Fiona Pullen is the founder of The Sewing Directory (http://www.thesewingdirectory.co.uk/), the popular and successful site for finding local and online sewing suppliers, sewing courses and sewing groups. This site includes projects, interviews, how to guides, reviews and fortnightly competitions, aiming to offer something for everyone. She now has a community of over 30,000 people all interacting on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest along with The Sewing Directory's own blog. Fiona studied law at Cardiff university and has a passionate interest in social media, and helping others achieve their aims and goals. Fiona lives in Devon.
September/October 2014 Successful craft business owner Fiona Pullen, owner of the Sewing Directory, explains how to turn a pastime, skill and talent into a fulfilling and rewarding commercial success. Anyone wanting to turn their hobby, craft or art skills into a successful business should read this clear, accessible and thorough guide. A complete must-read guide for anyone wanting to turn their hobby, craft or art skills into a successful business. Covering everything you ever wanted to know, Fiona gives clear, simple advice on the importance of identifying markets, focusing on a USP, assessing the competition, making sure the price is right and setting goals. The book includes sections on product photography, branding., and legal matters. The book has particular emphasis on online selling, with detailed information on markets, blogging, using social media and the importance of analytics and SEO (search engine optimisation). Information on offline selling is included too, with notes on selling at craft fairs, trade fairs and markets, selling through retail outlets, running courses and workshops, and featuring work in the media. * Workbox * March 2015 With so many of us daring to start our own craft business this book is jam packed with brilliant advice on how to get started and reads like the perfect recipe for success. Fiona Pullen, founder of `The Sewing Directory' gives an honest description about the realities of running your own business and starts by stressing the importance of research and finding your own Unique Selling Point by providing case studies of already successful businesses. When it comes to the legal matters most of us are guilty of `switching off' but Fiona writes this particular chapter in such a way that you are able to pay attention and gain a clear understanding of the laws, regulations and taxes that may affect your business and how best to handle them. This book also has a brilliantly informative chapter on social media and guides you effortlessly through which platforms are best to use, how to attract followers and how to keep your followers engaged. If you are thinking of starting your own craft business this year then you will want to enlist the help of this little gem. * SEWING WORLD * January 2015 Lily's Quilts and Fiona Pullen have teamed up with a 3 Part series on turning your hobby into a business. Part 1 - Could you be an entrepreneur? You've been quilting for a while, you make gifts for friends and family, people admire your quilts, cushions and other makes and then someone mutters the immortal words `you really ought to start selling those'. You probably brush it off, make an excuse as to why you don't want to. But once the idea is there in your brain you start to think it over, could you sell your creations? Could you turn your hobby into a business? Sure the extra money would be nice, more money = more fabric after all! But can you handle the business side of it? Is there too much competition? Is it even financially viable? Well in this series I'm going to help you work through that idea to see if it is viable, and the right decision for you. To see all of Part 1 and find out if you can turn your hobby into a business go to http://www.lilysquilts.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/turn-your-hobby-into-business-series.html Part 2 - Research and Planning Now if you've read part one, and think that running your own business is for you the next stage is to research and plan your business idea. Many crafters kind of fall into running a business, people offer to buy what they make so they start selling it without ever having properly thought it through. Most of them haven't costed it out, haven't researched which products to sell or planned where they want their business to go. They start selling a few items to friends and family, which goes well so they decided to start selling at craft fairs or online. Before they know it they are running a business with no idea of what they actually want, or need from that business. To finish reading Part 2 see here: http://www.lilysquilts.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/turn-your-hobby-into-business-part-2.html Part 3 - Pricing This is the tricky bit, get this wrong and you could be working very long hours for very little money or struggling to sell your products because they are priced too high. Before I discuss my pricing formula I want to warn you that there is no guarantee that one set formula will work for all industries or all products, use a pricing formula as a starting point but use common sense too. See the final part of the series here: http://www.lilysquilts.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/turn-your-hobby-into-business-part-3.html * Lily's Quilts * January 2015 Fiona Pullen runs the UK-based The Sewing Directory, and she has a new book out chock full of excellent advice. Craft a Creative Business helps you plan for success as you turn a love for sewing or other artistic endeavors into a thriving business. Fiona fills you in on every aspect of writing the book on her blog, from signing a contract to book promotion and everything in between. If you've ever thought about writing a sewing or craft book you'll find lots of information there! You can also learn about Fiona's sewing and more on The Sewing Directory blog. The Sewing Directory grew by leaps and bounds with the success of The Great British Sewing Bee last year. (Fiona had a great corresponding series on The Sewing Directory.) To see the article in full go to the Sew Mama Sew website where there are some juicy top tips from Fiona on how to deal with the potential isolation and lonliness from working at home! http://www.sewmamasew.com/2015/01/how-to-cope-with-the-sense-of-isolation-when-working-from-home-giveaway/ * sewmamasew.com * January 2015 I bet you are wondering why I am reviewing a book about crafting a creative business. I bet you wondering what a business book about crafting has to do with knowledge mobilization. And I bet you are also wondering how this book could be useful to you. Let's explore that a bit, shall we? So, why am I reviewing Fiona Pullen's Craft a Creative Business book? It is filled with tidbits of information about creating and running a business that you can easily put into practice. Pullen's clear language writing style makes complex business concepts easily understood by professionals of all levels of ability. She not only provides sound advice on developing a business, but shares lessons learned from her own experience as a business woman to show you how tools like social media can help you promote yourself and your work. Her story has a lot to offer knowledge mobilization professionals working to incorporate effective social media practices into their own daily practice. Read this review from Bonnie Zink in full here: http://bonniezink.com/2015/01/20/book-review-craft-a-creative-business-by-fiona-pullen/ * bonniezink.com * January 2015 Many of us been making plans to start something new in 2015: Maybe a healthy eating plan, or new job, or even to develop that business idea that was back burring throughout 2014. Today I'm sharing with you a book that I think all creative entrepreneurs should own. Even if having a craft business isn't the goal for you- it's fine because it isn't for me- Fiona's book is so full of great advice that you can use it in other areas, like your social media or blog. Cleverly colours coded chapters, full of advice from successful craft industry entrepreneurs, practical exercises after each section. Craft a creative business will guide you from "is being self employed the right choice?" to "how sell your products offline/online." To read this book in review and interview with Fiona Pullen in full it can be found: http://www.houseofpinheiro.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/craft-creative-business-book-in-review.html * House of Pinheiro * January 2015 This post may come too late for anyone looking for Christmas present ideas, but it would certainly be worth treating yourself with any Christmas money you still have. This is a fabulous book! What I love best about Fiona's book (apart from the fact it's packed to the brim with useful information) is that it's one of those books you can pick up and read in bite-sized chunks. It's a dip-in kind of book. You could sit and read it in order from front to back, but you really don't have to. Fiona originally qualified in law - and it shows in her no-stone-unturned approach to research and writing - this is a well-researched book. If you want to set up a small craft-related business, then this book will get you started in great style. If you already have a small business, you will definitely learn something by reading this. It's one of those lively, go-to books that could happily sit on a bookshelf for years and be referred to on a regular basis - as a learning tool, a motivation tool and a reminder of the things you need to be doing to get your dream off the ground. The only thing missing is the coffee and cake. But you can provide that yourself, I'm sure. You can read this blog review in full http://handmadeharbour.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/craft-creative-business-by-fiona-pullen.html * Handmade Harbour * January 2015 Craft a Creative business is essential reading for anyone with a craft business or anyone thinking about or taking that giant leap from crafting as a hobby, to turning it into a part or full time job. The book is divided into six colour coded chapters; Where do I Start? Legal Matters, Presentation, Social Media, Selling Online and Selling Offline and includes extensive web links at the end of each chapter; activities and space to make your own notes and reflections. It's not the type of book to sit pristinely on the shelf, but to become more of a working document; annotated with your own ideas, plans and jottings. There's a lot in this book! I think the thing I like about it best is it's really reader friendly, and as you read you feel you get to know Fiona. She does this by including lots of relevant personal examples of her own experiences of setting up a business. She is frank, honest and realistic! Although throughout the book are case studies of small businesses, which really brings the book to life, and proves that people really do set up successful creative businesses. With activities to complete in each chapter and the space to write notes, this really is so much more than a book - it's a manual that you will refer to time and time again. To read this review in full follow this link http://quiltcandygirl.