107 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
    • 4.8 • 26 Ratings

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

    Grow Your Business by Solving People’s Problems with Tiana Coats of Winding Wick Candles – Indie Business Podcast Episode 91

    Grow Your Business by Solving People’s Problems with Tiana Coats of Winding Wick Candles – Indie Business Podcast Episode 91

    Welcome to Episode 91 of the Indie Business Podcast! Today's Indie Story introduces you to Tiana Coats of Winding Wick Candles, in Garland, Texas. Once upon a time, Tiana considered her position as a pharmacy technician to be her dream job. She eventually grew weary of doing the same thing every day, and began daydreaming about what she could sell to make a living online. This led to selling books on Amazon, which led to selling other things (like board games) on Amazon, which, of course, led to what she could sell that she made with her own hands.















    Candles seemed like a logical choice, and as you'll learn in this episode, Tiana could not have been more right about that! Her entrepreneurial journey started with selling on Etsy, but it most definitely did not end there. Today, Tiana sells on multiple platforms, has a successful YouTube channel, and recently opened a retail store. Grab your notebook and a cup of your favorite beverage, and let's go to business school with Tiana! Enjoy my interview with Tiana 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 interests you most:







    * The Winding Wick Candles back story, including running the business part-time at first. (starting at 2:15)* Why Tiana uses YouTube, how she manages it, and some valuable tips. (starting at 13:00)* Tiana's business model, including products and services and tips for selling on Etsy. (starting at 21:18)* Tiana teaches people how to start a candle business. (starting at 25:37)* How being naturally curious works in Tiana's favor. (starting at 30:37)* YouTube as an income stream. (starting at 32:10)* Studio vlogs vs. “how to” videos on YouTube. (starting at 34:11)* Tiana's opening a retail store and productivity tips. (starting at 37:18)* Tiana's words of advice for budding candle entrepreneurs. (starting at 49:30)







































    Resources and Links Mentioned in this Episode







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







    * Winding Wick Candles website* Winding Wick Candles on Instagram* Marketing firm: Kamadu Marketing* Tiana's Channel: YouTube* Video editing software: DaVinci Resolve and Movie Maker* Copyright free music for creators: Epidemic Sound* Seller's handbook: Etsy Seller Handbook* Video: How to Start a Candle Business From Home* Grow your YouTube channel: YouTube Buddy* Calen...

    • 54 min
    A Supportive Spouse or Partner is Key to Business Success with Jennifer Watt of Jenny the Hemp Goddess – Indie Business Podcast Episode 90

    A Supportive Spouse or Partner is Key to Business Success with Jennifer Watt of Jenny the Hemp Goddess – Indie Business Podcast Episode 90

    Welcome to Episode 90 of the Indie Business Podcast! Today's Indie Story introduces you to Jennifer Watt of Jenny the Hemp Goddess, in Armada, Michigan. Jenny's story perfectly illustrates the fact that a supportive spouse or partner is key to business success. Several years ago, Jenny and her family moved to a 10-acre farm and started selling eggs and produce. They phased that out once Jenny and her husband realized they were not farmers, and Jenny began a bath and body business with her sister, which eventually led to the launch of Jenny the Hemp Goddess in early 2019 with a hemp facial serum, a hand balm and a lip balm.















    Today, Jenny focuses on selling her products from her website, Amazon, Etsy, and via her email club, which you'll hear a lot about in this episode. You'll also hear Jenny describe how her husband's support is one of the keys to her success thus far. Not only does he offer physical assistance, but he also contributes an attitude of positivity, curiosity, experimentation and faith in his wife's ability to succeed.







