Craft Inc. Book Cover.jpg
Craft Inc: The Ultimate Guide to Turning Your Creative Hobby into a Successful Business
By Meg Mateo Ilasco
Chronicle Books

There are lots of things to think about when starting up a new business, such as: What will you be selling? How will you market it? What will your profit margin look like? How will you distribute your product? … The list goes on. Ideas are great, but putting them into action takes planning and motivation. Which is where Craft Inc: The Ultimate Guide to Turning Your Creative Hobby into a Successful Business (Chronicle Books) comes in.
Author Meg Mateo Ilasco, has just released her revised edition of Craft Inc, excerpted here, where she answers the questions above and many more. And as part of her book launch, she has an exciting contest question for you:

If you could start a crafting business tomorrow, what would it be?

To enter our Craft Inc contest, simply answer this question in our CRAFT comments (not Facebook) section below.
Prizes: 1 lucky grand-prize winner will be able to discuss their business idea with Ilasco in a 30-minute phone conversation! Plus she/he will receive a copy of Craft Inc. The 4 runners-up will also receive a copy of Craft Inc.
There will be 5 winners total (1 grand prize winner and 4 runners-up). All winners are chosen at random.
Deadline: The contest ends November 18, 2011 at noon (pst).
But wait! That’s not all. Make sure to check in with us next Monday for our exclusive CRAFT interview with Ilasco.
And good luck!

Related Topics


    • Angie

      Handmade, custom Jewelry!

    • Dame Toadstool

      Creating and selling subversive and geeky embroidery and cross-stitch patterns. I feel like there’s already a bit of market saturation in this area so I’m not sure how I would successfully turn my hobby love into a profitable business!

    • Charmaine Fuller

      I would have my own line of stamps, paper and other embellishments (have the idea but working on funding and how to turn the idea from idea to reality) also a high end card and layout business where I would sell layout and card kits as well as make specialty cards and layouts. I know it’s a lot but that’s what I want.
      Charmaine

    • enidb

      I want to make and sell jewelry. I create jewelry from precious and semi-precious stones.

    • Kim Jenkins

      I would sell handmade sketchbooks, trying to figure out a way to get start up funds at the minute though.

    • Pirate

      If I could start a craft business tomorrow, it would be fibre arts and related accessories. I have a bunch of fibre and a drum carder and spinning wheels! and stuff to make stitch markers with!

    • Sister Valentine

      in the last few years i’ve dreamed of opening a business that involves selling my handmade goods, crafts and fine art but i didn’t want the whole thing to be just about me.
      i’d want to have a consignment part of it too where i can help local artists and makers sell their stuff in a real store and not just online or craft sales. i’d love to host some craft nights and mending nights too in my dream shop.
      sprinkle in a bit of yummy home made baked goods and hot drinks and my heart will be ultimately happy.

    • deirdre_lyon

      If I could start a crafting business tomorrow, it would be centered around small event planning with homemade, crafty touches – embroidered invitations, hand-sewn banners, etc.

    • nicole

      craft business would be sewing… from little pouches to quilts to clothing.

    • Anita

      I had a knitting machine store in the 80’s/90’s. I traveled all over the country teaching, selling and laughing. I have missed my shop ever since I had to give it up for personal reasons. I know a lot has changed and I think I would like to give it another try.

    • Stella

      First I want to say wow wonderful it is that so many who are trying to win this are doing it with helping others as well. The crafting community is awesome!
      I would like to try to start a local TV craft show. I’m not sure there’s a way to make money doing this as a business but I guess that’s what the phone conversation is for. :-)

    • Tawny

      I love crafting Childens’ accessories and housewares. Diaper stackers, toy hammocks, anything fun and a bit out of the ordinary. :)

    • milktoothrain

      I think I will start a craft business creating guerrilla crochetting kits for two reasons:
      1. to teach more people the crochet technique
      2. to make a silent and peacefull revolution
      Thank you for the chance!

    • Jessica L’Heuruex

      If I could start a crafting business tomorrow, I’d sell hand dyed yarns.

    • Erica Hann

      I already have a small etsy shop where I sell paper goods such as greeting cards and unique paper bows, but I would not call it a successful business. I would love to grow my shop into a real business where I continue to create the small, fun items that I love as well as custom orders such as wedding invitations.

    • Cat

      If I started a craft business tomorrow (and I’m slowly trying to figure out how to go about doing that) I would make hand crafted character hats for babies.

    • Jennifer Pesetsky

      If I started a craft business tomorrow, I would make and sell a variety of things. My crafty interests are eclectic. I would likely used recycled/re-purposed materials and make whatever is calling my name at the moment. Right now, I’m working on a quilt I’m calling daddy’s boxers quilt, I’m sewing some clothes for my toddler daughter and I’m knitting a sweater for myself. But, my jewelry making has also been clamoring for some attention recently…

    • Gigi Feldt

      I would start a business making Roller Derby inspired vintage lingerie and undergarments!

    • Mia

      I’d start a combination yarn shop-tea house with my mom.

    • Chrissy

      Thanks to people like Meg Matteo Illasco, Jenny Hart and Grace Bonney, I felt empowered enough to , in 2010, open my own modern indie handmade shop, Domestica. I’m so blessed to be where I am today + I really owe a ton of it to Grace’s Biz Ladies columns and Meg’s Craft + Craft Inc books. I never would’ve thought it possible. I’m now working with some friends to put out our own online quarterly and I doubt I’ll stop there. Once you know you can do it, you can do it. Thx!

    • Mabel

      I would start a business picking up discarded furniture, and would refurbish it (upholstery, wood finishing, etc.) and sell it again.

    • Julie Figueroa

      I already have a semi successful Crafting Tutorial YouTube channel, that I can see becoming a full blown business. My dream is to rent a small office space and go to work there every day to make more videos. I also can see my own line of crafting products, as well as being sponsored by existing craft supply lines. by the way, I already have over 6500 subscribers!!

    • Topp

      Custom made notebooks for everyone! :)

    • Lorena

      I already have a handmade jewelry web shop, and I’d like to make it grow more.
      If I had to choose another kind of craft, I would say stationery goodies!

    • Karissa

      I’m just starting to make the leap to having an Etsy shop for handmade softies and quilted goods and would love some help getting started!

    • dofnup

      If I could, I’d open a combination yarn & beading shop with my mom as my business partner! We’d knit and crochet and make jewelry and even combine all three! We’d sell finished objects, yarn, components … we’d have classes and an area where anyone could come and sit with us and talk, or bring their project and work on it. We’d be surrounded by the things we love and be able to share them with others. This is my dream! ^_^

    • mikatana

      I would make Christmas ornaments and other items from wool sourced from American wool growers. My products would be 100% American made out and as “green” as possible. ie – using plant dyes rather than acid dyes.

    • viv

      Quilts, and knitted plus crocheted scarves and blankets for anytime the temperature dips below 85 in Texas!

    • CECILY

      Baby books for the design-minded!

    • Bob T

      Crocheted hats & shopping bags. I elaborated, but my first comment was rejected

    • Jenny

      I would have to craft something unique. I have already started using butterflies in jewelry. I hope to someday use a variety on insects.

    • Lexi

      I would like to start a textile and wallpaper business. Not sure if that qualifies as craft.

    • JennyC

      I would love to grow my Etsy shop as a full time business that is self sustaining & profitable … it’s a combination of custom embroidery, flighty birdy birds and soft dolls. It would be awesome to chat with Meg!!

    • L Weber

      I recently moved back to my childhood home, on the ocean, and am finding myself compelled to create with natural and found objects: driftwood, rocks, shells. I want to explore ways of sharing and organizing this obsession!

    • Tara

      This might seem silly, but I would start a Halloween/costume stylist business. I love Halloween and love helping people plan costumes. Once Halloween is done, I would still make fantastical and fun accessories, like fascinators, pins, etc. for year-round wear. Also, I would work with aerial, burlesque, and drag performers to help them plan outfits. Eventually, I would like to expand that to event planning with a theatrical flare!

    • Dana Zumbrum

      It would be a craft jewelry studio. There I would sell my jewelry and teach other hows to make their own jewelry using beads, found objects, wire etc.. With that would also be a paper store. It sounds kinda silly at first but you can come and make the jewelry and then make the card and box to go with it. I would want tables and tools so that you could rent a “craft area” to make your jewelry. This is incase you don’t have the means to do it at home.

    • Linda

      My business dream is to sell my handmade accessories made from crochet, ribbon, beads etc. Along with teaching kids different crafts and helping them practice daily positive attitudes and choices. I will be trying out my concept at a craft fair this weekend :) I need help with how to expand my business from this point forward.
      AvKaLi Inc
      Create, Believe, Make a Difference

    • Susan

      I would create and sell items specifically aimed at parents and children who follow a more earth focused spirituality.

    • Jay

      I love all crafts! If I could open my own craft business, I would sell handmade plush toys, knitted things, and cross-stitched items. I would also slowly pull in my friends who are wonderful jewelry makers, stationary designers, print artists, and bakers (so you could have snacks while you shop). It would be a warm and cozy atmosphere and there would be tables and materials for quick classes on making your own handmade items.

    • Tracy

      If I could start a biz tomorrow, my handmade items would revolve around upcycling/recycling. It not only keeps the overhead down, but it’s good to the earth, too!
      Thanks for this great giveaway!
      Cheers,
      Tracy

    • Emelie Sanders

      I AM starting a craft business tomorrow and I have no idea what I’m doing! I’m selling a iPod headphone cord cover that’s crocheted on; called the “iCrochet Headphone Cover”. I’m also a young, teenage freelance illustrator and website designer.
      Dreaming of raking in the cash, but it’ll be a long rode there. haha

    • Meagan Lewis

      I currently make and sell my hand-carved rubber stamps on Etsy. I’d love to turn my passion into a crafting business that included a line of my rubber stamps and other paper crafting products to be sold in stores. I’d also like to write a book for small craft-based businesses that gave ideas and projects for branding and marketing with a handcrafted approach. Wouldn’t that be fun? I think so. :P

    • Tina G

      I would like to start a textile design business. I would eventually want to branch out and have my designs on home decor and housewares. I have been in technology for many years and am ready to take my craft to the next level! Thanks so much for the opportunity!

    • Angie

      I would like to start a business teaching crafting classes.

    • Allegory

      My business is two-fold:
      1) I’d like to start an import fabric business. I’ve been travelling and fallen in love with fabrics available in other countries. In the area that I live in these fabrics just don’t exist. Of course I’d also like to list these fabrics online to give the business a greater chance of success.
      2) I’d like to teach sewing classes in a Mommy and Me environment. I would of course offer classes on an individual basis but I think having an environment where mothers and their daughters/sons can both learn to sew would be wonderful.

    • Michelle Galeas

      I would start an accessories business using many techniques I love: knitting, crocheting, sewing, beading and chainmailling. I could use some advice!

    • Janine L.

      I’ve a dream of starting a business with my daughter. She is amazingly inventive and extremely creative. I’m skilled at research, organization and writing. Besides being crafty, my daughter enjoys creating imaginative baked goods. It would be awesome if we could bring together our talents, working at something we’d both have fun with, and possibly, make some income from.

    • Quynh

      I would like to import beautiful Japanese pottery and textiles and have them available online and in a small boutique in Seattle.

    • Lidia Varesco Design

      Im enjoying reading the comments. I have a 3-month old baby who has inspired me to turn the design- and music-themed onesies that I make for friends into a business. I look forward to getting tips and inspiration from Meg’s book!

    • Tee Jay

      I love transforming my kids drawings into other things, we’ve stenciled them onto t-shirts, made them into stuffies, transferred them into embroidery designs, made fridge magnet versions, it’s FUN! I’d love to offer this service to other families, having them submit their children’s art and recreating it in another form of their choice. The kids love this so much and it makes for wonderful gifts for friends and family.

    • Ruth Spiro

      I’d like to start a mobile creativity consulting business – don’t want to give away too many details! Think of all the ways businesses and creative professionals could use craft supplies for inspiration. With the right leadership, of course!

    • Tristan Coplien

      I would start a yarn crafting based business. Focusing on accessories (such as hats, scarves, purses, etc) and baby items (blankets, cute picture props, outfits). Most items would be hand crocheted. I would supplement this with a bit of sewing crafts as well to compliment the yarn crafts. Preferably, most of my business would be online – using trade shows as a supplement.

    • Clair

      I want to start a craft based business that reflects my lifestyle – I love tote bags, cats, and retro coolness. Plus I have a crafty family I would like to help out.

    • Laila Smith

      I think a wonderful new venture that is a venue for running workshops, mixed with a shop selling wonderful wares with a creche attached ‘cos us parents need a bit of creative time to ourselves!

    • andiesayswhat

      My plan is in its infant stages right now; there are so many things I want to do, I can’t really string them all together to make a cohesive plan. I stitch mostly right now, and I want to make my patterns available for sale. Also, I’m finishing my degree in graphic design, and I want to make a “to-order” business, designing both stationery, and items to help other crafty businesses; websites, business cars, wrappers, labels, etc. I want to be of service to EVERYone, but I’m not quite sure how to do that yet. :)

    • Aimee

      I’d sell my handmade greeting cards as well as kits so that people could make their own cards

    • Go-Go

      I’d like to have a handmade co op retail store.

    • SeamstressErin

      If I could start a craft business tomorrow it would have something to do with bringing science to the masses.

    • Megan

      If I could start my own craft business tomorrow, I’d love to sell tiny trinkety comforts. For Mothers’ Day last year I made my mum a box of twenty hand-sewn teabags – because she only drinks her own specific blend of leaf tea – and I just loved to have made her something so perfect for her, by hand. Hand-sewn teabags, wee decorative gift boxes, little notebooks – anything that you could curl up with under a blanket by the fire and be at peace with would fit right in in my tomorrow’s craft business.

    • Stephanie Burnell

      I would start a handmade knits business. With clothing for babies, toddles, and accessories for all ages.

    • Michelle Lemire

      Warm, comfy accessories (like scarves, beanies and gloves) crocheted out of natural, sustainable yarns :)

    • Susie

      Ultimate craft business dream…Artist/Crafter Shops House where each room is designed/decorated/crafted by many different local artists/crafters. They could sell there good and offer classes to the public. Each participating artist/crafter would take turns working the shops and be included in sponsoring periodic community events to support local charities.

    • Leigh Ann Myhre

      If I could start my crafting business I would start a crafty upcycle/ vintage camping accessory business to include, but of course not limited to, picnic baskets, metal ice chests, lanterns, dishware, stoves, and travel trailer/ camping memorabilia from the 20th Century. I would trade mark them with a logo idea I’ve had stuck in my head for days!!

    • Rycrafty

      I’m really interested in selling crafting help to people who have bitten off more than they can chew/want to craft presents/favours/whatever but aren’t sure where to start.

    • Nikki

      If I could open a craft business right now, I would sell hand stitched journals with recycled paper and original photo covers, handmade vintage-style aprons along with place mats, napkins, and tablecloths, sleek cloth carry-all bags for all occasions, pajama pants and robes, um I could go on for awhile.

    • Katie B

      I would love to start a business designing greeting cards, scrapbook papers and other paper goods.

    • Sara

      Knitted friends! Lots and lots of knitted creatures!

    • Sandra

      I would start a scrapbook kit company not a club. Things are so over priced that a reasonably priced kit would be awesome. I would maybe do some designing too.

    • oxalis

      i would love to make scented candles with the smells of exotic tropical cuisine, with some workshops to extract scents and make your own food perfume.

    • Nadia

      My craft business would feature knitting in all its variety. I wouldn’t want a yarn shop as such, but a place that would sell finished knitting such as fun little toys, miniature knits, etc.
      Gradually, I would exapnd it to feature other crafts as well. For incstance, stationary, paper crafts, sewing etc. So much to do, so little time!

    • Candace Henderson

      What I want to do is to make what I like, for fun, but sell it so that all of the money that I spend at the craft stores can be recovered and hopefully have enough for a new sewing machine! I have tons of supplies and I like making things for other, small bags and simple items, nothing huge or complicated. I would love to make it a small and manageable business and keep it fun! It would be part time because, generally, I love my job!

    • becky

      I would start a sewing line of baby/kids items in modern fantastic fabrics, would love to have custom made designed fabrics too.

    • Holly Ellis

      For years I have longed to open an artisan gallery where I could not only sell my handcrafted accessories but also the work of others. I envision a tea house atmosphere where shoppers and artisans can gather in addition to shopping and participating in classes.
      Have a wonderful day everyone and I so hope the dreams of each of you come true.
      Namaste
      Holly
      Ellisdesignsonline.com
      Ellisdesign.etsy.com

    • Bill Horvath

      I’d like to sell custom-fitted hand knit socks.

    • April

      My business will be part home decor and part drum accessories. I make crocheted area rugs, needlepoint pillows, embroidered wall decor, curtains, and basically anything else that I set my mind to. I also make crocheted cymbal and drum cases to house my precious drums and decorative crocheted drum throne covers. I want to squirrel away money so that next year I can work full time on my work.
      http://www.aprilcamlin.com

    • Jennifer Payan

      I would love to start a craft business and did do a small local show featuring Dia de los Muertos art & items, in town with my husband last year. We were really pleasantly surprised that we made a few sales and actually got to see my husband’s art around town this year. Although that was fun I would love to start a line of stationary, cards, calling cards, etc.
      Thank you for the chance to win. This book looks like a must read!

    • Mari

      I would create a mobile art studio. I would custom make the interior of a van hold supplies for all kinds of art processes. I would travel to remote areas, not-so-remote, and serve the underseved populations when it comes to art & the creative process. The venues and opportunities would be endless……
      Being a community art therapist – this is truely my dream!
      Thanks

    • Annaliese

      I have decided that once my own wedding is done (in MAY!), I am going to start a homemade wedding store, probably starting on Etsy. I plan on selling paper products, decor items and eco-friendly favors for the bride who wants a DIY wedding but perhaps doesn’t have the time or skill.

