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With the new year comes cleaning out of the old and focusing on new goals and how to achieve them. If you already have a handmade business, it is still a good idea to take a fresh start and realign with your business plan and what you would like to set out to do for the year.

Even if you are just stepping your toe into the fantastic world of handmade for the very first time, it is great to think ahead so that you can flourish with your creativity and ideas. The business side is always hard for everyone, thats why you should set some of your focus to it:

  • Business goals and strategy for achieving them: What is the mission of your business? Will it be eco-friendly or will it donate a portion of proceeds to charity? Whatever your goals are, spell them out here. Be as clear as possible.
  • Market Analysis: Who are you selling your products to? Why should a customer choose your product over a competitors? Are there regulatory restrictions in your industry? If you’re selling bath products, what laws do you need to adhere to for your state/country?
  • Marketing Strategy: How are your target customers going to find out about your wonderful products? Will you buy advertisements on blogs or other websites? Will you use social media such as Twitter or Facebook? What is the minimum number of followers/fans that you want to have? How will you track prospective sales? Once you collect prospective customers, how will you continue to interact with them? Will you have an advertising budget or use completely free techniques?
  • Products: Will you have one line of products or multiple lines? What is your value proposition–why should your customers buy your product? Do they need it? Do any of your products require patents or trademarks? Who are your suppliers? If your supplier goes out of business, is there a comparable supplier? What is the cost of your product and what is the correct price to sell it/them at?
  • Financials: Include both past and future data (Profit & Loss Statements, Balance sheets, and Cash Flow Statements). If this is too intense, try to plan out how much profit (the money you earn from selling your products minus the cost of your products) you want to make each year. What do you need to do to achieve this?

With these foundations in mind, you will have more clarity and focus on your amazing ideas and products. It will be easier to work towards your goals if you know what they are.

We can’t wait to see you at Chautauqua in April!!

XOXO The Flygals

Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art is the fabulous white wall location of this years Firefly Handmade Holiday Market. Partnering together helps us both! Firefly Handmade strives to work with non-profit businesses in and around Boulder each time we put on an event. At the BMoCA there will be a small entry fee of $2 to this years market, which benefits the museum and their mission to offer ongoing shows of wonderful contemporary art to our thriving Front Range Community.

We hope that you recognize this cause as you visit the show and are shopping for gifts.

Swell Brand Goods by Courtney Loveman is a line of quirky, irreverent, loved-in clothing for babies, toddlers and adults. Simple, iconic styles in fresh and unexpected color combinations – along with unique ‘loved-in’ details and nonsensical typography – give the collection it’s distinctive look.

About 80% of the garments are up-cycled, with a commitment to using only the highest quality raw materials. A sense of humor, a love of color and a predisposition toward your dad’s old sweatshirts are required for purchase.

Pattern, is the passion of Emily Knight, a High School Art Teacher by day, and a creative enthusiast and super knitter. She believes in making things yourself, sharing them- and collecting things made by others. We do too!

Her super chunky, colorful  knit accessories are the perfect way to cozy up this winter!

Moonspun Jewelry  by Katherine Wheeler Sanz, is spilling with magic!

“A combination of meaningful and beautiful, each Moonspun piece is a modern treasure. These are the pieces in your jewelry box that glows with gentle power, the ones want to put on that move with you while you dance.

Each piece of jewelry is handcrafted from scratch using recycled metals, ethically sourced gemstones, and a generous dollop of love. We can’t wait to see you at the Market!”

Darn Craftistas:

“We’re longtime crafty friends: a couple of transplants and two Boulderites. In the tradition of the lemonade stand of our childhoods, we decided to come together and make, create, knit and sew indie-crafts. Whether it’s something special or something useful, we make stylie, unusual things that you can reach for when you need that perky something.”

Dawn Spencer Hurwitz is a true underground force in niche perfumery.   DSH, as she is called by her devoted following, has been working with aromatics for the past 17 years. She has developed many innovative concept perfumes and worked with top designers to consult and create exclusive perfumes. Beginning her career as a painter, Dawn came to perfumery in 1991 while working at Boston’s famed ESSENSE Perfumery (on Posh Newbury Street). She developed her talent for creating perfumes based on fine art principles, and since the early nineties, began developing her innovative lines of ready-to-wear artisan perfumes under her own label while consulting for niche marketers, such as Luckyscent / Indiescents, Flora Napa Valley, Calypso, Jules & Jane, and Zents Spa Collection.

Dawn’s newest collection, “Art Projects”, is the concept line that she has been creating in her studio for the past few years combining a synesthetic approach to perfume design and creating aroma-art expressions for Denver Art Museum, Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (BMoCA), the Dairy Center for the Arts and her own exhibitions.

All of her creations are available at Dawn’s own Essense Studio in Boulder, Colorado, where she is based, and selections are available online at dshperfumes.com.

“I’m so intrigued with the process of jewelry design and metalsmithing. I often finish a collection and can’t bear to part with it. I keep new collections displayed in my studio for a bit so I can look at them and visit with the pieces before I have to say goodbye and send them off to their new owners. I have a large collection of my previous work though, as do many of my girlfriends so I still get to see a lot of my “vintage” pieces–and I love that.

I know that the pieces I create go out into the world and become treasures, amulets, reminders of memories. Because of the materials and craftsmanship, my pieces have longevity. When people wear my jewelry they aren’t necessarily wearing it just because it’s a pretty necklace. They’re wearing it because it’s inscribed with the name of their baby or it has a word or stone that just called to them. My intention is to create jewelry with relevance. Jewelry that makes you look lovely. Jewelry with meaning and power.”

Natha Perkins, Luscious Metals

For the last 13 years Carrie McWithey has made these amazing crocheted hats and scarves using her own original designs. She uses yarn in alpaca and wool blends for her brand Fringe.

You won’t ever put on a more comfortable, more flattering hat. The scarves are not your everyday scarves either… from tentacles to extra fringe, these designs are meant to delight and inspire!

Shannon Sunderland & Sahra Alsamarie form the dynamic duo of Hot Mama Designs. Their heirloom quality jewelry is a huge hit for moms, grandmas & girlfriends allowing each to customize the jewelry with their loved ones initials or names. Hot Mama Designs rejoices in celebrating motherhoods, family and the one-of-a-kind feeling of the handmade object.  …..and Now there are personalized cufflinks for men too!

These two women pour their heart and soul into the bond between mamas and their babies. This feeling of connectedness is what they love most about their brand.

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