The online home for ceramicists & makers who are looking for a supportive community to explore the diverse ways of creating a small business that puts their lives first while helping each other navigate the quickly changing world (and internet) in order to pursue our dreams of making a living from the things we make.
Your time is your most valuable resource, so before you scroll any farther, let’s make sure you’re in the right spot. Lately, have you been feeling like the internet is more of a time suck & energy killer, rather than a place of inspiration & opportunity? Have you been thinking, "There must be another place to connect with other makers and find solutions to the endless questions when it comes to making a living from the things you make..."
Whether you are...
You are side-hustling towards your dreams and tired of spending what little spare time you have rewriting your Google search in the hopes of it actually giving you useful results or scouring through hours of (less than helpful) YouTube tutorials or...
You are in the thick of it, full-time, day in and day out in the studio, working towards that next shop update, but also thinking maybe there could be a more sustainable way to do things. And perhaps, it’s time to look at what the next phase of business might be…
Or In Between
You are in the middle of taking the leap, but aren’t feeling entirely secure in this new phase of life. You’re pretty sure you saved up enough to give yourself some time to figure it all out, but you’d rather have a support system of other people who know what a scary leap it is than tap out all of your savings...
You are in the Right Place.
I know that to be true because Community support is exactly how I’ve been able to grow my own small business(es) over the last 12 years. At every stage - those early months when I knew absolutely nothing or 7 years later when it was time to grow in a big way or even 12 years later when it was time for an even bigger change - I’ve leaned on colleagues and mentors to guide and encourage me (and avoided some of the worst mistakes thanks to their help).
And I'm going to show you exactly how The Community by the Maker's Playbook is the online home for aspiring makers and entrepreneurs that we’ve all been dreaming about. Working together, with Livestream Office Hours, Monthly Themes, and quick & easy Weekly Check-ins, you’ll go from overwhelmed & overworked to an empowered entrepreneur. Best of all, you’ll be able to make informed decisions that are best for you and yourlife, rather than feeling pressured to follow whatever the next trend on the internet is.
How does it work?
This is not the place to learn throwing or hand building, or… frankly, any of the actual craft of making. It is the place to talk all about the rest of the things we need to figure out in order to make a living from the things we make.
The Community is the place to help quiet those 2:00AM thoughts that pop into your mind and keep you awake all night. You know the ones:
Should I use Etsy or build my own website?
Do I really have to show my face on Instagram?
How the heck do I manage international shipping?
What if someone asks for a refund?
Do I have to sell online?
Do I have to sell in person?
What about wholesale?
Wait! How do I even price my work in the first place?
Is there another way to…
If you dream of making a living from the things you make...
There is a nearly endless list of questions you have to answer in order to start selling your work, let alone support yourself long term. And the solution to finding all of those answers currently looks something like this:
The Community is here to solve this problem.
Through clear Monthly Themes, together, we’ll take pragmatic action toward each of our individual goals, one small step at a time (after all, many of us are side-hustling this dream!). In an intentional space, we’ll get to know each other and in doing so, be able to share meaningful insights on experiences we have had that can help others get unstuck. Whenever you have a question or an idea you are curious to learn more about, instead of getting lost in the distractions of Facebook and YouTube, you’ll be able to log into your Community and know impactful conversations await you!
While The Community in this exact form is brand new, I’ve been helping potters and makers gain clarity around what it’s really like to make a living from the things we make for a while now.
If it's not a Patreon or a Facebook group, what is it?
At its core, The Community is built with intention - to ensure we all avoid the mindless scroll. Rather than sit and listen to one person give advice (like an online course), The Community is a place to harness the power of diverse experiences and spur discussion between many makers together.
It's a Cocktail Party, Not a Lecture Hall
While platforms like Patreon are great for consuming educational content from amazing teachers, they aren’t built for easy discussion between students. The Community is built on a platform rooted in the importance of growing our relationships, both in a group and one-on-one.
Connect how you are Comfortable
Nervous about contributing publicly? Chat with a friend in a DM. Need as much feedback as possible about an upcoming decision? Post it in the group for all. Inside The Community are opportunities to engage however best suits you. Whether you want to chime in on an existing conversation, start your own thread, or connect directly with another maker, you can find the space that works best for you.
Guided themes help you break down huge topics and take on bite-sized pieces of information that allow you to take meaningful steps towards your next goal, even if you only have late nights & weekends available to think about your dreams.
Think of it like this:
Have you ever experienced the unique sense of relief and inspiration you get when you sit down with someone that does the same thing you do? You don’t have to explain the steps to a well-meaning loved one, but can instead dive deep into the really specific struggles & questions?
That’s what The Community is for.
Or, you know when you are listening to an episode of The Maker’s Playbook podcast, nodding along to what the guest is saying, but then think of a question you are dying to ask?
