Category Archives: Uncategorized

FREE St Patrick’s Day Cut File

Feeling Lucky?

You should be! Check out this FREE design from HoopMama!

Please consider pinning to Pinterest or sharing on Facebook before downloading <3

Just click the icons below!

Click Here to add the design to your cart and

use code “PINCHY”

to watch the price disappear!

(Just like magic!)

Be sure to check out the other fun St Patricks Day designs or freebies category while you’re here!

Oh and the St Patrick’s Day Mock-Ups are available at CraftMockUps.com. Click here to view the bundle!

FREE FOR MEMBERS

Over 11,000 Commercial Use Fonts For Only $23!

 

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. BUT THESE ARE ALL PRODUCTS I RECOMMEND AND USE MYSELF.

Hi. I’m Jeanna Hooper, and I am a fontaholic. I am not in recovery, nor am I seeking help. I didn’t choose this life. It chose me. And for that… I am forever grateful. Because part of being a fontaholic means that I can recognize great deals when I see them, and guess what… I have another one to share with you!

Creative Fabrica has been one of my best kept secrets for way too long and I feel like I’m being a hog.

This. Site. Is. AWESOME!!!!!! Let me tell you why. Click any image in this post to be taken to their site when you’re ready!

  1. Membership Subscription Options: For $23 a month you can download ALL of their fonts for COMMERCIAL use!!! No restrictions! You can make and sell anything with their fonts as long as you don’t sell the font itself or include it in your product (obviously.)

BUT WAIT… there’s more

2. They also have CRAFT Membership for $12 for 3 months! Whaaaaat??? Yes! Cut files in SVG, PNG, EPS and DXF! Compatible with Silhouette and Design Space!

3. Don’t need a subscription? No worries! You can purchase licenses for individual fonts directly from them as well! Like this UH-MAZE-ING new font from On The Spot Studio. *I need all the heart eye emojis*

4. Yes, another reason! They also have a tool that will search the fonts installed in YOUR computer so you can see them all in one place. Kind of like wordmark.it but they also have a tool that will show the glyphs that the font has and allow you to make lists of your favorites for easy management!

5. If I haven’t convinced you by now… maybe FREEBIES will do the trick? Yeah…. freebies! Currently they have over 100! Well… 101 to be exact!

So seriously. Creative Fabrica is probably one of the coolest sites out there for crafters right now and it’s growing constantly! If you are a fontaholic like me, just embrace it. Know that this is who you are and that it’s okay. Especially now that you can download THOUSANDS OF FONTS for $23. $23!!! Don’t do it because I said to… do it because your soul does.

*MIC DROP*

Let that little font hoarder inside you live a little.

Click here or any image in the post to visit them today!

 

This post contains affiliate links which means if you purchase something using the above links… HoopMama will get credit and love you forever!

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5 Ways To Bring Additional Income To Your Craft Business

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, BUT I DO NOT RECOMMEND PRODUCTS OR SERVICES THAT I DO NOT USE AND LOVE MYSELF. READ MORE ABOUT THIS IN OUR DISCLOSURE POLICY.

 

When you began your crafting business, what did you envision? Did you envision financial freedom? Did you roll in the math of “if I can get 35 orders a week, the would be a profit of $$$” If so, you’re not alone. But what I bet you didn’t plan for where the highs and lows of the seasons. How November can bring the best sales and then January can make you cry. How being burned out is a real thing and sometimes you just want to run away from that machine (or throw it out the window.)

 

Burnout is one that always gets me. Which is why I am always exploring new ways to bring revenue sources to my business. Some ideas flop, some don’t. So this month I wanted to help you explore 5 areas where you can bring in additional income to your business that can help balance out the ups and downs and even provide options that can be set on autopilot to produce residual income. This is just a taste of ideas to get your juices flowing. You could probably spend HOURS thinking through ideas for each of these!

 

1. Craft Shows

Let’s start here because this is the least foreign idea. You may have already tried craft shows or currently do them on a regular basis. I have found that the consensus is that you love them or hate them. Many people have great success with one weekend show, but there is a lot of prep work that goes into it. You may spend WEEKS preparing but walk out with no sales. Just like your product presentation in your online shop, your craft show success’s destiny is reliant upon your presentation of your items, finding the right shows to attend, offering unique items, and many times… closing a sale. Sometimes this takes 2-20 shows to finally find your style and what works for you. But once you get the hang of it, you may find that you can prep for craft shows in your “down time” and that they balance out your year in full!

