Indie Mini-Cast No. 1: Tips For Opening A DIY Studio

According to Inc. Magazine online, selling handmade goods is one of the top business models for 2010. As the leader of the Indie Beauty Network, a trade organization that's been serving handmade businesses for over a decade, that's not news to me! An exciting outgrowth of the interest in all things handmade is the increase in the number of DIY studios popping up across the nation. IBN member Lori Nova is a leader in the field.

As the founder and CEO of The Nova Studio outside San Francisco, Ca, Lori has tapped into the market for people who want to learn how to make things with natural and/or eco-friendly materials. In this 6-minute Indie Mini-Cast (my first one!), Lori shares tips to help you open a studio like hers in your town. You can listen by clicking the play arrow below. If you'd rather read Lori's tips, you'll find them under the player.

  1. Try it out on friends and family first. Lori hosted her first classes in her home to try new ideas without spending much money. She used the feedback she got to move things forward. Lori recommends testing the waters without any risk first so you can get the feel of teaching. Host classes for family and friends to learn what's involved, see what questions they ask and get some honest feedback. This will give you enough information to know whether you'd like to take the next step.

  2. Share space and start part-time. Once Lori knew she was onto something, she felt comfortable making more of an investment, so she began teaching part-time on weekends at The Juniper Tree in Berkeley in Berkeley. In exchange for a reasonable fee, The Juniper Tree's owner let Lori host classes in unused space on weekends. Lori didn't have to sign a lease or make any other long-term commitments, so she was able to expand her class ideas without much risk.

  3. Teach at local community colleges. Lori is noticing an increased number of people getting their start by teaching classes at local community colleges. This is a great way to get started because the college handles the marketing, registration and other administrative issues so you can focus on offering the best classes.

These are some great tips, but they are only the beginning! Lori is going to share more at her blog tomorrow, so stay tuned for that.

I am excited to be returning to The Nova Studio on August 14 and 15 to deliver my signature “The Media Is You” day-long intensive! This class sold out the first time I taught it at Lori’s studio, and it will surely do so again this time.

The 2-day event begins on the 14th with an intensive, hands on study of how to create and “own” your niche market, how to maximize the power of your personality (even if you’re shy!!), to share your ideas and promote your business, and how to choose the best digital technologies for you based on your personality type, resources, likes, and dislikes. You’ll get your autographed copy of my book, “The Media Is You,” plus the chance to enjoy personal one-on-one coaching and MasterMinding with me at discount rates on the 15th!

Because there is limited space (I like to give my students hands-on attention!), and this event will sell out, we’re only keeping the Early Bird registration price open until July 14. Click here to register now!

Question: Have you considered opening a DIY “how to” shop where you live? Or maybe you already have one?! What tips can you share? Or what questions do you have?

I ‘ll be teaching for the second time. An in depth class. The early bird ends July 14. Don't miss it!

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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.