Episode 2: Alana Rivera: Etta and Billie: Indie Business Podcast

Once you know you make a good handmade product, how do you know what to do next? According to Alana Rivera, you hone your skills before “jumping over the edge.” Alana started her handmade bath + body company, Etta and Billie in San Francisco, while she still had a traditional job. Today, not only has she quit the job, but she's opened a new studio, hired employees, and landed her products in several popular online and brick and mortar and retail stores around the country.

alana rivera etta and billie podcast head shot
Among the well known retailers that have carried her line are: Banana Republic's pop up stores, Urban Outfitters online, and most recently, Terrain, Anthropologie's new garden brand. Alana shares a few of her secrets to making it all work in this episode of Indie Business Podcast.

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Hone your skills before jumping over the edge.

Alana Rivera, Etta + Billie

Season 1, Episode 2: Show Notes

Here are few of the things Alana and I discussed in this episode.

  1. Honing your entrepreneurial and leadership skills before jumping over the edge.
  2. Staying connected locally.
  3. Focusing on doing what you love and what you're good at, and hire people to do the rest.
  4. Using social media wisely … and which tool is Alana's personal favorite these days.
  5. Embracing (instead of fighing against) how large retailers work if you want to “scale up your game.”
  6. Hiring employees and virtual assistants to help you grow.
  7. Opening a new manufacturing studio, and choosing a location. Alana found hers on Craig's List.
  8. Alana's top challenge and how she overcomes it daily.

Here are links to the resources mentioned in this episode

Manufacturing: San Francisco Made

Business help: Small Business Administration

Online handmade product sales platform: Etsy

Online craft product sales platform: Brika

Online American made product sales platform: Martha Stewart American Made Ebay Market (this site has moved to Amazon, at this link)

IBN: Indie Business Network

#IndieCruise Mastermind: #IndieCruise

Renegade brand of craft fairs: Renegade Chicago and Renegade San Francisco

Trade show: San Francisco International Gift Fair

Garden store: Terrain

Connect with Alana and Etta+Billie

Etta + Billie's website

Etta + Billie on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram

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About Donna Maria Coles Johnson

Donna Maria is an author, podcaster, attorney, and the founder and CEO of the Indie Business Network, providing affordable product liability insurance and mentoring. Donna Maria teaches Makers and Creative Entrepreneurs how to use technology and community to build a profitable, sustainable business.