Season 8 of The Merriweather Council Podcast has landed! I cannot believe this is the start of our 8th podcast season!!
Before we get into our list of the best podcast episodes for handmade business owners allow me to introduce myself. If this is your first time listening to The Merriweather Council Podcast, welcome! The Merriweather Council is a female-owned and operated small business that provides support resources for makers in business. Our mission is to lead makers to turn their crafty tendencies into profits and become empowered business owners who thrive on their own terms.
We have already published over 130 episodes of The Merriweather Council Podcast. To kick this season off, I will highlight one episode from each season that is worthy of the re-listen (or first-time listen!)
As always, do keep in mind that we try to keep the podcast as timeless as possible, so the great majority of the episodes in our backlog are still relevant today! If you do binge listen to older episodes, bear in mind that some of our personal opinions may have evolved over time. You can review our guide to listening here.
Okay, let’s get into the 7 best podcast episodes for handmade business owners!
The Merriweather Council Podcast Season Highlights
The baby of the family. We launched the podcast in 2016, which feels like four decades ago. (Just me?) There are several episodes of season 1 that I think are particularly worth the listen or re-listen, but I am highlighting episode 6: thoughts on creativity, art, design, and craft.
This episode is about my ‘creativity philosophy’ if you will. I have a long and tumultuous relationship with the blurry line between art and craft; maybe you have experienced it yourself as a maker. Particularly among makers of utilitarian products, this seems very common. This is a topic I would like to dedicate more time to in the next several months. While it is SO uber important to discuss creativity in general and the relationship of art to craft and vice versa, it does seem to get overlooked in favor of ‘business chat.’
At the heart of a handmade business is creativity, art, design, and craft. If you want to hear more about my personal experiences with the combination and separation of those fields, give episode 6 a listen. I am curious to know if this is a topic you are interested in hearing more about. Let me know!
I want to highlight episode 29: summer is your most valuable season. As we are approaching summer time now here in this hemisphere, it is a great time to review episode 29.
We have a lot of content related to doing business between May and October (loosely, ‘summertime’), and I would strongly encourage you to check it all out. Episode 29 is a great place to start. In it, we discuss WHY summer, while generally a bit sluggish for retailers, is an incredibly valuable time for business owners. If used properly, of course. Since a slow season can happen any time of the year, this episode is helpful even outside of the summertime.
Here are a few additional resources on un-slumping your summer:
- What to do when sales are slow in the summer
- How to achieve the ideal December as a maker in business
- The unSLUMP Guide: our framework for turning a slow season into your most valuable season
This season was jam-packed and I had a tough time deciding which episode to highlight here. I settled on episode 56. Episode 56 is the first time we spoke about Taylor Swift and her INCREDIBLE marketing brilliance on this show. We have done it a handful of times since then! Episode 56 is a pretty comprehensive look at how Taylor Swift wraps us all around her little finger. She knows exactly what she’s doing, and it works. Her marketing example is genuinely worthy of the episodes we have dedicated to it. Listen to episode 56 here.
Episode 76 was my pick from season 4 for best podcast episodes for handmade business owners. This episode is all about what I call the ‘consumer self’ concept. What that means is that we have so many valuable insights that can serve us as business owners and product sellers as consumers ourselves. In this episode, I give specific areas you already have so much consumer insight about that you can tap into.
It’s common to want to survey your audience or ask other people what they would do or prefer in a specific situation. If we can see that we have a lot of knowledge already and understand how to use it better, we can move past hurdles faster. This is such a valuable concept to be aware of, particularly when it comes to pricing! Be sure to check out episode 76!
This was one of my favorite seasons because in it, I interviewed so many amazing people! I encourage you to listen to all the interviews in season 5. There is so much to learn from the shared stories on business, life, marketing, and PR.
The episode I specifically want to highlight here is episode 102: what to do when your Instagram is shut down. Our friend, student, and Council Member Kim from Daisy Faye Designs dealt with this significant business blow in 2019, and she so graciously shared her story with us.
You can imagine how upsetting losing your Instagram account would be. Losing what you’ve built there and shared there is enough of a bummer. On top of that, you lose your audience, the connections, the content you’ve saved, the comments, conversations, DMs. All gone. This episode is absolutely a cautionary tale but also one of perseverance and the power of having your business eggs spread out.
As we were approaching season 6, COVID-19 started gaining traction in the states, and we released an episode early regarding that. The episode is titled Business, Goals, and Longevity in the time of COVID19. It’s an episode between episode 107 and 108, and I anticipated that it would be irrelevant rather quickly, and we would delete it or remove it from our site. Spoiler alert: I was wrong about that in terms of COVID, which lasted a much longer time than I think any of us anticipated in those early days.
I was also wrong about it becoming irrelevant. It is timeless. The things I covered in that episode are not COVID specific. You could replace ‘COVID19” with any other problem, and the episode would still be relevant. I want to highlight that episode as holding a lot of good information regarding weathering storms and uncertainties in business.
If COVID had not happened, though, I would send you to episode 112: what you actually work FOR. This is such an important episode!! I truly hope everyone who reads this post hears that episode and genuinely listens. A few of the episodes I’ve highlighted here, this one included, feature critical topics that often get overlooked in favor of ‘business chat.’ This IS business chat, just from a different angle. This is an episode for a subject you’d never search for, but that’s usually where the magic is.
Finally, we have arrived at season 7, which aired between October and December 2020. 2020 being what it was, season 7 was really important to me. We needed to publish it even though I swore I would never do another podcast season that overlapped with the December holiday season. (Make plans, and you know what happens.)
The best podcast episodes for handmade business owners from season 7 is episode 132: your most common concerns and hesitations about Etsy. Etsy is ONE thing we speak and teach on, but we do so much more than teach Etsy here at The Merriweather Council. However, Etsy’s role in handmade business cannot be overstated – even makers in business who do not use Etsy benefit from the existence of Etsy, which is credited with legitimizing buying handmade online and brought handmade business into this millennium.
We always encourage sellers to use Etsy as a tool in their business. One of the first steps to seeing success on Etsy is giving it a chance. You cannot do that if you’re bogged down with wrong information or simply just have questions that remain unanswered. The purpose of this episode is to address the common concerns and hesitations about selling on Etsy. I think it’s a really important episode.
And here we are now at season 8!! We can’t wait to share this season with you. Thank you so much for being here and for your support.
Tangible ways to show your appreciation if you’re into PDA include but are not limited to: sharing episodes you’ve enjoyed, posting about the show and tagging @merriweatherc on IG as you’re listening, or leaving a positive review on Apple!
Thank you so much for letting us be a part of your business in this way!