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Craft a fulfilling, independent career using genius you didn’t know you had. I offer 20+ years’ experience in brand strategy, a top 1% Etsy shop, and tons of unconventional advice. Tell me about your business and let’s see how I can help. Advice is often free.


A Solopreneur’s Notebook

  • A Beautiful Etsy Shop Gets Fresh Ideas for Growth

    Periodically, people who’ve seen me in Etsy’s forums ask for help. I’ve decided (with permission) to start sharing some of their stories here. So the other day, I heard from the charming Helene at HandmadeByLN. She makes handmade yoga bags and other products for a market she calls “Hippie Chic” and “Bohemian”. I received the following email: I see that you are super active…

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  • 11 Creative Ways to Find Your Target Market for Etsy and Small Business

    Your target market includes anyone who buys your products. While most of us have a sense of the broad groups (women, ages 20-60, who like our products), market segmentation (what I’m really talking about here) can help us narrow the field into manageable groups for whom we can: Develop Products Develop Promotional Campaigns Drive Social Media Campaigns Focus Your Brand…

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  • 10 Things Solopreneurs & Etsy Shops Can Do When Business Is Slow

    A lot of shops and freelancers experience a significant reduction in business for certain periods. Some slow down in January, others in April. Some could just about close up shop all summer long. People often attribute these declines things like: The realities are probably more complex and include things like increased competition, diminished demand, seasonal shifts, and plenty more. The…

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  • Why Etsy Rank & Alexa Don’t Matter for Etsy Shops

    Periodically, someone posts on the Etsy forums about Alexa or any number of website traffic ranking sites that exist.  There seems to be a lot of concern and confusion about what these ranking sites are really about, so I wanted to try and clear some of that up.  I spent the weekend researching the issue after yet another one of those posts…

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  • What Is A Brand? It’s Not A Stinking Logo, That’s For Sure.

    Once upon a time, your brand was simply your logo. Historically, as with homogeneous cattle, a brand a uniquely identifying mark that said “this is mine” in a prairie of brown bovines. A graphical representation of a company name in a sea of similar companies. For many, the brand is still the logo. Many graphic designers could give a five…

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  • 6 Simple Strategies to Improve Your Customer Service on Etsy and Beyond

    A lot of Etsy and micro business sellers struggle with customer issues.  They fear bad feedback, confusion, and getting screwed.  I’ve never really had these concerns (much), so I wanted to offer up a few quick tips on how to improve your level of service.  I brought to mind some techniques I learned from managing call centers, shopping at service-oriented…

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  • The Problem With Positive Thinking

    People talk a lot of hope and positive thinking.  “Think positive!” “I don’t like all this negativity!” As if hope and happy thoughts deliver results.  But positive thinking in a vacuum is never enough to achieve any goal, to drive any business forward, or to become the person you want to be.  Positive thinking must be accompanied by action in…

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  • Etsy: Wholesale and the Subscription Box Conundrum

    I’ve had a ton of wholesale orders for subscription boxes last year (and at least one this year). I posted a while ago about why it makes me uncomfortable and most responses said, “Hey, money in the pocket! Exposure! It’s all good!” I decided these were valid points and rolled with it. In one such box last year, I did…

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  • Etsy Help: Slow Sales, Low Views? Get Some Creative Solutions

    We’ve all seen them. Etsy forum threads complaining about slow. Low views, no sales. I know how frustrating it can be. I’ve been there. People often chime in with thoughts of Etsy changing, election years, elephants stampeding across the continent, and all manner of things beyond your control. If you want to cry, have at it. But if you want…

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  • 7 Reasons You’re Not Selling on Etsy

    Almost every day a seller checks on the forums to see if anyone else’s sales are down. While this can be helpful if it leads to solutions, it can also mire you in “things suck for everyone, I’ll just bury my head in the sand and wait it out”. Which simply doesn’t aid growth. While outside forces can impact any…

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  • Owning A Business Is Work, Yo

    So I’ve been neglecting this site to work on Flytrap, my other creative child.  I typically take the summers off, but with a new product line launch and ideas about expanding into wholesale again, my summer days haven’t been spent reading and walking the dogs (though I do manage to squeeze that in, too).  Instead, it’s all branding and collateral…

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  • How To Respond To Bad or Negative Feedback or Reviews on Etsy

    It always sucks to get a bad review. Especially as nano businesses on Etsy (my shop is Flytrap), we craft our products from ourselves, making them part of our very identity. So when someone leaves us a review we don’t like, it might feel like they’ve shoved that dagger into our hearts and told us our work sucks, we suck,…

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  • Selling On Etsy: Slow Sales or Sales Decline

    It can be frustrating when your sales or views drop off and you’re not sure why.  It’s awfully tempting to look at Etsy and wonder what they’re doing to screw with your business.  And while there may be a little validity to such curiosity, it doesn’t help you solve the problem. Nobody’s business ever grew because they scapegoated Etsy and…

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  • How to Store Product for Etsy, Amazon, eBay and Other Home Based Businesses

    This was my office closet a month ago.  Shit everywhere. Random cellophane sleeves that matched no product. Inflexible shelving at inappropriate heights.  One broken printer, one hated printer.  Nowhere to put overflow product. No ability to find anything. Ever. Is this you at all? For those of us who run a home based product business (as opposed to service businesses,…

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  • Office Design for Stylish and Uncluttered Product Storage

    One of the endless struggles of having a product-based business is figuring out how to achieve uncluttered product storage.  It was easier in the early days when I printed on demand.  No bullshit inventory taxes.  No product storage issues.  Now, I not only store product (greeting cards, small boxes, and sticky notes), but I also have to store all the…

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  • Flytrap Packaging Gets a Sexy Makeover

    You may have noticed Flytrap’s updated logo. But the fun doesn’t stop there.  Truth is, every few years I just get straight up sick of everything Flytrap and revamp it all again.  Some branding experts would probably speak of the error in my ways while wearing charcoal suits and paisley ties.  But I’m pretty sure Flytrap customers don’t care —…

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  • How To Print Flytrap Sticky Notes at VistaPrint

    When VistaPrint got its start, small business owners seemed to flock to them for promotional goods.  In the early days, the quality was pretty questionable.  But when I started printing sticky notes with them in 2010, I never had a problem.  Since, their customer service is exceptional and the print quality just fine for these types of products and/or gifts. …

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  • The Taxman Cometh And Bringeth A Sickle

    Nothing turns me into a crazy person quite like tax season.  J will start asking me about mileage and why Cost of Goods Sold falls into Income and my head starts spinning in Exorcistian circles while I vomit green bile, filth, and hatred at the man with whom I’ve chosen to share my life.  If I am ever going to…

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  • Easy Trick To Print Your Own Sticky Notes, 3″ x 3″

    Over at Flytrap, customers keep asking about expired designs I no longer produce.  So  I’m experimenting with printable designs and want to make sure it’s as easy as possible for customers to purchase and print those items themselves.  Not only is it more affordable for them, but it’s easier for me to manage the distribution of products no longer offered…

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I create content and tools for creative solopreneurs, Etsy sellers, home makers, and self improvers. You'll get fresh perspectives to help you discover and experience a little more yay every day.

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