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The Merriweather Council Podcast

The Merriweather Council podcast, hosted by Danielle Spurge, is all about celebrating the reality of gainful self employment through craft. This is a podcast for art and design entrepreneurs - makers, etsy sellers and shopify users! Featuring tips, insights, advice and tough love for handmade business owners in concise format. Focused on sharing realistic ideas and personal experiences with the nuances of handmade business in mind. If you are working to turn your crafty tendencies into profits, tune in every Tuesday and Thursday.
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Now displaying: May, 2021
May 27, 2021

Here at The Merriweather Council, we are VERY pro-Etsy. That is probably pretty obvious by now. However, we are also huge proponents of having your own standalone eCommerce site in addition to Etsy. (We recommend Shopify for building that standalone site!)

We wholeheartedly suggest handmade business owners have both!

We love Etsy and believe it’s the best marketplace handmade business owners have available right now. 

Are there things I wish they would change? Of course!

I’ve been in a relationship with Etsy for nearly 11 years. Just like any long-term relationship, there are things I have found I don’t LOVE. But, for me, none of these issues were deal-breakers. 

There are a lot of great features of Etsy, and one of those is choice. Sellers can CHOOSE to use many functions or not. Such as shipping labels, sales and couponing tools, listing videos, and on-site Etsy ads.

You’ve likely heard me say I do not recommend using Etsy’s on-site ads. I am not against on-site ads; I just don’t think you need them - I know you don’t need them! Further, it’s not the best use of a marketing budget.

But a little explanation might be helpful here!

For full show notes and all mentioned links please visit merriweathercouncilblog.com/152


Disclaimer: This content is published by The Merriweather Council. The Merriweather Council is not affiliated with Etsy Inc. Etsy is a trademark of Etsy Inc. We write about Etsy, from our own experiences, not for Etsy.



May 25, 2021

Every year I make an effort to deliver this message regarding the summer sales slump to help you get proactive and manage expectations during this time so you can turn your slump into your most valuable season.

This is about using summer wisely to avoid a lack of focus and preparing for a successful holiday season!

My hope is to make this summer sales slump feel less scary and to assure you that it is very, very normal!

I want to give you the heads up on what you need in order to maximize this season of summer and the season that's coming after it based on what I know from real-life experience.

In this episode, you’re going to learn the three major pitfalls that most makers fall into during the summer months that you definitely want to avoid. It will also cover the timeline that you need to understand and know how to work with. Plus, the five key pieces to turning your slump into the most valuable season.

For full show notes and all the links mentioned in this episode, please visit merriweathercouncilblog.com/151



May 20, 2021

I don’t work for an algorithm.

I understand that every platform has best practices and things it’s good to be aware of. I’m okay with basic rules and guidelines, but I’m not okay with being told I shouldn’t even bother unless what I want to do will make an invisible robot happy. That is so discouraging and toxic.

I don’t have any issues with the existence of the algorithms on any platform. I understand and support that there has to be an algorithm in place; otherwise, things would move so fast it would be useless. 

Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and other massive platforms handle so much content from so many users and deliver it to so many users; there needs to be a system (algorithm) to manage it. 

The algorithm is a huge part of what makes those platforms functional and enjoyable as a user. Are they perfect? No. Are there a million things about it that we don’t know and don’t understand? Yes.

My issue is with the culture surrounding the algorithms - and the messaging that seems commonplace to appeal to the algorithm or don’t expect to get anywhere. This is not a positive or encouraging message.

For full show notes and all the links mentioned in this episode, please visit merriweathercouncilblog.com/150








May 18, 2021

At one point or another, I believe all makers will receive a message requesting information related to HOW they make their products and with what materials exactly.  I know this is a moderately controversial topic in the maker space, and as always I want to remind you that we do not have to agree on this at all.

Everyone gets to choose how they run their business - it’s important that we all respect the choices other business owners have made even if they aren’t the same as the choices we would make for our business.

Of course, those kinds of prodding supply questions could come from potential buyers who have a particular interest in something that is not currently outlined in your shop, for example, ‘is it vegan’ or similar.

Often though, these inquiries come from people who just want to make what you make, either to bypass the purchasing process thinking it will save money (does it ever?) or because they do already (or want to, or think they want to) sell that same sort of product that you do.

It’s entirely up to you how you handle these situations. Some people don’t mind being asked and will share freely. 

Others feel it is an invasion of privacy, and that it threatens their business in some way.

Some people simply don’t want to spend their time teaching or educating, as it is not their jurisdiction - not their thing, not what they are here for.

There is no right or wrong answer here. 

You don’t even have to react or respond the same way each time. 

In any event, here are three possible ways you can react or reply to questions about suppliers or when people inquire about your trade secrets.

For full show notes and all links mentioned in the episode, please visit merriweathercouncilblog.com/149.






May 13, 2021

The ever-popular topic of Etsy SEO is on the docket for today, so let’s chat!

What is Etsy SEO?

Of course, when we say Etsy SEO, that means Search Engine Optimization specific to Etsy’s native search engine. Etsy SEO is a common focal point for Etsy sellers, maybe even to a fault.

What I really wanted to highlight in today’s episode is the reality of search ranking! There is a lack of perspective here that is causing some unnecessary drama and anxiety for a lot of sellers.

I hope that in breaking this down by the numbers, I can help shift the mindset about SEO and the desire to rank on the first page of results.

For full show notes and all the links mentioned in this episode please visit merriweathercouncilblog.com/148.


May 11, 2021

If this is your first time joining us for an episode of The Merriweather Council Podcast,  well, you’re diving into the deep end today.

I’m okay with it if you are!! ⚠️ Just a fair warning: this is one of my soapbox topics, and I get so fired up about this!

Today I am doing an extended rating of the coupon types makers in business tend to offer. I did a short version of this on TikTok, but 60 seconds was not quite long enough for all the many things I want to say. 😏

If you are currently offering any of these or more than one of these, please don’t feel bad! You might love these, and that’s entirely fine. If NOTHING else, I genuinely hope everything we do encourages you to build the business YOU want to run. If that includes doing something I’m not a fan of, so be it! I’m a bigger fan of you doing you than anything.

I’d rather you hear this perspective and decide for yourself what’s good than NOT hear it and figure out in a year from now that you actually don’t want to be offering these.

For full show notes and all links mentioned in this episode, visit merriweathercouncilblog.com/147

May 6, 2021

✨ If your product went viral tomorrow, would you be ready?

Small business owners are so lucky to have an abundance of tools at our disposal for creating and sharing content right now, such as Youtube, Instagram, and TikTok. I know that can be overwhelming at times, but it is a good thing overall.

There are so many ways to create content and places to publish that content. Content is being consumed more than ever. It’s probably ‘easier ‘ than it has ever been to go viral. 

But what does “going viral” mean?

For the context of this episode, “viral” just means you are getting a lot more attention than you usually average or anticipated, rather quickly. 

Going viral can be fantastic for your business! It can create a lot of visibility and increase your sales short or long term and help your business grow! A viral post can lead to even more new opportunities! It can connect you to more of your ideal customers. 

Whether you are trying to go viral or not, you want to be able to handle it if you do, in fact, find yourself in a place where your product has suddenly blown up overnight.

It is important to remember that, as business owners, the closest we can get to being ‘in control’ is to be proactive. 

Being proactive will help you to maximize the exposure for as much good as possible.


For full show notes and more tips on how to prepare your business to go viral, please visit merriweathercouncilblog.com/146.

May 4, 2021

Pricing handmade products is so challenging, but this is a critical topic (obviously.)

Today I’m recapping some of my top pricing reminders for handmade business owners because I know the struggle is very real, and I need to hear these things more than once, too! 

If you are a long-time listener of The Merriweather Council Podcast, you have probably heard some of these things before - maybe even more than once! I wanted to smash them all together so we can drive this home! Pricing is such a vital topic in ANY business, and I know it is difficult to feel confident about pricing in handmade.

For full show notes and all links mentioned in this episode please visit merriweathercouncilblog.com/145

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