The Handmade Marketplace: Book Review

April 27, 2010

I was thrilled when author Kari Chapin asked me to be a contributor in her book, The Handmade Marketplace: How to Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally, and On-Line and now that it’s sitting here before me on my desk I’m even more honored to have been asked! Thank you Kari! This informative book, which is the decor8 book of the week, is packed with advice from many contributors who have made a successful business from the ground floor up which makes the book so exciting because everyone included grew their business based on passion, determination, talent and in an organic way — which is usually how the most successful businesses are developed — over time.

The Handmade Marketplace: Book Review

Included in this book, in addition to my own contributions on pages 125-127 (I wrote about how a business can attract attention from their favorite blogs) , you can find words of wisdom from Ashley Goldberg, Elizabeth MacCrellish, Emily Martin (who also did most of the illustrations found throughout the book), Jenny Ryan, Jennifer Judd-McGee, Leah Kramer, Liz Smith, Mati Rose McDonough, Matt Stinchcomb (VP of Community at Etsy), Megan Reardon and Yvonne Eijkenduijn. Kari helps readers who are looking to launch their crafting business in many areas from how to determine cost of goods to market competition, the pros and cons of wholesale versus retail sales, tips on styling and propping crafts for photographs, technical explanations of how the most popular online marketplaces work, how to approach bloggers to get your work featured (the section where I stepped in with my own ideas), how to approach shopkeepers and build strong relationships, record keeping, showing your work at craft fairs and more – 218 pages of current concrete advice from Kari and her 30 contributors.

The Handmade Marketplace: Book Review

The Handmade Marketplace: Book Review

I highly suggest picking this book up if any of these topics interest you — there is so much to learn inside of The Handmade Marketplace that you’ll enjoy, it’s one of my favorite new small business/crafty guides because it’s the best $10 you’ll ever spend on your business (and it’s a tax write off!).

Kari did a beautiful job organizing a myriad of topics from so many voices and making it an easy to follow small business book that is not in the least bit boring (most business books can be a real snooze-a-thon) or overly techincal (yawn) – it’s smart, fresh and easy to digest and most of all, gives small business owners the tips and tools that they need to either get started or to keep going strong and forward with their business. Yay, indie crafters!

Psst: I’m an Amazon affiliate so the links to Amazon are part of my affiliate program.

(images: holly becker for decor8)


  • Reply michelle April 27, 2010 at 8:34 am

    This sounds like an invaluable resource for someone hoping to start their handmade business online. I’m not at all surprised that you were taped to contribute since you are such a trailblazer in this field. There must be countless small handmade businesses that got a huge boost from having their work recognized on Decor8.
    .-= michelle´s last blog ..Update =-.

  • Reply Liam April 27, 2010 at 8:35 am

    Looks like a fantastic book and I am sure invaluable to anybody starting out. Fabulous.

  • Reply luisa April 27, 2010 at 8:37 am

    Guten Tag Holly,

    I love this book. You once mentioned here that you contributed a part and I directly pre-ordered it at Amazon. Since I have it it gave me so much valuable advice and info and lead me to so many talented artists it’s a pleasure to read it and to check out all of the mentioned artists inside.
    I recommend everyone who wants to open a tiny (or big) craft business.

    Thank you for the review. Your images are eye-candy.

    Have a fabulous day.
    .-= luisa´s last blog ..postcard =-.

  • Reply Saima April 27, 2010 at 8:42 am

    I’ve started reading this lately – it’s inspiring and makes me want to start a handmade business :)
    .-= Saima´s last blog ..Designers Guild Discount =-.

  • Reply Francesca April 27, 2010 at 8:42 am

    I’m reading it right now, almost finished! And I totally agree with you Holly (see how I’m following your advice :), it’s an invaluable book for small or wannabe craft businesses. As a non-English speaking person, I found it very easy to read and understand too. Talking about your participation, this sentence is what impressed me the most: “remember your portfolio is only as strong as your weakest photo”. True! Congratulations,
    .-= Francesca´s last blog ..mosaic monday =-.

  • Reply jacqueline April 27, 2010 at 8:43 am

    I bought this book and loving every bit of it! So gald to seee it here. :) Have a lovely merry happy day and love to you!
    .-= jacqueline´s last blog ..a new flip-flop for zee Mister =-.

  • Reply monica from hola!design April 27, 2010 at 8:52 am

    Holly, it looks wonderful!!! I love the cover, it’s awesome!
    I found all this very interesting because I’m looking to re-open my etsy shop, selling prints and home accessories. I’ll go buy it right now!
    .-= monica from hola!design´s last blog ..New York through my lens =-.

  • Reply Sarah Fox April 27, 2010 at 9:04 am

    I love this book. As someone who is looking to set up a store selling other artisans work I am finding it really insightful. Your piece was really good for me as I write my blog as a preemptive marketting tool to my future dream. Thanks for the review!
    .-= Sarah Fox´s last blog ..DAILY REMEDY FOR… Fierce!! =-.

  • Reply juliette April 27, 2010 at 9:14 am

    Congrats – I’ve been seeing good reviews of this book around the web and have been encouraging a friend of mine to pick a copy up to help her better develop her Etsy business!
    .-= juliette´s last blog ..Sewing a tunic: gathering inspiration =-.

  • Reply alicia bock April 27, 2010 at 9:14 am

    You have me excited about this… off to order right now.
    Cheers!- A.
    .-= alicia bock´s last blog .. =-.

  • Reply Rose April 27, 2010 at 9:29 am

    Thanks. It sounds like I will be making a book purchase soon! ;)

  • Reply Rose April 27, 2010 at 9:29 am

    Thanks.. Will be purchasing it soon!

  • Reply Melanie April 27, 2010 at 9:32 am

    Great book! Tons of good information. Really made me think about improving my branding, etc.
    Must read for anyone in the crafting/art biz.
    .-= Melanie´s last blog ..Custom Vintage Map Pencil Can =-.

  • Reply Liz Smith (madeinlowell) April 27, 2010 at 9:33 am

    Like you I was thrilled to be asked to contribute, then super pleased with the results of Kari’s hard work! PS Love your beautiful photos :)
    .-= Liz Smith (madeinlowell)´s last blog ..The Handmade Marketplace Book Giveaway! =-.

  • Reply frauheuberg April 27, 2010 at 9:41 am

    yes, i bought it, too…and love all the information inside…and i´m glad to have it now, too…your pictures are lovley…have a sucessful week with your book project…;)…cheers and hugs…
    .-= frauheuberg´s last blog ..Saturdays in the "Endstation" =-.

  • Reply Down and Out Chic April 27, 2010 at 9:44 am

    I’ve read this book and will continue to go back to it for helpful hints and whenever I need a spurt of motivation. I especially enjoyed your quote about blogging! I actually know Emily from college so seeing her fantastic illustrations and words come to life in print was an extra special treat.
    .-= Down and Out Chic´s last blog ..Navy + White Nautical Tops Under $70 =-.

  • Reply Elle Sees April 27, 2010 at 10:28 am

    Forget the book–I love the colors surrounding the book. Love the set up. But congrats for you!
    .-= Elle Sees´s last blog ..Tangled Headphones =-.

  • Reply Jeni April 27, 2010 at 10:47 am

    This looks like a fantastic book! I put it on hold at the library a few weeks ago and I’m just waiting for it to come in, I can’t wait!

    I love to be able to ‘preview’ books through the library before deciding to buy them. :)
    .-= Jeni´s last blog ..Toasted Coconut Biscotti =-.

  • Reply Moriah Perez (utiledulci) April 27, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Hello Holly,

    I was so excited to see this lovely post, I positively gobbled this book up. I’ve tried reading various crafting/small business books. They either resulted in…ZZZzzzzz…or they drained every drop of creativity from my body. This book on the other hand, was so refreshing- it made me want to run to my studio and get cracking! I know it’s going to help me improve market and expand my etsy shop. Thanks for your helpful advice:)

  • Reply Ana April 27, 2010 at 11:38 am

    I pre-ordered this the minute you talked about it some time ago and I don’t regret it! It’s so great! Though written by somebody based in the US, it’s packed with tips and advice that are valid to everybody around the world.
    .-= Ana´s last blog ..Sunday Snack =-.

