Business of Craft Abby Glassenberg

Welcome to Episode #3 of Business of Craft

On this episode, we’ll delve into email marketing with Abby Glassenberg, of While She Naps. Abby shares her formula to achieve 50% open rates and elaborates on her unique journalistic style. We also learn a few of her productivity secrets, including keeping a Pocket in her pocket.

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Abby’s origin story of her brand:

  • [2:15] After a stint as a teacher, Abby had her first daughter and became curious about being a craft blogger.
  • [4:18] In the early days ‘While She Naps’ was really just an online journal. Abby posted every day but it was humble in the beginning.
  • [5:00] Abby says you can start small without having a grand vision. “Back then, there was only small–there was no expectation of a blog being anything bigger.
  • [5:37] Abby Pursued things she was interested in and document them is still the same idea of what I do today. “The essence, which is to follow my curiosity… is the same as it was from the start.”
  • [6:46] “When you start doing something like your job…people start hiring you and paying you.
  • [7:08] “It’s a flexible job. I can nap and jog and have flexibility in my work.”


Demystifying E-Newsletters:

  • [8:23] Abby talks about making e-newsletters an effective tool for your marketing program.
  • [9:54] Abby did a lot of experimenting with her newsletter. She mixed up sending times and content.
  • [10:36] Abby’s current formula is a small block of content is a photo and text that links to the blog. The second segment features links. That’s the heart of the newsletters. The best of business, sewing and small business from the week.
  • [11:42] Abby: “My PS often gets more clicks than anything else in the newsletter”


How Abby chooses content that is provocative and not controversial:

  • [14:03] Abby has certain topics she likes: Fair pay, social justice and contracts and feminism. “I see craft as a microcosm for the whole world.”
  • [15:14] “If I can, I push large corporations to treat people more fairly because of what I’m exposing.”
  • [16:39] Abby says It’s really important to share both sides of a story but also showing what’s fair.
  • [17:19] I don’t do normal things so as a result, I have more time to be on Linked In or Facebook for example. “I haven’t seen a movie in over 11 years!”
  • [17:54] Abby has a lot of connections, and sources and she cultivates sources so people trust her.
  • [19:26] The substance of the post is different from the substance of the comments. Those are two different things. Comments can flare up and become really angry.
  • [20:29] I leave comments up that are very critical of me. It’s important for people to see those comments and think, “where do I fall?”


Craft Industry Alliance

  • [22:30] Origin story of CIA
  • [24:30] Abby and her partner Kristin spent a year forming the association. They have 1200 members now. The fee is $60 per year to join.
  • [25:10] The newsletter has 3 articles and resources. Membership includes webinars, the forums, and meet-ups. Encompasses all types of crafters, makers, and craft business owners.
  • [26:23] Most members are more established. Some are very large. Everyone is there to increase profitability.
  • [28:10] Abby elaborates on generosity marketing. She elaborates on the Give Give Take Concept.
  • [28:35] “Nobody is going to buy something  from your Etsy shop every single week.”
  • [29:20] “I think of my newsletter as a handcrafted present. I’m making it for my favorite fans and subscribers and giving it to them every single week.”
  • [30:05] Readers will have a sense of reciprocity when they trust you. They feel like they’re part of what you’re building.


Abby’s Productivity Tips:

  • [32:47] “I have a lot of internal rules and I try to stick to them. When you’re your own boss you have to set the rules for yourself.”
  • [34:09] Abby keeps running to-do list she writes every day. She keeps everything out on her desk.
  • [35:05] Abby will multitask with her iPhone throughout the day.
  • [36:10] “I love what I do and would do it no matter what. It turned into a job by accident”
  • [36:48] “When the thing you make becomes the thing that makes you money, it changes it. That is still hard.”
  • [37:30] Abby tries to do projects that do not align with her product line is a great way to create a distinction between work and pleasure projects.
  • [39:32] Abby use the Pocket app. It saves articles for later and operates offline. She also uses the LinkedIn app.

Abby’s other wish list activities:

  • [43:50] Cooking! Abby likes to collect interesting ingredients and experiences. 
  • [45:10] If I learn to knit, I won’t work. Once I start, I have to finish the whole project.


Selected Links from the Episode: