89 episodes

Join award-winning small business mentor Donna Maria Coles Johnson as she shares her best advice for creative entrepreneurs on making money selling handmade products, starting a business, increasing profits, effective marketing strategies, leadership, confidence, and more. Donna Maria is the founder and CEO of the Indie Business Network, a trade organization serving handmade entrepreneurs. She has been featured in dozens of media outlets including ABC World News, National Public Radio, the Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur Magazine, Working Mother Magazine, the Chicago Tribune, the Houston Chronicle, Ebony Magazine, and more.



Through this podcast and the Indie Business Network, Donna mentors and coaches thousands of women on how to maximize their potential in life and in business. Enjoy your life! Build your business! Have your way ... Join us today at IndieBusinessNetwork.com

Indie Business Podcast Donna Maria Coles Johnson

    • Business

Join award-winning small business mentor Donna Maria Coles Johnson as she shares her best advice for creative entrepreneurs on making money selling handmade products, starting a business, increasing profits, effective marketing strategies, leadership, confidence, and more. Donna Maria is the founder and CEO of the Indie Business Network, a trade organization serving handmade entrepreneurs. She has been featured in dozens of media outlets including ABC World News, National Public Radio, the Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur Magazine, Working Mother Magazine, the Chicago Tribune, the Houston Chronicle, Ebony Magazine, and more.



Through this podcast and the Indie Business Network, Donna mentors and coaches thousands of women on how to maximize their potential in life and in business. Enjoy your life! Build your business! Have your way ... Join us today at IndieBusinessNetwork.com

    Melissa Troupe of Mocha Whip [Maker Stories: Episode 73: Podcast]

    Melissa Troupe of Mocha Whip [Maker Stories: Episode 73: Podcast]

    Welcome to Episode 73 of the Indie Business Podcast! Today's Maker Story introduces you to Melissa Troupe of MochaWhip in West Palm Beach, Florida. Melissa makes whipped vegan body butter with ingredients like cocoa butter, shea butter, and aloe juice. Mocha Whip products can be found online and at dozens of Whole Foods Market locations throughout Florida.















    As you'll enjoy learning in this episode, Melissa launched Mocha Whip in December 2017, and the first products were sold in March 2018. It's a local family business in every sense of the word, as the State of Florida is where the products are made and where the brand's physical retail footprint is. It's focused, intentional, and, as you'll see, successful. Enjoy my interview with Melissa NOW!







    Click the arrow to enjoy the Indie Business Podcast











    Episode Show Notes







    Here are the topics discussed in this episode, with time stamps to help you find the information that most interests you:







    * How Melissa's hobby went from passion project to taking over the entire first floor of the family home. (starting at 1:50)* How Melissa knew it was time to move her business out of her home, and how she did it. (starting at 5:10)* How Melissa's family helps her run the business, with each person having specific strengths, contributions, and responsibilities. (starting at 12:20)* How a failed hair extensions business led to the launch of Mocha Whip, and what the Mocha Whip brand stands for. (starting at 11:25)* Why vegan is important. (starting at 18:38)* About those “cuties” and “swirlies.” (starting at 19:15)* Melissa gets nerdy, talking her approach to social media marketing, and offering some sage advice. (starting at 21:55)* How Melissa sells her products: online, wholesale. (starting at 31:00)* Best selling fragrance. (starting at 31:47)* Why it's important to Melissa that Mocha Whip products be handmade in-house by her and her team. (starting at 32:37)* What Melissa sees for the future of the handmade industry. (starting at 33:45)* Melissa's words of advice for new entrepreneurs. (starting at 37:23)















    Resources and Links Mentioned in this Episode







    In this episode, Melissa and I mentioned the following resources.







    * Mocha Whip's Website* Mocha Whip on Facebook* Mocha Whip on Instagram* Online wholesale platform: Faire* Retail stores: Earth Fare and Whole Foods







    A few of the entrepreneurial points Melissa and I discussed in this episode







    * The importance of writing things down.Melissa shared that journaling her ideas and the steps she wants to take to move her business forward before she actually takes them is a game changer. Once things get crazy, she says, it's really hard to think, so being able to go back and read thoughts you recorded when you were thinking straight is invaluable. It's like giving yourself a good pep talk,

    • 43 min
    Alana Rivera of Etta and Billie [Maker Stories: Episode 72: Podcast]

    Alana Rivera of Etta and Billie [Maker Stories: Episode 72: Podcast]

    Welcome to Episode 72 of the Indie Business Podcast! Today's Maker Story features Alana Rivera of Etta + Billie in San Francisco, California. As you'll learn in this episode, this is not Alana's first appearance on Indie Business Podcast.