  • Reply gina April 27, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    Just made my purchase~ cant wait to read it!
    .-= gina´s last blog ..the Searched and Found Blog =-.

  • Reply Kate April 27, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    I just ordered the book! I can’t wait to read it cover to cover!
    .-= Kate´s last blog ..Lovely Colors from DC… =-.

  • Reply Courtney April 27, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    Just bought my copy! Can’t wait to read it!
    .-= Courtney´s last blog ..Moodboards. =-.

  • Reply Orit April 27, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    Just ordered from Thanks!

  • Reply Flavia April 27, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    It looks like a great book, I have to check it out!
    I’m also loving your photos in this post! Such beautiful colors.
    .-= Flavia´s last blog ..Color Inspiration for Bedroom =-.

  • Reply Nat April 27, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    I read my copy in one evening and I refer back to it all the time. It gives you a good overview of each area of business without weighing you down with too much information. Oh and the illustrations are really sweet.

  • Reply Renee April 28, 2010 at 6:40 am

    I just order the book! Can’t wait to pour over all the wonderful details – thanks Holly.
    .-= Renee´s last blog ..A List and A Latte – Creative Business Essentials =-.

  • Reply jen jafarzadeh April 28, 2010 at 7:36 am

    I absolutely loved this book. I think it’s one of the best out there on creating a craft business. It’s packaged really well, and the interviews with experts are truly helpful (loved your contribution, Holly!). It’s packaged really well from the way it’s broken down into sections to the adorable illustrations.
    .-= jen jafarzadeh´s last blog ..styling makeover: part 2 =-.

  • Reply Travelingmama April 28, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    I’m sold! I clicked on your link to order my copy so hopefully it will help you out! Thanks for letting us know!
    .-= Travelingmama´s last blog ..{crafty} girl =-.

    • Reply decor8 April 28, 2010 at 12:58 pm

      Travelingmama – Oh you’re cute. Ha, I get like .50 on every book that sells or something, the affiliate program just allows me to buy a few books each month in the end (at no cost) but nothing fancy or too exciting. :)

  • Reply Susanna April 28, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    Hi! This book is amazing! I bought it immediately, because I had just quit my awful job and needed a helping hand with my crafty pursuits. This has helped a lot and your advices were and are very helpful too! And thank you for your lovely lovely blog. It’s a true inspiration!

  • Reply Victoria April 29, 2010 at 2:14 am

    Just bought it, thanks!:)

  • Reply Stacey April 29, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    Hands down the best entrepreneurial book I’ve ever read – I couldn’t put it down, and finished it in a day!
    .-= Stacey´s last blog ..Sometimes money buys happiness =-.

  • Reply Etincelle April 29, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    Yet another book I need to read right now!!! I don’t think I can resist longer (I did overnight after reading your post last evening). The book is actually quite cheap, but the shipping fees will kill me I am sure :(
    and if I can support you (a tiny bit) by buying it online through Amazon, why should I stop myself? 2 good reasons to do it right now!
    .-= Etincelle´s last blog ..Happy Mothers Day – Enchanting Matryoshka Doll – Mini Me – Dina =-.

  • Reply brigid April 30, 2010 at 9:50 am

    this lovely book has made all the difference for me! being up in NH made me cautious and hesitant about even attempting to go ahead and try to build a business. but, this book and your words gave me some serious confidence and knowledge about how to forge ahead! thanks for sharing your expertise with us!
    .-= brigid´s last blog ..Teal Neck Warmer With Ruffle =-.

  • Reply Manette November 5, 2010 at 2:15 am

    wow, looks like a great book – ordering it today.

  • Reply Amber June 20, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    I am so glad you let us know about this book. I am in the process of making my own blog look more professional and opening a second Etsy shop, and could use every ounce of advice I can get. I will definitely be purchasing this book.

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