#MarchMeetTheMaker 2017 Free Planner


Like last time, I like to be organised, so I designed another little planner to help me to plan ahead for my #MarchMeetTheMaker Instagram Challenge. A number of people found this useful last time as it gives you a chance to think ahead for some of the prompts that maybe a little tricky. You can also tick off the prompts as you go along (everyone loves a tick list). So, I've made another and added it as a free download!

To download this free planner, simply click here and then download and print or save for later. I've printed mine off and have already started scribbling on it. I hope it helps!

#MarchMeetTheMaker 2017


I can’t quite believe how quickly this has come around. It seemed like only yesterday we were all telling our business stories through the first ever #MarchMeetTheMaker in 2016.

For 2017 #MarchMeetTheMaker has had a fresh new make over and has been completely spring-cleaned to include new prompts and challenges for you.

This challenge is to help small businesses, such as myself to tell the story behind the brand. Because, let's face it, selling online means that our customers don’t always get to see the hard work and smiley faces behind the scenes who create the lovely handmade products. It aims to give an insight into the face, process and hard work that goes into creating all of the beautiful products we have to offer. Don’t be camera shy! This is your time to shine, show off your skills and tell people all about you and your small business.

The challenge kicks off on Wednesday 1st March 2017 and absolutely anyone can join in, in fact, the more the merrier! All you have to do is post a daily photo to Instagram relating to the prompt of that day and tag it with #MarchMeetTheMaker to take part. It’s that simple! Of course, if you’d like to share the challenge with your friends or other creatives I’d love you forever. I can’t wait to see what you post and learn a little more about you and your small business. Have fun!

If you would like to see my posts be sure to follow @joannehawker on Instagram!

Scratchcards & Secret Messages


A card designed especially for mums on their birthday, mother's day or just because you want to send them a her a heartfelt message, a surprise announcement or a special gift. This is also available for stepmums.

Over the year added a whole host of scratch cards to my range (and I'm still adding to it!) and they are still by far my most favourite thing to make. Some of them offer standard messages such as 'will you be my bridesmaid', but some of them are designed to hold much bigger questions or surprises. Since I've been making these, I have written messages for gifts of gig tickets and experiences, to trips to visit Father Christmas in Lapland and even a number of marriage proposals. I just wish I could see peoples faces as they scratch off to reveal their surprises, gifts, secret messages and proposals.

Let me take a moment to introduce you to my 'write your own' range.


These are part of my wedding range where you can create a character to look like yourself to ask your friends if they will be your Bridesmaid, Maid of Honour, Flower Girl or any other role within your wedding party. You have a choice of writing the message yourself or having one printed so these can say whatever you need them to say giving you much more freedom when it comes to asking your nearest and dearest to play a special part in your day.


These are probably one of my most favourites to make at the moment because they feature either a cute little rabbit or polar bear. They're not just for asking people to be Godparents, Godmothers, or Godfathers though! They can also be used as baby announcements, for telling your parents that they're going to be Grandparents, surprising your best friend with the news or even letting your first born child know that they're going to become a big brother or a big sister. They're also perfect for surprising a mother to be with a baby shower! There are so many possibilities with this one!


This one was designed with Valentine's in mind, but as there is no mention of Valentine's anywhere on the card, it can be used for anniversaries, birthdays or just days when you want to send your favourite human a special message or gift. I love the happy faces of these two little love birds.


I've been dying to do some black and white line art for such a long time that I decided my newest botanical range would be black and white with the splash of gold for the scratch off section. There is a hint of colour too, (very pale pastels) but that is hidden until the panel is scratched off. This too is a multipurpose card. Like the image suggests, it can be used to ask Bridesmaids and Maid of Honours to take part in your wedding, but it can also be used as a wedding proposal or to ask someone to be your witness on your big day. Aside from all the weddingy things it can also be used as a more classy gift card, birthday card or secret message card.

The best thing about my 'write your own' range is that you do just that. You can opt to hand write your message yourself so that it is properly a personal experience for you and the recipient or I can print the message for you, the choice is yours. The questions, gifts, surprises and announcements are endless! Should you want to write a special message to someone special then all of the above plus more are available in my Etsy shop. I hope you enjoy them as much as I like making them.

#MeetTheMakerWeek Free Planner


As I'm someone who likes to plan well in advance, I have made another little planner for the #MeetTheMakerWeek challenge too. A number of people asked about certain prompts last time so, on this version I have elaborated a little on the planner and have made a list below to help out. I've also made a small list of useful apps and some hashtag suggestions as well.

To download this free planner, simply click here and then download or save for later. I've printed mine off and have already started scribbling on it. I hope it helps!

The prompts - remember, you don't have to get all of these questions into the photo. Make good use of the caption space to also tell your story. Choose a photo that will pull people in and want to know more.

Monday 28th  - Brand
Logo, Business name or Brand image - so that people can get familiar with your brand
Where are you based - are you local to any of your followers and they might not have even realised?
What do you make? - and is it giftable for Christmas?
How did it start & what is your story? - everyone loves a good story. How did it begin? Was it a hobby that slowly progressed into a business? Was it by complete chance? Did you just decide to quit your job, take your chance and just go for it?

Tuesday 29th - You 
Who is the face/s behind the team? - Are you doing it solo? (if so, high five to you) Do you have a small team? It's nice to see the person or people running the show and to show customers that you're not some big faceless corporation.
Who does what? - What is your role? Do you do it all? Or do you have a team where you split the jobs and people have a certain expertise in each area? Designer, maker, accounts, packing etc.
Introductions - Introduce yourself and/or your team. Who are you? Maybe a quick line or two on what you like or don't like? Just so we can get to know you a little better.

Wednesday 30th - Your Space
Workspace, premises, office - the general area where you spend the most time working on your business.
Where do you work? - Do you work from the kitchen table? Do you have a sewing room? Maybe you have a studio in your garden? Or do you have a nice spacious office or studio somewhere?
What does your creative space look like? -  Is it tidy? Is it in a big creative mess? How is it decorated? 

Thursday 1st - In action
In action - you or team in action, making, designing or packing etc. Give a feel of day to day life.
How is it made? - You could show how something is made, or if that's top secret just a small aspect of how something is made. Or perhaps the machinery, tech or tools that are used to create your goods.
Is it handmade? - If so, let's see you in action. 
Hyperlapse opportunity? - This is a great opportunity to have a play around with an app called hyperlapse. Simply set your phone to record mode and film yourself doing a task, such as packing orders or making something. Don't worry how long it takes because you can always cut it down later. Once you've got your recording, play with the speeds to either speed it up super fast or slow it down super slow. It's good fun to play with and this could be a fun way to show how your studio works.

Friday 2nd - Customers
Who are your customers? - Are they online? Are they at craft shows? Do you have a bricks and mortar shop? Are they mums or parents? Are they other small businesses? Are they people buying gifts for friends or treats for themselves?
Make the most of the #FeedbackFriday hashtag, what do your customers say about you? - Take some of your best feedback from customers and spread the positive things said about you, your company and your product. Be proud about the service or products you provide. Don't be shy! It's your time to shine so dig out those glowing reviews!

Saturday 3rd - Sell yourself
Where can people buy your goods? - Do you sell online? Are you stocked in any local shops? Are you attending any local craft fairs in the run up to Christmas? Where can people find you and your products or service?
Shop local, shop small - Today is all about shopping local and shopping small. Perhaps re-emphasize that you're a small business, where you are from and if you'll be buying from small companies in the run up to Christmas.
Why should they buy from you? - Why should people shop with you? What sets you apart from everyone else? Do you have a unique selling point?
This day is also all about Small Business Saturday. To find out a little more about their aims, other small businesses and how you can join in, click here.

I hope that helped a little and that you enjoy this little challenge. I can't wait to see your posts!

#MeetTheMakerWeek


At the end of #MarchMeetTheMaker earlier this year I promised that I would make a shorter, week long version later in the year and here I am keeping that promise. 

This Instagram, photo challenge is 6 days long and is aptly named #MeetTheMakerWeek. This challenge has been deliberately planned to help you tell your small business story to potential new customers in the run up to Christmas. 

The challenge will kick off on the 28th November and end on the 3rd of December 2016. Like last time, there will be a free downloadable, printable planner sheet to help you to plan your posts in advance of the challenge beginning, (see next post!) as I know that this is a very busy and important time of year for us small designer makers. Also in the next post with the planner, will be more detail of what each daily prompt is about. I look forward to seeing everyone's posts and learning about lots of small businesses!

If you would like to download your own copy of this prompt list, you can do so by clicking here and clicking download on the next page.

If you would like to see my posts be sure to follow @joannehawker on Instagram!

#MarchMeetTheMaker free planner


As a person who likes to be organised, I designed a little planner to help me to plan ahead for my #MarchMeetTheMaker Instagram Challenge. A number of people also mentioned that they too may like to think ahead for some of the prompts that they may get a little stuck on, so, I've decided to offer it to everyone as a free download!

To download this free planner, simply click here and then download or save for later. I've printed mine off and have already started scribbling on it. I hope it helps!

#MarchMeetTheMaker Instagram Challenge


After getting a little frustrated that I couldn't find an Instagram Challenge that I wanted to take part in, I decided to make my own instead! This is how #MarchMeetTheMaker was born.

This challenge is to help small businesses such as myself to tell the story behind the brand. It also aims to give an insight into the face, process and hard work that goes into creating all of the beautiful products we have to offer.

The challenge kicks off on Tuesday 1st March 2016 and absolutely anyone can join in, in fact, the more the merrier! All you have to do is post a daily photo to Instagram relating to the prompt of that day and tag it with #MarchMeetTheMaker to take part. It’s that simple! I can’t wait to see what you post and learn a little more about you. Have fun!

If you would like to see my posts be sure to follow @joannehawker on Instagram!