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/book-review-craft-creative-business-by.html * Quilt Candy http://quiltcandygirl.blogspot.co.uk/ * Spring 2015 If you're looking to turn your craft hobby into a business but are not sure where to start, this book will guide you through the first steps. Fiona gives clear, simple advice on the importance of identifying markets, focusing on a USP, assessing the competition, making sure the price is right and setting goals. The book includes sections on product photography, branding and legal matters and has a particular emphasis on online selling, with detailed information on blogging, social media, analytics and search engine optimisation. Offline tips are included too, with notes on selling at fairs, markets and through retail outlets, running courses and workshops, and featuring work in the media. * Wedding Cakes * December 2014 Easy-to-understand, jargon-free, basic guide to creating a craft business. Everything you need to know from the initial concept to establishing your business. Tips, advice and sound knowledge from Fiona help you get started. Each chapter gives practical activities along the way. This book covers self-employment, business know-how, social media, marketing, selling and more. If you have little business acumen, it's definitely worth a read. It explains everything in simple terms. * Karen Platt Yarnsandfabrics.co.uk/crafts * December 2014 This book is a complete guide for anyone who wants to turn their hobby, craft or art skills into a successful business. Fiona covers everything you need to know with clear, simple advice on the importance of identifying markets, focusing on a USP, assessing the competition, making sure the price is right and setting goals. Craft a Creative Business covers your creative start up from the market research and planning stage through to looking back and reviewing your progress once you're up and running. With advice on the legalities, accounting, photography, branding, social media, blogging, search engine optimisation, selling online and selling at craft fairs, she has it all covered. We Say: "Fiona Pullen has spent the last five years building the successful online website, The Sewing Directory. This book encapsulates ti[s and advice that she has learned along the way" * Craft Focus * December 2014 If you're looking to turn your hobby into a successful enterprise, then pick up a copy of Craft a Creative Business. Penned by Sewing Directory owner Fiona Pullen, the title explains how to turn a pastime, skill and talent into a commercial success. * Sew * November 2014 I have been waiting for the longest time to get my hands on this book written by a dear friend, Fiona Pullen genius behind The Sewing Directory. I know that I was not alone in my eager anticipation of this book, and, let me tell you, this book was worth the wait. Craft a Creative Business is carefully constructed into six main chapters covering a wide range of different aspects of a business in great depth, each set in a logical order making it ideal for those that want to dip in and out, seek guidance or hunt down a solution. These sections include, Where Do I Start?, Legal Matters, Presentation, Social Media, Selling Online & Selling Offline. The book hold a great deal of information (a mind-blowing amount in fact!) and, to Fiona's credit, it is all presented in an easy-to-digest manner. Clearly laid out - often in bite-sized chunks so you don't feel as though you are about to meltdown with information overload! Having set up her own successful business Fiona knows how much you will need to invest into your own business in terms of energy, time, enthusiasm, finances and building a sound knowledge of the sector, business and legal practices and this is very much at the heart of this book. This book is total must-read for anyone thinking about starting, developing, or building a creative business - its a keep it in your bag, on your desk, beside the laptop kind of book - the only question it leave me with is, "where have you been all my life?!" To read this review in full follow this link: http://www.madepeachy.com/creative-reading-craft-creative-business/ * Madepeachy.com * November 2014 Craft a Creative Business, a great book which I read from cover to cover late into the night, this book is actually for every business something in there everyone can learn. Should be a careers must. * Seams Beauty * March 2015 Craft A Creative Business is a book for anyone who has ever considered running their own creative business; whatever your craft might be! It is a really genuine exploration of what it means to run your own business, not just looking at the advantages but presenting a realistic image of what you can expect, which unfortunately does require a fair bit of hard work! However, Pullen's honest portrayal of running your own business is drawn from her own experience so she know what she is talking about, and though realistic, she doesn't make it look scary. This is a complete handbook to everything you need to know about setting up a successful creative business and it is explained in such a straight forward and easy to understand way that won't leave you confused or frightened (even the scary legal stuff!) You can read this review in full on Handmade by Hannah blog here: https://hannahackroyd.wordpress.com/2015/04/08/craft-a-creative-business-review/ * Handmade by Hannah * November 2014 This book is the meat and potatoes of the issues you need to understand before you start your creative business. It covers the basics in self-employment, legal matters, branding, marketing and selling. I like how it sets out those issues and helps you to create goals and checklists to help your progression. It also carries heaps of useful links (not just UK based) and a few examples of trading businesses.There is a lovely section on social media (which for quick technology change may become dated sooner than you think, but still worth every word of type), which talks your though various platforms, how to use them and suggested ways of marketing your products through them. I really like this business book and definitely recommend it. - See more at: http://sarastexturecrafts.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/review-craft-creative-business-by-fiona.html#sthash.zEF73KPV.dpuf * Crafts of Texture * Fiona's Craft a Creative Business is a brilliant, easy and informative `dip-in' read, packed with superb advice and top tips for anyone wanting to develop their own business - as I am doing. I love this book because it clarifies and simplifies everything, making the whole building up of a business process exciting and interesting. I have found everything I need to know here, from where to start, what to do about legal matters, how to develop all the important visual elements - branding, photography, etc., the beauty and usefulness of social media, and selling both on and off line. I have to mention the generous scatterings of incredibly useful links as well - and the fantastic advice from other business professionals, which give important insights into the way things are in business. I couldn't do without this indispensible `bible' now. It is a comforting, secure source of reference and packed with essential and helpful `everythings'. I would highly recommend Fiona's book to anyone who is thinking of making their business dreams a reality. * Woolly Felters * October 2014 If you are thinking of starting your own craft business then this book is for you. It is packed full of not only useful but totally essential information, encompassing everything from taxes and accounts to branding and marketing. Fiona's book not only explains to you why it is important to understand dry subjects like copyright and business law, but also presents it in such a way that it's actually pretty straight forward to understand. Often my brain hits the `la-la-la-not-listening' button whenever I am confronted with this sort of subject matter but not with this book. The layout means it is really easy to dip in and out of with important information easily found. I have tried to read plenty of other guides to running your own small business with limited success. But Fiona has taken her own advice in writing this book - she knows who her target market is: creative people wanting to turn their love of craft into a successful business. You can see this review by Fabric HQ in full here: http://www.fabrichq.co.uk/blogs/fabrichq/15717216-craft-a-creative-business-by-fiona-pullen-a-review * Fabric HQ * October 2014 I'm really happy to have been asked to review Fiona's brilliantly titled new book "Craft a Creative Business" which is published today and has already reached #1 in the Amazon bestsellers list for "Starting a Business"! Now there's proof of the usefulness of the information in this book.The first thing you notice about Fiona's book is how accessible it is, being broken down into 6 broad sections which are colour coded so you can quickly find your way to the bit you need. These 6 sections cover: self-employment, legal, presentation, social media, selling online and selling offline.Each section contains practical activities to get you started on actually putting the advice into practice...real-life examples and interviews with people who are running their own creative businesses...and a super-useful links page at the end of each section.I speak to many enthusiastic people (including myself!) who are either already running a creative business or would like to start. There is always a gap in their knowledge of running a business, be it in using social media or how to properly cost their products and services. Craft a Creative Business has every aspect covered. To see more of what Wendy Ward has to say follow this link: http://wendyward.wordpress.com/2014/10/27/craft-a-creative-business-by-fiona-pullen-my-review/ * Wendy Ward * October 2014 237 pages JAM PACKED with information, tips, advice, suggestions, ideas and plans for your crafting business. And that could be any crafting business at any level at all, whether you're the biggest fabric shop in Europe, a small Etsy retailer, a fabric printer, a market crafter or one small blogger starting out. The book covers six main areas, each in huge detail. Those areas are Where do I start? Legal matters, Presentation, Social Media, Selling online and Selling offline. Within each of those chapters, there is a wealth of information presented in an easy to digest way. Fi herself says this book is "designed to be dipped into so that you can go straight to the aspect you want to learn about at any given time." Each page is filled with bite-sized chunks of information such as tips on post-it notes, activities to complete, useful links, information from people in the know, regulations you need to know about etc. I knew how hard Fi had worked on this book but had no idea how much information would be packed into it. To read this review in full see Lily's Quilts blog: http://www.lilysquilts.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/craft-creative-business-by-fiona-pullen.html * Lily's Quilts * October 2014 This book is a joy to read and that in itself is an achievement in a book about business. It is well laid out, with each chapter having a different background colour and information is presented in a mix of styles so you eye and brain is kept stimulated. Its a neat size; easy to carry round and read on the go Fiona writes with a friendly, clear voice. She covers a wide range of issues and topics relevant to a creative business (and many other small businesses) with no flannel, making complex subjects simple and easy to understand and absorb. You can work your way through from beginning to end or, more likely, dip into the chapters that you either need to work on for your business or are naturally drawn to. It's an interactive read; Fiona suggests at the beginning that