On today’s episode of the Craft Industry Alliance podcast we’re talking about product development and building an embroidery business with my guest, Megan Eckman of Studio MME.
Megan is the owner and head designer of Studio MME, a company that creates approachable embroidery kits for modern stitchers. After failing her grandmother’s embroidery lessons as a kid, she came back to the craft in 2014 and realized it needed a major update. She now makes kits that help others learn embroidery in a fun and easy manner. It’s crafting with hand-holding. Over the past five years, she’s landed her kits in almost 100 shops across the country, partnered with DMC, hired her husband, and currently runs an embroidery-of-the-month club for her most adoring (and addicted) fans.
Megan stitching away. “I am not my customer,” she says.
One of the things that interest me most about Megan’s story is how she arrived at her product. Megan has undergraduate degrees in writing and drawing and when she graduated from college she worked really hard to make a living selling her fine art. In this conversation, Megan explains the journey she went on that led her to create embroidery kits, a product that she feels passionate about, that allows her to use her talents as an artist, and that there’s a strong market for. It wasn’t always easy and Megan had some dead ends along the way.
Here’s the Studio MME setup for shows.
We talk about the promise, and problems, with this llama sewing kit, a product that Studio MME has now retired.
We discuss when to listen to your customers, what to outsource, how to design packaging that will hold up in a retail setting, and whether craft fairs and trade shows are worth the financial investment and the labor involved. Megan now has a subscription club with about 200 members and she explains how having a club has transformed her business, giving her a reliable income and a way to experiment with new ideas.
Studio MME is known for its embroidery kits of landmarks, including this one of Mt. Hood.
Studio MME kits come with full skeins of floss, unlike many embroidery kits which only include short lengths of floss.
If you have a product-based business or are thinking of starting one, this episode is for you. Megan shares her real numbers and she isn’t afraid to tell us what worked and what didn’t. She and her husband now own a creative business that supports them both which is pretty amazing.
In this conversation we reference:
- NY NOW and the Seattle Gift Show
- Fancy Tiger Crafts
- the Proof to Product podcast with Katie Hunt of Trade Show Bootcamp
- Megan Auman and Tara Gentile
- Colonial Patterns
- Public Lands Alliance Convention and Trade Show (for getting your products sold at national parks)
And, of course, I ask Megan to recommend great stuff she’s enjoying right now. Megan recommends:
This episode is sponsored by the Craft in Style subscription box by Pop Shop America. The Craft in Style subscription box allows you to explore lots of fresh and stylish crafting and different techniques from terrariums to chalkboard lettering, from watercolors to paper marbling. Choose from one month, three months, and beyond; the longer the subscription, the more a subscriber can save on the box price.
Every Craft in Style Box is super stylish and beginner friendly. Boxes ship within three business days so you don’t have to wait like other boxes! It’s a fun way to craft every month without spending a fortune and you won’t end up with extra supplies you don’t need. Use the coupon code WHILESHENAPS to save 15% through the end of 2019.
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