I have the opportunity to work with an amazing line-up of creative business owners. This gives me insider access to the way their businesses work, and it also means I hear about all the awesome projects they’re working on. I got to thinking, maybe YOU would also be interested in what they’re working on, and the other things I hear about from time to time because of my connections to small biz owners. So once a month, I’m going to round up my favorite things and the current goings-on and list them on the blog. Maybe you’ll find something you didn’t know about that’s just what you were looking for!
Small Business Related
Small Biz Book Club
Gwen Bortner is one of my clients, and what I love about working with Gwen is that every time I have a conversation with her, I leave feeling energized and fired up to do good work. Her newest project is the Small Biz Book Club – a book club just for small business owners! Gwen realized that she had learned a LOT for her business by reading business books in the past year, and she also knew that sometimes it was hard for other entrepreneurs to take the ideas in these business books (written about and for companies like Wal-Mart or Microsoft) and apply them to a business with just one employee, or a few at the most. Gwen’s really great at breaking down big ideas and extracting wisdom that applies to smaller businesses, so each month she’s doing that, for free, with the Small Biz Book Club. You can sign up for the club here, and once a month she’ll email you to tell you about the next book coming out. At that point you can sign up to follow along with that book, and you’ll get weekly update emails full of study guide information to help you read along and apply the book to your biz, plus access to a Facebook group to discuss the book with other biz owners. In any given month if the book doesn’t appeal to you, you just don’t opt in to those emails, and you won’t hear back for another month. If you’d like to commit to giving yourself a better business education this year, this is an amazing free resource. Click here to learn more + join the club. (PS. The first book is Brandscaping – read more here.)
Another client of mine is Tara Swiger, and she’s getting ready to re-release the first class I ever took with her: Pay Yourself. Back in the day when I was running my Etsy-based business, Pay Yourself was the class that helped me get serious about my finances, and grow my business the way I wanted it to grow. It felt really empowering to actually have a system for tracking and understanding my finances, instead of just burying my head in the sand or waiting to be surprised by windfalls (and pitfalls). If you think you’d like to get your finances in order, understand more about your profitability, or finally get to a point where you can regularly pay yourself from your business income, sign up at TaraSwiger.com/pay to be notified when the class goes live.
These folks aren’t clients but I like their work:
- Naomi from Ittybiz was one of the first “gurus” I started following when I decided to make my hobby into a “real business.” I love her smart advice and her straight-to-the-point style. Recently I picked up her Product in a Weekend package and it was amazingly helpful. I’ve already created my first product (coming soon!), and I’ve got a list of a dozen more to create from here. Totally worth the $97 price tag. Grab it here.
- Leonie Dawson is someone else I like to follow. I love her emails because they’re really honest and she doesn’t step over the emotions that go into running a business. Tara has worked with her for years, so there’s another recommendation for you. I got an email from her today telling me that her small biz owners club, The Shining Biz Academy, is going to double in price soon. Click here if you’re interested.
Fiber Arts Related
PLY Magazine Newsletter
If you’re a spinner, I hope by now you’ve heard of PLY Magazine. It’s an amazing publication that’s like a mini book in every issue (and I’m not just saying that because I work for the PLY team!). We’ve recently started up a monthly newsletter, and inside every email is an educational article that helps you improve your spinning knowledge + skills, a free pattern or giveaway opportunity, news + events around the world of fiber arts, and more. Seriously, it’s a great read. Sign up here.
Retreats with Deb Robson
She’s the co-author of The Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook, and basically the fiber world’s go-to resource on sheep breeds + their wool. Working for Deb makes me feel like I get to sit at the feet of a master. She’s making some changes to her Explore 4 retreats, with some exciting new opportunities to learn about spinning AND now, also, weaving! Sign up for her monthly email newsletter to be the first to know when spots are available for her retreats. This is a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience (except that several regulars come back twice a year because it’s just that good!).
Needle Arts Retreat in Connecticut
If you live near Connecticut, there’s a retreat happening next weekend, hosted by Nancy and Mark from The Black Sheep yarn store in Kent, CT. They’ve put together an amazing lineup of teachers and classes (what I wouldn’t give to take those natural dye classes from Jackie Ottino Graf or have Gayle Roehm show me how to read Japanese knitting charts!). You can sign up ahead of time or walk in on the day of the retreat, so click here for more information.
Designers Anne + Kathleen have teamed up to put together a really beautiful knitting publication called Knit Filament. Their second issue is coming out now – check it out.
Free Crochet Shawl Pattern
For one week only you can get a free popcorn crochet shawl pattern from Susan Heyn. Find the information here.
Free Printable Yarn-y Paper
Linda Tieu has an adorable lineup of printable designs, and right now she’s got one that’s FREE and full of fun for yarn enthusiasts. You can find it here. It would be super handy to print out and use for notecards or stationery for swaps on Ravelry!
Needle of the Month Club
If you follow me on Instagram then you may have seen me showing off fancy knitting needles that have my name on them. I got them as a Christmas gift from Gwen – she signed me up for Louet’s Needle of the Month Club, which is a super fun idea. I’m loving the square needle style, and it’s even cooler that you can make them personalized. You can still sign up here (I’m guessing they just send you the first several months all at once if you sign up after January).
Other Fun Stuff
Yes and Yes
One of my favorite newsletters to read is from Sarah Von Bargen of Yes & Yes. In her latest post I was (quite literally) laughing out loud reading about her dog, Loretta, and how she “fear pees” whenever someone mentions taking a bath. In all seriousness, though, I really love her writing style and she always gives me ideas for simple things I can do to make my life just a little bit better. And who couldn’t use more of that? You can find the post I’m talking about here, and there’s a link on her website to sign up to get her emails.
What’s occurring* in your neck of the woods? Feel free to share in the comments!
*Lately I’ve been re-watching one of my favorite series, Gavin and Stacey, and they use this phrase a lot, so it kind of stuck with me and I decided to use it as the title of this blog post series. 🙂