Gift Biz Unwrapped

40 Episodes

By: Sue Monhait

Have you thought about turning your hobby into a profitable small business? This podcast shows you how to do just that. Whether you want a side gig for some extra cash or to get out of your 9-5, the handmade products you make for fun can hold the key! In each episode you'll hear steps and actions to take to start and grow a profitable business. It's created specifically for the handmade product business entrepreneur; a group I lovingly call Gifters, Bakers, Crafters, and Makers. You're a fabulous unique creative person and I'm here to help you get on the...

418 – The Farewell Episode

Yes, you're not seeing things. This is the last episode of the Gift Biz Unwrapped podcast. Over these last 8 years and 545 episodes, we’ve covered every topic currently out there that applies to starting and growing a handmade product business. We’ve heard from amazing expert guests who didn’t hold back with their knowledge and expertise. We’ve also heard the experiences of small business owners just like you in all phases of development. Startups and established businesses alike have valuable stories to share. Lessons to learn from or points that bring us back to the basics that often get lost...

Tips & Talk 110 – 32 Questions

I’ve heard it said that the answers you seek in life are only as good as the questions you ask. Because so much goes on in our heads, sometimes our thoughts are trying to answer the wrong questions. Or you get in a brain spin and ideas go round and round randomly without even attempting to answer a specific question. To make some sense of this random thought behavior, I decided to put together sets of questions to ask that will help reflect on your handmade product business journey. Some won’t apply to you at all, some you’ve got...

417 – The Role of Your Website in Your Handmade Product Business

What is the role of your website in your handmade product business? Let's talk about this, because my answer may surprise you. The biggest misconception of eCommerce is the idea that putting up a website is the “do all, end all” of getting sales online. In reality, it’s just the beginning. Many people are shocked when they put so much time into getting their website set up, and designing the perfect layout before finally pushing the live button … but no sales come in. This situation is one I'm often asked to talk about at trade shows. Given that, I decided...

Tips & Talk 109 – The BEST Thing You Can Do to Increase Your Sales

There are lots of ways to increase your sales but today I’m going to tell you what I believe to be the number one thing you should be doing to see your orders increase. What I have to say is going to be controversial because it goes against natural inclinations. It will feel like you’re wasting time on something small that will barely move the needle. Except you’ll think differently when you see the results.

Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Content for Makers Inspired! Daily Planner Start with Confidence CONNECT with me here: Website | Facebook | Instagra...

416 – Raise Your Radiance to Raise Your Revenue with Angela Jia Kim

Today's episode is guaranteed to bring more beauty and richness into your life. This show is a special one because it brings two different but connected messages your way. An inspiring start-up story that illustrates just how far you can go starting from your home. We also explore the ancient Korean belief about health and wellness. You'll get an inside look into self-care tips to enhance your inner and outer beauty, which then shines onto all areas of your life. Angela Jia Kim is the founder of Savor Beauty, a natural skincare and facial spa brand inspired by Korean beauty...

Tips & Talk 108 – Do You Have the Next Big Idea?

I wish I would have thought of that! Or maybe you did, but now someone else has actually turned your idea into a product and it’s catching the world by storm. The old saying is true, ideas come a dime a dozen. But they don’t mean anything unless you take action. It’s the person who stops in their tracks and makes a decision to claim the new idea and follows-through with its development who is the winner. Towards that end, I’m going to share with you some ways, categories if you will, that are the foundation for crea...

415 – Lighten Up Your Email Copy for More Opens and Sales with Liz Wilcox

Today’s show might just be the game changer you’ve been hoping for if you know you should send regular emails but that’s where it ends. You tell yourself you’ll get to it in the future and then bump it back week after week until it finally drops from the list. Or you’ve sent out a few emails, maybe even years ago, and just couldn’t make the connection with the effort put into results that make it worth it. This all changes right now! Liz is here to present a fresh approach to email marketing. You’ll hear...

