The Makers Summit took place a couple of weeks ago, and I’m still processing, thinking, and trying to put all these inspiring concepts into practice in my day-to-day routine.
The day was full and rich with information. Grace Kang, Amy Flurry, Stephen Fraser, and Kimm Alfonso were such amazing speakers, but everyone I heard from, on stage and off, was a huge inspiration.
The best part of the day was meeting and talking with new creative entrepreneurs. These people are amazing. Everyone represented a different creative businesses (jewelers, painters, bloggers, knitters, letter-pressers, ceramicists…) yet somehow, it felt like we were all on the same team, working towards the same goal: Make amazing things and provide people with amazing products worth treasuring.
Top 20 things I learned at the Makers Summit:
- Give people something they wish they could make themselves but can’t. You have a unique set of skills. Own them!
- Understand your brand: your brand is a genuine statement of who you are and what you make.
- Make things for other people. Find people who inspire and challenge you to keep creating and making amazing things.
- Experiment. Most will fail, but the ones that succeed will be completely amazing.
- Don’t just sell things, excite customers. Turn customers into collectors.
- Tell a story! Who are you? What is your shop all about? Why do you make that?
- Only put forth quality. Think like an art director.
- Make each “transaction” remarkable and memorable.
- Be human and let shoppers enjoy buying from a unique, creative human.
- Develop a support team.
- Set your intentions rather than goals.
- Work out your pricing model. Set your business up for financial success, not failure.
- Track and grow. What you can’t track doesn’t grow. Evaluate and gauge success weekly.
- Have fun and celebrate your life. You created this! It is beautiful and worth celebrating.
- It is important to “treat people with an overall feeling that they are taking part in something artistic” – David Butler
- Pitch your amazing item or service to editors weekly.
- Think like a shop owner before contacting them about wholesale. Understand marketing in merchandising.
- Any time you can make your brand feel more human and more intentional, do it.
- Be remarkable. Create things that are memorable and amazing.
- Step back and enjoy this life you created. Don’t lose that first love. Creating your own career and proving people with something beautifully and unique is priceless.
Check out this little Vine video I created of the Makers Summit signs. So cute… (Are you on Vine yet? It’s so fun!)
If you are a maker or creative entrepreneur, hop on over to the Makers Summit website, sign up for the newsletter, and sign up for next year! I’ll see you there!