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Craft, Inc.: Turn Your Creative Hobby into a Business

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  1,123 ratings  ·  121 reviews
"Craft, Inc." is the ultimate guide to turning what you do for fun into what you do for money.

Ready to start a craft business, but you'd rather wield a crochet hook than a calculator? Let crafter-turned-entrepreneur Meg Mateo Ilasco teach you the basics of starting your own company, from developing products and securing a business license to selling your wares
Paperback, 160 pages
Published 2007 by Chronicle Books
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Average rating 3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,123 ratings  ·  121 reviews

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Aug 16, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone with an infant craft business
Shelves: arts-n-crafties
I found Craft Inc. to be the *almost* perfect business guide for the Etsy set. It is imperfect only because it is not the complete package. Craft Inc. gives the reader a starting place in just about every imaginable part of a craft business... unfortunately, that is all it gives the reader. If you are observant enough to notice where you need more information, and proactive enough to go and obtain it, Craft Inc will guide you in the right direction. And, truly, I suppose the people who are not o ...more
Jesse Schreier Kennard
Jan 20, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: crafty
Hmmm... what I learned? Outsourcing is the only way.

I have to say, there is a lot of information in this book, and maybe it's just that I'm not ready to dedicate my entire existence to my craft business, but really, the advice in here is delivered in a way that is really inaccessible for many folks.

Ilasco seldom refers to folks who may only have part-time availability or limited funds to get their business going. Instead she provides you with a laundry list of regulations and associations you need to c
Jan 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone
I originally picked Craft, Inc. up to help me decide if I really wanted to take the leap of turning my craft obsession from a hobby into my own business. By the time I got around to reading it, I had definitely decided to start pursuing the dream. With that being said, I think this book is a great tool for anyone that is dreaming of or actually pursuing the idea of a creative business.

It's an easy read, but still filled with just enough information to be a very helpful tool to keep by your side
Jul 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Doesn't say anything that won't be found for free on the internet.
Jan 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2008
(Adapted from
The ultimate dream for any artist and crafter is to be able to open up a shop where they can sell their creations and make a living from their passion. Thanks to sites like Ebay and Etsy, crafters can do just this. For those of you who think you might want to eventually swap out your 9-5 job to pursue a business based off your creative designs, then Craft, Inc.: Turn your creative hobby into a business, by Meg Mateo Ilasco, is your guide into getting your business started
May 02, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Just wasn't my cup of tea. I knew this book was focused on building a BIG craft business going into it, but I figured it would at least focus a little bit on keeping your business online or at least keeping your business in your home. But really, this is just a guide of how to make stuff so that big box stores want it with a little bit of how to outsource your production.
Dec 10, 2010 rated it liked it
A really great book shows us how everything is great and worth to die for
Mar 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone creative who wants to make money off their craft. AND, especially, MY PARTNERS!!!
Recommended to Kelly by: Crystal billian - just so SHE didn't have to read it!
This book was an amazing help in starting a craft based business! Starting up a Creative business, or any business for that matter, is not the easiest thing in the world, to say the least! But it is the American dream, no? Reading this book has helped me enormously in figuring out how to do all the basic functions to start my business. You can tell the author has gone through the same things 1 or 2 times, because everything she's figured out and written down I struggled through myself. But with ...more
Good cursory overview, and made me think about a lot of details that wouldn't have occurred to me otherwise. That said, I don't think it's honestly that great for someone just starting to think about this and just starting out - it nearly sent me into a state of paralysis. For someone who already overthinks things already, sometimes you need to just DO, and this book doesn't really encourage that.

I was also hoping for more detail on taxes and other actual requirements than was provided anywhere
Feb 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: grow-diy
This book is clearly written and well tailored to its specific audience - those who want to grow their creative, crafting hobby into a business. I appreciated the nice design (it's from Chronicle books, so of course) and how the chapter intros/summaries each had their own page - it was clear what you would get from each section of the book. I appreciated their emphasis on mission statement and that it's important for you, your ideas and your business to have one, as well as the section on when y ...more
Jul 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books I have read about making your creative business dreams into a reality.
Meg's book covers every topic imaginable; taking the reader through the ins and outs of being a creative force in business.
From finding your creative muse, to designing your products and finding your niche audience; you'll also find chapters that explain topics in great detail, such as:
production, pricing, marketing, everything you ever wanted to know about your on-line presence, social media
Nov 01, 2011 rated it it was ok
This book is for those who are craft and looking to start their own business--as is pretty obvious by the title. I myself have attempted to sell my various wares (to minor success), and I read this book in the hope that it would give me some good tips on how to increase my business potential. While it gives you the basics on being a legitimate business (writing a business plan, getting your business license, filing taxes for your business, etc), I felt that it was actually "too professional" com ...more
Lydia Rhyne
Sep 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
If you're thinking about starting a creative business, this book can be a great jumping off point. I agree with other reviews that the author gets pretty high level at times (overseas production, selling to large chain retailers, etc.) and while I am obviously VERY far from that point, I think it was still interesting to read about/imagine. She covers a lot of great basics regarding business licenses, insurance, and other logistics which offered a great reminder that starting a business is far f ...more
Oct 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: art, business, design
Really great for how short it is, but you'll also need a good business plan book and probably a legal guide as well. I suggest The Successful Business Plan by Rhonda Abrams, and The Craft Artist's Legal Guide by NOLO to complete your crafty biz. planning.

