Maker Business: Jenny Hart’s “Crafting a Business” column

Craft & Design
Maker Business: Jenny Hart’s “Crafting a Business” column

Illustration (by Alicia Traveria) for “The Many Arms of Promotion,” by Jenny Hart, Venuszine.

Our pal, Jenny Hart, of Austin’s Sublime Stitching, has a monthly column called “Crafting a Business with Jenny Hart” over on Venuszine. There’s a lot of information here that’s applicable to any type of crafting/maker business.

It seems to me that somewhere between working average day jobs and having your own successful business, there would be a scary transition. How did you handle that? Any tips for crafty women who would like to do the same but who don’t have the courage?

You bet it was scary. Lost sleep, constant worrying, and seemingly endless work at two jobs: my day job and my dream job. It still is scary. But the scary part is different now. Attempts at making bigger strides, having more demand than resources to meet those demands, managing money wisely, and trying to find financial backing and business people in the industry who get the DIY movement (psst … they don’t) to possibly partner with. I’ve often felt very much like running a successful business is discovering the emperor has no clothes. Only, you’re king at your own company, which means you’re the one feeling naked.

From: Starting a small business is all about being innovative and savvy and learning from mistakes

What professional advisers should a small-business person hook up with at the beginning?

Every business will eventually need a lawyer and an accountant, but small businesses can often do without either for a while. A lot will depend on the kind of business you’re running. If you need to incorporate right off the bat or have copyright, trademark, and/or patent concerns, then you’ll want a lawyer right away. Even small service firms are wise to have a lawyer available for assistance with wording contracts, partnership agreements, and so on, though you can get a long way on the advice of books, small-business resource centers (many states have government-funded programs to help entrepreneurs with basic contract templates and such), and the occasional e-mail or phone call to a lawyer just to make sure your T’s are crossed and your I’s dotted. As for accounting help, if you’re like us and start out as a partnership (the equivalent of an LLP in the U.S.), you can probably get away with just having a bookkeeper (which is a lot cheaper than an accountant), but if and when you incorporate, you’ll need an accountant for sure.

From: Knowing how and when to hire a good adviser

You can read all of her columns to date here.


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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at

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