Joanne Hawker’s #MarchMeetTheMaker is back in 2021 for another month-long challenge and strives to be bigger and better than before!
We interviewed Joanne and she told us all the ins & outs of this challenge and how you can tell the world about YOU and what you make.
Tell us more about #MarchMeetTheMaker?
#MarchMeetTheMaker is a yearly Instagram challenge hosted by myself Joanne Hawker. It helps the person taking part to tell the world about their small handmade business, what they do, why they do it, and how they do it. I set the prompts and then the businesses taking part post an image and a caption relating to that theme throughout March! It’s more than just a challenge, it’s a whole community that comes together to celebrate everything about being a maker!
This is #MarchMeetTheMaker's 6th anniversary, are you planning something special this year to celebrate it?
There is nothing in particular to celebrate the anniversary as such! But, this year I launched the Maker Directory as a further way of helping small businesses to be seen by a wider audience! Being the pilot year, I created ad space for 81 makers to see how it goes and to see if there was interest in such a thing. So, judging by how many people wanted to be involved this year, it looks like the directory will be growing in size next year to allow even more people to be seen!
What do you hope to achieve with #MarchMeetTheMaker this year?
I hope that the people taking part find value in talking about their small business and that the community supports each other throughout the month. I also hope that it gives people a little more confidence in talking about themselves!
What have you learned during your 6th years of #MarchMeetTheMaker? And do you have any advice for makers that are joining for the first time?
The main thing I’ve learnt is that planning ahead really does help to reduce stress and helps you to articulate what you really want to get across! I don’t work particularly well under pressure so I try my best to plan at least a week ahead of myself each time. But I do know that others thrive off of the pressure! If you’re new to the challenge this year, try not to overthink it and if you get stuck I always write a help page with things that could help you see the prompt differently and how you can relate it to your business. This can be found here: https://www.marchmeetthemaker.com/help-suggestions
You personally choose a number of images for a daily round up stories during the challenge, and you look for the use of colour, composition, the lighting and the edit. Any tips for the makers?
I wrote a blog a little while back explaining what I look for, but the main things that stop me in tracks are:
Lighting – I love a well light photo with no harsh shadows. I also notice how the light could be affecting the colouring. E.g. a standard light bulb could make your colours appear more yellow rather than their natural tones.
Composition – a well thought out shot with interesting angles, placement, focus and the use of props.
Colour – I’m bit of a colour magpie so I’m automatically drawn to bright colours or pastel shades. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t love monochrome. Let’s be honest, I love a bit of everything when it comes to colour use!
Edit – I’m not afraid to say that I edit everything before it hits the main grid. A carefully selected filter or adjustment can change the whole mood of an image, fix something that was niggling you or make or break the image. Too many filters are a big put off.
I scroll the hashtag feed throughout the day and favourite images that grab me and then at the end of the day, I choose a few from those that I’ve saved and share them to my stories!
Your cards and prints radiate positivity and happiness, do you have a favourite creation that always makes you smile?
My favourite changes every month! At the moment, I would have to say that my ‘I can’t wait to hug you again’ card is my favourite! It’s been so long since we’ve been able to hug loved ones without fear so I’m really looking forward to the day that I can do that again!
You've created a special collection 'For The Maker', which we love! Tell us more about this collection?
This collection was created with other makers in mind! It’s for those who love to make things, who appreciate handmade and see’s value in the handmade community! I’ve got lots of things in there but it is mainly project bags and motivational prints! The bags are ideal for storing your latest project, taking your work out on the go, gifting to craft mad friends and family, or for hiding those recent craft purchases that you might have accidentally bought! I’d love to further expand on the maker collection this year!
What are your future dreams, for you, Joanne?
To keep doing this! I want to keep creating, bringing the maker community together twice a year for fun Instagram challenges and to just keep drawing! I love what I get to do and wouldn’t want to change anything about it! I’m not looking to take over the world, or hire a massive team, I just want to keep on being little old me!
I’m inspired by people with conviction and integrity, people whose resilience means they don’t give up when things get tough. That can be people who work towards similar goals as me or those who do something completely different but whose values and attitudes echo mine somehow.
With over 1,000 sales and over 220 raving reviews in her Etsy shop Pure Prana Label, designer Cindy has accumulated lots of experience ánd knowledge about what it means to be a creative entrepreneur. Today she shares her tips on what works for her, and advice on what you can do to grow and expand your creative business.
I first started selling my crochet locally at craft fairs and school fairs. Before I knew it, I was getting custom requests from the local community and from people who had seen my creations out and about the local area. It was then I gained the confidence and self belief to start selling online and I haven’t looked back since. It brings me so much joy to see someone wearing one of my creations or buying an item as a gift for a loved one.