Free Tutorial: Beaded Eye Pendant

This bead embezzled beaded eye pendant is sure to catch plenty of “eyes”!

Learn to make your own by following the step-by-step tutorial below.

Step 1:

Glue your glass eye cabochon to a felt material backing.

(The glass eye used in this tutorial is this 16mm mysterious mermaid glass eye.)

Beaded Eye pendant Tutorial Step 1

Step 2:

Thread your beading needing and bring your needle up through the felt material from the back end, keeping it next to the glass eye cabochon.

beaded Eye Pendant Tutorial Step 2

Step 3:

Add 2 black 11/0 seed beads and thread your needle back through the felt backing.

Step 4:

Tie the tail end of the thread with the main portion of the thread into a secure knot.

Eye pendant tutorial step 4

Step 5:

Bring your needle back up through the felt backing, at the center of the 2 beads you added in Step 3.

Eye pendant tutorial

Step 6:

Bring your needle through the second bead you added in Step 3.

Step 7:

Add 4 black seed beads like you did in Step 3, sewing through the backing and coming back up in the middle of the beads you adding, and threading through the remaining 2 beads.

Step 8:

Repeat Step 7 all of the way around the glass eye cabochon.

Step 9:

Add 1 black seed bead and slipping the bead after the bead your needle and thread has come out of, thread through the next black bead.

Glass Eye Pendant Step 9

Step 10:

Repeat Step 9 all the way around your pendant.

Step 11:

In-between the black beads added in the previous step, add an alternative black bead and blue Delica 11/0 bead using the same peyote method. Do this all of the way around your glass eye.

Step 12:

As you added the ring of black beads in Step 7, add a circle of blue Delica beads around the bezel framing your glass eye cabochon.

Beaded Eye Pendant Tutorial Step 12

Step 14:

Cut out the felt material, leaving a small edge of visible felt around the ring of Delica beads added in the previous step.

Beaded Eye Pendant Tutorial

Step 15:

Repeat Step 7, this time adding a ring of black beads around the ring of blue Delica beads you added in Step 13.

free beading tutotial

Step 16:

Thread through the last bead when you finish adding your ring of black beads in Step 15.

Step 17:

Add 1 black seed bead, 1 blue Delica bead, and 1 black seed bead. Skipping the next black bead, thread through the following 2 black seed beads.

Step 18:

Repeat Step 17 all of the way around your pendant.

Finish up:

Tie your left-over thread at the back of the felt material. Glue your felt material to a protective backing (such as a thinner cloth material) to protect your stitching. Add a jump ring to one of the lace scallops you added in Step 18 and your pendant is ready to be strung onto a chain of your choice!


The Problem with Small Business Education

Small Business Education Problem

I’ve got a problem with small business education.

No, it’s not that it’s bad or wrong to learn more about how to run a small business.

It’s not that there’s so much of it out there. (That’s awesome, actually.)

It’s not that some of it can be expensive.

It’s not that some of it can be free.

My problem is none of these things.

The problem I have with it is that it can be a major distraction.

Ironic, isn’t it? We often find ourselves spending the bulk of our time absorbing new information on how to run our businesses–only to let our ACTUAL businesses fall by the wayside!

This isn’t intentional, obviously.

But I see it happening all the time.

I, myself am guilty of this very sin.

Are you?

…Not sure?

Let me tell you exactly how you can tell whether or not you’ve been spending too much time on business education instead of on your business.

Step 1: Take a look at your shop and product listings.

Step 2: Note how you feel about them.


If your first initial reaction is “I have a lot of work to do” then your education balance to work ratio is off.

I can tell you this without knowing how much time you are spending on business education because (A) you have learned enough to be able to tell that your shop and products need work, but (B) haven’t spent the time actually making the changes you need to make.

If, instead your reaction is to feel like “My shop is awesome, and my products are all perfect!” then you either (A) haven’t spent enough time learning about small business to know that there is always room for improvement, or (B) are super-human and I am incredibly jealous.

Anyway, my guess is you experienced the first reaction, grimacing slightly as you looked at the face of your small business.

That’s okay. First of all, you’re normal.

But now that we are aware of the problem, we can fix it.

One of the main issues I have with spending time on small business education is that it can FEEL like we’re getting work done.

We spend time reading blog posts, business books, and taking online courses.

We spend time filling out worksheets, setting goals, and feeling super inspired and hyper-motivated.

All the while? Nothing new happens to our shops or product listings. (Or at least, not enough in comparison to all that we are learning and absorbing from our educational materials.)

The key lesson here:

Implementation is everything.

That helpful blog post or enriching e-course is worth nothing to your business if you don’t take action on it.

And I’m all about the grunt work.

To help you implement what you’ve learned from this blog post and any future educational endeavors, I made you a simple worksheet to help you keep track and TAKE ACTION as you go.

Along with jotting down what you’re learning from a segment of educational material, the worksheet asks you to note what steps you are going to take with what you’ve learned, and forces you to set a deadline for each implementation.

Download free worksheet

It’s all too easy to learn, and learn, and learn.

And that’s awesome. Learning is great.

It’s great for you, and it could be great for your business.

But only if you get busy with the hard stuff: implementation.


How to Quickly Build Your List with Giveaways

quickly build your list with giveaways

Want to quickly boost your e-mail list sign ups with targeted followers? A giveaway can be a fast-acting way to do just that.

But hang on, before you go clamoring to social media to give away all of your inventory, I’ve got a few hints to give your giveaway a better chance at reaping the rewards it’s aiming towards.

Tips for running a giveaway to increase your e-mail list:

Tip #1: Keep the goal of your giveaway in mind from the beginning.

When you are looking for more e-mail sign ups, you don’t want just ANYONE to sign up to your e-mail list. Sure, bigger number might give you an ego boost, but having a lot of people on your list who aren’t really interested in your products can actually end up hurting your business in the long run.

Tip#2: give away one of your products, or an exclusive product similar to your other products.

Alluding to Tip #1, you don’t want to give away an iPod or a Starbucks gift card. Of course you’ll get more signups, but mostly from people who won’t stick around after the giveaway is over. By offering one of your signature products, or an exclusive product just for the giveaway that is still representative of your brand, you’re more likely to bring in people that will become customers later on.

Tip#3: Follow the rules.

You’ve probably seen those random Facebook posts that say things like “like and share this to win”! In case you don’t already know: running a giveaway like this is against Facebook’s policies. Instead use an app like Rafflecoper or KingSumo to run your giveaways on Facebook and/or your blog and you’ll be well within the boundaries of the platform. You wouldn’t want to get your page shut down by accidentally doing something you thought was okay because you saw someone else doing it.

Tip #4: Let your current list in on the giveaway.

Even though they won’t technically be giving you more signups (since they’re already on your list) you want to keep your current list nurtured and excited about the potential to win a freebie. Plus, the hint that there will always be more giveaways in the future will keep people subscribed long after your current giveaway is finalized.

Tip #5: Be wary of group giveaways.

Group giveaways can be a huge potential opportunity, if done right. The problem is a lot of them aren’t. If you are joining a group giveaway with brands that don’t serve the same target market as you, you are going to be getting a lot of sign-ups that are almost guaranteed to unsubscribe or spam mark your list as soon as the giveaway is over.

Even if the other brands in the giveaway all seem like a good fit, if there are too many included then new sign-ups may feel bombarded with e-mails suddenly flooding their inbox. After the giveaway ends they might need to “thin” the amount of lists they are subscribed to just because it’s all too much.

If you are going to do a group giveaway, I recommend the following: keep it small, you and no more than 2 other brands, and make sure you do your due diligence by checking out their audience to see if it matches your own.

Tip #6: Promote your giveaway everywhere.

