Book Review: The Handmade Marketplace by Kari Chapin

By Jodi Wiley

This little gem of a book is a handy 'how-to' on selling your handmade creations (whatever they may be) locally, globally and online. Written by a crafter (Kari Chapin), for crafters, it's full of great advice for turning your hobby into a business.

Divided into three parts, The Handmade Marketplace covers everything from goal setting, branding and pricing in Part 1 to marketing, blogging and publicity in the second part, with the last section focusing on selling: at craft fairs, online and in bricks and mortar stores.

Sometimes the specific business advice is not relevant outside the north American market but there's still plenty in there to sink your crafty teeth into. It includes helpful tips about all aspects of creative business from using social media to building community and, of course, selling your stuff. I especially like that it's full of advice from real people who have successfully turned their passion into a thriving business. People like Ashley Goldberg, Grace Bonney and Holly Becker (and many others) have been interviewed and snippets of their wisdom appears throughout the book.

It has also been illustrated by Emily Martin (aka The Black Apple) and Jen Skelley whose drawings give it a funky indie art feel. The fun design of the book and the conversational writing style means it's a breezy and engaging read.

If you're looking for inspiration to turn your crafty pastime into a business this book will have you brimming with ideas. It's a great starting point for taking your crafty ideas to the next level.

The Handmade Marketplace is published by Storey Publishing.

Jodi Wiley is an artist, writer, teacher and blogger. She has written freelance articles and book reviews for magazines and newspapers, as well as education curriculum. She has won awards for her artwork and been a finalist for several art and illustration prizes. Jodi is currently on maternity leave from high school teaching and is on a (quite frankly deranged) quest to update her blog daily: