The Business of Crafting: Upcoming Workshops with Kelly Rand

vI3jWJeLK3yD-hzGsfFl9tpBvCVV1TUoe2y4vQ0P9LY

One of the most surprising things I found when I moved to this area nine years ago was the very active, highly involved crafting community – not something that is top of mind when you hear someone say, “Washington, DC.” When people ask how I have grown my business from a small Etsy Shop to what it is today, I always give credit to the support and resources provided by my fellow local crafters. In particular, Hello Craft and it’s board members (Sara Dick, Christine Ernest, Kelly Rand, Tina Seamonster, Debbie Lee and Liz Eckstein who were at the forefront of the DIY movement) have provided professional-level educational and networking opportunities for crafters interested in taking their businesses to the next level and have drawn nationally-recognized experts to their events.

In 2012, Kelly, Christine, Sara and Kimberly Dorn published Handmade to Sell, so that people everywhere can learn from their years of experience. And now, Kelly is offering a series of workshops, both in-person and online, for those who want to dive deep on various topics related to the business of crafting (here is a video one of the workshops she presented for Etsy).

Following is a list of Kelly’s upcoming workshops (in-persona and online) taking place from today through October. For more information on Kelly, her books, her workshops and speaker services, you can check out her website KellyRand.com. I highly recommend them!

Navigating the Handmade Marketplace

Join Kelly at the Maryland Institute College of Art for a lecture on how to navigate the handmade marketplace as an illustrator.

Monday September 15, 2014
12:15 pm
MICA, Lazarus Center Auditorium
131 West North Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland
Open to the public

Start Your Creative Business (The Right Way) WORKSHOP

Starting-Your-Creative-Business_Img

Tuesday September 16
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
at Analog
Washington, D.C.

Have a great business idea but not sure what to do next?
Get ready to work through common questions and misconceptions and start to think like a business with Kelly and Lisa. This, in person, interactive workshop will help you develop a clear picture of what it takes to start your creative business in Washington, DC. Think of it as a two-hour business boot camp, but with a softer kick in the pants.

During this workshop you’ll learn how to develop a product line, who your target audience is, how to price your product(s), the ins and outs of DCRA, how to budget and plan effectively. All while enjoying light refreshments.

You’ll also receive a workbook with class notes and resources that you’ll find handy long after the class concludes. As well as your very own copy of Handmade to Sell to help you further your business goals after the workshop.

Crafty Bastards Arts & Crafts Fair

Find Kelly on Sunday September 27, at the annual Crafty Bastards Arts & Crafts Fair at Union Market. She’ll be offering hand carved animal stamps from her Cute Animal BFF series, stamp making kits and stationery kits. She will also be doling out crafty business advice. Sign up for a local business class or take home a workbook aimed at making your crafty business a success. So stop by, purchase a stamp or book and ask your burning business question. The Crafty Business Doctor is In.

Starting Your Creative Business (The Right Way) ONLINE Workshop

1

Monday September 29 through Friday October 3, 2014

Can’t make it to Kelly’s in-person workshop on how to start your creative business? Join her online! This is a special introductory price, so sign up today!

Get ready to work through common questions and misconceptions and start to think like a business with Kelly and Lisa. This, online, interactive course will help you develop a clear picture of what it takes to start your creative business. Think of it as a weeklong business boot camp, but with a softer kick in the pants.

During this course you’ll learn how to develop a product line, who your target audience is, how to price your product(s), and how to budget and plan effectively.

You’ll also receive a downloadable workbook with class notes and resources that you’ll find handy long after the class concludes.

Once you sign up, you’ll receive information on how to access the class. All you need is a WordPress login.

Marketing Your Creative Business

2

Tuesday October 7, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Old school
Wednesday Ocotber 8, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. New school
At WeWork: Wonder Bread Factory

You’ve done your research, designed an amazing product line or list of services, and set out your shingle to alert people you’re open for business. But no one’s coming in, yet. In this two part marketing workshop, we’ll teach you how to market your creative business in a smart and effective way to find your customers and make them into fans.

In Part One: “Old school” you’ll learn marketing 101 which will lay a solid foundation for your future outreach. From finding your audience, to press releases and print advertising, you’ll walk away with an understanding of what magazine and newspaper writers need and want to be able to write about you.