    After you enjoy this episode, I encourage you to listen to the first episode we did with Alana over five years ago (link below) because it will provide a super fun overview of how things have evolved in her life and her business during the past several years. Enjoy my interview with Alana NOW!







    Click the arrow to enjoy the Indie Business Podcast











    Episode Show Notes







    Here are the topics discussed in this episode, with time stamps to help you find the information that most interests you:







    * Alana went from using soapmaking as a distraction, to using it as a business. (starting at 4:13)* How living and working in San Francisco positively impacts Alana's entrepreneurial engine (starting at 6:00)* The San Francisco Maker vibe that Alana taps into and loves. (starting at 8:00)* Alana's transition from home manufacturing to a facility outside her home. (starting at 10:13)* How having a baby have temporarily shifted Alana's priorities, mindset, and how the runs her business. (starting at 17:32)* What Alana says you should consider if you are an entrepreneur contemplating parenthood. (starting at 28:35)* How to follow Alana, and a little bit more about her products, artisan products for foodies. (starting at 39:50)















    Resources and Links Mentioned in this Episode







    In this episode, Alana and I mentioned the following resources.







    * Etta + Billie's first appearance on Indie Business Podcast* Local manufacturing non-profit: SF Made* Etta + Billie's Website* Etta + Billie on Facebook* Etta + Billie on Instagram







    A few of the entrepreneurial points Alana and I discussed in this episode







    * How parenthood changes everything.Alana talked about how challenging it is to be a parent and an entrepreneur. For those of you listening who are contemplating parenthood, Alana shared that being flexible is critical. She also mentioned how important it was for her to allow herself to “grieve” the life she had before a child was introduced into the situation. I think this is so wise. it may be hard for people who are not parents to fully understand the meaning behind that, and how it is not a negative thing, but really just a reality. Your life and your business will change if you decide to become a parent.* Acquiring help and studio space.Alana has moved from her home office and manufacturing studio to a small space, to now, two spaces. She also has two full-time employees, two part-time employees, and a seasonal employee. This is a lot to manage, and Alana pointed out how getting help with her child is one of the chief things that has allowed her to integrate things so that all aspects of her life come together in a manageable way.* Growth on your own terms.I love how Alana shared honestly that, for her, choosing parenting has also meant choosing a slower growth fo...

    • 50 min
    Make Your Business Support Your Life: Indie Business Podcast: Episode 71

    Make Your Business Support Your Life: Indie Business Podcast: Episode 71

    Welcome to Episode 71 of the Indie Business Podcast, all about how to make your business support your life! If you’ve listened to even just a few of our interviews with amazing Makers and Creative Entrepreneurs, you’ve surely noticed that most of them have one powerful personal entrepreneurial purpose in common.















    Here it is: they are all determined to grow a business that allows them to maintain a certain type of very specific lifestyle.







    Of course, they are not ignoring the hallmark requirement that business be profitable, or that the products and services they offer fill a tangible and specifically identifiable market demand. Having said that, Indie Business Podcast guests tend to be more concerned that business not interfere with the type of way they want to enjoy their lives.







    They took the traditional business model that most of us grew up with, and turned it on its head so that it performed in ways that allowed them to simultaneously prioritize lifestyle and profitability, and they just went for it.







    In this episode of Indie Business Podcast, I personally dive deeply into this topic, which is one of my favorites, and share the top 10 strategies you can use to make sure that your business support your specific lifestyle desires.







    Enjoy this episode NOW!







    Click the arrow to enjoy the Indie Business Podcast











    Episode Show Notes







    Here are the strategies I share in this episode, with time stamps to help you find the information that most interests you:







    * Plan and re-plan. (starting at 3:47)* Track everything. (starting at 8:40)* Work in batches. (starting at 10:53)* Get input from other people. (starting at 14:35)* Embrace change and risk-taking. (starting at 17:00)* Don't overthink change. (starting at 20:04)* Practice developing your leadership skills. (starting at 21:53)* Journal your journey. (starting at 24:48)* Bring your family along with you. (starting at 27:07)* Declare what you want, and be intentional about it. (starting at 29:30)















    Resources and Links Mentioned in this Episode







    In this episode, Pam and I mentioned the following resources.







    * Maker Mastermind* Join the Indie Business Network







    Binge Indie Business Podcast Episodes







    If you want to binge listen to previous episodes, you can do that here.







    Subscribe to Indie Business Podcast







    If you enjoy the Indie Business Podcast, please subscribe so you can get each episodes as it is released. You can subscribe on Apple Podcasts (on iPhone) or Stitcher (via Google Play or via Apple Podcasts).







    Rate Indie Business Podcast, Tell Your Friends and Comment







    If you enjoy the Indie Business Podcast, please a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="ht...

    • 34 min
    Marissa Bethoney of Precious Skin Elixirs [Maker Stories: Episode 70: Podcast]

    Marissa Bethoney of Precious Skin Elixirs [Maker Stories: Episode 70: Podcast]

    Welcome to Episode 70 of the Indie Business Podcast! Today's Maker Story introduces you to Marissa Bethoney of Precious Skin Elixirs in Boxford, Massachusetts. Marissa left a decade-long career as a jeweler to create a business that allowed her to feel better about simultaneously leading a business and being a mother.















    As you'll enjoy learning in this episode, Marissa's business is more about how she wants to live her life and positively impact women than it is about selling beauty products. Enjoy my interview with Marissa NOW!







    Click the arrow to enjoy the Indie Business Podcast











    Episode Show Notes







    Here are the topics discussed in this episode, with time stamps to help you find the information that most interests you:







    * Marissa shares about the intrigue of “elixirs,” and how she transitioned from jewelry maker to beautypreneur. (starting at 2:22)* How working with the energy and power of gemstones informs Marissa's brand. (starting at 4:45)* How Marissa started Precious Skin Elixirs. (starting at 5:45)* How Marissa combines entrepreneurship and motherhood. (starting at 9:58)* Why Marissa is glad she was not on social media, including Instagram, when she started her business (starting at 15:04)* Marissa's favorite ways to use Instagram, and the importance of discipline when it comes to using it. (starting at 17:44)* How Marissa sells her products wholesale and retail, using a combination of word-of-mouth, a newsletter, and social media. (starting at 23:09)* How Marissa uses Instagram TV specifically to sell her products. (starting at 26:00)* The most challenging part of leading a business, according to Marissa, and how she overcomes it (starting at 32:16)* Marissa discusses her (current) best selling product, and how her product lines are identified by skin rhythms in conjunction with natural elements (starting at 39:55)* Marissa shares her approach to business as a lifestyle. (starting at 46:04)















    Resources and Links Mentioned in this Episode







    In this episode, Marissa and I mentioned the following resources.







    * Precious Skin Elixirs website* Precious Skin Elixirs on Facebook* Precious Skin Elixirs on Instagram







    A few of the entrepreneurial points Marissa and I discussed in this episode







    * Making the patchwork quilt work.Marissa talked about how she pieces things together behind the scenes in her business so her life can work as it should. This is a great encouragement for other mom business owners out there who may be thinking that the lack of “neatness” is somehow not normal. It is normal, especially when you have children, and Marissa reminds us that that is OK.* Using Instagram video to connect with buyers.Marissa said that she jumped into Instagram TV because she wanted to connect more closely with her customers. She generates ales simply by being herself in her bathroom, on a video, showing people how to use her products. People go from watching her and getting her live recommendations to her website to make their purchases based on her advice. This is a great example of how to combine high tech and high touch to produce sales results.* Go small.Marissa pointed out that not every business has to be big, and that she prefers to stay small.

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Pam Rodgers of Stella Chroma [Maker Stories: Episode 69: Podcast]

    Pam Rodgers of Stella Chroma [Maker Stories: Episode 69: Podcast]

    Welcome to Episode 69 of the Indie Business Podcast! Today's Maker Story introduces you to Pam Rodgers of Stella Chroma, a nail polish brand in Richmond, Indiana. Pam started her business in 2012, and today, she manages the business while holding down a full-time job as a nurse practitioner.















    Since starting Stella Chroma, Pam has taught her husband, her son and her son's fiancé how to make nail polish. It's truly a family business built around Pam's desire for a specific type of lifestyle … and you know what a high value prize that is. Enjoy my interview with Pam NOW!







    Click the arrow to enjoy the Indie Business Podcast











    Episode Show Notes







    Here are the topics discussed in this episode, with time stamps to help you find the information that most interests you:







    * Pam kicks things off from her car, sharing a bit of how she uses technology to go from podcast interview to lunch to errands to her day job, etc. (starting at 2:33)* How Pam started her business, as a result of her nail biting habit, including her Etsy experience. (starting at 4:37)* Nail Polish Ingredients and Making 101. (starting at 10:45)* How Pam sells her products, including closing her Etsy shop and switching exclusively to Shopify for online sales. (starting at 19:11)* How Pam boosts online retail sales using Facebook ads, a Facebook page, a Facebook group, Instagram, and a Shopify app. (starting at 22:31)* The hardest parts about business, according to Pam, and how she organizes her life around her business and her full-time job. (starting at 31:45)* Pam's love for cows, slow but steady entrepreneurial growth, and her grand but loose plan to become a “a cattle farmer who makes nail polish.” (starting at 36:45)* Recommended entrepreneurial book choice. (starting at 41:18)* Pam's recommendations for new Indie nail polish entrepreneurs (starting at 42:20)* Final words of wisdom from Pam (starting at 49:30)















    Resources and Links Mentioned in this Episode







    In this episode, Pam and I mentioned the following resources.







    * Check out our June 2014 interview with Pam here* Stella Chroma's Website* Stella Chroma on Facebook* Stella Chroma on Instagram* Stella Chroma's Facebook group* Sales boosting automation: Kit for Shopify* Books: Dare to Lead by Brené Brown, and a few books books by Bernadette Jiwa (check our book store for these and other book suggested by our members!)* Online market: Etsy







    A few of the entrepreneurial points Pam and I discussed in this episode







    * Use technology wisely.Pam's experience shows that you can use technology without getting into the weeds. As she described, she chooses her technology wisely.

    • 54 min
    Maker Stories: Episode 68: Amber Malcom of Shabby Chick [Podcast]

    Maker Stories: Episode 68: Amber Malcom of Shabby Chick [Podcast]

    Welcome to Episode 68 of the Indie Business Podcast! Today's Maker Story introduces you to Amber Malcom of Shabby Chick Cleaners in Duncan, Oklahoma. After being in business for just over three years, Amber has already appeared on several episodes of a popular home shopping show, entirely dismantled and re-built her business model, and is now completely debt free. Oh, and she owns the only business in the world where you can buy your cleaning products at a drive-through window.















    As you'll enjoy learning in this episode, Amber does not let any grass grow under her feet. She is energetic and unforgettable, as you surely know if you've seen any of her Facebook live videos where she cleans toilets wearing a colorful apron and a fresh flower in her hair. Enjoy my interview with Amber NOW!







    Click the arrow to enjoy the Indie Business Podcast











    Episode Show Notes







    Here are the topics discussed in this episode, with time stamps to help you find the information that most interests you:







    * Introduction to Amber and how health challenges during a pregnancy led her to close her thriving law practice, move to a farm, and start making and selling cleaning products. (starting at 2:16)* How Amber grew from her kitchen to a 6,500 square foot manufacturing facility and a home shopping show appearance within 24 months. (starting at 6:36)* How Amber found mentors, incubators, and financing to help her grow. (starting at 7:41)* How Amber built out her wholesale business via local festivals and trade shows nationwide. (starting at 10:17)* The pros and cons of the wholesale trade show lifestyle. (starting at 14:16)* Amber's husband quit his job to work in her business! (starting at 16:55)* Why is't important to adjust who we are based on whether we are representing our brand or we are “off,” and not working at all. (starting at 23:19)* How (and why) Amber transitioned from a wholesale business model to the direct sales business model she has now. (starting at 26:26)* Amber shares the details of how she manages her direct sales business, including all about the “cleaning coaches.” (starting at 31:38)* The only place in the world where you can buy cleaning products at a drive-through window. (starting at 35:36)* The video with the bananas and the ants … “so gross, yet so effective. (starting at 38:14)* How participating in an incubator helped Amber. (starting at 39:57)* How you can become a Shabby Chick Cleaning Coach. (starting at 42:46)* Why Amber was “miffed” that she had to join IBN in order to procure the product liability insurance she needed to get her business started. (starting at 48:05)* Amber's top success tips for small business owners. (starting at 49:09)* Amber's best tip for being in business with your spouse. (starting at 50:55)* What the future holds for Amber and Shabby Chick Cleaners. (starting at 51:51)















    Resources and Links Mentioned in this Episode







    In this episode, Amber and I mentioned the following resources.







    * Shabby Chick website: Shabby Chick* Shabby Chick on Facebook: Shabby Chick* Shabby Chick on Instagram: Shabby Chick* Business incubator: Red River Technology Center* Business funding: a rel="noreferrer noopener" aria-labe...

    • 57 min

Customer Reviews

ecoofficegals ,

Jennifer Smith

Donna Maria provides wonderful insight for small businesses and hosts informative guests! Love the Indie Business Podcast.

Jennifer Earth and Aether ,

Business Inspiration

I'm enjoying listening to these podcasts - they are positive and inspirational, and I love how Donna Maria recaps some of the business tips discussed during the interviews! Thank you for this resource!

Brittany Witt ,

Great Business Podcast for Makers!

Donna Maria is a great interviewer, she asks exactly the questions you're wondering about. This is a great podcast for makers and creatives running a small online business. Highly recommend!

Top Podcasts In Business

Listeners Also Subscribed To