you start the book with a notebook at your side and complete the activities as you go (these are the ring bound notebook boxes on the page). At the end of the book you will then have a notebook full of good ideas and plans for your enterprise. The coverage is vast, from tweaking your merchandise photographs to insurance, to google analytics. Fiona trained as a lawyer. Legalities are not the most interesting to think about but they do have to be understood and mastering an online presence is an essential part of any business today. Much of the success of Fiona's own business, Sewing Directory, has come from her knowledge of law and her social media skills. Her etiquette guides to Twitter, Facebook and her Do's and Don'ts of Social Media are must read sections if you are new to any aspect of social media. If you are having even the vaguest thoughts about starting a crafty business, this book is your new best friend. Read it, do the activities and be prepared for what running a small business throws at you. Its a tough world out there and everyone needs a friend! To read this blog in full follow this link http://verykerryberry.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/craft-creative-business-book-review.html * VeryKerryBerry * October 2014 Everyone has a dream. To be able to have my own business is one of them. I might not be able to at the moment but I'm sure that when I do I'll be following this book. This book gives you everything you need to know to start your own business. It takes you through the whole journey and helps you on the way. I love the fact before you even start the book takes you through the reality of being self employed. Sometimes the idea means you think more about the dream rather than the reality. It also takes you through all the positives so that you can look at everything from ever perspective. Once you've decided it's for you the book then takes you through every step. All the things you didn't think of and so much more. Fiona doesn't only give her own perspective she gives you hints and tips from other creative businesses. As well as these she also gives you links to other sites that can help you on your way. You get examples of other creative businesses to show you how they have been successful. The book also supplies you with examples of tables to set-up. How to calculate your costs and how to price items. This book sets my heart beating faster. It makes me believe that one day I would be able to set-up my own business. If it wasn't for my health I would be using this book NOW to set-up my crochet business. If it's your dream then buy this book! It has everything you'll need and so much more! If you already have a business but you want to be more successful then I think you would also benefit from this book. You wouldn't believe how much more you could be doing to help make things work. I would give this book 5 out of 5. All the way through from a dream to being successful is covered. * Crochet Addict UK * October 2014 If You Have a Craft Business You Need This Book. Well I must say I feel incredibly honoured to have my mitts on one of the early copies of this book Craft A Creative Business. If you love to sew and you're not familiar with Fiona Pullen then you really should be! She is both the brains behind The Sewing Directory, a wonderfully content rich sewing related website. The Sewing Directory is packed with incredibly useful information ranging from local sewing classes, fabric shop info, helpful tutorials and guides, sewing events, interviews and much more. It's very easy to while away a few hours browsing through the carefully curated content on Fiona's website. Read more of what Plush Addict has to say about Craft a Creative Business here: http://blog.plushaddict.co.uk/2014/10/14/if-you-have-a-craft-business-you-need-this-book/ * Plush Addict * November 2014 Regular Sewing World contributor and founder of the highly successful `The Sewing Directory', Fiona Pullen, has just released her first book covering everything you ever needed to know about turning your crafting skills into a successful business. Fiona has her finger on the pulse of the latest tools and social media to help you maximise your chances of creating a success story. * SEWING WORLD * Spetember 2014 The Craft & Hobby Association UK (CHA-UK) highly recommends Craft a Creative Business as a must-read for anyone starting up or working in the craft industry. It gives you insightful knowlege, helpful hints and tips written in an easy to read format by the incredible Fiona Pullen. * CHA-UK * Sept 2014 Craft a Creative Business, what a clever name, and it even does what it says on the cover. There are many books written on how to use social media, improve your web site presence, set up a business and how to sell on line, but I defy anybody to find one as good as this. Without being patronizing Fiona gently guides you how to, and indeed advises whether you even should, set up on your own. To read more of this review visit R&B Consultants website. http://randbconsultants.co.uk/2014/09/26/craft-a-creative-business-by-fiona-pullen/ * R&B Consultants * October/November 2014 Successful craft business owner Fiona Pullen, owner of the Sewing Directory, explains how to turn a pastime, skill and talent into a fulfilling and rewarding commercial success. Anyone wanting to turn their hobby, craft or art skills into a successful business should read this clear, accessible and thorough guide. This is a must-read for anyone wanting to turn their hobby, craft or art skills into a successful business. Covering everything you ever wanted to know, Fiona gives clear, simple advice on the importance of identifying markets, focusing on a USP, assessing the competition, making sure the price is right and setting goals. * Craft Focus *