Weekly Deals: 7/3 – 7/10

Weekly Deals - Handmade Brooklyn

Each week my affiliates send me exclusive deals to share with you.

Like I said last week, I’m still working these out so if you’re looking for a particular type of category or business, let me know and I’ll reach out to see what discounts I can get for you!

PSPrint has a bunch this week: (all til 7/15)

Take 50% OFF Stickers
Save 50% on Posters
Take 40% OFF Business Cards
Save 60% on Business Flyers

HP.com – Save an additional $15 off your online order of $75 or more at HP with code 15LESS75 (til 7/31)

Five Star – Free Shipping when you Spend $25+ with code JULY25 (til 7/31)

Panasonic – Up to 50% OFF at the July 4th Sale Happening Now! Free Shipping Sitewide (til 7/5)

Udemy flash deal

Just got this in my inbox and wanted to share (and also, I’m totally stealing this deal)
Udemy is offering a flash sale this weekend for their courses. If you’ve never been there, Udemy is…AWESOME. They offer really amazing high end courses for nearly everything you’d want to learn. I recently took a photography course on there and was blown away by how easy it was (much better user experience than Coursera, which is another platform I’ve taken classes on.)

What’s cool is that they’re offering a discount over the weekend and this is the absolutely perfect time to start learning something. Summers are usually our down time, right? This is the perfect time to perfect a skill or learn something totally new and apply it for the rest of the year. I’m eyeing up The Essential Guide to Entrepreneurship by Guy Kawasaki because…it’s Guy freaking Kawasaki!

But I’ll stop talking here and actually share the deal they sent over for all of you:

Over 10,000 courses only $10 for our Fourth of July Sale (up to 95% off)! Starts July 3rd and ends July 7th at midnight.

Let me know if you take a class! Or maybe I’ll see you in mine!

5 questions with Molly Hatch of New Ceramic Surface Design

Molly Hatch Interview - Handmade Brooklyn

 

Molly Hatch is not your typical crafter. She started, as many others do, with a love of her craft (which is pottery) but was able to catapult it into her full-time career for nearly a decade now. Her recent book launch New Ceramic Surface Design, is a guide to help new and seasoned crafters alike improve their techniques with clay, and is already garnering awesome reviews on Amazon.

Molly was kind enough to sit down with me and discuss her book launch, as well as her life as an entrepreneur. Check it out:

What made you decide that you needed to create this book?
I wanted to write this book to open up my studio practice to other makers and shed light on my approach to the ceramic surface as well as surface design for objects. I receive so many inquiries about my process, my approach to design and ceramics as well as how I find inspiration for my work. This book puts all of this into one text that is a workbook format, encouraging readers to explore and create their own new work.


When did you think to yourself “okay, this is definitely viable?”
There really isn’t a book out there on the market that addresses surface design for ceramics in this way. I think I knew that this book would add a lot to the ceramic and surface design offerings out there. With the experience I have had designing hundreds of products for companies like Anthropologie, I knew it would offer real-world experience and tips to those artists aspiring to a career in surface design as well as a new and exciting approach to the ceramic surface for those who work in clay.

What’s a surprising challenge that you didn’t know you’d encounter along the way?
I didn’t realize that in addition to writing the book, that I would be styling the book as well. It was a real test of my ability to style a photo shoot, and I really surprised myself—I loved working on the photo shoots. Of course it helped so much that I chose an amazing photographer to help—Thea Coughlin is fantastic!

How important was social media in your success of the launch? Do you think you would have been as successful without the advent of social media?
Social media is an enormous part of getting my work out to the world—so it has been equally important to launching this book. I think that social media gives you the opportunity to stay connected with a captive audience who is closely watching what you are up to. I think its a great addition to getting the word out to the world and I cannot imagine launching a book without it!

Molly Hatch Interview on Handmade Brooklyn

What is something someone outside of your industry might not realize about the work you do?
My career is divided equally between surface/product design and creating one-of-a-kind artwork, but my process is essentially the same for both parts of my career. When I design for industry or brand partners like Anthropologie, I make 1:1 scale prototypes with surface design out of ceramics. This is really an amazing thing—I do not use CAD or computer design programs when doing product design. Everything is done by hand and replicated by the factory. I believe this is a huge strength of mine and is largely what sets my designs apart from others.

You can find out more about Molly on her website MollyHatch.com or MollyHatchStudio.com


New Ceramic Surface Design is a fully-illustrated manual covering a wide range of creative surface decoration techniques presented in an approachable and accessible format. Ceramic artist and expert Molly Hatch guides beginners and more advanced ceramicists through various methods for creating designs on clay.

Weekly Window Down: Platinum Sage Margarita

Each week, I’ll be introducing a new cocktail to try out over the weekend.

While I have received pitches for these, I am not being compensated in any way…these are just my favorite picks!

