Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Book Review - Handmade to Sell

I got this book, Handmade to Sell by Kelly Rand, in the mail a few days ago and tore through it in one sitting, snuggled up on the couch with a coffee while it rained outside. What a treat. I don't get to read as much as I would like, but we were taking the afternoon off work, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity. I've read a number of books about owning a small business and the best book I have read, own and have suggested a million times is The Boss of You by Emira Mears and I stand by that. I go back to that book often, and it resides permanently next to my bed. Handmade to sell is a bit different. It is focused on start to finish building a craft business. 

Okay, to start with, it's an adorable book. It is visually super cute with lots of illustrations and some color photos. There are lots of recognizable names and products {Somethings Hiding in Here, Giant Dwarf} and more superstars of the handmade world. A lot of little quotes and quippeds from small business owners and anecdotal advice for beginners. The book is basic and easy to read. 

Besides the section on festivals, which I'll get to later, the book wasn't anything really new to me. I have been making small business mistakes for a year now, and have learned from most of them. The book talks a lot about creating a product - what etsy, big cartel and artfire are - how to register your business - how to take great photos - wholesale basics ( I definitely wanted more from this last section,) - and so on. Most of which I have experienced in my own business, BUT if you are just starting out, this book may be exactly what you need to build a foundation for a successful business. 

I did get a lot out of the festival section. Since we are doing Renegade in September, and have SO MUCH to do between now and then, it was good to read a little about what to expect and how to be best prepared. I will certainly be rereading that section again. The best thing is there is a festival checklist in it that I know will be super useful!

If you're thinking about starting a small business, mostly craft related, this book is a great resource and something I would definitely suggest. It's under $13 on amazon and worth having around. It also makes me want to attend the Summit of Awesome. Yes, please!

Let me know if you read it, and what you thought! Any other small business books to suggest?



  1. Thanks for the review, Beca! I just went and bought "The Boss Of You" thanks to your suggestion.

  2. That's pretty cool that they had a festival section! Thanks for the review.

  3. I am reading Handmade Marketplace by Kari Chapin.
    From the way you are describing Handmade to Sell, it seems like they are very similar. Cute illustrations, sayings, personal blogger tips.
    I have a few other books that I found around a book store that I need to read. Hopefully those will have more to offer.

    I will definitely have to buy "The Boss of You". I have read in a few other places online that it is a great book.

    - Ames

  4. I bought The Boss of You a few years back and actually forgot I had it! Thanks for reminding me - I'm going to open it back up tonight!

  5. The Boss of You looks sooo good and I just ordered it from half.com ($1.95 hooray!). One book that looks good that I am about to start is "The Right Brain Business Plan" - I have my own little business plan written down but I love working with collage and visual inspiration, so we'll see how it goes. :) Thanks for sharing. - Christen