Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if this class is for me?

Tell me if this sounds right. You like to make things - and you're good at it. So good, in fact, your friends and family have often commented that you shuld sell your work. Maybe it's homemade candles, cheeky embroidery, handcrafted wooden furniture or knit mittens for kittens. The "what" doesn't matter. What matters is that you have a skill, a skill not everyone has and a skill that people would pay for. You think about starting a business. But you never have. Maybe someday, you say. But someday hasn't come yet.

If that sounds familiar, then this class is for you. You'll receive unparalleled support and guidance from maker industry professionals, all of whom have been exactly where you are -- and who are now getting paid for their craft. This course will give you the push you need to make someday start today.

How is this class set-up?

This class starts Monday, October 1, 2018 and runs 4 weeks, ending Sunday, October 28, 2018. Weekly lessons and workbooks will be published every Monday, with additional content being provided throughout the week. Assignments will be due every Sunday.

Who exactly is teaching this class?

This class is a project of Kimberly Shrack of Manayunk Calligraphy. Kim was once where you are right now. She had a love of (and knack for) calligraphy. During the day, she was a public relations manager at a hospital. But in the evening and on the weekends, she was taking on projects for friends and family. She had dreams of starting her own calligraphy business, but had no clue where to start. Luckily, she lived in the Manayunk section of Philadelphia, a neighborhood made up almost entirely of small businesses. She received tons of advice, support and encouragement from these business owners. In 2012, she started her Etsy shop (which she named after the neighborhood that gave her the confidence to go for it) as a side hustle. Just two years later, she was able to leaver her job in PR and pursue her maker business full-time. Since then, her work has been sold in stores throughout the world, including Anthropologie, Pier 1 Imports, Home Goods, Papyrus and more. None of which would have happened had she not decided one day to just go for it already.

She created this course because not everyone has a Manayunk -- meaning not everyone is surrounded by small business owners who can be their cheerleaders and guide them every step of the way.

Um, okay, no offense, but aren't there lots of legal and financial issues that come with starting a business? How is a calligrapher qualified to answer those questions?

Good question! The short answer is, well, she isn't. Which is why she is bringing in the experts. Small business lawyer Sarah Holmes, Esq. is going to guide you through all the necessary legal hoops you need to jump through to start your business. She'll also be sharing her expertise on important topics like business structure, protecting your assets, copyright and trademark, special industry regulations and many other issues that impact maker businesses specifically.

Kimberly is also bringing in Amy Northard, CPA, an accountant who specializes in working with creatives. She is going to provide in-depth guidance and step-by-step instructions on banking, bookkeeping and the oh-so-wonderful world of taxes. She'll provide you with everything you need to get up and running, and will be available for questions.

But Sarah and Amy aren't the only experts Kimberly is bringing in. Each week, you can also expect to hear from a variety of maker business owners who will share their insider knowledge and advice on tricky topics.

I've taken other "launch your business" classes before - how is this one different?

There are many things that make this course different (and we think better). Here are just a few highlights.

  • Accountability. Unlike other courses out there, this one is not self-paced. The best way to achieve your goal of launching your maker business is to set a deadline and stick to it. This course will help keep you on track and accountable - we are all invested in you achieving your launch goal. Let's be clear: this means there may be some late nights and less time for Netflix binges. But in 4 weeks, you won't care -- you'll be too busy relishing in your new title: boss.
  • Community & Live Support. Have questions about the class topic? Want to bounce your ideas off someone? Need some extra motivation? In addition to an active Facebook group for enrolled students to ask questions and get real-time feedback, there will also be a live Q&A each week to ensure you get all the help you need to launch your business.
  • Resources. We will provide you with all the resources you need to get your maker business started. That means we'll give you all the forms, templates, links and worksheets you need.
  • Ready for holiday shopping season. Okay, this is a big one. This course is timed so that you'll be ready to start selling by November 1 -- just in time for holiday shopping. And bonus? One lucky student will have their products stocked and sold in Homespun: Modern Handmade, one of the midwest's premier shops specializing in handmade items.

Can I seriously start a business in just 4 weeks?

Short answer: Yes. Longer answer: Yes, if you follow the schedule we have provided. It's going to be hard work, there's no doubt about that. You have tons of responsibilities, whether it be family, job, school or a little of all of the above. But you can do this. If you're serious about starting a maker business, then a program with expert instruction, an active community and real-time accountability is what you need to make your dream happen -- and that's what we're providing with this course.

One note: if you opt to go with an LLC structure, some states take longer than 4 weeks to process - but you'll be able to get the rest of your business ready to go in the meantime so that when your approval arrives, you'll be able to hit the ground running.

Tell me more about this partnership with Homespun: Modern Handmade.

Homespun: Modern Handmade is a boutique, gallery and workshop devoted to contemporary handmade goods. They are located in downtown Indianapolis, and sell the work of more than 300 artists, crafters and makers from across the U.S. and Canada.

Homespun is always on the lookout for the new, amazing products to bring to their customer base. Enrolled students will have the opportunity to have their products reviewed by the Homespun team. This kind of feedback is invaluable -- through their guidance, you will learn how to make your products more attractive to wholesale buyers and retail customers.

And one lucky student will get more than just feedback. After their initial review, the Homespun team will be stocking and selling products from one student. Talk about starting your business with a bang!

I really want to start my own maker business, but I can't afford the fee right now. Do you offer payment plans?

Yes, we offer a 3 month payment plan. Simply select that option at checkout.

I'm in! How do I get started?

We're so glad to have you! Sign up here. Class will begin Monday, October 1, 2018.