On today’s episode of the Craft Industry Alliance podcast, we’re talking about tech editing and mentoring with my guest Tian Connaughton.

Tian is a Massachusetts-based knit and crochet designer, a technical editor working with magazines and major brands, and a business coach for handmade and fiber artists. She lives by the motto, “a rising tide lifts all boats,” and this is evident in all that she does, from writing books to creating online courses and coaching programs. Her work prioritizes helping women – particularly Black women and women of color – to create the life they want doing work that they love, which society doesn’t always encourage.

Tian currently has a new free course out, Get Published, created in partnership with Knit Picks and We Crochet. Get Published is a 6-part video series for aspiring and experienced designers who are ready to take their designing to the next level by adding 3rd party publications. Each video takes you through the process from creating your proposal all the way to the publication going live. The course is available now to binge-watch on-demand. Tian also teaches classes on Creativebug.

This episode is sponsored by goimagine.

A handmade marketplace donating 100% of profits to charity.

goimagine is a handmade marketplace donating 100% profits to charity. With a mission to help children in need, goimagine is a movement of makers & artists growing their own handmade businesses while supporting a marketplace focused on social good. Learn more about goimagine’s new concept for a caring economy at goimagine.com

We begin this conversation by talking about Western Massachusetts where Tian lives with her family. Tian talks about her childhood and her early career working a corporate job. She learned to crochet from a work colleague and it wasn’t long before she began designing her own patterns.

Tian talks about her early years sharing her work online when she really didn’t reveal much about herself. Slowly over time, she found that her audience responded well when she was authentically her true self online. Today she teaches online and has gotten comfortable with being on video. 

Tian has self-published two how-to books for designers. Tian talks about feelings of not belonging as a designer because she didn’t see many people in the industry who looked like her. Part of her goal with her books and courses is to increase access and remove barriers to entry so that anyone who wants to become a designer can find success.

Tian also works as a tech editor and she explains why designers need tech editors and what their role is in the process. 

And, of course, I ask Tian to recommend great stuff she’s loving right now. Tian recommends:

Keep up with Tian on her website and follow her on Instagram for the latest updates.

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