RESOURCES FOR MAKERS
Soy Candle Making
Youtube - Everything you need to make professional soy candles with upcycled bottles: 1 minute video of our process with links to videos by other makers who share more indepth techniques.
Also includes a list of all the professional tools and materials we use to make high quality candles in salvaged bottles, with links to the suppliers.
Small Business and Entrepreneurship
The 100 Dollar Startup by Chris Guillebeau: Brief, entertaining, and immensely useful guide to making money with no money.
The Personal MBA by Josh Kaufman: An excellent and non-snore-inducing primer on all aspects of running a successful business, designed for people who don't know much about business.
Most importantly, it's a compendium of resources you can choose from in order to dive deeper into any one aspect of business. I still use it as a reference book.
Purple Cow by Seth Godin: Hit best-seller about the marketing science of being remarkable, written by one of the internet's first mega-successful bloggers (who remains so to this day).
To Sell is Human by Dan Pink: Useful primer on what makes for good salespeople, and how to practice using sales techniques to move other people in every day life.
Accounting Made Simple: Accounting Explained in 100 Pages or Less by Mike Piper: A fast and simple primer on accounting for business owners. I wish I had read it years earlier.
Wix: My favorite website builder. Zero coding required, and it's free to get started. I have built many websites, and I've found Wix to be the easiest to learn, most flexible, and best bang for the buck. I like to build sites from scratch or choose a template and change it to fit my needs.
Squarespace: Lots of templates to choose from. Websites are simpler to edit, but allow you less design flexibility. May be a great choice if you don't know any code and are not interested in doing your own custom graphic design.
WordPress.com: Free, basic, and probably still the best choice for bloggers, but not necessarily for ecommerce. WordPress is still the most popular website platform in use worldwide, although visual editors like Wix and Squarespace are beginning to overtake it.
WordPress.org: Good choice for tech-savvy administrators who intend to implement robust websites with downloads, newsletter subscriptions, and ecommerce sales. Wordpress.org is a highly customizable and very powerful platform, but many will find it to have a steep learning curve. Basic HTML fluency is recommended.
In order to use WordPress.org, you will need to pay for a web hosting service.
BlueHost.com: A well-known web hosting service. I have set up WordPress.Org websites hosted on Bluehost before and have found their prices, product, and customer service to be very good vs other options.
Shopify: Great choice for a product launch or very simple ecommerce site. You can set up a basic online storefront without designing an entire website. Not recommended for a long-term ecommerce solution platform for hobbyists.
BUT if you plan to sell online full time, Shopify does have a lot of powerful integrations with other sites, including wholesale networks, eBay, Amazon, Etsy, and others.