from me! My coaching packages don’t come cheap, but consider me booked for six weeks. There are also *THREE*  live mastermind sessions hosted by both Tim and myself. If you’re not familiar with mastermind sessions, think private group coaching + brainstorming session + solution-generating magic.

Inside the course, experts in the field unleash an abundance of insight, next actions, downloadable tools, resources, and specific how-to information. The classes are broadcast 2 times per week throughout the first eight weeks of enrollment. After those first eight weeks, the course remains open to the participants so that you may revisit any lessons, gather all of the downloads, go at your own pace, ask any further questions, etc.

What you’ll get:

The Build a Better Creative Business Course includes:

- 9 Private lessons led by either Tim or Lisa.
– 7 Bonus lessons from our selected group of masters: we called in the big guns of our industry, and you’re going to be blown away by the people you meet inside this course.
– 24/7 Email access to Lisa and unlimited coaching for six weeks: Ask me anything and everything, day or night. I’m at your service.
– 3 LIVE mastermind meetings with both Lisa and Tim present and catered toward your needs
– Private networking and support among like-minded creative business owners
– Tools and resources for your creative business: we’re throwing it all in–worksheets, planners, checklists, marketing calendar, media contacts, and more.

What you’ll learn:

This section is immeasurable, but here’s a sample of the information you’ll walk away with:

- How to organize your business and create your own success
– How to improve your product and blog photography
– How and where to advertise your online storefront or blog
– How to create and support a professional network
– How to build a team of affiliates
– How to improve your website’s cohesion and make a killer first impression
– How to optimize your keywords
– How to improve your website’s SEO
– How to collaborate with other artists
– How to brand your business
– How to convert visitors into paying customers
– How to write effective listings and descriptions
– How to attract an audience and engage your fans
– How to find and gain media exposure
– How to get your product in front of celebrities
– How to license your designs
– How to turn your art into your own creative empire
– How to avoid burn-out and boost your productivity
– Plus tips on financial budgeting, bookkeeping, pricing, better business planning, and merchandising

What it costs:

$149. The cost of this material will never be this low again, and the benefits and value this knowledge will provide are priceless. You won’t find anything else like it.

If you’re ready to invest in your business, if you’re fed up and want to make it happen already, if you’re tired of uncertainty and frustration, you have Timothy Adam, Lisa Jacobs, and an amazing team of experts standing by. Get access to the course now by clicking here to sign up, read the testimonials, or look over the FAQ’s. Thank you so much for your consideration!

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Posted by in bonnie forkner

interviewed by jessica swift

hey friends! toaster and i are so excited to be over on treasuring, jessica swift’s blog for a super fun interview! i was so excited when she asked me to be a part of her artists and renegades series- she’s one of my most favorite surface pattern designers and i always love to see what she’s up to! in this interview, we’re talking about dreams, mottos, embarrassing photos and playing two truths and a lie. come join the fun!

p.s. if you guess the lie, but sure to check back later today as i’ll be popping in to reveal the TRUTH!

p.s.s. if you haven’t already, be sure to check out jessica’s rainboots, jump trust repeat - the e-book for aspiring artists, and her super fun shop.

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inspirational ink

September 10, 2012

Posted by in indie fashion

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i’ve been especially inspired by ink lately. if you have any favorite tattoos you been eying, please share them in the comments section! i’ll meet you there. :)

p.s. if you’re interested, you can follow my ink board here!

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nothing lacking

January 12, 2012

nothing lacking

today i hope you’ll find this inspirational art by louisest art inspiring. maybe you can see, if only for a moment, that there is nothing lacking, and draw inspiration from that place. happy creating, dear friends!

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