Confidence to Start Your Handmade Business Amika Ryan Shepherd Like A Girl

The One Secret to Having the Confidence to Start Your Handmade Business

Are you a crafter, artist, or maker? Do you sometimes fear the criticism people may have for your handmade products?

I hear you, because I used to have that same fear!

When you put so much time, effort, and love into your craft and put it out there for people to buy, of course you just want people to love it.

But what if people don’t? And even worse, what if no one buys?

I’m here to tell you, that if people don’t like your product that’s fine. And actually, it’s better than fine. It’s great!

I want to share a story that happened to me recently.

I’m a handmade crafter of all things sheep. If you didn’t already know, I have a flock of sheep and my favorite thing to do is make home decor from their pelts.

What I really love to make is decorative throw pillows. I enjoy creating them with sheep skin on one side and a fun fabric on the other.

I’m constantly asking my customers on social media what kind of fabric I should use and the other day I gave them two fabric choices.

One was a trendy black and white buffalo plaid and the other was a bold red with little white deer and flowers.

amika ryan shepherd like a girl

I would say out of 100 people that answered, 90 of them said that the buffalo plaid looked better. The other 10 stated that they loved the red one and were drawn to the uniqueness of it.

Well, it turned out that the sheepskin was actually big enough that I could make one pillow with each of the fabrics – one sheepskin pillow with buffalo plaid and one sheepskin with red forest friends.

Now what one do you think I ended up selling for more money?

The answer is the red unique one! That’s because it targets and pinpoints a specific person’s style and tastes. Whereas the plaid one just pleased the general population.

Yeah a lot of my audience “liked” the plaid, but the fabric was more of a crowd pleaser and less of a “I have to have it!”.

amika ryan shepherd like a girl         amika ryan shepherd like a girl

So what exactly am I getting at?

The one with the red print really polarizes people and gives them a strong reaction. A lot of people didn’t like the red and you would think that I would’ve had a harder time selling the red one, but the exact opposite was true.

This is because the red also drew in a specific taste and type of customer.

And that’s exactly what you want to be doing with YOUR handmade crafts.

My one secret to being confident is going in knowing that you aren’t going to please everyone.

So hear me out.

If you aren’t displeasing some people with your handmade craft, you aren’t doing it right.

You want some people to not like what you are making. If you’re creating your handmade crafts to please everyone, then in reality, you’re being less effective in attracting your ideal customer. You know, the ones that pay you what you’re worth and more!

Position yourself and your handmade crafts to speak to your ONE ideal customer.

You need to have one specific type of person in mind and your craft will speak to them leading to them following you, loving you, and sharing your craft with others.

Another example I want to share with you is this. I sometimes make custom home decor items for my friends.

The other day, a good friend of mine requested that I make her a custom throw pillow that matches her new bed spread.

Now, where I live in Montana, people tend to like decor that is more rustic and woodland. My friend lives in Nevada, and I don’t quite think that my typical design style would fit well for her Las Vegas home and new bedspread.

I ended up ordering Southwestern style fabric for her pillow, and I can already tell you that it would be a hard sell here to my local Northwestern customers.

Again, polarizing, but this example is in a geographical way. When I create my handmade crafts I don’t do it for the masses. I typically make things for people who want to big a bit of rugged Montana living and shepherding heritage into their homes.

This brings us back to the main point.

You need to be crafting with that specific person in mind. It’s totally okay that the custom Southwestern pillow that I made for my friend wouldn’t appeal to my typical ideal customer market.

That’s why I didn’t make it for them! I had one ideal person that fit perfectly with that pillow design.

When you’re making your craft, you’re making products that not only YOU love, but also that one specific person. That one person that sees that value in your handmade craft and you! You aren’t making it for the masses.

Speak to that one specific customer.


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Amika teaches online courses and workshops for craft business owners, artists and fiber enthusiasts to help them create sustainable and profitable handmade businesses. She's dedicated to helping you succeed with your handmade craft business in the noisy online space that is the internet today.