Review & giveaway: Crafty Girls Talk

The winners of this giveway are commenter #36, Penny, and commenter #102, Reine.  See the full announcement here.


Have you ever wondered what it takes to turn your crafty skills into a crafty business? Imagine if you could sit down with women who have done just that, maybe have a conversation over coffee, and listen to their stories. You could hear from them how they came to their craft, what their motivation is, and how they manage to get it all done. They’d tell you the biggest challenges – and the biggest rewards – of their crafty endeavors.

In Crafty Girls Talk, Jennifer Forest brings the conversation to you. She interviews 20 women who have built businesses around their craft. Her interviewees span the globe, from Australia to the United States and places between. She talks with knitters, sewers, embroiderers, and more who have followed a variety of paths as writers, designers, store owners, travel guides, etc. You’ll recognize many of the names, but you’re also sure to find some new faces new to you as well. The conversations are in-depth and honest.

If you’re looking for some inspiration to take your craft to the next level, or just want to learn more about women who have followed their craft, this is the book for you. Make yourself a pot of coffee or pour a cup of tea, and curl up with Crafty Girls Talk.

The Giveaway

Jennifer has a paper copy of Crafty Girls Talk and a Kindle edition to give away to Craft Gossip readers.

To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment here telling me the question you’d most like to ask someone who has turned their craft into a business. Please also tell me whether you want to be entered for the paper copy or the Kindle edition (or both). I’ll choose one paper copy winner and one Kindle version winner at random from the comments.

Giveaway ends Wednesday, January 30, 2012.


  1. Gypsy Obermiller says

    I would ask how do you get started with lots of creativity, but NO capital? Is there a way to start with basically the crafts on your shelf?

    I am interested in the paper copy please! :)

  2. Sally Anderson says

    I have an obvious and way-too-broad question (which may have been asked by all others in this contest) but here it goes: How did you do it? I mean, you can’t just one day say all my stuff is for sale and expect people to come beat down your door! So what makes it happen? How do you get people to you and then to your products?

  3. Honora says

    I would love to ask Jennifer how to go from making things You love, that are your vision,and taste to making things that are being customized by clients color and style choices. I would love to have either version of the book!

  4. says

    This sounds great it’s so difficult to choose just one question I guess I would ask is this where you want to stay or is there now another goal? Adding this to my wishlist as we speak. Cx (I’m a kindle fan

  5. Kathrynn says

    I would like to know which internet site (if any) is the best to list your stuff for sale. I would like a paper copy please, I like the feel of a book in my hands. Thanks for the awesome giveaway.

  6. Christine Thompson-Lucas says

    Hi, I have been into the arts and craft business as long as I remember from the age of 8 when my aunt taught me to crochet… I had an artist store in 2000, but had to close in 2004. I taught painting and had 13 artist with their creations for sale. My question is how do you keep it going… I closed in 2004 because of sales and small town.. Now I am semi-retired and do my art and crafts at home. Christine’s Creations is my artist business. Small but I love the arts. I do not have a kindle..This is a wonderful site to visit.. Thank you for that…

  7. Kathy E. says

    I would like to know what you do to keep yourself organized with orders/payments/deliveries, etc. Do you use a spreadsheet or written notes or some software? I would like a paper copy please, if I win.

  8. Emily says

    I would ask them at what point did their craft turn from hobby to career. I have a Kindle so I am fine with either copy of the book.

  9. says

    What do you do to get yourself through the long, tough days, when you wonder if you’ve really taken the right path?!

    I like to have an indulgent day of TLC and looking through lovely books and websites for creative inspiration to get me back on the positive track…which is why I’d love a new book! A printed book, not a Kindle copy, thanks.

  10. Linda Noll says

    I would like to know at what point did you go pro. Was it income or was it just a decision to open a business and see what would happen?

  11. says

    My question would be – How do you balance your time between promoting, networking, researching, development, miscellaneous business tasks and finding time to actually create items to sell? I’ve been at it for a couple of years now, and find this to be my biggest stumbling block. I’d love the Kindle version so I can read it on the run – thank you!

  12. RaDonna Murner says

    How to overcome the fear of rejection.

    I’d like either version. I love reading books, but equally love my Kindle.

  13. Sheila says

    I’d like to know how people walk that fine line between promoting their business on social media and spamming their social media contacts.

  14. Lowena says

    My question is when is it the right time to quit your day job? As well as how do you deal with problem clients?

    I would like to have a paper copy please

  15. says

    I make collectors teddy bears, currently i could not survive on the income i get from them but it is growing. I am concerned that if i were to make this a full time job i would not enjoy sewing so much as there is so much more pressure to get pieces made. At the moment i can take my time & relax while i sew. How do you stop a loved hobby turning into something that causes you stress due to financial commitments?

    I would like a paper copy please

  16. Claire C says

    I want to start up in business for myself but I am afraid to make the move.I do many different crafts hence I have lots of different items in my stock pile. I have sold lots of items to friends and work colleagues so I think everything I make is good enough. Perhaps this year I will do it.

    I would like to have a paper copy please.

  17. says

    My question would be do you start with a lot of inventory first and then ope an online store or do you start with what you have and go from there?

  18. Lexi says

    How did you know it was the “right ” craft to focus on? Id love to read this in either format, I love my kindle!
    Thanks for the chance!

  19. Carrie L says

    I’d like to know–is it worth it? Does it pay enough to make it worth the time and hard work? Is it satisfying? Those are questions I would have! (I’d take either the paper or the Kindle copy!)

  20. says

    Since like most artisans, I’ve got “artist’s ADD” and feel sometimes like I spread myself too thin with the various ways I create, I’d like to ask how the person decided what to focus on, or if they successfully kept up with everything they liked to make.

    Paper version, please. Haven’t got an eReader. Thanks!

  21. says

    I would really like to know how to generate sales from my website. I have tried Google Adwords and had very little success.

    Kindle version would be fine for me, but either one will work. Thank you for the chance to win!

  22. Bernie L says

    How to you strike a balance between charging to much and making it worth the time to make things. Can you charge too little for a handmade piece, and can that keep your sales down?
    I would enjoy the paper copy.

  23. Janet Pierce says

    I would like to know how you chose what you were going to make and sell, and then how you promoted it to keep the sales going. By the way, thanks for the giveaway.

  24. Dana says

    I’d really like to learn marketing methods, because I love making the crafts but feel very uncomfortable promoting them :) I’d love to have the paper copy (do not have kindel :))- many thanks for the chance to win!

  25. Elisabetta says

    I’d like the e-book by the fact that I am Italian, but I don’t have a kindle reader…
    I can ask my cousin to keep the paper book for me too, she’s in PA
    I’d like to know what changed their mind to let understand they were able to pass prof.

  26. Lyn Lewis says

    No Kindle sorry!
    Would love the opportunity to take part in the draw for the paper copy please?
    Im stood on the edge of making the decision……should I jump in to seriously selling my crafts or not!! lol

  27. Wendy Hatton says

    I find the internet side of promoting very time consuming (and uninspiring). How do you manage this efficiently without finding yourself at the computer all day?
    I’d love a paper copy if possible please.

  28. Penny says

    I would love to learn how to attract investors. I have owned my own business before and continued to work full time … not enough hours in the day! My dream is to open a craft supplies business in my area. I’d love a paper copy, please and thanks for the chance to win.
    Blessings to All!

  29. Raina says

    I would like to know if you start on a site like Etsy would you have a bunch of different things for sale or just a few to start with? I would love a paper copy if I win.

  30. Tatiana says

    I would like to know when was the moment that they decided to quit their jobs, and to dedicate fully to the business…

    It doesn’t matter to me, paper copy or kindle edition would be great!


  31. Adriene says

    Getting into the craft business world seems to be a little scary! ; )
    There is a lot of talented competition out there!
    Is it better to just start off small and take it as it comes? Or is it wise to dream big and plan as if this is going to take off and allow you to quit your day job?

    I’d love a paper copy!

    Thank you!

  32. Dee Blucher says

    It always seem to be a constant struggle for me… producing work that both satisfies my creative side and also can support myself financially. It seems when an item sells well I get burnt out from having to mass produce it. Is there way to balance both?

  33. Jessie says

    I am interested mainly in teaching. I would like to know what experience people have had teaching on their own, as opposed to teaching at a shop.

  34. candy says

    How to market locally and globally – what works best. Especially for classes locally and art globally. Kindle version please

  35. Sarah Hardy says

    How to get into a competitive craft show. What are they really looking for in their selection. I would like either print or kindle version. Thanks!

  36. Shari Harniss says

    My questions- How long before you were operating in the black? What would you do differently?
    Either edition would be great!

  37. Melissa Hall says

    I just want to know…HOW…How do you get yourself started in the business?? HOw do you make “fresh”, new items? So many questions…

  38. says

    I would love to know how these crafters make the jump from hobby to business/ when you know it’s OK to quit your day job? I am a book junkie, I would love the paper copy!

  39. Marijo Hinton says

    I would like to know how these clever women judge what upcoming trends are – including colors, etc. I would prefer a paper copy of the book. Thank you.

  40. Jeanne says

    How much time do you devote to creating versus business aspects? How have you worked to maintain a balance between these areas?

    Either format would be great.

  41. says

    My question is – if you turn your hobby into a business, is it still a hobby or just a JOB? Doesn’t it kill the joy of crafting and creativity? For example – I craft because I feel like it and make what I feel like making… is it still fun when you have to make exactly ABC for customer XY ?
    if I win I would like the paper version of the book. Thanks.

  42. Esmeralda says

    I would like to know how you organize your Mom self from your Business Woman Self in order to make sure your family still gets the much needed time with you?

    I would like the paper edition. : )

  43. says

    Convertir tu pasión en negocio, un punto muy interesante, si el conocimiento es universal, cómo hacer para vender y no tener problemas con los derechos de autor?

    Me encantaría tener la versión en papel.


    Costa Rica

  44. says

    I guess I would like to know this “How do you know if the products you are creating will be sought after?” and what is the best way to test market them?
    I would really like the paperback copy, if I am lucky enough to win it.
    Thanks so much.

  45. smfsprout says

    The question I would like to ask is did your craft stop being ‘fun’ when you turned it into a career.
    I would like to win either version of the book. Thanks.

  46. redcarousellion says

    you only want 1 question? LOL

    I guess the key one, is how did you know what you were doing was going to be profitable and could sustain you.

    I would want the paperback version if selected

  47. Christine says

    How do you get help without revealing too much about your idea, thus taking a chance on it getting stolen out from under you?

    I’ll keep my fingers crossed for the paperback book – I prefer “real” books: the feel, ease of making notes, etc.

  48. Amber says

    This book would be so helpful as the internet has most information that a person would need scattered too and fro. It would be nice to have it all in one convenient go to place. Thank you so much for the chance and good luck to everyone. Either copy, paperback or kindle, would be most appreciated, as it doesn’t matter the form, it is the treasure that lies within. TY

  49. amber luvisi says

    I would love to find out how to go about pricing the pieces i make. Supplies can sometimes be pretty expensive and i sometimes feel like im not making much off of my projects after its all said and done.
    I would love to be entered to win either type of book.
    thank you!

  50. Rose says

    How does one get started in selling the products? Thank you for a wonderful giveaway & I would prefer paper as I don’t have a Kindle!

  51. Lori Morton says

    I would ask, Where is best starting point…online…find a store that will sell your things, or craft shows? Soooo complicated…tho know I sure didn’t have much luck at any Craft shows we participated in. :(

    Would looooove the paper book version! :)

  52. jo says

    I would like to know how to get the confidence and how to approach people to sell my items. My only experience is when they buy it off my body. I would like to win the paper copy please.

  53. Mary Mac says

    I have a very small craft company (just me) I make and sell my own cards. Do you set a certain about of time each day/week to your company.

  54. says

    i would like to know what to do if you sell things and do good but how to get the price you want. i live in a small town in the south in the country and we have a flea mkt. every month. i have to be careful of my prices because the people do not seem to want to give a good price. i am not the only one that has this problem. i have talked to others and they have the same problem. thanks for helping me.

  55. Shawn Johnson says

    I would like a paper copy and my question is____Do you have to spend alot of money or time advertising your product?

  56. Jane T says

    Either format would be fine with me should I win. I would ask someone how do you make money selling over the internet when people don’t like to pay for your time when you handmake items.

  57. Elizabeth Brooks says

    I would like to know if you receive equal attention to online and craft fair/market sales? If you receive more attention online, do you still like to have a presence at craft fairs/markets? Thank you very much for your answer and I would love the hard copy book, but I am equally happy if it is a digital copy!

  58. Karen Zumbrun says

    Hi, Thanks for the giveaway. I’d like to know how other people deal with time management. It seems there’s never enough time for my art.

  59. says

    I have question with idea originality. If I were to make something out of the ordinary, I’m bound to think that maybe the idea isn’t a sell-able idea but if I were to make something that is widely accepted, it may proved to be more difficult to stand out among others.

    Thank you for the winning chance. I would like the paper copy if I win this 😀

  60. Emily C says

    Paper copy please and I would like to know how to increase my production speed. I tend to take a while to make things.

  61. Sylvia G says

    I would like to know how they stay focused on their core product line and not diversify to other products based on other interest/latest trends. Also interested in marketing product suggestions,

  62. Karin says

    I would love to know how to go about trying to sell things I make. Giving some to charity is certainly an option, but that does not cover the cost of making things, if only in materials. Not to mention the space necessary to store all those ideas turned into reality.
    Please enter me for a copy of the book!

  63. Renee says

    Hi! I would very much like to know how one goes about putting a selling price on their self-crafted goods.

    And, I would very much like to get my hands on a printed version of the book.

  64. Karen Q says

    I have so many questions but i guess how and where do I get started selling on the internet? I would love to take my craft to the next level. I live in a small town that does not craft fairs or flea markets. I need a paper copy, do not have an ipad. Thank you for such a nice giveaway.

  65. Ning fathia says

    I would ask maybe the same thing with many others; “how do you stay ahead of mass produced craft competition?” you know when owl crocheted hat was a thing at every handmade shop? Now you can find it in every large scale department store at half price, with more color and size option, and ready to be bought. Clearly they’re machine made. How do you keep ahead while every innovation you made can be easily imitated by machine?

  66. Amy Grabenstein says

    If they were selling a craft, Did they make lots of things before they found the “ONE” item that started making money? Or Did they just get lucky. Or was it because they marketed the item a certain way? How and what was the turning point to being successful.

  67. Mica Anderson says

    I would ask them how was it to set up a business, was it difficult or not too bad? This is because I would like to do the same in the near future.

    Paper please!! :)

  68. Judith (from Israel) says

    I’d love to win the paper copy of the book.

    I’d love to ask how they made their businesses stand out from the others.

  69. says

    My question would be “how do the people in the craft/quilt/sewing worlds know what will be trending next season?” As the new market season approach’s, one can see that there is a favored color, favored theme, etc., going on with all the designers. How do they know?

  70. says

    I’d love to be entered for both types of book please.

    My question is “At what point do you decide not to continue making a product? Do you have a rule of thumb for example – if something doesn’t sell after a month it’s out?

    Linda xx

  71. Reine says

    I would like to ask them how they found the courage to believe in themselves.
    I would like to enter for both editions, paper & Kindle as I’d be rapt to win either!

  72. Kathy H says

    I would ask how they keep their inspiration fresh and keep their enthusiasm long term, especially when times are slow… Be especially blessed, Kathy

  73. Teresa says

    Inspiration is a great question, but I would also want to know how they keep the business seperate from their own soul feeding creativity?

  74. Lynette Panozzo says

    I love sewing and embroidery. I have quite a lot of both. Do I sell by word of mouth or e-bay?
    I would love to win either paper or kindle.
    Thank you

  75. Kim Valentine says

    I too would really love to know how to anticipate what’s hot for the upcoming season, trends, colors, etc. I’d also like some real advice as to how to keep my books ie: cogs & raw materials & inventory.
    Thanks for this opportunity ~ I’d love a paper copy!

  76. Marilize says

    I would love to know how you get over the fear of failure? I have been making small scale things to sell at craft markets, but nothing so serious that if it fails, it’ll derail me. I want to take the next step and really go for it, but honestly, I am scared. Now what?

    I would love an entry for the paper copy please.

  77. Beth T. says

    I’d like to know whether the business aspect of your craft “wrecked” the creative/joyful aspect, or whether it enhanced your pride and brought a new level of joy.

    I’d like to be entered for the paper copy, please.

  78. Carmen says

    Do you try and follow trends when creating your crafts, or do you just make what you think will sell? (either version is fine with me)

  79. Roxy says

    Thank you for such helpful tips! How do you price your items? How do you know when to change prices? Or when prices aren’t selling?

  80. mary fanara coleman says

    I would ask how to I keep my creations unique and special. So I wouldn’t get tired making the same thing over and over.

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