After finishing Harry Potter #6 (oh what a horrible end!) I have been reading another very exiting book this week. It’s called Crafting a Business written by Kathie Fitzgerald.
Crafting a Business is an inspirational book about women who do what they love and earns money meanwhile! It’s filled with gorgeous eye candy photography and ideas. There is a cake designer in there, a doll maker, shop owners, a fine-painter artist and several others who are doing something creative with their life and being their own boss! They all followed a dream and succeeded in one way or another.
This is something a lot of us dream about too, right? I’m one of the dreamers for sure, and this book has done nothing to put me off that.
The articles come from the magazine Country Living, and they are short pieces about one woman at a time, telling the story of how her business came to exist and how she runs it today. This is the first section in the book and a huge chunk is dedicated to these portraits.
Then there is a part two; a workshop that will tell you a bit of what to think about when you are about to start up. You?ll get hints on how to develop a business plan, finding financing, marketing and developing your products. There is even included advice on hiring staff and growing bigger which feels hopeful and a bit scary to even think about.
These women haven’t just started their dream business and settled down with that, because that’s just not how it works! Every article tells us how each business idea was born and how it has evolved to what it is today. I think that?s one of the best things about this book; it shows us dreamers how elusive an idea can be and how much hard work it really is. For example, Cozbi Cabrera, who lives in Brooklyn, New York, started making handmade dolls, then expanded her product line to women’s clothing and quilts, started a retail business, opened her own shop and has also illustrated children?s books. Talk about being a slash-person, huh? Going with the flow in a way, but also reading the market and understanding when you and your business needs to change. Following it where it takes you…
One of the stories that had me staring into thin air for several minutes when I finished reading was about the owners of Franciska’s House in Texas. The two women who owns that business live and work in the big city of Houston. Feeling that they wanted to try something different they bought a beautiful house on the countryside where they run a non-operated bed-and-breakfast place. They decorated each room of the house so that it feels like a comfortable home, and then they rent it out to people who want to elope the city! I love love love that idea. A bed-and-breakfast in the country, that’s what I’m dreaming about now…
I’ve read through each portrait and they are all different and very compelling, full of great quotes (I’m a sucker for great quotes) and ideas on how to do it and business areas to investigate further.
You should go and buy Crafting a Business for a girlfriend who is dreaming about the day when she has enough savings to go after her dreams. The portraits will fuel those dreams and make any dreamer?s stomach jump around, turn with hope and desire to just go, go, go! The sting of fear is easily ignored at this stage; this is not the time to worry. Not yet. But I wouldn’t recommend this book to someone who is already in the planning stages or maybe is about to launch a business of their own. The workshops probably won?t teach you anything new that you haven?t already read elsewhere in much thicker format not sprayed with shiny images. Hopefully that?s the case. This is an inspirational book after all and I think it works very well as such.
Reading this has given me some new ideas, a lot of inspiration and a better understanding of why I?m not there yet and what I will have to do to find my way towards starting a business of my own! I?m too scattered with my projects, still trying out all these different things. My mind jumps from wanting to open a fabric shop to starting a café to opening a studio for people to come in and create with me to? I seldom have any idea how I would make money from these ideas.
I know I will always be a slash (even though I don’t make any money on anything yet!), but I understand now that I need to keep searching and jumping from one idea to the next for a while still. I think the day will come when I know what my business will be about and then I’ll start it!
A few more spreads from the book:
And some links:
* Crafting a business – read more about this book
* The Business of Art – articles about how to make money on art
* Creative career series – interviews with creative people
* Slash careers – squidoo lens about multiple carriers