There are many resources that will help you find the most success with craft shows. Here are some e-books that are packed full of information if you’re wanting to get your feet wet before diving in!

2. Host Craft Parties

This one is one you can do from your home, at someone else’s home, or even at a public event space! We all know that the “paint and drink” parties are huge, so why not a CRAFT party? Add a bottle (or box) of wine and you’re set! You get a project that you can teach a group to do in a short amount of time, provide the materials, charge a flat fee per person, and boom a mini side hustle is born!

The ideas and possibilities are LIMITLESS on this one! If you want a great place to start brainstorming, here’s a wonderful e-book, 15 Home Parties To Host With Your Silhouette Or Cricut that has lots of ideas! It’s focused on Silhouette/Cameo owners, but can completely extend to other crafts as well.

3. Teach Classes Locally:

Craft stores are popping up left and right. Not just Joann’s and Hobby Lobby. Small, independent crafters are opening supply shops for cutting and embroidery businesses all over the place! Many of them are looking for teachers to conduct classes to draw customers into their store. Typically, these classes are done in 2-hour master sessions, and/or 4-6 week courses. You can mix it up and offer some of each to provide variety!

You can also offer these classes at your local rec center! Sewing, embroidery, cutting, and sublimation are areas that people are always wanting to learn!

4. Teach An Online Course

Maybe you’re not an “in person” teacher but you have a desire to teach people something in some way. An online course is a GREAT way to go! You teach it once, have a Facebook community for questions from your students, and you’re set! Teachable is an online platform that makes setting up e-courses super easy! They provide SO many learning materials on how to make your course a success. If this one tugs at your heartstrings, it is a fantastic option for residual income! You can click here to see the different plans that Teachable has for course creation!

5. Affiliate Marketing

Huh? What’s that? Affiliate marketing is basically a way for bigger businesses to cut down on marketing costs by asking YOU to market for them in exchange for a small commission. Amazon, Target, Walmart, Etsy… MOST businesses have an affiliate program you can join. To apply to join, visit the website of the business you’re looking at, scroll to the bottom of the page and you should see something called “affiliates.”

amazon-become-an-affiliate.jpg

 

Or, you can even just Google the company name followed by “affiliate program” like “Amazon Affiliate Program” and it’ll come up that way as well!

 

ShareASale is a hub of sorts that a lot of companies use to host their program. If you click here and join ShareASale, you’ll then be able to apply to the other businesses that use them for their program. It makes things very easy and centralized so instead of having payments coming in from 72 places, remembering 72 logins, it’s just all done through ShareASale. Easy peasy.

 

An excellent e-course for affiliate marketing is offered by the MILLIONAIRE blogger from Making Sense Of Cents. She is simply inspirational. If you haven’t ever checked out her blog, I recommend doing so! Her course is packed full of information and the cool thing is, is that when you sign up for her course, YOU can become an affiliate of the course! Meaning if you promote the course, YOU get a commission of each sale you refer! Here is the link to her course as well! 

How do you incorporate these links into your business? Simple! Say you offer home decor signs, and your product photo shows a blanket from Amazon that matches perfectly, you post the link to the blanket as well! Or if you offer kids t-shirts and know of the perfect shorts from Target that would complete the outfit, post the link to those! Usually, if a customer uses your link to shop on any site you suggest, you get a percentage of the ENTIRE sale. So if they follow your link to Amazon and buy the blanket, plus toothpaste, candles, and office supplies… you’ll get the credit on ALL of the items! Even if they DON’T buy the blanket, you’ll get credit JUST by them using your link! Cool, huh?

 

And there’s 5 ideas you can chew on for March! Spring is “typically” a slow season, so hopefully these ideas boost your creativity and focus! 

 

 

5 Steps To Starting Your Craft Business Newsletter

Newsletters & List Building.

 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links. Read more about this in our Disclosure Policy.

Let’s talk about newsletters. On another blog, I wrote a blog titled “3 Reasons Your Craft Business Needs A Newsletter”  so if you have no idea what a newsletter could do for your business, I recommend starting with reading that post as it explains why a newsletter is vital.

But how do we start one, what do we put in it, and how in the world do we get people to sign up for it?

Let’s dive in.

I’m constantly asked these 5 questions below about newsletters. So today, I want to answer them for you the best I know how.

1. When Should I Start A Newsletter List?

Immediately! Don’t even wait to make your first dollar. A newsletter list is crucial for retaining your customers long term. Even if you have a Facebook group of 500+ members, you do not OWN those members like you do with a newsletter. If Facebook closes you down, you have nothing, nada, zilch. Even if your newsletter starts out small, it will grow if you create incentives for your customers to subscribe. We’ll talk about that a little later. A newsletter should go hand in hand with “opening shop.”

2.What Do I Use To Create It?

There are many different platforms to create newsletters. I have used a few of them but keep happily returning to MailChimp. First of all, it’s free for up to 2,000 subscribers, so even if you decide it’s not the platform you want to use, it’s a great place to start. Switching newsletter platforms is very easy, so don’t worry about choosing the wrong one. I’ve gone back and forth a few times between platforms and it’s been a very easy process. MailChimp is very easy to use with great templates to follow. But there are also great great tutorials found on Pinterest and even E-Books on Etsy (like this one) that can help provide more guidance!

3. What Content Do I Send Out?

This is where it gets fun… and overwhelming. Your newsletter does not have to be an 8-course meal. It can simply be an appetizer! Of course you can showcase all 35 of your newest releases, but the point of a newsletter, is to get people over to your website! (If you don’t have a website, we are going to dive into that as we move into 2018, but for now, here’s a blog post that may help answer some questions on where to get started with that.) Here’s 5 ideas of what you can post to get your ideas rolling!

  • New Items (Showcase 1-3 and encourage them to visit your shop/FB/website to see the rest)
  • Blog Posts with Affiliate Links (Huh? We’ll dive more into that this year, too, but here is a great course for learning about Affiliate marketing)
  • Sale Items/Close Out Specials
  • Notice of Giveaways (Hosted on your Social Media pages)
  • Brand Rep Searches (People LOVE to get involved as brand reps for your business! You an create awesome trades of product for excellent pictures to use in your shop!)

The ideas can go on and on! Don’t worry about filling up three pages of content. A newsletter should just be a taste to see what’s in store. Something to make them WANT to visit and see what else you’re up to! Great pictures are KEY to drawing people in. Utilizing brand reps or taking a photography course like this one could help with your photography skills!

 4. How Often Do I Send One?

I send mine weekly, but that doesn’t mean you need to. Just remember that consistency is important. Bi-weekly is a goal to aim for, but when you’re getting your feet wet, you may find monthly works best. You just don’t want to be the girl that sends out a newsletter once every 4-5 months. People will forget who you are by then and unsubscribe. You want to build that relationship with your customers and keep the door of communication open. If you fall off the planet for 6 months, and then come back and say “hey, buy my stuff” you probably won’t have the best results. But if you build your business to say “Hey! This is me! This is what I’m up to now! I know you want to be a part of this so I’m staying in touch!” your customer relationship status goes from “it’s complicated” to “in a relationship” and will continue to grow.

5. How Do I Get People To Sign Up?

BE CREATIVE with this! Here’s some ideas!

  • Social Media Posts promoting a special sales code for those who subscribe
  • Etsy Shop Banner with a link to the newsletter sign-up. with a % off discount for new subscribers
  • Special Giveaway Offers for subscribers of your e-mail list. (Check in with giveaway laws in your state. Many require disclaimers to be listed)
  • Any conversation you have with a customer, ASK THEM if you can add them to your newsletter. An old sales trainer of mine would always ask me when my sales call failed… “but did you ask for their business?” It always felt so weird to say, “hey will you uh, buy from me?” But it was amazing how many times I would say things like: “so, let’s get this going for you” and they would say “okay!” When you introduce the next step, they are more likely to go along for the ride simply because they feel like you know what you’re doing and they trust you. So if you are talking to a customer, or potential customer, and say “okay, great! I’ll get this order set up for you right now. Would it be okay to add you to my newsletter list for future sales and discounts?”…. they’re likely to say yes.

Your newsletter will NOT be perfect the first go ’round. You’ll make mistakes and learn along the way. But those mistakes are just stepping stones. I promise you’ll grow and that you’ll be so happy you started when you did.

————————————————————————–

In the Crafters Calendar we talk about customer personality types and colors on page 7 & 8 of the “Start here” guide. I would encourage you to read that if you haven’t already. The same sales trainer that asked me the above question, also taught me about how to identify and how to speak to different types of customers. This was a game changer for my sales career. I’m certain it will be for yours also!

3 Reasons Your Craft Business Needs A Newsletter

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. BUT THESE ARE ALL PRODUCTS I RECOMMEND AND USE MYSELF.

So you have your Etsy, you have your Facebook and Instagram, you may even have a website… but do you have a newsletter? If not, you’re just leaving money on the table!

The idea of “the build it and they will come” just isn’t a reality for crafters. There’s too many people doing what you’re doing. You need something that makes you stand out!

That’s why promotion of your business is so important. You could make 100 items but if you keep them in a closet, no one will ever know about them, right? You have to let people know about your business so they know who you are and where to find you! A newsletter… is one of the best ways to do that!

I use MailChimp for my newsletters and LOVE it! Plus, it’s FREE for up to 2,000 subscribers!

Newsletter With MailChimp

3 Reasons Your Craft Business Needs A Newsletter

  1. Can’t Be Missed. Unlike Facebook and Instagram where things can be scrolled by, an e-mail is there until the recipient reads or deletes. No worrying about algorithm changes or hoping your customers are online at the right time. Many people don’t use social media. And MANY MANY people don’t join groups or like pages. I personally have many websites that I go to regularly but don’t follow them on any social media outlets. Even though I’m on Facebook A LOT for my HoopMama group! If I weren’t getting newsletters from the places like: My Vinyl Direct, Craftsy, or Happy Crafters, I probably wouldn’t know about any of the deals they have going on at all!
  2. Efficient Use Time And Space. If they open your newsletter then obviously you have their attention! You can put more information in a newsletter than you can on an Instagram post or Facebook. You can promote sales, categories of items, giveaways, blog posts and new items all in one e-mail!
  3. Drive Traffic To Your Website. Obviously this one is pretty much a “duh” point. But think about this viewpoint of a newsletter. If someone is checking their e-mail, they probably aren’t in shopping mode necessarily. If you can get their attention and get them to open up your newsletter, chances are they’ll visit your site. Even if they don’t make a direct purchase right now, they may hang on to your newsletter for future reference. On social media… if you don’t get them RIGHT THEN… they close out and forget about you. But their e-mail is there to stay and refer back to when they’re ready to shop.

 

MailChimp is easy to use and hey, you can’t beat free! If you’re lost with ideas for content, or how to get people to sign up for your newsletter, stay tuned because I have a whole list of ideas I’ll be posting soon!

If you’re ready to dive in, check out the post on 5 steps to starting your craft business newsletter building your list!

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS WHERE I MAY RECEIVE A SMALL PROFIT FOR USING MY LINKS. BUT THAT DOES NOT MEAN YOUR PRICE IS HIGHER, IT JUST ENABLES ME TO KEEP WRITING THIS BLOG AND STAY HOME WITH MY SON. BUT I PROMISE THAT THESE ARE ALL PRODUCTS I RECOMMEND AND USE MYSELF.

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Meet The Girls: Betty Budgeter

It’s time for another HoopMama Talk.

We just finished a week where people spent a lot of money for Black
Friday shopping and will continue to spend as Christmas gets closer.
Here’s what is about to happen and you may be seeing some of it happen
already. People are budgeting, they’re watching their money and trying
to stretch their pennies.

Here’s some do’s and don’ts for some common situations you’ll see a lot, especially in the next few weeks.

Let me introduce you to Betty Budgeter. Betty wants something for her
kids for Christmas and asks you for a quote. You tell her $35. She in
return says “can you do $20?” You want the sale, but realize you’re not
in the lowball business. But you’re stuck with how to reply.

DON’T: DO NOT APOLOGIZE for your pricing! I see so many posts “I’m so
sorry, I can’t go to $20 but I can do $25?” NOOOOOOOOO!!!! STOP!!!! I
ask Target all the time to lower my total before check out and I don’t
get anything! (Kidding, I don’t ask…I just wish it wasn’t as high) In
fact, it’s on me to use coupons, shop smart, and to use my Target Red
Card for my 5% off.

