creative business

  • How to Make Money from Selling Handmade

    The handmade movement is booming all over the world, and is becoming a real force in the market. Aimed at countering mass-produced consumerism, “buy handmade” has become a mantra of many disenchanted consumers, and owners of small handmade businesses are benefitting. People want less stuff, and they want to feel connected to the stuff they DO buy – they want to know things are ethically produced, they want to feel as though they KNOW the person who created an object. They’re tired of mass-produced crap.

    But handmade businesses just can’t compete with the prices of goods from China, and the economies of scale for larger companies mean most small business owners are struggling with increasingly small profit margins.

    As an example: two brightly colored wool hats sell in a clothing store for $30. One hat was made in China, shipped to the country and sold to the retailer by a large hat-buying chain for $15. The retailer makes $15 and that hat-buying chain makes $8. The costs of shipping, storage, freight and packaging add up to $7.5 and the Chinese hat maker earns about .50c.

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  • Creative Office Organisation (For Anyone who operates a floor-based or “piling” filing system)

    I swear by the gods there is a black hole in my stationery drawer.

    Pens go in, and never come out. Art supplies are purchased and promptly lost into the abyss. Staplers that I SWEAR I saw in there only a few days ago disappear without a trace.

    After the umpteenth time I barged into his office yelling accusations of stationery theft, my husband (not-so)gently pointed out that maybe “they’re hiding somewhere underneath the piles of crap on your desk.”

    “‘Piles of crap’? What ‘piles of crap’?” I cry in indignation.

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  • 10 Reasons running your own business is awesome (and they’re not what you think)

    I suspect I’m preaching to the converted here, but if you didn’t know already, working for yourself kicks serious ass. I mean, it’s brutally, epicly awesome. If you don’t work for yourself, and you wish you did, use this article to inspire you to do what you need to do to make it happen. And […]

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  • Meat-on-a-stick is Marketing Genius

    I’ve just got back from the Veldensteiner festival, a one-day medieval/folk metal festival held on the grounds of Veldenstein castle in Bavaria. I got to see one of my current favorite bands, Eluvetie, play, as well as Subway to Sally and a couple of others. One thing that struck me about this festival is just […]

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  • How to Write Without Colour

    I don’t talk a lot about my eyesight, since it seems kind of irrelevant when we’re not talking face to face. If we were, you might notice that I don’t make eye-contact, that I seem to stare at a spot over your shoulder, that I blink all the time, and that when I go to […]

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  • Burlesque, birdbaths and titillating for money: Epic Interrogations with Leda Petit

    Leda Petit is a bit of a legend around my neighbhourhood. New Zealand’s own Queen of New Zealand burlesque, her talents range from tantalizing solo shows to corporate events, group performances and private parties. Leda’s also the sprightly lass in charge of the Auckland branch of Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art Group, where young artists (such as […]

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  • The perils of working for unknown returns

    [dropcap]I[/dropcap] work sixty hour weeks, and I don’t even notice. This probably makes me a horrible wife (and obviously, I have an incredibly tolerant husband).

    Some of this work is quantifiable – I work for an hour, I get paid for it. I finish a client’s job or a Braille book, fill out an invoice and money appears in my bank account. That money keeps us fed, watered, powered up, clothed (and when most of your clothes come from obscure underground shops in Scandinavia, this is no easy feat) and gassed up for adventures.

    But I work the rest of the time for unknown returns, and that’s quite scary. It might take me 30 minutes to write this blog post, but chances are, it won’t net me any money. Not a cent. It might bring in new readers, who might sign up to the email list for the FREE ebook or the RSS feed, and might eventually, one day, buy something from me, or because super internet famous and recommend me to all their friends, who might buy from me. But right now, this 30 minutes of work will net me exactly $0.

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