Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Books that inspire - Craft, Inc.

I like books. Love them even. What's not to love? Well, I thought I'd share my thoughts on some of the books that cross my path. Mostly craft related or books that inspire me. Some I own, some I take home from the library. Here's the first one.


Craft, Inc. You've probably heard about it already. It's written by Meg Mateo Ilasco (she has a blog too).

It is a nice book, very inspiring and I recommend reading it, but it might not be necessary to own it. Get it from your library first. I'm hardly an expert on running your own business, but as valuable as this book is a starting point and inspiration, you'll probably want to read some more in-depth books about running your own business.

Let's get the annoying things about it out of the way first: unless you live in the US, parts of the book are pretty much useless. For example, sections on financing your business and tax and such can only inspire you to look into similar areas in your own country, but other than that are not helpful. These sections also seem quite skinny considering that surely, it is vital to get this aspect right when running your business.

Another thing which kept bugging me was the assumption that the crafter's goal in business is to get into the trade shows and sell things to shops. There is disappointingly little about running your business online. It does talk a little about having a website and a blog, but there's no mention of Etsy or anything like it. Although, I guess that must be because this is not where Meg's experience comes from. Still, I think that would have been worth a mention.

Anyway, the good things! It has lots of little interviews with established artists/crafters like Lotta Jansdotter, Denyse Schmidt, Maria Vettese, Katherine Shaughnessy and many more. These are all quite interesting because they offer interesting little glimpses into their lives with their craft as a business. The chapters of the book have titles such as: Your Creative Mind, Your Business Mind, Production and Pricing Plans and Ups, Downs, and Next Steps.

On the contents page are little recaps with the main headlines of each chapter. I found this really helpful, both because then you know what is in the chapter, but also because it makes me start thinking about these things even before reading the chapter. They are like check lists for areas you need to think about when running a business, like Business Plan Basics, Creative Mission Statement, Creating a Pricing Formula, Growing Your Business. What I really like about Craft, Inc. is the way things are explained in a way that makes it sound less daunting. It has a nice conversational style, which makes it feel like having a friend next to you saying "you can do this!"

It is a fairly small book, which of course accounts for it not going into detail with any area. It's also a very quick read and rather pretty to boot, with the energising yellow cover! It works well how the interviews are mixed with the main text, but I'm starting to think that it would be really interesting to have a book which focuses on the established artists/crafters.

Have you read Craft, Inc.? What do you think?

No comments: