In this increasingly digital and virtual world, I find myself wondering what we’re leaving behind. To do my part in keeping the art of paper alive, I want to start a handmade bookbinding business. I find enjoyment in creating sketchbooks and journals for other creative types. Surrounded by mass produced merchandise, I celebrate the creativity, care, and individuality that can only be found in high-quality handmade goods. I take into consideration the look, feel, and experience of each piece that I create. Craftsmanship is of the utmost importance to me, informing every step of the process.
I’ve started supplementing my income by selling a few of my book on Etsy.com, but I really want to grow this into a career. You can view the beginning stages of my business at my website, www.ToBoldlyFold.com. I am planning to establish and expand my business through three venues:
1. Showing at craft fairs
2. Selling in “brick and mortar” stores
3. Increasing my online presence
As much as people like to shop online, there’s always something missing without the tactile experience: the smell of the leather, the weight of the paper, the texture of the thread. This personal involvement as well as the interpersonal interaction between the creator and the customer is integral to the shopping experience in the handmade world. I feel it’s very important to meet the artisan whenever possible and craft shows will provide that experience.
In addition to shows, I will distribute my books through “brick and mortar” stores to broaden my customer base. In the past I’ve often considered opening my own shop, but I’ve begun to find so many wonderful stores that have a similar aesthetic to my own.
I plan to use Etsy.com to handle my online and international sales. While it is a great outlet for artists and craftspeople, word of mouth within the Etsy community can only go so far. I intend to use social networking platforms such as my Facebook fan page and Twitter to reach a broader audience. And finally, I survey my customers, both existing and prospective, regarding the quality of my work and what they’d like to see in the future.
In order to do all this, I need your help!
Standing between me and a life of bookbinding business bliss is a long list of costs: materials and supplies, online fees, distribution and promotion are just the beginning. However, I’m ready and willing to do whatever it takes to get my business off the ground. With your help, I know I can leave the 9 to 5, spread creativity, and promote the world of high-quality, handmade goods.
Thank you so much for your support! Spread the word!
- (68 days)