Summit Spotlight: Workshops

Dueling workshops: Which one’s for you?

Wholesale or the law. Those are the topics of two afternoon workshops at The Maker City Summit on September 23.

Don't worry, they’re only two of numerous learning opportunities at the Summit. There will be keynote speakers, panel discussions on a variety of maker-minded topics, and one-on-one sessions with a range of experts you can sign up for. Not to mention time to network with your fellow makers. 

But these workshops (led by Emily Kerr-Finell of Wholesale in a Box and Haseeb Qureshi, an attorney and entrepreneur at Morehous Legal Group respectively) will offer deep-dive insights into topics that lots of makers struggle with. 

A look at Wholesaling

Emily Kerr-Finell runs the show at Wholesale In a Box, a business she started with her husband Ethan to help makers connect with stores and cultivate reorders. Based in Kingston, N.Y., she develops training materials, software, store portfolios, partnerships, and strategy. But she most loves the one-on-one coaching calls she does with makers.

At her workshop, she will tell makers how to grow their handmade wholesale business in ways that are simple, inexpensive and adaptable to their own style and ethos.

She will share:
– How to get your ducks in a row for wholesale — terms, order process, line sheet, order minimums, pricing, etc.
– The key things you need in place to be successful with stores.
– Pros and cons of wholesale outreach options, including tradeshows, Etsy Wholesale, direct outreach and other methods.
– The mental shifts you need to make to grow your wholesale business.
– Common mistakes and how to avoid them, plus pro tips from successful wholesale makers.

A quick Q&A with Emily

Since you support makers, you must have lots of handmade products. What are some of your favorites? 

I love anything from Gopi Shah Ceramics, Little Truths Studio, Sarah Safavi Jewelry, and Snoogs and Wilde. 

The product(s) you most frequently order online are:

We do order our fair share of Amazon basic stuff to avoid trips to the grocery store, but everything else is about saving our pennies to buy from makers. 

Your favorite place to shop is:

I love stumbling across a gorgeous, well-chosen store on my travels. I was in Montreal recently and the boutiques there had such incredible handmade lines and beautiful curation. 

If you weren't working with makers, your dream job would be:

This is definitely my dream job! 


And now, a look at Law

Haseeb Qureshi, a Knoxville attorney and entrepreneur-in-residence at Morehous Legal Group, PLLC, will discuss Legally Organized: For the Slightly Paranoid. A legal workshop dedicated to makers and creatives, this is a crash course in legal and how staying legally organized can power your business growth.

Each attendee will walk away with an informative packet complete with basics on copyright, trademark, business entities, general agreement structure, and other useful tips for your business.

Haseeb knows whereof he speaks. He has received statewide recognition as a “Legal Pioneer” for his work with startups and entrepreneurs and continues to advise and mentor entrepreneurs in east Tennessee.

A quick Q&A with Haseeb

What are the most common legal issues that makers run into?

Let me list them in no particular order: 1) confusion around legal entities and what can they do for you, 2) confusion about how to structure royalty payments, 3) getting all the terms of any deal or transaction onto paper, and 4) really being straightforward with what risks makers see.  Makers typically have all the answers they need (makers are smart and creative, which is an excellent pairing with a good work ethic), but like most entrepreneurs, they need confidence and some basic knowledge. I’m happy to bring that in my seminars, so people walk away with concrete knowledge and value.

If you had one piece of advice you wish everyone would heed, it would be: 

Remember, your gut’s everything. No matter what you do, even when hiring experts (lawyers included), your gut will lead you right. You’re instinctively picking up on risk factors and envisioning a future in a way that no one else can. Because of that, you have the right and power to act on that. 

Don’t let anyone’s credentials shut down your gut instincts, no matter how successful / experienced / credentialed they might be.

And, finally, do you have a favorite lawyer joke?

I don’t have a favorite lawyer joke; I almost despise every and all lawyer jokes. They remind me of how lawyers are so disconnected from the rest of the world. Sorry, not my cup of coffee.


Have you registered for The Maker City Summit yet? What are you waiting for?