Coalition of Handcrafted Entrepreneurs Launches

Yesterday, the Coalition of Handcrafted Entrepreneurs (COHE) launched. Designed to support small businesses in the soap and cosmetic industry, COHE makes it easy for small businesses and the public in general stay up to participate in the legislative process. Among other things, the Coalition of Handcrafted Entrepreneurs features a News Page that makes it easy…

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A 5-Step Approach to a Solid Business

This morning, I had the pleasure of hosting my friend, Melinda Emerson, at the Urban League of the Central Carolinas for a morning of small business networking and learning. You may know Melinda as “Small Biz Lady,” the one who hosts the weekly #SmallBizChat. Here we are cheesing a bit before Melinda took the stage.…

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The February 2015 Coaching Call is Today!

Our member coaching call is coming up later today, and if you’re a member, you need to be there to connect with like-minded entrepreneurs who want to accelerate their growth both personally and professionally. Over the years, I have found that many entrepreneurs, especially newer ones, are afraid to speak up and ask questions. This…

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Donna Maria to Keynote the 2015 Tennessee Soap and Candle Social

I am doing more traveling than ever these days, especially now that my children are a bit older and I personally feel more comfortable being away from home more. One event I am especially excited about is the Tennessee Soap and Candle Social coming up February 28 to March 2 at Paris Landing State Park…

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Season 2, Episode 6: “Women, Wealth and Wow” with Wardee Harmon [Podcast]

Welcome to Season 2, Episode 6 of the Indie Business Podcast! In this sixth episode of our Women, Wealth and Wow! series, I introduce you to my guest Wardee Harmon of Traditional Cooking School in Sutherlin, Oregon. Wardee and I met online four years ago when I contacted her out of the blue to ask…

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Join Donna Maria and Melinda Emerson, Your Small Biz Lady!

You may not be in Charlotte, North Carolina, like me, but even if you cannot attend this event, I still want yu to know about it, and to know about my friend, Melinda Emerson — also known as Small Biz Lady. Click the image below to print out the flyer. Register here. The Indie Business…

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How to Make Handmade Lip Balm [Video]

We love it when our members use video to tell their stories. If you have a handmade business, you are so lucky that you never have to do much work to create a fun video that can be shared thousands (or maybe millions!) of times during the life of your business. For example, check this…

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Season 2, Episode 5: “Women, Wealth and Wow” with Pierre Bennu [Podcast]

Welcome to Season 2, Episode 5 of the Indie Business Podcast! In this fifth episode of our Women, Wealth and Wow! series, I introduce you to my guest and dear personal friend, Pierre Bennu, of exittheapple in Baltimore, Maryland. Pierre and I first met in 2010 when he joined me and his lovely wife, Jamyla…

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Telling Your Brand Story Through Video [Video]

Are you telling your brand story? Sure, some storytelling happens by default. You have to have an About page at your website, so people can read about your story there. If you do a trade show, you can tell your story in person. But those are static events. To truly solidify your brand in the…

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Hill Country Haiku: Cranberry and Figs Handmade Soap

Here is a positively beautiful bar of handmade soap. It’s Cranberry & Figs from our member over at Hill Country Haiku in Spicewood, Texas. Not surprisingly, it’s cross between the tartness of of cranberries and the sweetness of figs. What may be surprising is what a work of art it is. How gorgeous is this?…

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Season 2, Episode 4: “Women, Wealth and Wow” with Becky McCray [Podcast]

Welcome to Season 2, Episode 4 of the Indie Business Podcast! In this fourth episode of our Women, Wealth and Wow! series, we focus on all things local, rural, and small town with my guest Becky McCray of Small Biz Survival in Alva, Oklahoma … population 4,000 (give or take). Becky and her husband own…

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Handmade Beauty Products from Songcroft Naturals in Monroe, Washington

Last month, some of our members were kind enough to send us some of their awesome handmade beauty products as a holiday “thank you” for how we serve them throughout the year. One of the products we received is a wonderful facial cream from our member, Marilene Richardson, at Songcroft Naturals in Monroe, Washington. I’ll…

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The Internet: a Great Connector of People

Remember at the turn of the century when everyone predicted that the advance of the Internet and social media spelled the end of “real” personal communications? The theory was that, since you could connect online, there would be no need to connect in person anymore. Over the years, we have seen that this is simply…

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Sales Strategies for Artists From the American Made Show

Earlier this month, I attended the American made Show and the Arts Business Institute in Washington, DC. Hosted by Wendy Rosen (pictured in the front with me and some IBN members), the American Made Show is the premier wholesale trade show for handmade American made products. The Arts Business Institute is hosted in conjunction with…

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The January 2015 Coaching Call is Today!

Entrepreneurship can be fun. Well, it is fun. But it’s also messy, really messy. But it’s less messy when you approach your challenges in an environment where you are constantly supported. When people are there to help you, the challenges are less daunting. When you regularly soak up the energy of like-minded people, and share…

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Season 2, Episode 3: “Women, Wealth and Wow” with Kathleen Gage [Podcast]

Welcome to Season 2, Episode 3 of the Indie Business Podcast! In this third episode of our Women, Wealth and Wow! series, I am going outside my comfort zone to introduce you to someone I barely know, but who has had a big positive impact on how I view entrepreneurship. One day, I got an…

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Season 2, Episode 2: “Women, Wealth and Wow” with Lela Barker [Podcast]

Welcome to Season 2, Episode 2 of the Indie Business Podcast! In this second episode of our Women, Wealth and Wow! series, I’m sharing an invigorating conversation with a woman I have known for the past decade, and who has become an intricate part of our my life. While our relationship was once all business,…

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Maintaining a Sensible Personal Facebook Strategy

In 2009, I published a blog post about my then new social networking strategy. My focus was on Facebook, though other social media outlets were mentioned. Recently, a discussion in our Indie Business Network member Secret Facebook Group reminded me of that 2009 post, and how important it is to be intentional about how we…

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Our Members Masterminding in New York

Can you think of a better way to invest a Sunday afternoon than Masterminding with your fellow Indie entrepreneurs? Of course you can’t, and if you need some inspiration, check out our members in the New York region. They gathered today at Jennifer Wojcieski’s store, in2ition Mercantile, which we told you opened its doors last…

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Farm to Skin Cook-Off [Video]

This awesome video came to our attention, courtesy of our member, Sheri Pierce, over at Paradise City Micro-Farm in Northampton, Massachusetts. It’s a collage of clips from a “Farm To Table Cook-Off,” with a twist. Local celebrity chefs used ingredients from local farms to prepare dishes you can eat, and dishes you can put on…

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Member Benefit: Blog Your Brand Personalized Blogging Training

I began blogging in 2005. I published my first Indie Business Blog post on May 7, 2007. I had hosted two blogs before that, but they were utter disasters. If you clicked the link above, you’ll see that there was not much to my 2007 post. In fact, the most important thing about that post…

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