    Finally, you'll enjoy the impromptu target audience coaching session I somehow ended up providing for Jenny during the second half of the podcast. That was a fun and unplanned surprise! Enjoy my interview with Jenny 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 interests you most:







    * The brilliant way Jennifer points to sales funnels on her webpage. (starting at 4:50)* Jennifer details how her supportive spouse is a key to her business success thus far.. (starting at 6:10)* How her daughter's bad reaction to an over-the-counter drug sparked Jennifer's interest in skin care, and how that influenced Jenny the Hemp Goddess. (starting at 9:37)* How Jennifer uses her resources wisely to create her own market opportunities. (starting at 13:40)* Jennifer talks about how her website is her best sales stream and how its all due to an Indie Business Network member benefit. (starting at 17:10)* About Jennifer's hunt for the easy button, and how there isn't one. (starting at 21:00)* The hoops Jennifer jumps through to take Jenny the Hemp Goddess across multiple marketplaces. (starting at 22:53)* Jennifer and Donna Maria mine deep into the world of the target audience and pull out a whopper of a gem! (starting at 25:12)* Event details, marketing tips, and how Jenny's husband is one of the keys to success and fulfillment in business. (starting at 38:00)* Jenny's tips and advice for new entrepreneurs. (starting at 45:27)







































    Resources and Links Mentioned in this Episode







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







    * Jenny the Hemp Goddess website* Jenny the Hemp Goddess on Instagram* Jenny the Hemp Goddess on Etsy* Indie Business Member Benefits* Jenny the Hemp Goddess on Amazon* Anything You Want by Derek Sivers on a href...

    • 52 min
    Lakisha McMillian of Simply Unique [Indie Stories: Episode 89: Podcast]

    Lakisha McMillian of Simply Unique [Indie Stories: Episode 89: Podcast]

    Welcome to Episode 89 of the Indie Business Podcast! Today's Indie Story introduces you to Lakisha McMillian of Simply Unique, in Charlotte, North Carolina. Not only is Lakisha leading her business, but she also works full-time and is earning her master's degree. You'll enjoy learning about how Lakisha organizes her time for maximum efficiency using a basic notebook and pen and paper.















    You'll also be inspired (and maybe even a little bit convicted personally) by Lakisha's superbly proactive attitude, which is so important for all Makers and entrepreneurs from all walks of life to embrace. Lakisha's get-up-and-go mindset will motivate you to leave it all on the field when it comes to pursuing your goals. As Lakisha says, “If you don't know how to do it, figure out how to do it, and then go out and do it!” Enjoy my interview with Lakisha 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 interests you most:







    * Lakisha's journey to calling North Carolina home. (starting at 2:45)* How Simply Unique got started, its growth and purpose. (starting at 3:45)* How Lakisha juggles full-time work, grad school, and Simply Unique. (starting at 5:50)* How Lakisha turned a forgotten craft project into a thriving business, and important steps. (starting at 8:04)* Lakisha shares her process for keeping her scents fresh and interesting, and her line expansion. (starting at 12:37)* About Simply Unique's product development and research. (starting at 14:30)* How Lakisha handles powering through meltdowns. (starting at 17:16)* Lakisha's tips on doing shows and markets (starting at 19:57)* How Simply Unique focuses on the unique. (starting at 21:44)* Lakisha's talks about her vision for the future of Simply Unique. (starting at 29:22)* Words of advice for entrepreneurs getting started. (starting at 33:52)* The brilliance of Lakisha's live, sphere-expanding Scentful Sundays events on Instagram. (starting at 35:50)







































    Resources and Links Mentioned in this Episode







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







    * Simply Unique website* Simply Unique on Instagram* A plethora of planners at Michael's* Candle supply at Lone Star Candle Co.* Timber Ridge Gifts on Youtube* Standley Handcrafted on Youtube* Indie Business Insurance







    Important entrepreneurial insights from Lakisha







    Let's unpack some of the most significant business insights Lakisha and I discussed in this episode.







    1. Write it down







    As a busy entrepreneur, full-time employee, and student, Lakisha has to be extra careful about how she manages her time. She says that writing things down is one of the keys to her progress.