In Part Two: “New school” we’ll build upon the lessons learned in “Old school” and teach you how to apply those lessons to the online world. We’ll talk about paid and earned media online and how to run effective online outreach tailored to your business.

As a part of this workshop series, you’ll receive digital handouts such as a sample press list, a sample press release and more. All aimed at helping you to hit the ground running.

Hosted by Lisa Rowan of Beltway Vintage and Kelly Rand, author of Handmade to Sell

Buy your tickets now for Marketing Your Creative Business

Artist of the Month: Paige Mattson of Sprout Bottle

IMG_6104The following was written by Paige Mattson of Sprout Bottle.

Sprout Bottle is a handcrafted, reclaimed beer bottle, garden kit.  Each 4-pack is uniquely blended with organic soil, fertilizer and seeds and packaged with recycled materials to lighten our impact on the planet.  All of our ingredients are sourced in the US and distributed from Virginia.

imgres

Sprout Bottle strives to provide a high quality, unique product that is sustainable and affordable. As part of our commitment to be sustainable, Sprout Bottle has partnered with 1% for the Planet.  This means that 1% of all Sprout Bottle sales goes to save land, protect forests, rivers and oceans, make agricultural and energy production more sustainable, getting toxics out of the environment, plastics out of the oceans and more.

IMG_2717_grande

You can find more about Sprout Bottle on their website, Facebook Page and Twitter Feed.

How to Make Fresh Hibiscus Tea

Hibiscus2

Hibiscus flowers make a wonderful tea. The bright red color and tart, cranberry-like flavor delight the sense. And research has shown there are health benefits to drinking hibiscus tea, including regulating cholesterol and blood pressure.

I recently made tea from the fresh hibiscus flowers growing in my garden. Here’s how to do it:

1) Using 4-5 flowers, remove the stamen from the center of each flower so that only the petals and green pistil beneath each flower remain.

 

Hibiscus5

2) Tear up the flower petals and place them in a heat-proof container.

3) Pour 3 cups of boiling water over the flowers.

4) Allow to steep for at least 20 minutes. It will be a brilliant deep magenta color.

Hibiscus7

5) I added 1/4 cup of honey, the juice of 1 lime and 1 tablespoon of grated fresh ginger. It changes the color of the concoction to a lighter pink. Delicious!

Hibiscus8

 

Artist of the Month: Emily Landsman, HopsalotSnacks

The following post is by Emily Landsman, Owner of HopsalotSnacks, the Herban Lifestyle August 2014 Artist of the Month.

bunny
Hop hop hop! I’m Miss Dolley Hopsalot, a kooky house rabbit from Arlington, Virginia.
Hopsalot Snacks started with a hungry tummy. My human had been making delicious crunchy snacks for me for many years when I suggested she share them with her human friends who also have bunnies! These yummy snacks are hand made with timothy hay and organic fruits and veggies and baked to crunchy perfection for a long lasting treat.
 
snacks
Our Quilted Floppin’ Pads allow your hopper to flop comfortably in an enclosure on the living room carpet. Made of cotton/cotton blend fabric and backed with heavy felt, these quilts have several layers of batting for ultimate floppability.
 
pads
We also make special treats for dogs using left over grains from beer and organic whisky production. These (alcohol free) snacks are special edition treats and are for sale only when grains are available to us. Woof!
 
dog treats
Recently we began to make fun catnip toys for our feline friends in fun shapes. Your cat will love playing with squishy cat faces, RatTony rats, and slithery snakes!
 
catnip
All of our snacks and toys are hand made with lots of care.
Check out our Etsy store for new products all the time.

 

In Celebration of National Water Quality Month

pondThe following post is by Herban Lifestyle interns, Maggie Mascarenhas and Chelsie Lawrence.

August is National Water Quality Month, so we will be dedicating the next few weeks to posting tips on easy ways to conserve and protect our most precious element!  We also thought it would be fun to share with you some of the ways that we at Herban Lifestyle strive to do our part to save water.

Our Products
Herban Lifestyle products are free of chemical preservatives like parabens and phthalates, which are known endocrine disruptors (hormone-mimicking compounds that interfere with your body’s normal hormone function stimulating cancer development and triggering immunity, fertility, metabolic, developmental and cognitive problems). Endocrine disrupting chemicals can be found in a wide variety of personal care products, cleaning products, toys and even food. Not only are these chemicals bad for human health, but when we use them, they end up in our water systems, polluting the water and causing health problems for fish and amphibians.

All of our plant-based ingredients are carefully screened to make sure they are grown without pesticides, which prevents water pollution through runoff from the farms where they are grown. By preserving these water systems, we not only protect the animals that call these systems home, but also help ensure that future generations of people will have clean water to drink. And since all of our products are made with natural ingredients, such as certified organic vegetable oil, instead of harsh chemicals, they are all completely biodegradable.

IMG_7534

Our Process
Our rain barrel captures waters for our gardens, we use ENERGY STAR appliances (ENERGY STAR qualified dishwashers save, on average, 1,300 gallons of water over their lifetime), we filter water for drinking rather than buying bottled water, and we don’t make water-based products (which saves water, uses less packaging, costs less to ship and negates the need for preservatives).

55-gallon rain barrel

Our 55-gallon rain barrel

Our Suppliers
At Herban Lifestyle we carefully research our suppliers to make sure that they use environmentally sustainable practices, including water conservation. One of our main essential oil suppliers, Mountain Rose Herbs, is also a Green America Gold Certified company and embraces sustainability and environmentally responsible manufacturing processes. The Mountain Rose Herb River Project, for example, focuses on cleaning and sustaining river ecosystems, stream health, and fish habitats. By only using suppliers that adhere to a strict standard of water conservation and preservation, we further cut down on our water waste and help minimize water pollution.

We realize there is always more that we can do to protect this most precious of commodities. What are some of your favorite water-saving/preserving tips?

How To Make Delicious Herb-Infused Water

herbwater21In celebration of National Water Quality Month, created to help remind us of the importance of protecting our water supplies, I wanted to share some recipes for herb-infused waters that are as healthful as they are delicious.

For these recipes, I chose herbs that are growing in my garden, along with a complementary flavor – citrus gives the blends a nice zing, and vanilla beans add a light sweetness to the water. There are unlimited flavor combinations, and it is fun to experiment with a variety of herbs, spices and fruit. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

Lavender and Vanilla
• 1/4 cup fresh lavender, buds crushed slightly to release the flavor
• 1/2 vanilla bean, sliced lengthwise

herbwater2

Mint and Lime
• The rind of 1 lime
• 1/2 cup fresh mint, coarsely chopped

HerbWater11

Shiso and Lemon
• 1/2 cup fresh shiso, coarsely chopped
• The rind of 1 lemon

herbwater3

herbwater5herbwater6HerbWater12

1. Place ingredients in a quart-sized canning jar and fill with cold, filtered water.
2. Allow the filled jar to sit, refrigerated, for 8-12 hours to allow the flavors to infuse.
3. Strain out the ingredients and return the water to the jar. Keep the jar in the fridge to keep it chilled. It will last 2-3 days.
4. When serving, add some fresh sprigs of herbs or slices of fruit to your glass for a beautiful presentation.

You can adjust the amounts of the ingredients for more intense or milder flavors. Have fun experimenting!

2014 Martha Stewart American Made Awards

We are a 2014 Martha Stewart American Made Award Nominee!

badge2014

The American Made event occurs annually in New York City and serves to bring together entrepreneurs, and small businesses across the country that are focused on crafts, style, design and food, etc. Each year Martha Stewart Living recognizes several small businesses in these categories that are dedicated to entrepreneurship and their communities. These selected businesses earn the title of American Made Winner along with some great publicity and promotion materials.

In determining the winners, the following criteria will be taken into account:

Innovativeness, demonstrated creativity, and originality of idea

  • Originality and level of creativity
  • Clearly identifiable customer need
  • Customer value and usability

Workmanship

  • Quality of materials used
  • Attention and care paid to product details and/or customer satisfaction
  • Level of craftsmanship involved in production

Appearance

  • Unique design aesthetic
  • Visual appeal of product packaging
  • Compelling logo and/or typography

Embodiment of American Made theme

  • Use of local components and processes
  • Engagement of local community

A panel of judges and Martha Stewart herself handpick most of the winners, but the audience does have a say in choosing one lucky winner.

You can check out our profile here and, if we make it to the semi-finals, vote for Herban Lifestyle starting September 15th!