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. 4

Can I be an indie biz owner in Metro Detroit?

In the most clichéd of expressions, times are tough. In fact, I believe it was David Byrne was said with Talking Heads, "It’s life during wartime."

Ok. So things aren’t the best economy-wise for us right now in southeastern Michigan. But does that mean you should stop wishing for a life as a do-it-yourself entrepreneur? Heck no. It just means you need to figure out your audience, figure out where they’re buying and get to work.

Stephanie Tardy is a fellow Handmade Detroiter and our fearless leader. She’s a great example of realizing what your audience wants and where they’re located at. 

Steph makes fantastic journals out of found pager and other paper bits. Sometimes she changes the journal cover graphics, but for the most part, it’s a precisely cut Michigan, complete with upper and lower peninsulas. Is this a hit in Michigan? Oh yeah. Even with a tough economy, Steph doesn’t have a hard time selling her journals for $6 at local craft events and trunk shows. But she’s found a loyal following at Naka, a Ferndale-based boutique specializing in handmade goods. Michigan journals are a hit at the store. Here, Steph has realized where her audience is (Michigan, of course, and what they want- mitten journals).

In my opinion, a good way to get your business going for us Michiganders is, in a large general sense, the Internet. For indie business owners, the natural choice is If you haven’t heard of Etsy, make it a priority to check it out after reading all the latest and greatest on MetroMode.

From Etsy’s website:

"Etsy is an online marketplace for buying & selling all things handmade. Our mission is to enable people to make a living making things, and to reconnect makers with buyers. Our vision is to build a new economy and present a better choice: Buy, Sell, and Live Handmade."

What’s brilliant about Etsy, besides the facts that they’re giving anyone and everyone the chance to be an entrepreneur, is that while times might be tough here in Michigan financially, that isn’t the case for other dial-in connections on the Interwebs, thus, your product can make it.

So can you be a business owner around these here parts? Yep.

Stephanie’s blog: