by James Dillehay
I hated my job in retail. Pondering my options, it occurred to me that I might enjoy earning my living by my own hands. Though I didn’t think I had creative tendencies, a friend offered to teach me the craft of weaving. So I began the learning curve of becoming an artisan.
The question was could I earn an income from my new skill? After displaying my first batch of pieces at a one-day art fair and earning $1,300, I stopped wondering and started producing. When my third show brought in close to $6,000, I never looked back.
Over time, selling my work led to writing. Writing led to publishing books, including a best-selling book deal. Publishing led to teaching. Teaching led to speaking. Speaking led to coaching. Coaching led to opening a gallery. Opening a gallery led to an Etsy store. And more.
The insights I’ve come to from starting and running many businesses could fill a book. Well, in fact, they have filled several books. But a blog like this one, lets me explore (another word for ramble on) a bit more about the whys of what I learned as much as the how-tos.
The how-tos can make and save you money, that’s for sure. But connecting your personal why with what you do can not only make you wealthy, it can make all the moments in your day rich.
I hope you’ll find this blog helpful as you explore growing your own vision.
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James Dillehay is a professional artisan, former gallery owner, and author of nine books and numerous articles. He has been interviewed in The Wall Street Journal Online, Yahoo Finance, The Chicago Tribune, Bottom Line Personal, Family Circle, The Crafts Report, Better Homes & Gardens, Working Mothers, Country Almanac, and many more including Entrepreneur Radio and HGTV’s The Carol Duvall Show.
James is a co-author of Guerilla Multilevel Marketing, Guerilla Marketing on the Front Lines and The Best of Guerilla Marketing.
Will James’ advice help you grow your small business? Read what others say:
“Quite an expert….Very informative. I wish we could keep you for the next three days.”
Carol Duvall, HGTV
“Should be viewed as the blueprint for success in the crafts industry.”
The Crafts Report
“One of the most user-friendly yet practical books of its kind.”
“Everything you need to know is here, and it’s applicable to any craft.”
Whole Earth Catalog
“A useful compilation of ‘insider information.’”
“Dillehay knows of what he writes because he’s done it. A very handy and practical book.”
Crafts ‘N Things
“Helpful to anyone contemplating any crafts business.”
“An excellent book. The appendices guarantee that the book will long remain as a valued resource.”
Dean, Cornell University
“The first bit of sanity I’ve encountered since I began my business. It teaches me everything I need to know, over and over!”
Carole Baylus, Maryland
“The author takes readers by the hand, gently encouraging them to grow into wholesale when they are ready. His practical guidance makes taking these giant steps less scary, less threatening.”
The Crafts Report
“Ideas and sound business advice on every page.”
Arts & Crafts Show Guide
“For artists just starting out as well as those who are more experienced.”
“Comprehensive, well researched publication filled with useful tips for marketing crafts. The book gives craftspeople sound advice for selling their wares.”
“The Basic Guide to Selling Arts & Crafts is like eating beef stew after the hors d’oeuvres — more meat, more filling, more down-to-earth . . . . This book will help you plan your business for maximum profits.”
“Dillehay knows the field — I can’t think of a more rewarding retirement pursuit.”
Syndicated Columnist SENIOR SENSE
“He knows the art side and the business side of making money with craftwork — an informed guide indeed.”
Southern California Senior Life
“All the perplexing questions are answered and more . . . It’s well worth it.”
Prime Time for New Mexico Seniors
“Pleasant to read, easy to understand, chock-full of really useful information. Covers the whole subject of producing and marketing what you make.”
“Comprehensive is the word for this book which covers everything.”
“An invaluable, practical business and art blend.”
“Just what you need; he’s clearly been there.”
“A useful and enlightening resource.”
Shuttle Spindle & Dyepot
“Specialized resources make this a very useful book for weavers and other craft artists who need solid business information. Recommended for public libraries.”