Yes, you are giving away something for free, and you’d think that alone would be awesome enough to bring everyone crashing into your website to sign up for your list, right? Not necessarily.

People need to know about the giveaway, know how long they have to sign up for a chance to win, and know what their odds are, or at least be given some kind of general idea.

You can promote in social media groups like World Wide Giveaways, on twitter and Instagram with relevant hashtags, and in advertisements if you want an even bigger reach. Depending on how awesome your prize is, a lot of people will just need to know that your giveaway exists to get them jumping over to sign up.

Tip #7: Don’t give up after a disappointing giveaway..

Running a giveaway isn’t an exact science. It’s a trial and error process. After you’re first giveaway you’ll have a better idea of what works and what doesn’t. You’ll know what kind of prize is more appealing, where and how to promote, and how long to run your giveaway to maintain interest. in the meantime, running a giveaway every few months, particularly during the slow times of year, can be a fun way to engage your audience and boost your list size.

Make the daily grind serve your long-term goals

It’s the end of the year. Everybody’s talking about their goals, resolutions and plans for next year.

But we all know what happens. We start off with the best of intentions. We state our lofty goals just before the clock strikes midnight. We have the highest of hopes, and then we get back to work on Monday and everything slips back into the routine of daily grind we’ve become comfortable with.

It’s easy to immerse yourself in the daily grind.

Customer questions need to be answered. Orders need to be made and shipped. New products need to be photographed. This week’s blog post needs to be drafted.

These are all essential tasks, but getting ensnared by our to-do lists can make it easy for us to lose sight of our larger, long-term goals for our handmade businesses.

make the daily grind serve your long-term goals

How to make the daily grind serve your long term goals

While you can’t avoid the day-to-day activities of working in your business, there are some easy ways to make sure you work ON your business along with them.

First: figure out what your long-term goals are, and get specific.

“Fix website” isn’t a specific goal. “Update homepage sliders, create subcategories, and adjust on-site SEO” is more like it.

“Make more money,” isn’t a specific goal. Make 25% more than last year, is.

Second, break down your long term goals.

If a certain amount of income is your goal, how much product do you need to be making and shipping out on a weekly basis? (And would it be possible for you physically fulfill that many orders?)

If you want to be featured in a major print publication, how often do you need to be pitching magazine editors?

Third: schedule that shyte in.

Repeat after me: if it’s not on your calendar, you aren’t going to do it.

Even if you only allow yourself one hour every week to work towards your long-term goal, it needs to be scheduled in.

Better yet: figure out a way to integrate it with your daily tasks.

For example, if one of your long-term goals is to systematize your business, take the time to record your actions as you do them.

If you are hoping to get into boutiques as a wholesaler, take 5 minutes to search for potential stores while you’re already on Instagram doing your daily social media marketing.

Finally: figure out if there are any daily grind tasks you can automate or delegate.

If you are spending too much time making graphics for your blog posts, for example, you might want to consider hiring a freelance graphic designer to do that part for you. That way you can take the time to strategize the overall focus and goals of your blog, rather than spending all your time in the grind of tweaking each post to “pinnable”-perfection.


And a bonus tip…

One thing that’s really helped me personally is to write my long term goals out on a physical piece of paper (or you could type them and print them out, either way works) and put them somewhere you are going to see them everyday. Then, when you get distracted by the daily grind, you will always see your goals in your peripheral, reminding you to pay attention to them.

Black Friday: Why You Might Not Want to Skip It

Why you don't want your handmade business to skip black friday

Like most small, handmade businesses, you might feel invisible during the whole Black Friday / Cyber Monday / and even Small Business Saturday rush. You might even be thinking to yourself right now, why bother?

Here’s why you might not want to skip out on Black Friday this year:

Black Friday is the holiday shopping event known for opening the flood gates and kick-starting the rest of the shopping season.

Allow me to explain.

Have you ever gone on a spending fast?

You know, that thing people like to try to do when they want to reign in their spending and save a little extra money.

