Tips for First-Time Vendors with Jake Carnley of Great Bear Wax Co.

Tips for First-Time Vendors with Jake Carnley of Great Bear Wax Co.

It's an exciting time for your brand, and the opportunities from here are endless. I am certainly no expert brand representative, but I have led my brand, Great Bear Wax Co., through the very season of business ownership that you are entering into and can tell you everything I have learned through the last few years while repping GBWC at the trade shows.
May 24, 2018 by Lindsey Smith
Porter Flea Guidelines for Vendor Booth Success

Porter Flea: Guidelines for Vendor Booth Success

With Nashville's summer market, Porter Flea, right around the corner, we turned to interior designer and Porter Flea co-founder Katie Vance for some tips on how to achieve success as a participating vendor. 

May 24, 2018 by Lindsey Smith

Weekly Assessment: A Guide for Small Businesses

It's Monday morning. You're scrambling to find that list of to-do's for the week you wrote somewhere in your notebook. Flipping pages, there's a note scribbled about a show coming up soon you want to sign up for. (Note to self: remember to sign up.) Your team is gathering, and it's time for another weekly meeting. 

How should you begin this time? 
Do you have everything? 
Did you forget to mention anything?

With what sometimes feels like a million tasks to manage, notes, important dates and even opportunities for praise can slip through the cracks. It's not that we, as business owners, don't know how to conduct a good meeting. It's more so a matter of approaching the meeting in a way that will ensure productivity throughout the week while also promoting communication among team members. 

We're sharing our go-to meeting agenda to help make all of that a little easier. We've participated in our fair share of morning meetings and complied a list of discussion questions and planning strategies that work well — and can be adapted to fit your industry and your team, no matter how big or small. Maybe you work solo? No worries, this is for you, too. 

Why's this so important anyway? The not-so-pretty truth is that poorly managed work groups are on average 50% less productive and 44 percent less profitable than well-managed groups (Gallup).  And on top of that, 33 percent of employees said a lack of open, honest communication has the most negative impact on employee morale (HerdWisdom). Much like a good morning routine for your mind and body, a good morning meeting can actually set you up for success. 

So, take our meeting agenda step-by-step. Ask questions, open up discussion for not only problems but possible solutions, delegate weekly tasks and give credit where credit is due. Everybody loves a good shoutout for a job well done. 

Download MW's Morning Meeting Agenda for your next meeting (and all the ones after that). 


Weekly Small Business Assessment Makers Workshop

May 21, 2018 by Lindsey Smith
Resources for an Ethical Creative Journey with Lise Silva

Resources for an Ethical Creative Journey with Lise Silva

Do you notice patterns in your moods while sharing and viewing art on social media?  
Do you notice visual trends rising and falling quickly in your feed?  
Does social media begin to feel like an echo chamber of stagnant ideas?  
Do you feel awash in “inspiration” that is guiding, stunting or hijacking your creative process?  
Do you feel overwhelmed by the seemingly endless productivity of others in your feed?  
How can we (re)connect with our creative process in a way that feels authentic, holistic and unique?  
How can we utilize the platform to get greater visibility for our work while supporting others’ endeavors and maintaining our individuality through it all?
How do we as creators identify and squash plagiarism?  
This series of questions explores some underlying issues of the unethical, unhealthy and uninspired behavior we see frequently in the creative community through social media.
April 30, 2018 by Lindsey Smith
Makers Tax Prep Organize Automate Declutter and Plan

Tax Prep: Organize, Automate, Declutter and Plan

I know the last thing anyone wants to think about is doing their taxes but it is a great excuse to organize, automate, declutter, and plan for 2018.

Here are 3 quick tips to help you organize for taxes.

February 21, 2018 by Lindsey Smith
Self Care: 3 things to do before work

Self-Care: 3 Things To Do Before Work

Self-care seems to be a hot topic these days and with good reason. We work from our cars, on the subway, while we eat - often with little pause to check our system -  you know, our physical and emotional body.  Self care prevents burnout and nurtures our emotional hygiene. Here is the thing: It’s not indulgent, and you don’t have to earn it.

Allow yourself the gift in the morning to have a mindful morning routine, experiencing the present moment and acknowledge your body’s data.

Here are a few ways how...

February 13, 2018 by Lindsey Smith
Three Simple Tools to Improve Workflow Makers Workshop

Three Simple Tools to Improve Workflow

We know how hard it is to juggle everything on your list. And everything that is....not on your list.

There's social media, product meetings, sales meetings, marketing meetings, meetings for meetings, basic operations of the business (someone has to order shipping supplies!), and don't forget to leave time to be inspired, connect with your customers, stay up to date on the latest Instagram algorithm (oooooffffff) annnd breathe. 

But, remember this is what it is all about! No, not the algorithm but the process, the journey, and the everyday basics of being a maker or small business owner. There is a sweetness in the work even on the hardest of days, don't you think? We're still firm believers in working smarter and not harder, though, and having a day off when we can so, we put together a list of three simple tools to help improve your workflow.

So, let's vow to stress a little bit less this year and enjoy the blooming opportunities and ideas ahead. 

February 07, 2018 by Lindsey Smith
Makers Workshop Reading List for the Business side of Making

Let's Get Down to Business: MW's Reading List for the Business Side of Making

We spend so much time scrolling through digital content on everything from our desktop computers to the teeny, tiny screens of a smart watch. We're definitely guilty of it over here. But every now and then, we slow down, take a step back and crack open a book. A physical, bound book... Okay, maybe sometimes it's an audio book, but a book, nonetheless. We all have our favorites, but this week, we wanted to share a few good reads that shed some light on the business side of making. We turned to Paul Claxton, the business brain behind Makers Workshop, to learn about which books he's been reading. So, if you're looking for a new take on business or just a little insight for the new year, this one's for you!
January 22, 2018 by Greta Jines
Reflections with Cate Havstad of Havstad Hat Company

Reflections with Cate Havstad of Havstad Hat Company

Here's to a happy, happy new year! We're embracing everything 2018 has to offer with open arms and starting it off the best way we know how — with great friends, like the wildly talented Cate Havstad of Havstad Hat Company. It's no secret that the end of one year and beginning of another brings about a time of reflection and reminiscence. In this spirit, Cate shared her reflections on mindfulness, working meditations, intentions and work ethic as a maker. 
January 01, 2018 by Greta Jines
Shipping a little extra cheer rodalee bas adored vintage

Shipping a Little Extra Cheer with Rodellee Bas of Adored Vintage

Imagine a package coming in the mail - you open the carefully creased edges of tissue, reveal a few scattered dried blooms of flowers, and there on an old found postcard is a note. It sounds like an exchange between dear friends. That's exactly what Rodellee Bas of Adored Vintage is doing, she's forming relationships with her customers online and reaching them in a sincere way offline... and it keeps them coming back. Here are a few of her tips on how she elevates every package she sends out to her customers and strengthens her brand.
December 18, 2017 by Lindsey Smith