Platinum Sage Margarita
Platinum Sage Margarita

Platinum Sage Margarita

A modern play on the traditional margarita, the Platinum Sage Margarita uses clarified lime juice (from which all of the juice solids have been strained) to give this drink an incredibly silky mouthfeel, highlighting the smoothness of the Platinum tequila. The herbaceous qualities of the DeLeón Platinum are enhanced by the addition of sage, adding a uniquely herbaceous twist to the margarita’s classic flavor profile.

Read more

Weekly Deals

Weekly Deals - Handmade Brooklyn

 

I’m trying something new this week, and if you guys like it then I’ll be sure to keep going. Each week, my affiliates send me exclusive coupons to pass on to you. This does contain affiliate links for when I receive a small commission, but it also tells my affiliate that you’re into them and that they should send me more exclusive deals.

Most of these affiliates are business/home related, but if you’re looking for a different type of company, let me know in the comments so that I can better tailor these deals for you.

Discounts for Week of 6/28 – 7/4

Cisco/Webex: Premium 25 features FREE for the first 14 days (til ???)

Day Timer (you guys know I love a good planner): June Summer Sale! Enjoy 25% Off Sitewide with code JUNESALE25 (til 6/30)

HP.com: Save an additional $15 off your online order of $75 or more with code 15LESS75. (til 7/31)

Panasonic: Unlock Employee Pricing on Special Offer Items with code EMPLOYEE. Free Shipping Sitewide (til 6/30)

Register.com: FREE domain name & email plus discounts on longer terms (til ???)

5 questions with Heather D. Dolland

Heather Dolland interview on Handmade BrooklynIt’s no surprise that New York City is a mecca of culturally infused bars and restaurants, with endless options and pairings. No matter how many years you end up living here, it never truly feels like you can experience all there is to offer in this city.

Recently, I was sent information on a new business called All the Tastes of New York. It’s a startup firm that organizes and hosts “food crawl” dining experiences at some of Manhattan’s top restaurants. By first introducing a unique take on dining All The Tastes of New York now introduces us to the movement, “Farm to Glass” through new book, Discovering the New York Craft Spirits Boom. The book chronicles the lives of 30 Craft Distillers throughout New York State, it is an intimate look into New York’s craft spirit distillers, their journey to success, and their emphasis on using locally grown products.

Owner and author Heather D. Dolland was kind enough to chat with me about her startup and her new book. Check it out:

1. What made you decide that you needed to create your brand (Or less entrepreneurially: what made you feel the need to get the NY spirits boom out into the public eye?)

Having been in the wine/spirit business for over 10 yrs, I was surprised that I had no idea all that happened in New York to make Craft Distilling take off as it did. With that realization, it occurred to me that there is likely a large number of people who are also unaware. Being desirous of bringing attention to my own company, I thought writing a book on the subject could be advantageous to us all, because as small businesses, we all struggle to get our message out to mainstream media.

2. When did you think to yourself “okay, this is definitely viable?”

After my third interview, the realization of the historic significance of what I was writing hit me. It was no longer a story just about alcohol. There were a number of laws that changed, and a number of industries that previously did not exist in New York that is now having a significant effect on the local economy.

3. What’s a surprising challenge that you didn’t know you’d encounter along the way?

Being new to interviewing and realizing the trust that was put in me to tell each story accurately, it took me some time to determine my “voice” while writing. Much of that had to do with understanding who my audience is which takes time. I know it will not appeal to everyone, so finding that balance so that those who read it feel like I was speaking to them.

4. How important was social media in your success? Do you think you would have been as successful without the advent of social media?

Social media goes back again to understanding your audience, because there is not always a direct correlation between social media activity and sales. I think what is really important is to know where your audience is and connect with them there. Social media or otherwise.

Heather Dolland interview on Handmade Brooklyn

5. What is something someone outside of your industry might not realize about the work you do?

Having been a brand ambassador for numerous brands, I don’t think many people realize how important focusing on creating experiences for your patrons is. It all seems like just fun and almost frivolous. But if you don’t take the time to create experiences with your brand to engage people, it will only be a matter of time before another brand comes along and takes your market share. I pride myself on creating memorable experiences.

Discovering the New York Craft Spirits Boom is set to release on July 4, 2015 and will be widely available through retailers such as Amazon.com for $29.95.

Book Review: Etsypreneurship by Jason Malinak

Etsypreneurship book review - Handmade Brooklyn

I picked this book up as I’ve never really done much with my Etsy site before and thought that the time had come to focus on creating more sales funnels where I could, especially since summer is often pretty slow for me.

The premise behind Etsypreneurship is a sort of “Etsy 101″ for those who are looking to build their business from scratch. At first I was a little disappointed, as I was looking for more tips on strategy and promotion, though to be fair, Etsy constantly changes so trying to keep up with search algorithms and advertising there can be a tough subject, especially for a physical book.

But as I kept reading, I began to appreciate what was in this book more and more. The author, Jason Malinak is an Etsy store owner who has had success since he opened up his shop. But what’s more important (in my opinion), is that he’s also an accountant with a business background. Jason covers what it’s like to run an actual business and how you should not half ass it when it comes to running your Etsy shop, because it is a business.

