We started the Louisville Craft Mafia last April, and joined up with other craft mafia around the country. http://www.craftmafia.com
will give you the lowdown on our philosophy, and some background info.
We offer each other education and support. We split the cost and duties of running a craft business, instead of going about it all alone. For example, if we place an ad in Bejeezus, we split the cost of the ad. Or the booth fee for a craft fair, or the cost for flyers, etc.
Learning and Experience
Especially when you are just starting out, it helps when members with a little more experience who've been selling their crafts online for a while can help you get your feet on the ground. It's always scary to start your own business, but being surrounded by people who want to see you succeed and are willing to help you out anyway they can will certainly give you an edge over your competition.
When you are starting out, things add up! We'd rather you were out spending your money on new supplies to make new, even better crafts than blowing your entire budget on web hosting fees and table rentals at craft fairs. Every cost incurred by LCM is divided equally amongst its members, including webhosting for the LCM website and entry fees for fairs and festivals. (Trust us, it's a lot easier to turn a profit at a craft show when you don't have to wait until candle 59 or button 200 to be out of the red.) All advertising costs are also dispersed and divided evenly amongst all members, which means if you're starting out, you may have the money to pay for advertising in a big magazine years ahead of when you could afford it going it alone.
Shows and Festivals
I know everytime I go to getcrafty, there's going to be a whole new list of craft fair opportunities listed. It's impossible to keep on top of them all, and pretty daunting to come up with the $$ to pay for entry fees. That's where our Craft Mafia comes in. Not only are we all working together to scan the globe for new opportunities to sell our stuff, but we're willing to share our table with you even if you can't make it to every single event. It's nice to know if you can't make it to a big craft show in Chicago, as long as another member of LCM is going, your goods can tag along and hopefully turn a hefty profit. We want you to spend your free time thinking of new things to make, not trying to procure folding tables to heft up to Cleveland for the weekend.
Links, Discussions, and Press
Everybody wants lots of visitors to their site, and lots of people talking about it once they get there. The nice thing about LCM is that you piggyback off of every other storefront, so what's good for one business is good for all the others. This includes people linking to other LCM members, as well as any press we might receive. I can't tell you how many hits I've received from people looking around our LCM site. Hey, every little bit helps, right? The more people who see your stuff, the more people who might potentially buy something. Horray!
We offer all members links to and from all of our sites, a profile on the LCM site, and pix of your product.
It's your stuff, your time, your decision; we just work together to make it a little easier to succeed, so we can all get back to what we love most in this world:
There is a $20 fee for joining. This fee will cover web hosting costs and go towards other Mafia events. All subsequent expenses for the Louisville Craft Mafia will be divided equally among participating members.
The most important thing we offer is support. It's scary to walk up to a store owner, a complete stranger, and say, "Look what I made! Want one? Wanna give me money for it?" But by being part of a group, you'll always have a buddy to show you how easy it is.
We are having our debut show over at the Atomic Saucer Coffeehouse, 1000 E. Oak St., Louisville, this Saturday, December 10th from 10:00 am - 9:00 pm. Come check us out!
Suzanne V. Steigerhttp://www.steigerbeat.comhttp://www.louisvillecraftmafia.com