They put a halt to ALL spending except what is absolutely necessary (things like gas, groceries, toiletries, and so on.)

Can you take a guess at what usually happens?

Yup. The fast only lasts so long. And once it’s broken? Most people won’t only buy one little thing and then feel guilty about before going right back to the fast.

Oh, no. They open up the flood gates (otherwise known as their wallets) and BUY ALL THE THINGS.

Just like when someone goes on an eating binge after swearing off carbs for too long while having to watch their co-workers gobble doughnut after doughnut. This is what is going on when customers finally let themselves shop they SHOP.

Black Friday sale events present a tipping point opportunity for a lot of people.

Maybe they were being stingy with their credit cards before, but how can one POSSIBLY refuse discounts of up to 90% off?!

hermits and insane-crazy people. That’s who.

You may be just one business among the masses during Black Friday weekend, but you’re still going to want to be there to catch some of the impulse buying hat is going to happen with or without you.

You don’t even have to do a super steep discount.

All you’re looking for is to have your listings to pop up when people search for “Black Friday Sale.”

Maybe they’ll buy, maybe they won’t. Either way, it will bring in exposure for your products that you might not have gotten otherwise.

Black Friday weekend is an opportunity, and it doesn’t have to take a whole lot of work on your part to give it a try.

Already have a black Friday weekend promotion planned? Share it with us in the comments below! Maybe we can all do a little Black Friday shopping of our own right from this blog post!

What do to when you’re uncertain of everything

In this new, post-election world, people are feeling a lot of uncertainty. Business owners, in particular, may be wondering how the results announced on November 9th will affect their bottom-line.

Whether you were for or against our new president-elect, you’re probably wondering what impact the new administration will have on your business. Even if you don’t live in the U.S., you might still be feeling anxious over what impact our country will have on yours and your online sales, particularly if a lot of your customers live here.

You might be feeling despair, or be giddy with hope.

If you’re anything like me, it’s hard to peel away from pouring over news websites and reading provoking thought pieces analyzing how we got the results we got.

Election distracting from business

But now I’m going to ask you to snap out of it.

(And I’m right there with you, friends.)

I’m not saying we shouldn’t stay informed or contemplate the future, but we need keep ourselves from losing focus of the here and now.

Even if our businesses are small, handmade, only side businesses, or whatever, they are still businesses and we need to treat them like it.

It’s November. These last two months of the year are when many retailers bring in the bulk of their sales.

Time to get your Black Friday sale graphics ready, launch your holiday product lines (if you haven’t already) and schedule your e-mail campaigns for the next two months.

The show must go on.

Let’s get down to business.

Make Your Business Stand Out In A Crowded Market

Make your Business Stand out in a Crowded Market

We all know someone who is an amazing singer.

The star of the school musicals or the lead soloist from church choir.

We’ve all got a friend, relative, or classmate who could out-vibrato anyone on the top 20 charts.

And yet? Most of these amazingly talented people will never “make it big.”

Why? The music industry is so saturated with talent to pick and choose from, that talent alone isn’t enough.

Arguably, talent isn’t even the most important thing.

Bestselling author Stephen King once said that there were writers much, much more talented than him– but they would never be as successful. Why? Because they weren’t willing to put in the same amount of work.

I agree with King. It’s going to take a lot more work on your part in order to stand out. But I feel it’s important to note that it’s not just the person who works the hardest who makes it, either.

Rather, it’s the person whose brand attracts a large enough, and loyal enough following that will stand out.

Think about it.

When you hear the performer name “Lady Gaga,” do you think “Ah, yes. The one with the nice singing voice.” OR do you think of LADY GAGA, the woman and the BRAND in it’s entirely?

Being the whip-smart woman that she is, Lady Gaga did not bank on her vocal abilities alone. She created a memorable brand persona that would be immediately recognizable, attract her target market, and stand out from other performers of the same caliber. Whether or not you are a fan of her music, you have to admire her fan-focus in an industry that requires sold-out tour dates to maintain record contracts.

Same goes for Stephen King. As a member of his loyal following, you can expect that I’m going to pick up and read any new book that he puts out. Because I am familiar with his established brand, I have a good idea of what I can expect from a King novel and don’t even need to read the inside of the jacket cover to decide if I’m interested or not. If he wrote it, I’m in.

Now let’s apply these same principals to your business.

It can be daunting to think about how you can make yourself stand out in a saturated market.

I sell jewelry, the most saturated market in handmade by a long shot, so I know. I’m right there with you.

To move past the overwhelm it helps to shift your focus.

Rather than thinking “How am I going to stand out?” think “How am I going to make my brand the most appealing to my target market?”

Because that’s where it all begins.

Lady Gaga isn’t worried about competing with Marilyn Manson, and Stephen King isn’t worried about competing with Nicholas Sparks. They may be in the same industry, technically, and while there is probably some crossover, they are generally targeting different audiences.

Be a Lady Gaga

By shifting your focus from your product category to your audience, you can turn your business into a brand irresistible to its loyal following.

Consider your brand’s touch points and what you can do to make them more attractive to your target market.

Think about what’s lacking in your market that your customers are searching for. Can you tweak your products so they fulfill an unmet or undermet need?

You may wish you could have a successful, booming business right this second. (Who doesn’t?) But it’s through trial and error you will be able to tweak your brand until it’s something that draws a loyal following of it own. If you put enough effort into it, it won’t matter that there are thousands of other sellers in your category, or that everybody knows somebody who can “do what you do.”

Because we all know somebody who can hit the high notes, yet Lady Gaga’s tour dates continue to sell out.

Let’s Rock Your Business – New 2017 Weekly Business Planner

“How on earth do you have time for everything?”

I get asked this a lot.

As someone with multiple handmade businesses, a full-time 40-hours-a-week job, a kid under a year old, and several relationships to maintain with the hubby, family, and friends, I can see where they’re coming from.

The short answer is this: I define my priorities, set long term and short term goals based on those priorities, and break those goals down into projects with individual tasks that I can map out for myself in reasonable chunks of time throughout the year.

Sound complicated? It doesn’t have to be.

I created a tool to help myself (and anyone else who wants to help themselves) accomplish exactly what I need in order to manage my business and life.

Hence, the Rock 2017 Business and Life Planner.

Weekly Business Planner Download 2017

I introduced this printable planner last year for the end of 2015 through 2016, and it was such a big hit, I’ve updated it for re-release.

I’ve purchased a lot of planners. And by a lot, I mean A LOT.

But none of them could fully give me what I needed to manage all of my priorities, maintain my busy schedule, and keep me focused on my overall goals. So I designed one that could.

The Rock 2017 planner includes introductory pages to help you envision your long-term goals, set your priorities, and break them down into individual tasks that you can plot out throughout the year.

Taking action on what needs to be done will become so much more effortless after you know exactly what you need to do.

Each month contains a box to remind you of your overall focus for that month, and each week gives you space to define your priorities, make to-do lists, and space for reflection/learning once the week is completed.

This is a weekly planner unlike anything you’ve seen before. It not only helps you keep track, it helps you define your track to start with, and learn from your experiences from week to week as you go along.

Because the Rock 2017 planner is sold as an instant download, printable PDF, you can claim your own copy for just $2.99.

Really, that’s a small price to pay for the tool you need to “have time for everything.”

Click here to order your copy.

Starting from Zero: How to Get Sales on Opening Day {Part 3}

Welcome to Part 3 of the Starting from Zero blog series, where I’m explaining exactly how to get sales from your new handmade business beginning DAY ONE.

Need to catch up?

In Part 1 I introduced you to my new handmade business, Twisted Pixies, and showed you how I went from the fear of starting a new handmade business to a demonstrably successful launch, despite having a small list of less than 100 e-mail subscribers.

In Part 2 I explained the most important step in prepping your new business for launch. If you skipped that post you’re going to want to check it out before moving on. Trust me, you’ll be sad if you don’t.

Now, for Part 3, I’m going to go over the exact production and marketing plan I executed to launch Twisted Pixies. It’s far from perfect, but I hope it will help you go from crickets to cha-chings when you launch your own handmade businesses.

Launch your Handmade Business to Sales

After determining who my target market would be (you can read about how I did this in Part 2), the next step in launching my new business was two fold: branding and products.

Because I knew who I was making my business for (hint: my target customers, not myself), these two things were really the easy part.

After just a few hours of customer research, I was already bursting with new product ideas.

For my initial product line, I settled on creating leather chokers with matching earrings, using my own glass eye cabochons as centerpieces to the designs. These are products that would be unique enough to stand out among the rest of the Gothic/Alternative market, but still fit within the style my target audience was already looking for and purchasing.

eye gothic choker

For branding, I went with images and colors that my audience appeared to favor, but that would stand out from the rest of the competition vying for the same demographic. That’s why I went with purple, black, dark green, and light blue, instead of the red and black I’m personally more prone to (as you can tell from my main website.)

Twisted Pixies

With the branding determined, and the products in production, I moved onto the next two-fold steps of marketing:

Getting traffic and funneling them to my new e-mail list

To do this I bought the hosting package for my new website (I purchased from Bluehost which included the domain name) and set up a very simple Coming Soon page with my new logo. On it I invited visitors to enter their name and e-mail address.

With nothing to bribe them with (I couldn’t offer a discount code, for example), I asked for e-mails in exchange for exclusive sneak peeks.

To get people to visit my Coming Soon page (and hopefully enter their e-mail address), I set up a new Facebook page, Instagram account, and Pinterest account.

Twisted Pixies Coming Soon

The emphasis of these new social media accounts? Tease. Tease. Tease!

I showed images of the behind-the-scenes production of my leather chokers (hardly giving anything away) and promised even more, better exclusive looks if people signed up for e-mail updates.


As launch day grew closer and closer, the sneak peeks got more intense.

I included short videos I taped during my lifestyle photo shoot.

I shared some of the sneak peeks from my Facebook page to relevant groups that i knew my target audience was hanging out in. I figured out what hashtags my audience was using on Instagram and added them to the captions of the photos I shared there. All the time building up more and more excitement.

It started working. I got several list sign ups and people were getting excited for launch day.

But I wanted even more.

So I hosted a giveaway on my Facebook page, and promoted it on Instagram to draw even more people to it.

Twisted Pixies Giveaway

By offering people a chance to win a choker and earrings set before they could even buy it, I built up anticipation for when people would be able to actually get their hands on the jewelry whether they won or not. The giveaway added several more e-mails to my list, and even more followers and shares on my social media accounts.

Throughout the launch period I nurtured my e-mail list. I sent them even more sneak peeks than I shared on social media, explained the why behind my businesses so I could resonate with them, all the while building up trust and anticipation.

Finally, launch day hit, and my audience was ready.

Even with an e-mail list of less than 100 people, Twisted Pixies got sales from day one.

The basic production and marketing formula I used was the following:

new business launch sequence

As you can see, there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes that most people don’t see until after launch happens.

This is why sometimes it can look like a brand new business opens up and is suddenly successful, and you’re left scratching your head and wondering how in the heck they’re getting sales but you’re not.

Now you know why.

The time it took for me to go from audience research to launch was about 3 months. (I wasn’t shooting for perfection, because we all know how much of a stalling tactic that can be.)

It could take you the same amount of time, shorter, or longer.

My point here is that if you put in the work to build and execute a launch, you’ll be setting yourself up for success from then on out.

Now, of course, I know what you’re gonna ask.

But what about after launch? How do I keep my customers coming back and buying more?

Ah, yes.

What I think is so awesome is that I get to use my very real handmade businesses as test cases for you. I enjoy tweaking, experimenting, and trying new things. Then, as I figure out what actually works, I come back and report to you.

I’d rather give you advice based on what really worked for me, rather than some theory I’ve read about online somewhere.

So stay tuned. Because you know that as soon as I start seeing results from some of my efforts, I’m going to be sharing them with you.

Be sure to sign up for e-mail updates from me, if you haven’t already, that way you don’t miss my next post. It’s bound to contain even more useful information you can apply to your own handmade business.

Starting from Zero: How to Get Sales On Opening Day {Part 2}

Welcome to Part 2 of the Starting from Zero blog series, all about launching a new handmade business.

(If you need to catch up, you can read Part 1 here.)

In this post I’m going to discuss the most important step when launching a new business.

Yet it’s the part so many people skip over.

They think of a product they want to sell, and get too excited to wait. So they just throw it out there, and unless they get lucky by sheer coincidence, they launch to crickets.

If you skip the step I’m about to explain to you, you can rest assured that crickets are going to be the most likely result.

I hate to break it to you, but you can’t plan on any amount of success unless you do this work first. But don’t worry, I’m going to show you how.

So what’s the first step to a successful handmade business launch? Producing a product line? Designing a website? Building an e-mail list? Setting up a Facebook page?

It’s none of those things.

The first, and most important step for a successful launch and business, is to define your target audience.

You have to know your market first before you can be certain that the products you are designing for them will be something they will want to buy. twisted pixies lookbook

If you start with your ideal customer, and then work on your product line from there, you’ll be working towards an almost guaranteed loyal customer base. When you know your market inside and out, you’ll know exactly what sort of products to make for them that will bring in the sales.

(Please note: this doesn’t mean you have to create products you hate. It’s just about finding the sweet spot between what you like, and what your customers like. A win-win for everyone!)

So how do you find your target market?

Well, fortunately, because of the internet, it is easier than ever to do market research. It just requires a little bit of internet stalking on our part.

Allow me to explain.

Here are the exact steps I took to research my audience prior to launching Twisted Pixies:

Step 1: Think of one, individual customer. This is not just any customer, but your ultimate, ideal customer. You can fill out the ideal customer worksheet included in the free sample of my Run a Handmade Business and KEEP Your Day Job Course to help you get a handle on it. But make sure you aren’t too set in stone here. What you are looking for is a starting point, after we delve in deeper in the research, the perimeters of what you consider an ideal customer might change.

Step 2: Write down some of the major stores your ideal customer shops at, people/things he or she is a fan of, groups he or she is a part of, magazines he or she reads, and so on. Write down all the major ones you can think of.

Step 3: If you can only come up with 1 or 2 stores you think your Ideal customer would shop at, plug those stores’ web addresses into to find more options. Write those down too.

Similar Web

Step 4: Click through to the social media profiles of the stores/magazines/fan clubs/etc. from the previous 2 steps. Check out who the real people are who are following and engaging with their social media accounts. Really take your time here, this step is where you are gathering the most valuable information.

Step 5: Write down overall trends. For example, if you find out your target audience hates the color orange (or loves it), how they respond to certain products shown by the stores they follow, what posts they are most likely to recommend to their friends, their likes/dislikes, style sense, and so on.

Step 6: Keep repeating Steps 4 and 5 until you have a decent amount of information to work with. Then, for Step 6, pick through that information to see what applies to you. By now you should have a much better idea of what products, shapes, colors, marketing, design, etc. will appeal to your target demographic. This isn’t about guessing, it’s about making strategic business decisions based on what real people are going to respond to.

Step 7: Get to work making products that you now KNOW will be a hit with your target audience.

If you take the time to do these steps, it will be really hard for you to fail your handmade business launch.

But wait, we’re not done yet! In Part 3 of this blog series I’m going to give you a complete marketing plan for how, exactly, to set up your launch campaign so you can open your new business door with a bang. We’re going to get you sales from DAY ONE. Stay tuned for that.