Tips & Talk 107 – The Truth (Illusion) About Growing Your Business

This desire to stretch for more and more has been ingrained in us over the decades. The thinking that bigger is better. You were exhilarated when you made your first sale. And from there the focus was on getting another sale … and then another one. And when that happens, then you start thinking about how you can grow even faster and bigger. Always looking for that next level. Think back to why you started your handmade business. It’s because you love the act of making. Doing more of that and seeing others enjoy your products is a beautiful vision. Real...

414 – A New Look at User Generated Content with Lauren Schwartz

Do you know what user-generated content is and how can it help you in your handmade business? User-generated content deserves more attention because understanding and utilizing this content creation strategy can help you more easily create customer communications and add depth and variety to the messages you send out. The beauty is, user-generated content can be used in all touchpoints from social media posts, to email content and even what you include on your website. To be honest, I entered into this discussion with the idea that we were talking about one thing, and Lauren expanded the topic by defining...

Tips & Talk 106 – A Different Way to Look at Your Competition

Competition is not something you need to fear. There are actually advantages to being in a well-known and established industry. I explain why and how to look at your competition differently. The emotion and feeling of discomfort comes up when you don’t have a plan to tackle competitive situations. Here’s why competition is a good thing and what you can do to be the star when in the midst of all the others.

Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Inspired! Daily Planner Start with Confidence

Get Free Coaching thru a Gift Biz Boost!

A Gift Biz...

413 – Email Marketing Strategies to Increase Sales with Laura and Adam of Pink Leopard

By now, you've probably noticed the uptick in people talking about the importance of email marketing. That's because (dare I say it?) email is even more important than social media! In fact, email is your key to predictable and growing monthly sales. It’s one thing to understand the importance of email in theory but another to know how to use it to your advantage in your business. Thankfully, today’s guests are going to shed light on this with concrete direction on the “what” and “how." Plus - my huge pet peeve - Laura and Adam answer the question about whet...

Tips & Talk 105 – The Power of Being Likeable

Being likeable. Sometimes that’s all you need to make a sale. And if you describe yourself as an introvert, this is a reason to push past this self-limiting label. Because you have no chance of being likeable if someone doesn’t have the ability to get to know you. 95% of buying decisions are made based on emotion. Neuroscience confirms it. Given this, why do we focus so much on talking about all the specifics of our products if we haven’t even been asked? Why not just be friendly and welcoming when you meet someone in your booth for the fi...

412 – Looking for an Upgraded Alternative to Etsy? with Jon Lincoln of goimagine

If you're looking for your first (or new) home for your eCommerce website - you need to tune in, because this episode is just for you! Today we’re talking about a new eCommerce platform ONLY for handmade creators that offers options not available anywhere else. I say they’re new but they have solid experience under their belt from the last two years of startup and growth. So, what should pique your interest? First, Jon is serious about keeping this marketplace only for true handmade creators. Nobody slips in who’s producing from a factory or justifies “handmade” when in truth i...

Tips & Talk 104 – A Discussion on Large versus Small Craft Shows

We are so lucky in our industry of handmade to have what feels like endless options for face-to face-selling. Today let’s talk about the size of a show and how that can affect your success. You may initially thing that larger shows will bring greater results but that’s not always the case. Both large and small shows are worth considering. Testing is always the only way to know if a show will work for you … but there are things to consider to slant the odds in your favor.

Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Inspired! Daily Planner Start...

411 – 150 Craft Shows in 3 Years! with Grant and Jennifer Anderson

This week's show is pretty exciting. As you saw from the title, my guests have participated in 150 in-person shows over just the past 3 years! Given that level of activity, you know they have a ton of experience and a wealth of insights to share. You'll also hear about their unexpected start in business, how they merged into a husband and wife business team, and what they expect in the future. This conversation is jam-packed with great stories to learn from and what can happen if you just start and pave the way forward from there. Grant and Jennifer Anderson are...

Tips & Talk 103 – Increase Your Confidence and Enthusiasm

Do you underestimate confidence and enthusiasm? I realize these are two entirely separate things, but they do go hand in hand in your business and can seriously impact your progress and the success you’ll see in the long run. Let’s define each of these first - so we’re on the same page in terms of what I’m talking about. Then I’ll go into how they affect your business and what you can do to leverage each characteristic for your benefit.

Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Network Ninja Inspired! Daily Planner Start with Confidence Program C...

410 – Start Your Handmade Business from Scratch with Robin Lee Adams

I met Robin at the Chicago One of a Kind Show. She captured my attention for a couple of reasons. Her display drew me in and made me curious about her product. It’s a combination of two other products merged into one. I got just enough information to know I wanted her on the show. That’s how I like to do this when considering a guest I don’t already know. That way our conversation here is genuine. I need to know enough to ensure they’d be a good example for you and it goes from there. Robin ha...

Tips & Talk 102 – Are You Doing This Backwards?

It makes sense that for most things in life it’s best if you start at the very beginning, except when it comes to one very important part of your business - the messaging you use to sell your products. In this case, you want to flip the script. It's the old features/benefit story. Describing your product in this way gives them all the specifics to choose and place an order. But they may not be interested in that just yet. Here’s what’s missing with this approach.

Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Content for Makers Inspir...

Bath Bombs and a Million Dollar Amazon Business with Ashley Kinkead

Today we're talking about how to start an Amazon business - or maybe collaborate with one to sell more of your handmade products. I like to present you with all sorts of options for starting a business of your own. And while we focus mostly on traditional handmade product selling, there are other ways of going about this. It’s all about what you want out of your business and how it fits overall into your full life. So, today we’re going to dig into a business model that’s a spinoff of handmade. If you don’t have a lot of...

Tips & Talk 101 – Stop Posing!

What do you do when a camera points your way? Probably the same as most people. Do you find yourself totally changing your behavior? It’s like now you have to be “on,” and you analyze and adjust so you’re captured in the best way. While all these tricks make for great photos that show your best self and ones you don’t shy away from, they’re not the best ones for your business. What is natural for you to do when a camera is pointed your way, may send your potential customers in the opposite direction.

Resources Me...

Yes! You Can Be Successful Opening a Retail Shop Today with Jessie Williams

Maybe you're heard that brick-and-mortar retail shopping is dead. Don't believe it! Retail is still an option. The dream is not lost. Today you’ll hear from Jessie, a very successful owner of three shops. She started scrappy and took advantage of growth opportunities as they presented themselves. You’ll learn about the behind-the-scenes things a store owner faces, and also how eCommerce fits into her overall plan. If you’ve ever thought about opening a bakery or retail store, this one’s for you. Jessie Williams is the founder of Edge of Urge, which specializes in the success and discover...

Tips & Talk 100 – I Had No Idea …

Regardless of what you make, there’s a skill that you’ve had to perfect. There are certain critical production points or special additions you include that make your creations extra special. There are cooling times, temperature levels, material quality specs, and interesting tools of the trade. Showing these things to your customers, things they’d never have the ability to know or see otherwise, adds to their perspective of the value of your products. And this added value doesn’t cost you more in materials or production time either. You’re already doing it. It’s just that your audience doe...

A Brave and Unconventional Path to an Award Winning Tea Company with Jenny Tse

The way Jenny got into her business is fascinating … not a traditional path by any means. As you listen to her story, notice how she encounters decision points along the way and leaps into the opportunities that present themselves. Scary? Yes, by her own admission. But also, exciting and with each win, she gains more and more confidence in herself. She says she tests herself by entering into situations to “make myself the most uncomfortable possible.” Along the way, she hits cultural obstacles and an identity crisis. She loses her job and travels to a foreign land in pursuit of her dr...

Tips & Talk 99 – How Will It Fail? And I’m Not Talking About Your Business …

How will it fail? At first glance, you may think I’m referring to the success of your business. Actually, I’m not. I’m talking about your product. And now you’re saying, “Not MY product!” I make it myself with quality materials not to mention my top-notch professional creation skills. Hold tight. I know all this is true. But your product can fail because of things that are completely out of your control. Here’s what I mean and what to do about it.

Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Inspired! Daily Planner CONNECT with me here: Website | Face...

It's National Bakers Crafters Makers Day!

Today (January 21) is National Bakers Crafters Makers Day. A time to recognize, uplift, and celebrate YOU! (And, by the way, that means ALL handmade makers whether it’s a hobby or you’ve turned what you make into a small business.) It's been 3 years since I established this official national day. Each year, we do something a little bit different to celebrate. Whether you've participated before or this is your first one. Either way, I'm thrilled you're joining us! And I want to tell you about everything that's available to you in relation to this special day of honoring you.


Tips & Talk 98 – How to Celebrate National Bakers Crafters Makers Day

National Bakers-Crafters-Makers Day celebrates ALL handmade creators of the world! Being a maker yourself, you know that what you create originates in your soul. It’s very existence requires your imagination, passion and skill. And when you present your creation, the final result provides happiness for both you and the person who receives and uses your handmade products. This act of providing happiness is something the whole world needs - especially right now. National Bakers Crafters Makers Day is meant to honor both those who have turned their handmade craft into a business and also those who enjoy it as a...

How to Increase Customer Retention with Kerri McDonald

Here's possibly the most important thing you can do to grow your business. Learn how to retain customers who have already purchased from you so they buy again.  Of course, some customers will drop off, month to month, or be one-time purchasers. But the strategy you'll hear about today can STOP that constant search for new customers every month!  Kerri dove head-first into e-commerce over four years ago, driving her first brand to eight-figure status as Director of Marketing in less than three years. Ready for a new challenge, Kerri co-founded The Greenhouse with her partner in 2020. Centered on e-commerce, em...

Tips & Talk 97 – But Do You Really Need It?

Here’s a thought to keep in mind as you go about upgrading your business processes in the months ahead. It will make you smarter with your decisions and save you time and money because it prevents you from piling up unnecessary costs without realizing it. Skill and feature creep happens when you add new things in various areas of your business either that never get used or duplicate what you already have. By consciously recognizing the potential for this to happen, you’re more likely to make wiser choices which keep you away from snap decisions that add to your...

Identify, Create and Bring a New Product to Market with Kristina Schlegel of Make Bake

My guest Kristina identified a need in the market (a “pain point” if you will) that inspired an idea for a product that could fill the gap. In this episode, she shares her journey to identify, create, and bring this new product to market. Including all the ups, downs, pivots, and even what's coming up in the future. I'm so excited for you to listen to this one. I'll bet it's even a product you'll want to try!  Kristina is a creative product & marketing strategist with over 20 years of creating category-defining products and customer experiences that deliver strategic, measurable growth for b...

Tips & Talk 96 – Goals Only Work if You Do THIS

Getting your dreams on paper makes them more likely to come true. Setting intentions is the direct path to manifesting what you want. Journaling, creating a vision board or closing your eyes and imagining yourself achieving what you’ve set out to do are various actions to take as you let your dreams swirl around in your mind. All of these are worthwhile activities to bring your desires into reality. But there’s more to it than that and this is where our wishes for what could be remain just that - dreams. Here's how to truly make your dreams turn...

What Will the Chapters of Your Life Be in 2023? with Jen Hardy

Have you ever wished you could somehow redo your life without all the challenges that you had to overcome? The reality is, even if we wish for it, nobody signed an agreement with us that all our days will be smooth and happy. Not one person on earth gets that luxury (although some lives are easier than others, no doubt). Today, we're talking about why we shouldn't wish away the challenges of our life. Why? Because that’s how we got to where we are today. Instead, let's learn ways to manage and cope with life’s struggles before they appe...

Tips & Talk 95 – Are You Being a Responsible Guardian of Your Business?

Starting a business is often compared to having another child. You’re responsible for its vitality and the one who sets the vision, plans the strategy and has the final vote on all the decisions. The life of your business is in your hands. Have you ever thought about it this way? And along with that, are you treating your business as a responsible guardian? Just as you do everything (in your control) to ensure your son or daughter doesn’t go off track, you should be doing the same for your company. Here are several areas to give attention to w...