The Craft Inc. Business Planner makes a cute gift set for your entrepreneurial friends, but it isn't necessary. I'm still glad I bought the planner though. It's small, cute, and inspiring. For whatever reason, it adds a little fun to the initia
Mar 18, 2008 rated it really liked it
great book for the crafter turning pro. covers the business end when starting a craft biz like the difference between and llc and an s corp, when to charge sales tax, and other important legal stuff. also excellent financial advice for transitioning out your day job. great reference book.
also, good success stories/interviews from our favorite crafty ladies like denyse schmidt, jill bliss and lotta jansdottir.
Mar 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 50-page-rule, crafty
I think this book is probably excellent if you're at a serious, let's do this thing point in your crafting. Me? I'm just exploring the idea of having a creative hobby, so reading this book wasn't really all that useful, and perhaps that's why I had a hard time engaging with it. If you're more ready to go, though, then I'd recommend it, because it's heavy on the 'business' and less on the [say it in a weird voice, like you're talking about unicorns:] 'follow your dreams' language.
W.B. Abdullah
Feb 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: craftin-batch
Great book, read it in two days in under 3 hours while my daughter napped...motivational and inspirational for any creative minded person. The author answered a lot of my questions and gave me a sort of pep talk through this work that I can use both in my crafting and literary endeavors--a highly recommended read. Oh, and yes, this book does cover the business aspects that I felt were lacking in Crafty Superstar :).
Leiah Jansen
Aug 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-book, nook
This book is a great intro to starting your own business in the craft world. Actually, it has good advice for starting your own business, period. I like that the author didn't sugar-coat anything, and she was honest in talking about how difficult it could be and you might just crash & burn. This book also helped me decide that I probably never want to be in that Craft as business world; it sounds like too much work and not my style.
Jennifer Maloney
Sep 06, 2012 rated it did not like it
Not very interesting or helpful. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but this book wasn't it. It spent a lot of time trying to give you ideas on WHAT to craft (which I already have figured out) and the rest of the time laying out Business 101 (which didn't seem particularly tailored to an at-home, Etsy-style business like the title would lead you to believe). I'm sorry that I wasted my money on this book.
Feb 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010, how-to
I haven't read any other books like this to compare, but I found it very helpful, and gave an introduction a great many aspects of starting a business, specifically a craft business. Some sections were overly brief, but it was helpful to at least have a "tab" in place for further study. The book was very well organized, and I liked the idea of having interviews with people in the business. I see myself consulting this book again to benefit from the organized, checklist-like advice.
Mar 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: serious crafters
Shelves: art-craft, how-to
Ok, serious crafters listen up. If you really (and I mean really) are serious about turning your cottage crafts into a cottage industry this is the guide to help you along the way. From chosing names to figuring out how to handle your profits... and if you're dedicated they will come - talent is not necessary if you're industrious. Good luck!
Oct 24, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The chosen interviews were the highlight although, as I live in San Francisco like the author, I knew half the folks interviewed already. The business info I personally had already gathered from running my own business for the past near decade, and probably from books by Tad Crawford or Carroll Michels, so there wasn't much new there.
Katherine Rothschild
Feb 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
A must-have for an would-be successful Etsian or crafter thinking of selling in local boutiques. One drawback is that our author, Ilasco (who is just adorable in person) sells graphic design, which isn't quite the same as a tangible product. An update that includes some crafter's issues (space for creating, more time management) would be awesome.

Thanks for the book, Yvonne!
Dec 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is a good resource book, but I think it's too much information that really isn't necessary for someone with a part-time craft business/hobby. This book is geared more for the person that's been selling and crafting for quite awhile and is looking to make the leap to a full time business. It does give some really good advice though.
Jul 25, 2009 rated it liked it
A good resource with a lot of practical advice for both the business and design elements of running a creative business. Had a lot of information concerning outsourcing and mass producing (which seems to contradict the idea of a handmade craft business, to me) which I didn't really need but may be useful to others.
Jun 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
I am reading this book right now. In a crass ad-world overly-simplistic summary, this book is a no nonsense guide to turning your creativity into cash. I've read a lot of "start your own business" books - this one is about the most straightforward in terms of the how to, intermixed with good inspirational tales of how someone else already did.
Apr 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent resource for anyone who wants to make a business out of their creative hobby. Along with great questions asked of success stories to see how they handled the process, it covers all aspects of making your dream a reality--including an initial questionnaire to see if you have the mindset for doing so. Lots of great insights.
Sandy  Kemp
Sep 02, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: gave-up-on
I really wanted to read this, but found it very difficult to actually read. The terrible design (blue letters on a blue background, for example) make reading it next to impossible unless the light is perfect. I read in all kinds of places, many with fairly rotten lighting, so this is just a no-go. Cannot comment on actual content.
Jan 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been selling online for years as a hobby and only in the last year have I begun to make the leap into "actual business." I jotted down a lot of helpful tips and inspiring passages from this book while reading and would recommend it to anyone looking to get more serious in a craft based business.
Jul 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: diy
I didn't find Craft, Inc. to be earth-shatteringly inspiring, but it's a good basic guide for someone who is considering a craft-based business. I'd highly recommend it to friends who haven't been involved in business as a great place to start. I suspect those with some business basic under their belt will want to look elsewhere.
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