    • Julie

      I have already started on a small scale – but to expand, I would continue to repurpose and upstyle things in a simple yet elegant way. I would love to have a workshop to teach classes as well.
      Thanks for the great contest!

    • Danelle Howell

      If I could start a crafting business tomorrow, it would be a two-part business venture. The main focus of the business would be to sell decorations for the holidays, with a focus on fabric crafts. The secondary part of the business would be to provide a learning environment where fellow crafters could use tools (sewing machines, fabric cutting tools, dress forms, etc.) that they might not know about or be able to afford so that they can work, improve, and gain valuable tips from their peers.

    • Gill

      Handmade, fabric cards. Felt decorations.

    • Angie

      I already make and (try to) sell jewelry, but there is a steep learning curve when you don’t have business experience as I don’t, not to mention a saturated handmade jewelry market. Now I can see how it SHOULD have been done. I’m sure this book will be a much used reference.

    • sarah

      I have always loved fabric/textiles. I am slowly incorporating them into my works but would also love to make jewelry/accessories out of them. Whether it be embroidered cuff/bracelets or even necklaces. Have always loved working with my hands, and don’t see that stopping anytime soon.

    • Lorraine Shanahan

      I would start a “design your own flash card” for kids which would help them with math, science, music, art, and computer facts. Kids could design cards that include funny items to help them remember their multiplication numbers or musical notes, etc.

    • Katriina

      I’d love to start business and sell needle felted dolls and amigurumi. At the moment I am making them out of passion but it would be perfect if I could make it as a profession also. In the future I’d also love to make business selling jewellery but at the moment I lack the knowledge of jewellery making (I am trying to get to school to study to be a gold smith). But maybe someday.

    • Errant

      Having pimped out my many and varied crafting talents (silversmithing, woodcarving, sewing, prototyping, mechanical engineering, problem solving, art direction etc.) for many years, I’d like to do it on a more formal basis and start a business solving odd problems by building things (such as robotic costume bat-wings), and creating demonstration models and plans for science communication and education. I’ll also be running my first crafting-for-communication workshop in January, and I’d love help in making a proper business of it.

    • Hamza

      Easy-to-make toys for children with not-hard to find materials

    • nangy

      My dream buisness would be a gourd inspired buisness,one gourd can be made into a multitude of design objects.I love to work with them and I would love to be able to sell my artwork and have classes to teach others about this remarkable plant.

    • Theresa Wollenstein

      I’d sell naturally dyed vintage fabrics and baby/children’s clothes, along with yarn and fiber for spinning of course! I’d also want a large part of my business to be hosting workshops and teaching natural dyeing.

    • shelley

      I would start making really fun kitchen and household linens out of quality materials like organic cotton that don’t stain right away, last a long time and look good while doing it! Or I would start actually printing a magazine.

    • Laurie Burns

      I would start a come in and do it yourself hair accessary and book making business.
      People want to know how to do things, but nobody knows how to do it.

    • Doreen

      What a great opportunity! I teach altered art workshops but can’t get past my five loyal crafters!
      I would love to chat with Meg and find out the best way to really kick my idea into high gear.

    • Genevieve

      My dream craft business would be to take my current business of illustration & plush, and create a brick & mortar consignment shop with an adjoining studio space that triples as a art gallery, children’s yoga studio, and art class space. I would have a section of the shop dedicated to ‘charitable crafts’ featuring several goods with all proceeds donated to various charities and non-profits. Yup. Dream come true.

    • Doreen

      What a great opportunity. I would like to turn my altered art workshops into a real business. Just need a little help…

    • ruby t

      I was made to make art, things, and design. That is my passion! The marketing…..well….needs some fine-tuning!
      I make more involved mixed-media assemblages. I love collage and 3D-combining all of my “loves”.
      Thanks for helping all of the makers in the world!

    • Alix Houghton

      paper products.
      patters + great bags
      silk screened fabric

    • tess

      cards with dried flowers

    • Kim

      Once I have the space, I would like to expand my leatherworking hobby into a side business. Leatherworking seems to be somewhat of a lost art.

    • Carmen

      I would love to design knit and crochet items for publication. Ideally, this would be along with owning a yarn store.

    • nicole

      sewing. bags, pouches, etc.

    • Angela Harris

      I would start a soy based candle business!!! I am so excited about the candles I currently make and would love to share my candles with everyone home everywhere!!!!

    • Ginger

      I would begin a knitting business involving hand and machine-knit wearables and felted bags and toys, using as much up cycled yarn as possible in my designs.

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