How to Live a More Enriched and Peaceful Life with Teresa McCloy

It's Christmas Eve! And I always love to give you something extra special for the holidays. In years past, we've had some Christmas stories from author Heidi Swain, an explanation for holiday traditions that might surprise you, a popular Christmas poem (revised by yours truly) to reflect small handmade businesses, and some other fun spins for the holidays, as well. Check out my list of favorites below if you'd like to go back and take a listen. This year, I decided to do something that's still entertaining but with the spin of providing you with hope for a new way...

Tips & Talk 94 – Ignore the “What If’s”

I have a story for you about a friend I met years ago through the Chamber of Commerce. You’ll be as surprised as I was when I tell you. After this event I'm going to share with you, Alan could have kept looking back and wondering what his life would have been like if he’d made a different choice. Did he? Nope! Alan demonstrates 3 solid life lessons based on his experience and where he is today. Good things for us all to reflect on and learning to take into our futures.

Resources Mentioned in this Episode


Influencer Marketing - Word of Mouth at Scale with Yash Chavan

I'm sure you've seen an influencer on Instagram, TikTok or YouTube share a product, and then their fans all rush out and buy it. Imagine how that would feel if it were YOUR product being shared! That's what today's episode is all about - how you can multiply the power of word of mouth by working with an established influencer.  Yash is the founder of SARAL - a tool for eCommerce brands that makes finding, managing, and monetizing influencers simple. He's an engineer by training, but a marketer at heart. After working various sales jobs, Yash started a marketing agency w...

Tips & Talk 93 – How Best to Listen to THIS Podcast

Whether you are a first time listener or have been with me from the very beginning, the amount of content here can be overwhelming. How do you find an episode you heard a while back and now want to revisit? Or what if you’re after a specific topic that didn’t apply when it first aired but now makes sense to integrate into your business plan? I've got solutions to both of these situations for you. Which lead me to thinking, about how you can get the most out of listening to my podcast overall. Tune in for the deta...

How to Attend Trade Shows to Get Wholesale Accounts with Jim Cermak

Would you love to get your products into local or regional shops and boutiques? Or do you dream of bigger wholesale opportunities? Either way, exhibiting at a trade show brings you face-to-face with buyers who are looking for new brands to feature in their stores. But what's involved? How do trade shows actually work? Jim is here to answer these questions.  Jim Cermak is a trade show trainer and consultant who helps businesses make more money at their shows and events. He’s also the host of the Trade Show University podcast where he and expert guests help exhibitors and sho...

Tips & Talk 92 – How to Negotiate with Customers

Negotiating is a valuable skill to have. It’s made strongest when you think about and plan for it ahead of time. By having strategies and pre thought through actions in your back pocket, you won’t give away the house or feel taken advantage of. Instead, you can lead the conversation, offer options that fit the situation and stay in control - cool, confident and collected. You’ll find yourself negotiating mostly around 3 things. Price, Freebies or Add-ons and Returns. Let’s talk about options to handle each one.

Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Inspired! Daily Planner CONNECT...

Is Wholesale the Right Sales Strategy for Your Handmade Products? with Katie Hunt

Have you ever considered how wholesale can fit into your current business plan? Today's show is going to help you decide if selling wholesale is the right choice for your handmade business. You may think it isn't right for you, but once you listen to this show - you might discover it's not as out of your reach as you thought! Katie Hunt is the founder of Proof to Product, a podcast host, business strategist, and community builder for product-based business owners. She brings experience, education, and a love of learning into her programs. She has over 20 years of experience...

Tips & Talk 91 – Expect THIS to Happen

Expect this to happen after you start. And you’re not alone, it happens to everyone. What am I talking about?

Heidi who started making wedding accessories and now sells holiday ornaments and diy kits boutiques.

Sheila who started a gift basket business out of her house and now owns a building that includes a home goods retail shop in addition to her gifting business.

Amy who began selling marshmallows directly to consumers only to find wholesale was really where it’s at for her.

The truth is, you really have no i...