Welcome to the Indie Business Network: For Makers and Handmade Entrepreneurs!

Launched in 2000 by award winning home-based business advocate Donna Maria Coles Johnson, Esq., Indie Business Network provides entrepreneurial mentoring, coaching, and training services to creative entrepreneurs from all walks of life. Here's a quick video message from our founder.

Since 2000, we have provided numerous tools, resources, and professional services designed to empower and to encourage the success of creative entrepreneurs.

If you are interested in having Donna Maria speak at your event, click here to let us know how to get in touch with you.

From our affordable product liability insurance program, to our annual Indie Cruise, to our webinars with regulatory officials and small business experts, our members enjoy thousands of hours of carefully curated original content, live events, ideas and step-by-step tips to help them launch, own and manage a profitable enterprise.

More Than A Networking Organization … We Are A Community

In addition to a professional services provider, the Indie Business Network is a community — a community of women (and some men too!) from all walks of life who inspire, uplift and encourage each other every day. From the Indie Business Podcast to Donna Maria's Indie Business Blog, the Indie Business Network is designed to help you break all the rules, build your own corporate ladder, and create the life you love.

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Donna Maria, Indie Business Network

The Indie Business Network helps members embrace entrepreneurship by doing a lot with a little. Rather than focus on making millions, we focus on planning your best life and then wrapping a profitable and sustainable business around it it. We empower Makers and Handmade Entrepreneurs to take action based on what you know, not on what you have, so you can plan your best business around your best life.

While many of our members start off as hobbyists, our focus is on business. If you have a creative business, or you have a hobby you want to turn into a business, you have come to the right place. Indie Business Network is for you!

Here's a link to a list of our member benefits (get ready, there are a lot!), along with member testimonials and a link to join the Indie Business Network!

Meet the Indie Business Network Team!

Donna Maria, founder and CEO of Indie Business NetworkDonna Maria Coles Johnson, Founder and CEO

Donna Maria Coles Johnson is an attorney and an award-winning entrepreneur, and the founder and CEO of the Indie Business Network. She is the author of “Making Aromatherapy Creams and Lotions,” and the host of #IndieCruise, an annual Caribbean retreat to help Makers and Handmade Entrepreneurs take their businesses to the next level.

Donna Maria and her work to encourage entrepreneurs has been hailed by Black Enterprise as a “Haven for small business owners.” Her expertise and/or story has been featured in dozens of media outlets including Working Mother Magazine, National Public Radio, the Washington Post, the Houston Chronicle, the Chicago Tribune, Time Magazine, Global Cosmetics Industry Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, NPR News, ABC World News, Entrepreneur Magazine and more.

Donna Maria was named by Forbes.com as one of the Top 20 Women In The Country Tweeting About Small Business And Entrepreneurship. She is also a winner of the United States Small Business Administration's Home-Based Business Advocate of the Year Award.

Donna Maria is a guest blogger for Small Biz Trends and American Express Open, and is one of the first contributors to Chris Brogan's Owner Magazine. Her mission, both personally and professionally, is, “To empower women to maximize their potential through small business ownership.”

A native of Washington, DC, Donna Maria lives in her adopted hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina, with her family.

Follow Donna Maria (or “dM,” as she is sometimes called) personally on her Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

Jennifer Smith, WordPress & Graphics Design, Indie Business NetworkJennifer Smith, WordPress and Graphics Design

Jennifer is our WordPress design and maintenance professional and our main graphics artist. She has a passion for the environment and helps us to gently use the earth's resources. Every time we ask her to create something that we will actually print out on paper, she forces a moment of silence for the trees. Jennifer is the reason our WordPress hosted sites hum smoothly and always look neat and tidy. Jennifer creates graphics for us that are clean, uncluttered, colorful, and fun.

Jeffrey Arnold, Infusionsoft and Database Management

A clean and updated member database is central to IBN's ability to serve our members well, and Jeffrey Arnold helps make that happen. Jeffrey has been involved with Internet marketing for the past ten years. He combines 25+ years of business management experience with his expert knowledge of search engine optimization, website design, and business and database automation to provide IBN with comprehensive member database management services. Jeff has transferred his entire workload into the cloud, so he can work from anywhere, anytime. This allows him to attend almost all of his childrens' sports and extracurricular educational endeavors. Jeff is definitely our kind of DAD.

LarissawithiconLarissa Lewis, Assistant to Donna Maria

Larissa is very special to IBN, and her history with the organization predates every single member we have ever had … except for one. Larissa's mother, the late and wonderful Kathleen Lewis of Kathleen Lewis Beauty Worldwide was IBN's first member back in March 2000. Larissa was a wee one in tiaras and tutus back then. Today, she is all grown up and we have connected via the ribbon of life woven by her mom all those years ago. Larissa is following in her mother's very big footsteps as she pursues her passion as an ultra marathoner and all around amazing person. Larissa helps us with Indie Business Podcast, our media opportunities alerts, all forms of social media, and as an Admin in our exclusive members only Private Facebook Group.

Nikki Halladay, Assistant to Donna Maria

Nikki is a multi-passionate online management maven. In addition to helping Donna Maria manage IBN's member database and automated marketing systems, she supports our online communities with a smile. As you might imagine, since IBN doesn't do just one thing, Nikki doesn't do just one thing either. She is a digital gymnast, bending this way and that to accommodate our members and their needs so they can focus on growing their businesses. When Nikki is not doing digital back handsprings, you can find her food prepping healthful meals and hanging out with her family in their love-filled Colorado home.

Vanessa Johnson, Intern, Indie Business NetworkVanessa Johnson, Intern

Vanessa is our foudner's daughter. She is in the 11th grade. She is an award-winning equestrian, having won multiple ribbons at state competitions through national 4-H Youth Programs. She is a middle blocker with the Carolina CUVC travel volleyball team and is consistently on the honor roll. She volunteers as a greeter at her church. Her hobbies include horseback riding, volleyball, hanging out with her friends, and binge watching on Netflix. Vanessa helps us welcome new and renewing members to the Indie Business Network.

Brooks Johnson, Intern, Indie Business NetworkBrooks Johnson, Intern

Brooks is our founder's son. He is in the 9th grade. He plays football, baseball, and basketball, and loves X-box and Playstation. Brooks is very helpful around the house, and his upbeat and light-hearted attitude cuts through stress and tension like butter. Brooks loves anything having to do with Corvettes and he is a great photographer. His hobbies include listening to music, Netflix binging, and making people laugh. Brooks helps us welcome new and renewing members to the Indie Business Network.

Stay connected with us by subscribing to our blog updates, requesting Donna Maria's weekly mentoring letters, and also sharing the fun on Periscope, Twitter, iTunes, Instagram, and Facebook.