Summer reading list for craft businesses

Looking for inspirational summer reading? Craving some creative distractions? Want to dig into a new book to help you improve an aspect of your business? You’re in luck. We’ve collected nine new books that are sure to appeal to craft business owners this season.

Disclosure: we use affiliate links to connect you to our reading list recommendations, which help support Craft Industry Alliance at no additional cost to you. Click the book cover or the title to purchase.

Make A Living Living book cover

Make a Living Living

by Nina Karnikowski

Through two dozen in-depth profiles, Karnikowski highlights how an inspiring group of creatives built the lives and careers of their dreams. Peek into the lives of knitter Nicole Leybourne, textile artist Rhiannon Griego, chocolatier Emica Penklis, potter Angus McDiarmid, woodworker Aleph Geddis, and many others, and learn how they approach their work with intention. A chapter of practical exercises leads readers on a journey to discover their own ideal path.

How Time is on Your Side book cover

How Time Is On Your Side

by Bridget Watson Payne

Feeling like time got away from you the past few months? Whether May felt like 10,000 years or 10 minutes, many of us are grappling with our relationship to time during a pandemic.

While time management may feel like a lofty goal, Payne’s book reassures us that this is a communal experience that is fundamentally shaped by our culture. This slim handbook is an encouraging short read, and will make you question what you thought you knew about productivity.

Big Dreams Daily Joys Journal

Big Dreams Daily Joys Journal

by Elise Blaha Cripe

If you enjoyed our recent goal setting course with Elise Blaha Cripe, you’ll love her new guided journal.

Inside you’ll find her signature style of encouraging prompts to help you set goals and make progress on your most important projects.

How to Rule at Photography book cover

How to Rule at Photography

This guide to iPhone photography from Chronicle Books features quirky illustrations to inspire your creative process. We’re more reliant than ever on visual platforms like Instagram to help us grow our businesses. It’s a great time to find ways to improve your images, develop a visual style for your brand, and maybe even have a little more fun creating photos for your business.

Pretty Good Advice book cover

Pretty Good Advice

by Leslie Blodgett

A must-read for anyone building a handcrafted skincare or beauty brand. As the CEO of BareMinerals, Blodgett created a $1.8 billion company centered around community, years before social media had become a daily part of our lives. This book of quippy advice on business and life is colorful, direct, and digestible.


The Motherhood of Art book cover

The Motherhood of Art

by Marissa Huber and Heather Kirtland

With their book, Huber and Kirtland hope to shatter the stereotype that mothers don’t have time to make serious creative work. Interviews with contemporary artists, like Lisa Solomon, Katrina Rodabaugh, A’Driane Nieves, and Elena Skoreyko Wagner, highlight the ways that motherhood can imbue artists with a sense of purpose, and newfound efficiency that fuels their creativity.

Each page is filled with first-hand accounts from mothers who share their memories of their early days as a parent, how they continued their creative practice, often while managing childcare.


Woven Together book cover

Woven Together: Weavers & Their Stories

Sandu Publishing’s beautiful overview of contemporary textile artists showcases projects and creative works from a diverse group of artists.

From traditional east Asian basket weaving, to woven wall hangings made with non-traditional materials, Woven Together makes for an inspirational afternoon read.


The Ride of a Lifetime book cover

The Ride of a Lifetime

by Robert Iger

Perhaps more traditional than the usual business books we feature, this memoir from Disney CEO Robert Iger offers his strategies for running a creative company with the principles of optimism, courage, decisiveness, and fairness. A great read for a business owner curious about what leadership at a multinational corporation can look like.


Love Your Creative Space book cover

Love Your Creative Space

by Lilo Bowman

This visual guide to building your own studio space is an inspiring look into the creative spaces of dozens of makers. Learn how you can create a workshop, office, or studio that will serve your creative needs, without breaking the bank.


Need more craft business books? Head to our archives to find previous seasons’ reading list for craft businesses. Are you reading anything inspiring right now? Share your favorite craft books in the comments below, and tag @craftindustryalliance on Instagram to show us your current reads.

Erin Dollar

Erin Dollar


Erin is the textile designer and artist behind the home décor company, Cotton & Flax. She licenses her surface designs for fabric, home décor, stationery, and other clients. She’s also a teacher, writer, and enthusiastic advocate for small creative business owners. She lives in San Diego, California.

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