That’s what The Community is for.
Speaking of the podcast, you know when there’s a conversation you could listen to for hours and wish would never end?
When I say I understand, I mean, as 2 self-employed artists living in the intensely capitalist society of the USA, I understand. Over the last 12 years of my own self-employment journey, I have gained priceless knowledge and (more importantly) relationships from attending professional conferences. But the cheapest of those was about $300 USD before the flight, hotel, and food needed to attend. 9 times out of 10, it was always worth it, but that big boost of inspiration and insight only came once a year (or once every other year depending on budget). By the time I returned home and was thrown back into the demands of everyday life, the inspiration waned. And when I had time to start thinking about maybe implementing something I had learned a month or two later, my notes from the incredible speaker no longer made sense…
A Brief Important Note on Equity:
Due to systemic racism and oppressive capitalism (to keep the list short), access to the arts and necessary resources are far from equal in our current world. An integral goal of The Community is to be an international hub for makers from all backgrounds. In order to reach that goal, we offer a special membership rate for makers living outside of the top 20 Purchasing Power Parity Countries (using this list better accounts for the cost of living in different countries and not simply the conversion rate of currencies. If you are curious to learn more, feel free to either email Rebecca or simply Google “purchasing power parity”). Please contact Rebecca directly to join the membership via this opportunity.
As our community grows, we will also implement scholarship opportunities for artists from historically marginalized groups as soon as we are sustainably able to do so. Building a supportive and safe space for all is our primary goal, above all else, but it is also a work in progress. We are committed to continuing to learn and unlearn and welcome any solution-focused feedback to help us on this journey. Until that scholarship is possible, 5% of all proceeds (not just profits) will be donated to a rotating organization that supports bringing about more equitable access to historically underrepresented communities in the arts. At the end of each month, this donation will be transparently posted in The Community.
The Community is here to provide sustainable inspiration, encouragement, guidance, and support.
Because making a living from the things you make is a marathon, not a sprint.
Membership starts at $27/month with an annual purchase option of $270/year (2 months free!). Additionally, we are pleased to offer a discounted rate for makers living in countries outside of the top 20 countries on the Purchasing Power Parity scale. Contact Rebecca directly for more details on that opportunity.
Having one of those, "Ugh... I'm not sure..." moments?
Well first off, I've been there. Over the last 12 years of entrepreneurship, I've invested in my share of online programs. Some were worth it, and frankly, some weren't, so I get it. First things first, if you have a question I haven't answered here, send me an email directly.
But let's get to the heart of the matter...
I know you're overwhelmed with the to-do lists (and the wishlists). And the idea of adding one more commitment is enough to make you curl up under the covers and never come back out.
But I also know you need to save time. If you're going to make this crazy thing work (you know, the whole making a living from the things you make, thing?), you need a support system that isn’t only well-meaning loved ones. They are important, of course (Hi Dad!!), but they don’t always understand what we’re going through, do they? Not to mention, if I start to ask my friends about their perspective on an upcoming shop launch Instagram strategy plan their eyes kind of glaze over with supportive confusion.
After all, that's exactly why you spent the time reading this entire website page anyway, isn't it?
You've been looking for a better resource. You’ve been scouring Google and YouTube for the answers, but every time a new question pops up, you have to start that search all over again. And there are a lot of questions popping up.
Well my friend, here's your sign. This is it. You’ve heard every episode of the podcast end this way for a reason - to my core I know and believe that together, we really can do this.
Together, We Can Do This.
12 years ago I had no idea what I was doing. I stumbled into a photography conference that just so happened to also have an online platform component available after the conference was over. Through the sheer luck of finding myself in this online community, I not only made lifelong friends (Hi Brian!), I also had a network of colleagues and mentors to lean on. In the months to come, I would text message a new friend with endless questions as I built a website for the very first time.
Years later, another friend I had met through that same community would guide me in launching my second business (Thanks, Jeff!). I know without a doubt that I would not have the business I have today without the support of a community of colleagues.
The depth of this support is what I dream about bringing to the maker community. Not only tactical how-to’s from the makers that have come before you, but side-by-side emotional support when the going gets tough. Because if there’s one other thing I know it’s this: Making a living from the things you make is a marathon, not a sprint. And while it might always be hard, it’s a heck of a lot more enjoyable with friends by your side.
Are You Ready?
So… What do you say? Ready to join in and support other makers on this crazy journey of making a living from the things we make?
Whether you are curious about the opportunities The Maker's Playbook aims to provide in the spirit of bringing more equity to this world, or you simply have a question about what to expect when joining The Community, I'm happy to chat more. Pop your question into the form and I'll get back to you as quickly as one woman checking an inbox can feasibly manage while also not skipping meals and getting at least 6 hours of sleep a night.