From $0 to a Profitable Product Line – Introduction to The Handmade Seller Magazine

From $0 to a Profitable Product Line - Introduction to The Handmade Seller Magazine

You’ve probably seen ads for the Handmade Seller magazine pop up once in awhile or noticed other sellers talking about it on Facebook, but I bet you didn’t realize that this particular magazine isn’t actually about showcasing products, but about helping you learn how to become successful with your own product line. For example, in April we started a detailed video series showing you exactly how I get 20,000 targeted Instagram followers every 6 months. In each issue readers progress to the next lesson and eventually will complete that entire course, but that isn’t all they get. At the same time we have a series about starting a blog for your business, another one about getting exposure to your website, several about creating copy that sells, and many more helpful columns geared towards showing you how to be successful with an online platform. We even do keyword research for you and include those downloads in the magazine. Don’t take my word for it, though! You can check out our free sample here!

From 0 to a Profitable Product Line: Proof Inside - Handmade Seller Magazine

Hiii! J My name is Dani and I’m the CEO of theHandmade Seller magazine. First off, I’d like to thank Aftcra for inviting me to share the magazine with you! It’s been a pleasure working with them and getting to talk to all of you. Their platform gives you a great opportunity to get exposure to more online traffic, which everyone is a big fan of.

$52,930.45 From One Product Line.

I share these numbers to show you that the experts behind the magazine are experienced in selling online. I see coaches and courses pop up all the time from people who never prove they’re actually qualified to teach. The number above is the gross amount from one product line on Amazon that I launched in October, 2015. That’s after running out of inventory twice and I’m about to run out again because I can’t keep up with the demand.

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I personally have been selling online for 7-8 years (I’ve been so busy since that I can’t remember when I actually started, ha!) I still create product lines and my partners have all had/have successful product lines as well. Only qualified people contribute content in the magazine because we want you to have access to the best information there is.

Here is what our subscribers get access to each month:

1.     Monthly issues plus all of the previous issues

2.     55 – 65 pages which you can print out if you wish to

3.     Video tutorials (sometimes text tutorials just don’t cut it!)

4.     Resource links (we send you straight to the tools and resources you need)

5.     Keyword downloads (we do the keyword research for you!)

6.     Download guides and templates such as biography templates and trending colors

7.     Expert columnists in every field

8.     Knowledge to skyrocket your business

9.     Chance to have your story featured in the magazine or your product featured on our Pinterest accounts

10.  Letters to the editor (ask questions and get them answered)

11.  Featured stories from top sellers (learn from the best in your industry)

12.  Discounts on helpful products

If you’re interested in joining our family of subscribers, we’d love to offer you a gift for being a seller with Aftcra!

5% Off Coupon Code: AFTCRA

Happy Selling!


daniLearn more about Dani Marie here:
Dani has been developing product lines and selling online for the last 11 years. This has lead her to become the CEO of the Handmade Seller magazine, a best selling author, and the VP of Flourish (a coaching community for handmade sellers). Through these three avenues she helps others find success with their product lines and marketing strategies!



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Maker Tips: 3 Craft Show Do’s and Don’ts

Danielle Spurge Post - Maker Tips - 3 Craft Show Dos and Donts 1

Post by aftcra Guest Blogger, Danielle Spurge of Merriweather Council. Sign up for The Merriweather Council’s newsletter here.

I love to go to craft shows because it is so fun to get out of the house and be amongst crafty friends and lovers of craft! Plus it’s fun to set up your booth and talk about your work all day. I realize some people are not into this at all, but I love it and encourage everyone to do it at least a few times!

To preface these tips there is the mother of all craft show logic: only shows that suit your work, price points and appeal to your target audience. Will your people be there? This is the number one consideration! No point in investing time, money and energy into a show that doesn’t attract the people who want to buy your stuff. No matter how much promotion you do for a show you’ll be at, the organizers are the ones who will primarily determine what kind of audience this show attracts so do your research!