DO: Without taking it personally reply calmly
with, “At this time, I do not have any current promotions. However, if
you allow me to sign you up for my e-mail list, I do send out a 5% (or
whatever you choose) coupon code for first time customers! Would you
like me to sign you up?” (End your sentence with a question that moves
you FORWARD to an end result. Otherwise, you’ll be going in circles with
her) If she asks you again if you could do $25, do not budge. Reply
with, “as I mentioned, I do not have any promotions at this time. Would
you like me to sign you up for the newsletter?” Usually 2 times will
give them enough of a feel for if you will budge or not.

If Betty says “but it’s just a a wal-mart t-shirt, I can make this myself”

DO NOT: Break down your pricing about what you pay for what! I see so
many posts where the ladies go “I know but I have to buy the shirt,
that’s $5, then I have to buy the vinyl/thread, that’s another $6, plus
the design, that’s $4, plus I have to drive out to Armadillo, TX to get
it which is $27 in gas, so I’m actually losing money doing this *sad
face sad face.*” STAHHHHP!!!! When I read these I cringe! If you’re
doing this as a business, OWN your pricing. You decided on it for a
reason. If you don’t stand firm in it, you will always get “runned-over”

DO: Reply again calmly with “I understand that the pricing is not
something that works for your budget right now. I do stand behind the
quality and craftsmanship of my items and I’m positive you will be happy
with the final product. If it does not work for you right now, please
remember me in the future”

If Betty uses the “so-and-so is selling this same thing for $12” ridiculousness…

DON’T: Talk bad about the so-and-so. Don’t go on and on about how they
use poor products and people complain all the time about them. Just
don’t. Speaking bad about someone else reflects poorly on your
character. It’s best to avoid this at all costs.

DO: Reply with
your benefits rather than their downfalls. “I understand my pricing may
not fit in everyone’s budget. I do use the highest quality materials on
the market to ensure a product that will last for more than one use. My
return customers say that they love my products because of the quality
of craftsmanship and detail. I understand that there are other
businesses who sell similar items to me, but I will stand behind my
products 100% and I would love create this for you. If you would like to
move forward with me, I am positive you will love the final product.”

Betty is pretty gutsy and she may even say “fine, my daughter has a
“cricket” I’ll just have her make it. Where did you get the shirt?”

DO NOT: Cuss her out. 🙂

DO: While blocking or just ignoring is what you want to do, remember…
her “daughter with a cricket” doesn’t have a Cricut, she’s just pinned a
lot of things on Pinterest. Once again reply professionally with a
simple response that clearly shows you are not a teacher/tutor or
advisor. A simple “Thank you for your interest in my shop, if you need
to purchase from me in the future, please let me know
:)”

If you are doing this as a business, remember who the boss is and who
makes the rules. You set the tone for the customers you attract. If you
make your prices “work for everyone” then you aren’t really targeting
your business. Betty may not be your ideal client. Betty may be someone
who needs to save for your product. This whole situation is a reflection
of BETTY, not you! Tiffany’s doesn’t apologize that I can’t afford
their 27 karat necklace. If it’s something I wanted enough, I would work
hard and save to make it happen.

Keep that in mind and make sure you are marketing to your ideal client.

NOW, I know a lot of you DO like to help out people and make things
work for their budget. This is where you can use the “if you sign up for
my newsletter, I can offer you x% off”

This gets their
information in your customers list to market to for future products,
sales, and promotions. You NEEEEEEEED an e-mail list! Betty may be out
of money in December, but in April she will remember that you are firm
in your pricing, and she will use her tax return money to splurge in
your shop.

In summary: Don’t apologize, or explain yourself. Be
you. Grow YOUR business and don’t worry about the “other guy.” YOU DO
YOU!!!!

This concludes today’s HoopMama Talk.

Where do
you start with a newsletter?: Mail Chimp is who I use for mine and
they’re FREE for up to 2000 subscribers!- (AFIL link)
http://eepurl.com/cmc14X

Meet The Girls: Barbara McBurnout

‘TIS THE SEASON FOR COMPETITION! FA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA BLAH!!!