    • 45 min
    Brittany Hogan of Nefertem Holistic Skincare [Indie Stories: Episode 88: Podcast]

    Brittany Hogan of Nefertem Holistic Skincare [Indie Stories: Episode 88: Podcast]

    Welcome to Episode 88 of the Indie Business Podcast! Today's Indie Story introduces you to Brittany Hogan of Nefertem Holistic Skincare, in Park Forest, Illinois. For Nefertem co-founders Brittany and her husband, Andre, business is about so much more than money. The brand name itself borrows from Nefertem, the god of beautification in the ancient culture of the Nile Valley region where mathematics, science, philosophy, and astrology were birthed.















    As you'll hear in this episode, that ancient meaning and symbolism form the basis of the Nefertem product line, which consists of bath and body products designed specifically to help you create a space to reflect and evolve into the best possible version of yourself. You'll also enjoy hearing Brittany tell the Nefertem startup story, which includes quitting jobs, traveling cross the country, home schooling children and working with your spouse — some of it all at the same time. Enjoy my interview with Brittany 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 interests you most:







    * The ancient cultural origins of the Nefertem brand name. (starting at 2:40)* How Nefertem started, and how family and lifestyle fit into the entrepreneurial picture. (starting at 4:36)* How Brittany markets her products directly to consumers. (starting at 25:28)* “Reflect & Evolve” YouTube series. (starting at 26:50)* Brittany shares what it's like to work with her husband, Andre. (starting at 28:26)* About Nefertem Bundles and how they infuse positive vibes and energy into the products. (starting at 32:58)* Future plans for Nefertem. (starting at 37:28)* How Brittany's children fit into the business. (starting at 39:18)* How Brittany uses TikTok and Instagram. (starting at 44:17)* Brittany's words of advice for new entrepreneurs. (starting at 49:05)







































    Resources and Links Mentioned in this Episode







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







    * Nefertem Holistic Skincare website* Nefertem Holistic Skincare on Instagram* Marketing firm: Kamadu Marketing* Youtube channel: Nefertem on Youtube* IBN member benefits: Facebook community and Indie Pods







    Important entrepreneurial insights from Brittany







    Let's unpack some of the most significant business insights Brittany and I discussed in this episode.







    1. Advice for new, and possibly fearful, entrepreneurs







    For new entrepreneurs, Brittany advises simply to have faith. She says that life is too short to let your fears hold you back. Also, she says to surround yourself with other people who are launching or have launched their own businesses. Says Brittany, you cannot put a dollar amount on the value of a community like the one at the I...

    • 56 min
    Rhonda Walters of RareGlo [Indie Stories: Episode 87: Podcast]

    Rhonda Walters of RareGlo [Indie Stories: Episode 87: Podcast]

    Welcome to Episode 87 of the Indie Business Podcast! Today's Indie Story introduces you to Rhonda Walters of RareGlo, in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Rhonda has been in the beauty business for over 40 years. She is a cosmetologist, a hair stylist, a salon owner, and a cosmetics formulator.







    And a mom and a long distance runner. And a long distance runner.







    Oh, and she recently celebrated her 40th wedding anniversary. I'm sure I am leaving out some highlights. In a word, Rhonda is amazing. When you listen to this episode, you will swear there is a tiny little nuclear reactor living inside of her. She has boundless energy and is a whirlwind of constant, yet focused, motion.















    This episode will motivate and inspire you to pursue all of your dreams to the fullest extent. If you are not on fire to make your mark in the world after hearing from Rhonda, then you might want to check for a pulse. Enjoy my interview with Rhonda 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 interests you most:







    * How Rhonda started Rareglo — kind of on a fluke. (starting at 2:35)* A bit about Rhonda's hair salon, all 30 years of it. (Also, “building Eiffel towers on heads.”) (starting at 6:07)* Rhonda's growth as a personal brand. (starting at 9:33)* Rhonda's career in the travel industry. (starting at 11:00)* How Rhonda runs her business, and what she wants to change. (starting at 15:50)* How Rhonda handles her Instagram account and social media in general. (starting at 17:36)* Rhonda's most popular products: Skin and Hair Butter and 3N1 Shea Mango Butter Bar. (starting at 25:22)* The future of Rhonda's entrepreneurial endeavors. (starting at 27:35)* Why Rhonda is not interested in selling her products wholesale. (starting at 28:42)* Family matters. (starting at 31:17)







































    Resources and Links Mentioned in this Episode







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







    * RareGlo website* RareGlo on Instagram* Intellectual property attorney: Radiance IP Law







    Important entrepreneurial insights from Rhonda







    Let's unpack some of the most significant business insights Rhonda and I discussed in this episode.







    1. Leaning into a face-to-face retail sales model







    Rhonda shared that she thrives when she is with her people, selling her products in person. Her best way of interacting with her customers is face-to-face because people want to see and talk to her. While selling online is great, says Rhonda, she is leaning into the way people respond to her and her products in person. And, at present, she's not really interested in selling her products wholesale at all.







    2. Social media is about getting to know you







    Rhonda has heard from all kinds of people about&nbsp...

    • 39 min
    Christie Krasteva of CEVARI [Indie Stories: Episode 86: Podcast]

    Christie Krasteva of CEVARI [Indie Stories: Episode 86: Podcast]

    Welcome to Episode 86 of the Indie Business Podcast! Today's Indie Story introduces you to Christie Krasteva of CEVARI, in Charlotte, North Carolina. A self-described “nature girl,” Christie grew up surrounded by all types of entrepreneurs including farmers, auto body shop owners, construction engineers, charter boat owners, horticulturists and more. Having been exposed to entrepreneurship at a young age, Christie, who is also an herbalist, was inspired to turn her love for plants and the great outdoors into a business of her own. She kicked things off in 2017, and has poured every penny earned back into her business.















    Christie is a very detailed oriented entrepreneur who is not afraid to follow her gut. Her story of intentional brand creation and patiently putting the pieces together will inspire you to take your time and trust your intuition as you lead your business forward. Plus, you'll love how Christie talks about working with her husband in her business. Enjoy my interview with Christie 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 interests you most:







    * Christie shares her entrepreneurial story, including how she used a blog helped her get things going. (starting at 2:18)* Christie on research, attention to detail, planning and patience. (starting at 8:27)* Following her gut … and serendipity … (starting at 10:35)* Working with her husband. (starting at 13:20)* The meaning of the brand name: CEVARI. (starting at 16:16)* A bit about the CEVARI line of products. (starting at 19:04)* Why Christie is keeping her product line tight and small. (starting at 22:28)* Christie's business model, including e-commerce, wholesale, plans for selling at physical events, and beauty award winnings. (starting at 24:10)* How Christie markets her business using social media, newsletter, etc. (starting at 26:50)* Most useful technological devices and favorite apps. (starting at 30:38)* What's on tap for the future of CEVARI. (starting at 33:20)* Christie's wisdom and words of advice to entrepreneurs, and one of her favorite inspiring quotes. (35:45)







































    Resources and Links Mentioned in this Episode







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







    * CEVARI website* CEVARI on Instagram* Cosmetic formulation classes: Formula Botanica* Design and editing app: Canva* Newsletter app: Klaviyo* Ingredient supplier: Formulator Sample Shop







    Important entrepreneurial insights from Christie







    Let's unpack some of the most significant business insights Christie and I discussed in this episode.







    1. Don't overcrowd your business







    Christie shared her philosophy of not overcrowding her business with too many products. Instead of having a bunch of products in her line, she prefers to create with an intentional perspecti...

    • 45 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
26 Ratings

26 Ratings

MelissaR05 ,

Inspirer

Love listening to Donna Marie and the Makers on the Podcast. I am always inspired as I hear their stories and learn something more about them and their products!

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!

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