Devoured Craft Inc.: Turn Your Creative Hobby Into a Business (2007) last night/this morning. It's probably the best book I've read on the subject. Loved its cover; it's so mod. The fonts, graphics, and colors inside were fabulous, as well. And that meant a very aesthetic read. Ilasco's tone was nice and easy, yet informative. And who knew? I've been reading her blog for months and didn't connect the two.
There's a quiz you can take to test whether you are entrepreneurial material. I answered all questions correctly except the first one. It asks your approach to snowboarding. Would you (1) sign up for a class ahead of time, (2) wimp out and go sledding instead at the last minute, or (3) throw caution to the wind and go for it? I picked the last answer, but the first was the correct one because entrepreneurs aren't reckless and are always knowledgeable and skilled. Or some such.
Anyway, Ilasco covers all the basics and then some specifics. So it's the perfect book for those just starting out, or crafters needing to find their way out of a pickle. Or those wishing and dreaming for a creative job where they could produce and sell their handicrafts. Kind of like me.
Here's a list of what all she covers (and much, much, more): work space, your business identity, naming your business, marketing, the role of blogs, legal structures, record keeping, mission statements, market research, protecting your work, vendors, manufacturing, pricing/line sheets, trade fairs, consignment, retail shops, advertising, marketing, publicity, salespersonship, dealing with huge orders, burnout, balancing your business with parenthood, and quitting.
One of the features I appreciated most about the book was her Q & As with successful craft-to-businessfolk like Lotta Jansdotter, Jill Bliss, Sunshine's Scarves, Denyse Schmidt, In Fiore, port2port press, and Jonathan Adler, among others. And there was a bit of variety in the questions she asked each businessperson as well as variety of medium, so it wasn't like they were all tote bag makers or ceramicists, or jewelers. Although, I would have really loved to read answers to questions specifically dealing with designing, producing, and distributing a line of fabrics. Too bad she didn't interview Amy Butler or Heather Bailey.
One of the errors I found was in regards to Amy Butler's fabrics. You may recall the hubub surrounding copyright laws and use of fabrics that swarmed the crafty blogosphere a while back. Page 65 reads:
For example, Amy Butler's Design web site clearly states that her fabric is for noncommercial use only.
When in fact, her FAQs read:
Can I use Amy's fabrics to make projects to sell or use in manufacturing finished goods?
So. But those kinds of mistakes are easy to make. You know? Books go to press months in advance and a minimal change such as this cannot always be corrected. Also, at the back of the book, Ilasco includes