Let’s talk about competition really quickly. A lot of you may be having
“me too” girls pop up in your town. You know the ones that live by the
“I can make anything! Shirts, hats, rocket ships and even submarines!!
AND I sell it 75% less then my competition!!!” motto. But guys. Trust
me. She is NOT your competition! She is Barbara McBurnout and she will not last!

Even if she does stick around for longer than you
would like, do not let her effect your business and do not let her set
your mindset each day. Yes, she’s annoying. Yes, it’s okay to silently
want to punch her in the ankle. But guess what?? The man upstairs knows
what you need! Has he let you down this far? No? Okay. So don’t worry
about what she does. Her standards of quality items and lack of
expertise will come through to her market and you will be the one left
standing!

I said in the
2017 HoopMama Crafter’s Calendar and it has been one of MY personal
mottos that has helped me grow so much – DO NOT WORRY ABOUT WHAT ANYONE
ELSE IS DOING. You’re ONLY job is to make sure YOU’RE doing what YOU’RE
supposed to be doing and called to do. God and karma will take care of
the rest.

In the words of my sweet friend Jessica, “He’s never failed me before and he ain’t gonna stop this week.”

So tell Barbs “bye bye bye” and keep doing what you do. If anything,
let her drive you to grow and be better everyday… but do not let her
tempt you to lower yourself to her level. She’s attracting the “can I
get this for free?” people while you’re attracting the ones who say “are
you sure you’re charging enough?” And that’s exactly where you want to
be.

You’ve got this guys. Sending prayers up for anyone who needs a little extra motivation today!

Meet The Girls: Mary, Susie & Jill

I have a question. A serious question. It seems like I’m seeing more of
my designs being copied and shared in file share groups and I come
across them daily. Theft and morals aside. I’m trying to understand WHY
someone would want to share a file they paid for? Or even why they would
share one they copied for their own personal use? This is already a
very saturated market, why would you SHARE with your competitors? If you
bought a file, you now did something that someone else wasn’t willing
to do. Therefore, YOU will stand out. By sharing that file… and in
most cases in groups of 20k+ members… YOU just CREATED competition!
Even if you created your own “version” and didn’t pay for the design…
by sharing it with others… you now just ELIMINATED your own
uniqueness!

I do understand giving and sharing as I really try to
do a lot of it myself. But what I don’t understand is in business, why
you would share your work with other businesses? Especially in large
groups where you do not know their intention.

If you’re doing it
out of the goodness of your heart, I commend you and I love your
spirit. However, remember that copying a design and sharing it with 20k
people literally just stole money from the original designer. You may be
doing it out of good will, but the punch in the gut is to the original
creator that worked on it for many hours, when all you did was find
similar fonts, made your own version, and shared it. It may have taken
you 15 minutes to recreate… but that’s because hours of work had
already been done for you. And that is the person you stole from in
order to do “something nice.”

Last I checked, Tiffany’s does not
share items they curate with other stores. When I first started I would
use the common fonts from places like dafont but now I spend time,
energy and (lots of) money finding commercial use fonts that cannot be
found for free at all. My whole purpose in that is trying to be hard to
replicate. As soon as I see a font become well known… I move on to
another one I enjoy. I do this on purpose to stand out. Which is why
these file share groups just confuse me. You should want to stand out
too!

I promise I’m not writing this out of anger. Annoyance to a
degree, but not anger. Most of you know that my vision for MY business
is to help you grow in YOUR business, so believe me when I say I’m just
trying to understand. My view with all these file sharing groups… is
that not only are you sitting in a stagnant pool with people all using
the same designs that “everyone has” and that “anyone can do,” but
you’re also limiting your own potential to stand out!!!

Obviously
my business is designing and I would love for you to buy my files. I
would also love for YOU to MAKE MONEY from my files on your completed
products! I know this is the heart of many designers as well. And it
just doesn’t make sense to me to steal from the person whose PURPOSE is
to help YOU succeed.

In summary:

This is Mary. Mary found
a file she likes. Mary doesn’t want to buy it so she makes her own.
Mary is happy that people like the file and want it for themselves. Mary
then shares it in a group of 75,000 people, and takes credit for it and
never acknowledges the original creator.

Don’t be like Mary.

This is Susie. Susie found a file she likes and decides that her time
to recreate and money to buy commercial use for fonts is worth more than
the $3 that the file costs. Susie buys the file and decides to share
her finished product with a group of 75,000 people. People ask for the
file. Susie directs them to where she purchased the file so they can
purchase it for themselves.

Be like Susie.

But now let’s meet Jill.

This
is Jill. Jill spends hours searching for a design and finally sees a
design she likes. Jill buys it. Jill does not like to show her work
because she does not want her competitors to get on her trail. Jill does
not speak of HoopMama because she wants to keep her tucked away with
the Halloween candy she’s hiding from the kids. But Jill also knows
right from wrong and speaks up when she sees designs being shared or
copied illegally.

It’s totally okay to be like Jill too. We like Jill.

But today… I had to share my “be like Susie” shirt because you Susie’s make my day every day!!!

(And I promise the duck lips are just to mimic the mock-up of the
little girl going around. I promise I don’t take selfies like this

How I Paid Off 40k As A Crafter

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. BUT THESE ARE ALL PRODUCTS I RECOMMEND AND USE MYSELF.

Debt seems to be something that stands in the way for most people in many areas of their lives. Many crafters are just moms wanting to contribute somehow to the family income. There are also many crafters making over the 6 figure mark and solely support their family financially. But regardless of income from crafting, if most of it goes to pay bills, then that takes away from the joy in our craft.
This post is to help you find ways to pay down consumer debt such as credit cards, so that the money we earn from crafting can be enjoyable and have a purpose.
When I first married my husband, we read Dave Ramsey’s book, ”
Total Money Makeover” and listened to his podcasts every day. In case you haven’t heard of him, he is a huge advocate for getting out of debt and building wealth.
Now, some things we chose not to follow such as selling our cars, even though our payments combined were $1100/month. Yuck! Dave Ramsey suggests that if you can’t pay your cars off in 2 years, then to sell them and buy a “junker” with cash. We loved our cars and decided we could pay them off fast enough to where that monthly payment wouldn’t be a big ding to our checkbook for much longer. We were focused and driven. We knew we had credit card debt and student loan debt out the wazoo… but we wanted a house… we wanted a future… and honestly… we wanted some wealth.
I had a full time job, taught yoga and crafted on the side. Hubs worked overtime, and got a 2nd job. Now remember, we were 25 and no kids. Obviously it’s a little easier to get two jobs when there aren’t little ones running around. But there are ALWAYS ways to find extra money to throw at debt, regardless of population of your home. You just may have to be a little creative… or run on a few less hours of sleep for a while.

Here are 4 Things We Did That Led To Our Debt Payoff Success.

  1. We Said “No.” – We actually said “no,” a lot. We ate meals at home to save money. We didn’t go out with friends often, but when we did, we set a budget before we left. We planned out our grocery trips and did meal planning. We didn’t spend any money unless it was agreed on before hand. No, we weren’t zombies. But we found cheaper alternatives to spending time together. Which actually made us closer. And I found out that I can only beat my husband in Rummy about 1 out of 76 times.
  2. We Did Extra. – There wasn’t much couch time in our home while we were focused on getting out of debt. I picked up extra yoga classes, I advertised my boutique, I worked overtime… basically if I wasn’t making money, I was thinking of ways TO make money. I read Dan Miller’s Books, 48 Days To The Work You Love and No More Mondays, and even though I am not a reader, I was so encouraged by these books to find something I actually cared about and to find success in doing them. My husband worked overtime as it was allowed by his job and he sold a lot of items around the house that just weren’t needed anymore. Then, everything over the amount we needed for bills, food, and gas, went directly to pay down debt. And boy it was amazing to watch those credit card balances go down!
  3. We Set Goals – We had a goal date to pay things off. We broke that down monthly with what needed to be paid in order to meet that date. If we got off track, we made adjustments. Even if that meant adjusting the goal date, we would do that. We checked in monthly with our progress and made sure we were still on target. If the goal wasn’t hit, we didn’t discard the goal. We adjusted it. Meaning, we didn’t forget about it and say “oh well that didn’t happen… let’s order pizza.” Instead we adapted, and reset, and got back on track.
  4. We Stayed Focused. – Notice I say “we” a lot. This was not an individual effort by any means. My husband was 100% on the same page with me throughout the entire process. This is probably the main thing that made us successful. Dave Ramsey often says that finances are the #1 cause for divorce. I believe it. I’m so grateful to have a man that saw eye to eye with me and that we were able to power through. We did have times where we caved a bit and went to dinner or spent some money on some fun things, but we agreed on the extra expense and we went right back to work attacking debt. We did it together. And we were able to not only pay off $40,000 in debt, but also save $15,000 for a down payment on our first home. All in 18 months!

I think the biggest takeaway from Dave Ramsey’s teachings, for me anyway, is to tell your money where to go. You can’t throw money in your bank account and “hope” bills are paid with it. You have to consciously say “this money is for this,” and not allow the 2 year old inside you to ask for the new toy with that money instead.
For me, telling that 2 year old inside to hush wasn’t that hard. I’ve always been very money goal oriented. There’s a line from the movie Office Space where he says “if I could do anything I wanted and money didn’t matter, I would do nothing.” And that always resonated with me. I never had anything that I was passionate about enough to do if there wasn’t money in it. Thank goodness with HoopMama Designs, LLC, I have finally found something I would do even if there wasn’t any profit in it, (thank goodness there is.) But if you’re goal oriented like I am, you’ll be ready and willing to make sacrifices in order to see the rewards.

As Crafters, Here Are 6 Ideas You Can Try In Order To Start Your Debt Pay Down Journey.

  1. Monogram Sale – Find items from the Dollar Store that you can personalize with names or monograms for quick sales. Tote bags, cups, kitchen towels, plates… etc. Be creative and give incentives to get more items purchased at once. For example, offering a “5 item for $25 sale” may grab some interest and put some money in your bank account quickly.
  2. Sample Sales – Have extra bodysuits or other supplies laying around? Take some time and whip out some new items and offer them at a “Special Intro Price.” This also helps you build your inventory as well as grab a few customers. Don’t forget to take excellent pictures to add to your shop.
  3. Teach a Class – If you are skilled in your trade, maybe teach a class to school students. Obviously you may not want to teach people in your community how to be your competitor, but high school and college students may be a great market to target. Who knows, when you’re ready to hire an employee, you may be able to grab one from your graduating class!
  4. Host a Party – We’ve all seen the sign paint parties. These are easy enough to host yourself! If you have a cutting machine, you would just need to make some stencils, grab some paint, brushes and wood, and you’re set! If you’re an embroidery girl, you could supply scarves, legwarmers, totes, or other (cheap) items and set up a monogramming station and let them monogram their own items. All involving wine of course. This would make for a great girls night! Cutting for Business has a GREAT book of ideas here’s where you can get yours: (15 Ideas For Parties with Your Cutting Machine)
  5. Sell That Stuff – The stuff that’s been sitting there FOREVER that you SWORE you needed. I mean, you had that coupon, I know you had to get it. But it’s STILL sitting there. Sell it. De-cluttering helps with the creative process as well!
  6. Be Creative – Think outside the box. Don’t follow what your competitors are doing. Do something different. Something that makes you stand out and will bring in profit. Try not to buy MORE items to make things happen unless you can do it without going into debt because obviously the goal here is to try to eliminate debt.

Since paying off the first $40k, we have paid off the rest of our student loan debt ($75k), purchased several big box items with cash (furniture, tv’s, washer/dryer, embroidery machines, etc.,) have purchased land and are starting to build a new home. Trust me, I can’t count the times my husband and I will stop and just take note of how blessed we are. And it’s all because we worked hard to be here and told our money where to go..and obviously by the favor of God.
I won’t lie at all… when I say we worked…we really worked. We were tired. It was hard. But it was worth it to have freedom that enabled me to quit my day job and be home with my son. Even with my business now… I work harder than I ever have in my life. But when I look back and even when I look around now… I know it was all worth it. HoopDaddy has also been promoted 3 times in 6 years and is now a Vice President in his company. I know his hard work at the beginning of our marriage helped set that pace. Getting out of consumer debt helped shape our lives. I can honestly say that I am so excited about what the future holds. I will always encourage and pray for each of you in your journey of debt freedom as well!

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