Show cover of Handmade CEO Podcast

Handmade CEO Podcast

What does it take for you to start your own small business? Where can you gather inspiration and information to get you started on the right foot? Can you make a living from selling handmade items? I've spent 10 years as an artist, maker, and marketer, and currently spend most of my time as the Founder and CEO of Happening Hands, a membership community for makers where we help them grow thriving, profitable businesses. Every Wednesday, you'll hear from Handmade CEOs and industry experts. These guests will share their personal stories, insider tips, and special offers with you. I'm committed to sharing all there is to know to help you get from point A to point B in your handmade business with the least amount of obstacles! The mission of this podcast, originally founded by Maria Laurin (host for episodes 1-133), is to teach and inspire you to take action, and start handcrafting your dreams! For show notes and links:


Cork & Candles | Building a Successful Candle Business Around Customer Experience
This is one of my all time favorite episodes! In this episode I'm interviewing Kenny Straub from Cork & Candles, a highly successful brick and mortar candle shop in Pennsylvania. Cork & Candles offers customers a unique experience when they enter the shop; a fragrance library filled with scents that bring back powerful emotions and memories, and that allows them to create a candle to take home with them by the end of their visit. Customers can even bring their favorite beverage to pair with a fresh charcuterie board or flatbread from their in-house menu. Kenny chats with me about the origins of the business, how his family has built a successful candle business around customer experience, and some of the marketing initiatives that have made his family owned business such a success.To shop Cork & Candles, and see photos of their beautiful fragrance library, head to
19:59 3/15/23
Prepping for Craft Shows in 2023
In this special solo episode I'm walking through some of my tops tips for getting ready for your 2023 craft shows as a handmade business owner!
10:45 3/8/23
How to Build a Business You Can Sell with Kara Laws
In this episode, we're chatting with special guest Kara Laws. Kara is a business educator and currently owns a business called Launched. Kara has built six businesses, sold four, and still runs two! Kara has worked with over 500 business owners and has personally coached some to hit over 1 million in revenue. Kara created “Launched” because she was getting the same feedback from the women that she taught: “I wish there was a place that taught me all the steps, in the right order. I did so many things wrong at the beginning.” So, Kara created a program to teach business owners HOW. How to open a business, how to avoid expensive mistakes, how to start growing, and how to do everything in the right order. Head to to get Kara's free Business Essentials Checklist. For makers, join Happening Hands at to gain access to Kara's workshop on how to start your business!
11:44 2/23/23
The Power of Press Releases: Boosting Your Small Business's Visibility with Mickie Kennedy from eReleases
Did you know that 98% of press releases that go out, do nothing? But, if you have an irresistible story, your press release could be transformative and boost your small business's visibility like crazy! Today's special guest is Mickie Kennedy, the CEO and Founder of E-Releases. Mickie believes that with some effort and a little money, the possibilities are endless. He is an expert at helping small businesses, authors, and startups increase their visibility and credibility. Mickie founded eReleases 24+ years ago after realizing that small businesses desperately need a press release service they can actually afford, giving them access to the media and to a national newswire – all with a personal touch. His press releases have resulted in articles being published in the Wall Street Journal, CNN, Bloomberg, and many more prestigious new outlets. In this episode you'll get some tips on how to make your story irresistible, and what to expect when gearing up for a press release campaign. Take Mickie's free free master class on How to Build a PR Campaign Designed to Get Massive Media Coverage at
19:57 2/15/23
Human Centered Marketing with Copywriter Maddy Aucoin
Thank you for tuning in! In this episode, we'll be chatting with special guest Maddy Aucoin. Maddy is a copywriter and brand messaging strategist for values-driven brands. Maddy loves working with brands to create clear and fun copy that connects with their audiences. She's also the creator of the Bad*ss Biz Club community for businesses who prioritize people, profit, and the planet. You can find Maddy on her website at, and on Instagram @bymaddyaucoin!
16:48 2/8/23
How to Build Brand Loyalty Through Your Marketing with Monica Sharma-Patnekar
Thank you for tuning in to today's episode! Our special guest joining us today is Monica Sharma-Patnekar, and we're going to be chatting about how to connect with your customers and build brand loyalty through your marketing. Monica is an eCommerce brand mentor & consultant, a purpose-driven (digital) brand, marketing & strategy professional with 17 years of global experience building brands. She’s worked across diverse sectors and companies, from Fortune 500 to scale- & start-ups. Monica offers high-touch coaching & mentorship to small business, conscious, eCommerce & product, and retail entrepreneurs. Grab Monica's Desire Over Demographics freebie, and learn the 4 types of questions you should ask your customer:
20:39 2/1/23
Elements of a High-Converting Website with Michelle Ponvert
In this episode, I'm speaking with special guest Michelle Pontvert, life-first Web Designer & Marketing Strategist obsessed with creating simple yet crazy effective marketing solutions for online business owners. Most Web Designers can make you a pretty website, but she's here to help you solve real-world business problems so you aren’t spending so much of your time & energy figuring out how to market and sell your amazing stuff with your website. Don't miss out on grabbing Michelle's free Website Self-Audit to see if your website has the 6 essential elements for a high-converting website:
22:15 1/25/23
Building a Thriving Community Art Studio with Meredith Russell
Today’s special guest is Meredith Russell, creative business coach, artist, and the Founder of Craft Theory, a brick and mortar community art studio in Lakewood, Washington. Since opening in November of 2021, Meredith has hosted over 240 art classes in her space, and Craft Theory has supported more than 60 local businesses in her area. If you've thought about starting a local community art studio, this episode is for you! Learn more about Meredith's business at
21:05 1/18/23
A Handmade Marketplace for Social Good with goimagine Founder Jon Lincoln
Have you ever wished that you could sell in a handmade marketplace that doesn't take all the fee profits from it's makers for capitalistic gain? Meet Jon Lincoln, the Founder of goimagine, the only handmade marketplace that gives 100% of its profits to charities that help children in need. Jon took his background in tech, found a need in the handmade community, and is giving back with his unique approach to start transforming the online economy into an engine for social good. He calls it the "caring economy", and I'm so excited to share his story with you.Interested in selling with goimagine? Use code HH23 for your first month of goimagine FREE. Interested in buying from a goimagine maker? Head to and support a maker, and a charity, today!
23:39 1/11/23
Building a Six-Figure Coffee Roasting Business with Dawn Kennedy
Welcome to a new season of the Handmade CEO Podcast! We're kicking off Season 4 and Episode 150 with a very special guest - Dawn Kennedy - business mentor, the CEO of Convoy Road Coffee Roasters, podcast host, attorney, and author! Dawn and her husband launched Convoy Coffee Roasters and have scaled the business to over six-figures in just 2 years! She is also the author of The Profit Accelerator and host of the Profit Accelerator Podcast. If you're ready to streamline your small business and learn more about how to own your business decisions for more success, this is the episode for you! To work with Dawn, head to, or join her Business on Purpose Facebook Group to find other awesome entrepreneurs running vision led businessess.
30:20 1/6/23
5 Ways to Market Your Handmade Business in 2023
Welcome to the final episode of this season, all about how to market your business in 2023! AND with a special announcement about our upcoming 'Make It Happen!' Mastermind for Makers, happening January through June in 2023, for makers ready to bring their marketing to the next level with 1:1 coaching and a custom roadmap we build together! Makers can join the Mastermind by going to 
07:53 12/7/22
How Founders Affect Startup Culture From the Top Down with Sophie Theen
Thank you for tuning into episode 148! In this important episode I'm interviewing Shophie Theen, award-winning people management expert and author of THE SOUL OF STARTUPS: The Untold Stories of How Founders Affect Culture.  There’s a common misconception that a company’s people make its culture. In reality, startup culture begins and trickles down from the very top, from a company’s founder. That founder’s personality, including their emotional maturity, can lift their organization’s culture or destroy it. So, how can founders identify whether their personalities are positively impacting their culture, and make changes if not? Sophie is well-versed on this topic as she has deeply researched and profiled founders who lacked the emotional mite and intelligence to create and maintain an organization on which an entire team could rely for their wellbeing. She’s also studied those who excelled at creating environments that allowed their team members to thrive, personally and professionally. She gives her top tips in this episode on how founders and managers can begin to create a more nurturing culture in their companies or organizations. 
18:36 11/30/22
Choosing a Brand Name with Nicole Swartz from Sprout Law
Thank you for tuning into episode 147! Special guest Nicole Swartz from Sprout Law chats trademarks for small business owners and tips for choosing a brand name for your business that isn't trademarked!  Need a trademark for your business, or a legal template? Head to 
23:50 11/23/22
Self-Publishing as a Creative with Bobby Hedglin-Taylor
Thanks for tuning into episode 146! If you're interested in self-publishing as a creative, this episode is a great place to start! Our special guest is Bobby Hedglin-Taylor, circus and aerial sequence designer, vocal impressionist, Broadway performer, stand-up comedian, and self-published author. His book "#ShitMyMamaSays: A Humurous Look at Life While Dealing with Dementia" is a charming, sad, yet hilarious book that is absolutely worth the read (I read it in about 25 minutes and it was so good!). You can grab Bobby's book on Amazon and Kindle, and make sure to look out for his next one "Escape to Ravioli Mountain." To watch the Phish performance that Bobby took part in, look up "Steam Phish Down with Disease New Years" on Youtube, there are some awesome videos of the aerial performers in the air!
40:39 11/16/22
Founding a Handmade Marketplace with Tiffany Millen from Made By Her
Thanks for tuning into episode 145! In this episode, we'll hear from special guest Tiffany Millen, the Founder & CEO of the Made By Her marketplace!   Shop the Made By Her marketplace to support women-owned businesses this holiday season by going to 
35:08 11/9/22
Building Confidence In Your Creative Practice with Caryl Pomales
Thank you for tuning into Episode 144! In this refreshing episode, Caryl Pomales, abstract artist and art coach for emerging artists, talks about how making mistakes and leaving perfectionism behind can help you make discoveries and build confidence in your creative practice.  Join Caryl's membership, The Painterly Way by heading to
21:17 11/2/22
Accelerate Your Holiday Sales in 2022!
Thank you for tuning into Episode 143! In this special Solo Episode, I'm dropping some simple tips on how to accelerate your sales this holiday season (2022)!  To join the Holiday Sales Accelerator Challenge we're hosting from Nov. 1-15, head to the following link to sign up:
06:27 10/26/22
Building a Sustainable & Inclusive Soap Brand with Sleepy Hollow Handmade
Thank you for tuning into episode 142! In this special maker feature episode, soap makers Tim and Joey Kapalo-Allen from Sleepy Hollow Handmade walk us through their journey from soap-making hobby to building a sustainable and inclusive soap brand. Their funky, fragrant, and colorful creations are carefully crafted by hand in their home in Pittsburgh, PA. Don't miss their special offer at the end of the episode!
24:47 10/19/22
Why Creative Direction is Key to Launching Your Brand with Kelly Bennett
Thank you for tuning into Episode 141! In this episode, special guest and Creative Director Kelly Bennett is here to talk about why creative direction is key to launching your brand! If you've felt like you've been running in circles trying to get your brand off the ground, this episode is for you!
23:09 10/12/22
$75K Handmade Kickstarter Launch?! Using Email Marketing & Storytelling for Product Launch Success
Thank you for tuning into Episode 140! In this special solo episode, I'm talking about my experience using email marketing and storytelling to help make a handmade book launch on Kickstarter a huge success. If you're wondering how to get started with email marketing for your small business, you won't want to miss this episode!   To check out the Kickstarter campaign I'm discussing in this video, search for "La Divina Commedia – The New Manuscript" on Kickstarter. Overall, this campaign made over $361K in sales. 
14:54 10/5/22
Why Every Small Business Owner Should Think Like An Entrepreneur with Sean Castrina
Thank you for tuning into episode 139! In this episode, powerhouse guest Sean Castrina shares why every small business owner should think like an entrepreneur. With tips on why most startups fail and how to avoid the pitfalls, to how to stand out in a saturated market, you won't want to miss a moment of this episode with Sean! Learn more about Sean and get his free book, the 8 Unbreakable Business Rules for Business Startup Success, on his webste at, and don't forget to give his podcast, The 10 Minute Entrepreneur, a listen!
23:58 9/28/22
3 Things to Know Before Starting a Handmade Business with Seiko Sisco from Waku Waku Baby
Thank you for tuning into episode 138! In this episode, special guest Seiko Sisco from Waku Waku Baby talks about her journey with starting to make baby accessories as a new mom, to opening her business, all the way to getting a Comcast Rise Investment Fund Grant. She talks us through 3 things she wishes she knew before starting a handmade business, and we hope these tips help makers or creatives who might be just getting started in their business.  Listeners can get free shipping on all orders $25 and up from Waku Waku Baby with code FREESHIPCEO, by going to
20:14 9/21/22
How SEO Can Help Your Small Business Stand Out with Katie Paskorz
Thank you for tuning into episode 137! This week's guest is Katie Paskorz from Katydid PGH. She tells her story of going from 8 years in the banking industry to becoming an SEO specialist and web designer helping creative and purpose-driven small business owners with website solutions - and overall, making it easy for them to understand SEO!  And for all our listeners, use code HANDMADE for 50% off Katie's Easy Website Content Guide, or her guide o Five Simple Steps to Improve Your SEO. Both guides can be found on her website,
24:07 9/14/22
How to Make More Sales in Your Handmade Business
Thank you for tuning in to episode 136! In this episode, I'm talking about 3 ways to make more sales in your handmade business. For the full show notes, head to  Until next time!
07:28 9/7/22
Inspiring Transformation Through Everyday Objects With Artist Doug Heifetz
Thank you for tuning in to episode 135! In this episode artist Doug Heifetz talks about his journey to becoming an artist and jewelry designer, making beautiful and surprising work from everyday objects like spoons and forks. He leaves us with a beautiful vision of a better world, and how he inspires these transformations through his work.  To take 20% off any spoon ring on Doug's website,, use code HANDMADECEO20 at checkout.  Makers who have questions about Doug's mobile booth/boutique can contact him through his website. Until next time!  
22:37 8/31/22
Crush Your Holiday Sales Goals with Giftable Packaging - Kelley Kempel
Thank you for tuning in to episode 134! In this episode, Branding and Packaging Specialist Kelley Kempel gives us some tips around how to crush our holiday sales goals with giftable packaging. Now is the perfect time to start prepping for the holiday buying and selling season, so you won't want to miss this one!   To get 15% off of Kelley's Packaging Field Guide Masterclass, head to, head to Courses, and use code HANDMADECEO15 at checkout! Until next time!  
21:06 8/24/22
A Sweet Farewell AND Introducing Your New Host
Thank you for tuning in to episode 133!   I have very big news about the future of this podcast that I would like to share with you today!   In this episode, I'll be introducing the new host and new owner of this podcast.   It's been nearly three years since I started this journey, and I'm so grateful for all of you that have tuned in and reached out.   Until next time...
16:08 8/17/22
Ep 132 When Life Leads You to Your Passion - Cayce Eastwood
How many of you have started a small business from a class or a new hobby that you learned?   Today's guest shares how her wedding inspired her to learn letterpress.  After discovering her passion, she opened up her shop!   Take a listen to Cayce as she coaches us into believing in our dreams!
20:46 8/10/22
Ep 131 The Importance of Finding Your Creativity
Do you have a hobby or a passion outside of being a business owner?   In today's episode, I'm sharing Noemi's story of being an artist and business owner.   So many parts make up who we are, and I find that our businesses thrive once we rediscover our passions!
14:16 8/3/22
Ep 130 Four Ideas to Redefine Your Schedule
Thank you for tuning in to episode 130! If you're listening in real-time, today is the last Wednesday of the month, and I usually like to share a thought, lesson, or idea with you to end the month. These episodes tend to be super short but full of good stuff...I promise! Here are four ideas to redefine your schedule.
05:20 7/27/22