This week’s Market Yourself March advice comes from Heather Dutton, of Hang Tight Studio.  Heather shares her fun approach to marketing her creative business through colorful postcards, great goodie bags, and more!

If you’re anything like me, the word marketing sends shivers down your spine.  We’re designers and artists, we’d much rather spend our time designing and being creative, right? Like it or not though, marketing is a vital part of running a successful business whether you’re a big company or a small independent designer.  It’s easy to get lost in the sea of talented designers that are out there. You could be a design rock star, but if you don’t market your amazing creations the only people who will know it are your friends and family. As wonderful as it is to have their support and encouragement, odds are it’s not going to help grow your business.

Heather Dutton's postcard
It’s easy to get overwhelmed when it comes to marketing your creative business.  It’s an industry all on its own and people major in it when they’re in college for goodness sake! Since I clearly chose a different path by going to art school and spreadsheets make me break out in hives, I decided that first and foremost I needed to find a way to make marketing my business fun. If I’m not creatively inspired by what I’m doing and I’m not having fun doing it, then I’m definitely not going to stick with it.

One of Heather Dutton's Goodie Bags
When I opened my Etsy shop years ago I saw it as a perfect opportunity to let my customers know a bit more about me and my other creative endeavors. A new customer might not even know that I design fabric or that I run a creative business outside of my Etsy shop. Free samples and little treats make me absolutely giddy so I decided to create a little self-promotion goodie bag that I include with each of my Etsy orders.

Rubber Stamp by Heather Dutton

My marketing budget is pretty small but I’ve found that a little investment goes a long way. One of the first things that I treated myself to was a custom rubber stamp for my design studio. It’s an easy (and FUN) way to add your logo to just about anything. Another fun and affordable way to get your name out there is to create small stickers for your business. is a great resource, especially since they allow you to have a variety of designs within one order instead of being limited to just one image.

Heather Dutton's promotional stickers
My goodie bag includes a variety of little treats that all get tucked inside a small muslin bag that I’ve stamped with my logo. It’s a little bundle of Hang Tight Studio fun and it changes whenever I have something new that I want to promote.

Heather Dutton's Spoonflower Shop Swatches

One of the newest additions to my goodie bag is a small swatch sampler that I created to help spread the word about my Spoonflower shop. Fabric is such a tactile product and I thought this would be a fun way to show people how amazing Spoonflower fabrics really are.

All of the little details add a personal touch when you’re connecting with customers and they don’t require a massive budget, just a little bit of time. Be creative, keep a notebook to jot down marketing ideas when they pop into your head, create a Pinterest board for inspiration, find a method that works for you and above all else, make sure you’re having fun!


About Heather Dutton

Heather Dutton Headshot_1

Heather Dutton started her freelance / licensing design adventure in 2000 after a successful career as a fashion designer in San Francisco. Under the studio name Hang Tight Studio she creates designs & surface illustrations for a wide variety of companies including Pottery Barn, Ore’ Originals, Tupperware & DENY designs. She’s obsessed with pattern, crazy about color, slightly addicted to Pinterest & has seriously love for the color green.