Ahh craft show season!! Gotta love it. On top of the main factors in craft shows such as location and target audience, you want to consider a few more things that are specific to you and your product’s presentation at a show. Being mindful of display, attitude and personal behavior is essential when doing a show! Here are my personal craft show do’s and don’ts for making it through this craft show season.

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3 Craft Show Do’s

1. Do Display Wisely!

You want to present your item as close to it’s “natural environment” as possible. This means that if you sell wall art, you want to display it hanging, on a “wall” in your craft show booth. Some folks are lucky – photographers and painters especially- in that people generally understand you hang these up or frame them. But if you sell an item that is a bit more cryptic, let’s say a ceramic tile, people might not “get it” if it’s just laying on the table. Give your work as much context as possible for the passerby.

2. Do Use Signage.

Signs are essential. For pricing or additional info, signs are great for giving people info they are too shy to ask about. If you have a product that is difficult to adhere a price tag to, a sign is an easy way to communicate that info. Likewise, you want your signage to promote your brand and give interest to your space, so consider hanging signs above your table or from the sides of your tent if possible – rather than only putting a sign across the front of a table, where it will be blocked as soon as someone comes to your table, which is what you want! A sign that explains you take credit cards will also go a long way.

3. Do greet customers.

Time to break out of your shell here, people! A simple hello and welcome is a nice way to let patrons know you are the person in charge of this space. A friend of mine who worked many years in retail passed this phase along to me: “let me know if i can answer any questions while you look around.” This immediately takes away the weirdness associated with “Let me know if you have any questions” / “no I’m just looking” exchange. You have already acknowledged that they are browsing, and offered a no pressure invite. Don’t harp on people, some folks find it annoying.


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3 Craft Shows Don’ts

1. Don’t spend the whole day on your phone.

Or otherwise huddled in the back corner. Be present and available for questions, discussions and most importantly, transactions! You are the brand, so be the brand!

2. Don’t only accept cash.

If you have the ability to sell online, you have the ability to accept credit card in person at a show, assuming there is decent cell service at your event’s venue. Many people will not have cash on them, don’t make it harder for people to buy from you.

3. Don’t compare yourself to your neighbors.

Shows are hard in that, you are competing in real life with the person directly next to you! You will get mad, frustrated and confused if you spend the whole day wondering how everyone else is doing. Not to mention distracted. Focus on the customers in your booth, and making sure your display is enticing and presents your products as well as possible. Don’t spend your day hypothesizing with your neighbor on how things are going down the hall or in the front of the room. Just make the most of what you’re got going on!


Learn More Now!

Get more advice, maker tips and handmade shop management guidance from Danielle by opting-in to the Merriweather Council’s newsletter. Here you can gain access to a variety of e-courses, including a free optimization course which focuses on optimization of your social presence from your online shop to your Instagram profile.


About the Author, Danielle Spurge of Merriweather Council:
Danielle Spurge of Merriweather Council on aftcra - 4 passive ways to advertise your online shop

Danielle is a crafter, blogger and crafty business consultant. She empowers creatives to share their work with confidence, optimize their handmade shops + leverage their creations. More info can be found at the merriweathercouncil blog.










Introducing The Artisan Group

The Artisan Group Introduction to aftcra members Handmade Makers Handcrafted Goods Celebrity Gift Bags

Have you ever watched The Emmys and wondered about those fancy gift bags that  celebrities receive? They’re chock full of expensive jewelry, fancy skin care lines and gorgeous handmade goods… enough to make any of us swoon for a chance to grab ahold of one of those bags.

And if you’re a maker, you’ve definitely dreamed about featuring your goods in those fancy little bags. If you’re one of the lucky ones, you’ve been able to do just that.

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This is where The Artisan Group comes in to play (pssst – you definitely need to check out this handmade organization). The Artisan Group provides talented makers an opportunity to place their goods in front of celebrities at elite events (think “The Golden Globes” and “The Academy Awards”). With a team of skilled PR representatives, The Artisan Group‘s single goal is to act as spokespersons and ambassadors for your brand, providing you with the chance of having a celebrity take a picture with your product – and for press outlets to talk about it AND your handcrafted goods.

It sounds too goo to be true, right? Well, it isn’t! The Artisan Group takes a collaborative approach to these elite gift lounges, offering it’s members a white glove experience at an incredibly reasonable price. If you’re interested in viewing what kind of products are being showcased at these events, visit The Artisan Group’s Pinterest Page, where the latest gifted goods are pinned. To date, The Artisan Group has placed over 300 artisanal goods from it’s members on over 25 hit television shows. Now that’s impressive!

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We’d love for you to get to know more about this great group and what it’s doing for the handmade community. Visit The Artisan Group for more information on their partnerships, membership and their efforts to increase the visibility of handmade goods. Currently The The Artisan Group‘s membership is by invite-only, but by keeping up with their posts you just never know if opportunity might come knocking on your door.

You can also connect with The Artisan Group on their social outlets:






Why Community Matters for Makers

Why community Matters for Makers with Academy of Handmade aftcra

Guest Contribution by: Sharon Fain, Academy of Handmade


We started Academy of Handmade because we wanted to celebrate the amazing jobs makers do and get very little recognition for. After it was decided an awards show for makers was needed, we quickly realized that an ongoing community for makers that was neutral (read: not a group that was trying to get you to buy something or that supported a selling platform specifically). As a PR practitioner, I had the luxury of membership to trade organizations like Public Relations Society of America that would organize social and educational AND an awards show for our industry. Plus they advocated for the industry. We saw nothing really like this for makers and knew that community would be a key part of what we do. Here’s a few reasons why community is essential for your business.


1) You Need an Understanding Ear: When you decided to sell what you make, you were likely doing so because you got to choose work that was meaningful to you that also made you money. What more could you want?

But then you realized that hours in your studio or at your kitchen could be hard. Fulfilling, but hard. And then you also realized a lot of people with “normal jobs” just didn’t get what you do.

To prevent burnout or feeling down, having people who get what you do and can empathize with what you do is vital to sustaining your business– and your own sanity.

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2) You Need a Sounding Board: Because you don’t have coworkers or even a boss, making decisions and bouncing ideas off someone else becomes really hard. Sure, you can ask a trusted friend or significant other if your line sheet looks right or if that’s the right kind of packaging, but then you probably have to explain a lot to them and always wonder if they really get it.

Creative and business decisions can either feel like the best idea ever and go really wrong or never happen because you’re telling yourself it’s stupid. While talking with your peers about it won’t ensure flops or success, it can help to mitigate weird feelings that can tend to take over your decision making.

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3) You Need to Know What’s Up: Before becoming a maker, you likely had a full-time, 8-6 (let’s get real– they were never 9-5) job where you were immersed in what was happening in your industry. You got who the competitors were. You knew the trends and best practices. When you’re a maker it can be very hard to do this without a community.

Peers can share with you the experiences they’ve had on certain selling platforms or craft markets. They can alert you to new business tools or ways of making that will help you create a leaner and meaner business.

Learning what not do is also just as important. When you’re a beginner you can make mistakes that can be avoided with the help of mentors who have gone down that path before. In community, you can find those people.

While the Academy of Handmade aims to cultivate online through our Google group and in-person community through our chapters, you most certainly don’t need to join our community (though, we’d love to have you!) to get one. Do some research and find out who is a good fit for you. Create multiple places for connection online and off. I think you’ll find it an added value to your business. Just remember that you’ll get the most out of community when you participate and put yourself out there.

p.s. One of our favorite things to do in our community is our #emojistatuscheckin each Sunday on Instagram. I hope you’ll join us!