Blog: Lish Dorset

Lish Dorset is a member of Handmade Detroit, the crafty gals who put on the annual Detroit Urban Craft Fair. She has been making crafts since she started her first Troll doll clothing line back in Mrs. Schneider's fifth grade classroom. Lish also works as a social media coordinator for MS&L Digital in Ann Arbor. She looks forward to chatting about the state of the indie entrepreneur here in Metro Detroit.

Post No. 2

What makes a good indie business?

Just what in the world makes for a great indie biz, let alone one you can operate out of your home in Detroit, Troy or Hazel Park? The possibilities are endless, but if you can combine something that interests you, something you’re good at and something you absolutely love, that usually makes a for a great start, no matter where you’re at.

One of my fellow Handmade Detroiters is a fantastic example. Bethany Nixon, currently making her home in Pontiac, is the one-woman force behind Reware Vintage, an online clothing store specializing in your favorite blasts from the clothing past, as well as her unique record notebooks, since 2005. When I look at Beth’s store, it’s a great combination of her eye for finding vintage T-shirts in the boring clothing haystack and her crafting abilities. Unlike me, Beth actually has a degree in entrepreneurship… she’s more than qualified to be an indie biz gal!

For Beth, being an indie entrepreneur isn’t a 9-to-5 job. Instead, it means driving all over Michigan scouring thrift stores and estate sales, church rummage sales and factory closeouts on the hunt for fabulous finds. Beth works long hours updating her web site with the latest additions, looking for the best advertising outlets her audience listens to and slicing used records for the ongoing demand of her notebooks. Did I mention she makes clothing, too?

Recognizing where your audience is a big part of what makes a good indie business. For Reware Vintage, it’s not JUST being online. Beth sets up shop at the annual Detroit Urban Craft Fair with her record notebooks. Why an alternative craft fair? Beth knows that her notebooks are a big hit with DIY consumers who love handmade goods made locally.

For a post I wrote for our blog a few years back, Beth had this great quote on what the most rewarding part of being a DIY entrepreneur meant to her:

"I love this job more than anything else I've ever done in my life. What I put into this is what I'm going to get out, and I love that. I get direct feedback and response to something I do like I have never gotten working for somebody else. It is just so incredibly rewarding for somebody to buy something that you made and then tell you or e-mail you about how much they love it."

That’s what worked for Beth. What do you think works for you?