What I really loved was how he broke down writing a business plan and made it much easier to understand, which might make it more attainable to do. I know that writing a business plan can feel incredibly overwhelming with Executive Summaries and Competitive Analyses, but Jason really gets to the heart of what a business plan should be: A tool to guide you and to use as reference while you’re trying to grow. He also lists his website that features additional supplemental materials and guides, which can help you further strategize your business and goals.

The last few chapters of Etsypreneurship began to touch the 201 level that I was looking for, with more advanced business ideas, like figuring your sales ratios (and I am a NERD for stats like that), but I would have liked to see a little more strategy when it comes to navigating the unique platform features Etsy has (as opposed to running your own game, like on Shopify). But all in all, I think this is a really good book for those who are looking to start a business correctly, whether or not you’re on Etsy.

Would I recommend Etsypreneurship? Absolutely

 

My first e-book has launched!

Handmade Brooklyn free workbook

You guys! so excited to announce that my first e-book is available to download…and it’s free!

Handmade Brooklyn free workbookMake Your Brand Look Kick Ass (Without Driving Yourself Crazy) is my all-new 10 page workbook. Inside it includes:

Guide to help you define what it is you like and don’t like to help you fine tune your branding

Worksheet for quickly and easily working out your USP (Unique Selling Position)

Resource list for color schemes, fonts, and more!

All you gotta do to get the book is sign up on the left side (<- over there) and I’ll pop it over to your email right now!

Awkward moment: I’m really excited that I’ve launched this, as I’ve been thinking for a long time about how I can give you guys as much value as possible on this site. There are going to be some design upgrades and new products launching in the near future, and this e-book launch is the first step in that direction. I hope you’ll love it as much as I loved creating it!

Weekly Wind Down: Spiced Blueberry Punch

Each week, I’ll be introducing a new cocktail to try out over the weekend.

While I have received pitches for these, I am not being compensated in any way…these are just my favorite picks!

Spiced Blueberry Punch
Spiced Blueberry Punch

Basil Hayden’s® Spiced Blueberry Punch
Created by Debbi Peek (Louisville, KY)
(Recipe serves 4-5)
Ingredients:
4 parts Basil Hayden’s® Bourbon
8 parts Blueberry Juice
8 parts Passion Fruit Juice
Sparkling Wine or Club Soda
15-20 Fresh Mint Leaves
1 bag Frozen Blueberries, for ice ring 
Read more

5 questions with Melyssa Griffin

 
melyssa griffin interview
If you’ve never been to Melyssa Griffin’s site The Nectar Collective, please stop everything right now and spend 3 hours of your day on her site. 3 hours? YES, because that’s how engrossed I became with her site when I first found it. Ever since then, I’ve been a regular reader of TNC‘s blog, as it’s so full of good tidbits about running a creative business. Through TNC, Melyssa has created a ginormous fanbase (duh, myself included) and continues to live out her passion as a designer and inspire others to do the same. I am beyond thrilled that she was so generous with her time to chat about TNC and her life here.


Check it out:

1. What made you decide that you needed to create your brand?

I decided to create my brand after many years of wanting to form an online community for creatives. Eventually, I found myself stuck in a job that sucked away a lot of my joy and I decided to start blogging as a fun outlet where I could help people. From there, I was able to launch other services to help my community, such as web design and blog coaching sessions!

2. When did you think to yourself “okay, this is definitely viable?”

I didn’t go into blogging with the intention of making it my career. I actually didn’t even know such a thing existed at the time! But in the first few months, I started making money from sponsors, and within eight months of starting my blog, I was beginning to sell a lot of graphic design work to my readers. 10 months after creating my blog, I was able to quit my life-less day job and pursue blogging and design full time. I think that’s when I KNEW it was viable, and that I was only at the beginning of what was to come.

3. What’s a surprising challenge that you didn’t know you’d encounter along the way?

Hmm I think my biggest challenge is sometimes finding the motivation to work so hard when I have no one to report to.
Though, recently some of my biggest challenges are related to wondering how to grow my business even further. It’s hard when all of your friends are at different points in their own businesses, because there isn’t always someone to turn to that has been where I am at. That makes it difficult to know how to push my business further logistically.

4. How important was social media in your success? Do you think you would have been as successful without the advent of social media?
I think social media is crucial for blogging and small business success. Absolutely crucial. It’s what humanizes a brand and it’s an incredible place to connect with your followers. There’s a sense of community on social media. I definitely think it’s what helped me grow my blog and business quickly.
Melyssa Griffin interview on Handmade Brooklyn

5. What is something someone outside of your industry might not realize about the work you do?

Good question! I don’t think they’d expect it to be as business-minded as it is. I think people have many misconceptions about bloggers and designers, but one is that it’s “creative fluff” that’s as simple as drawing a picture. Actually, a majority of my job, I think, is strategy and analysis. It’s left-brain logic meets right-brain creativity. I aim to find strategic, creative solutions to problems. Basically, I don’t know if people would assume there’s much strategy involved, when there certainly is.

Check out Melyssa’s blog The Nectar Collective for millions of tips on business life, social media, and design.