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March Meet The Maker: Joanne Hawker

It’s that time of year again, where our Instagram feeds become a flurry of studio pics and we get to see behind the scenes of a whole host of super talented creatives. That’s right, it’s #MarchMeetTheMaker season!

To start the month off in style, we speak to Joanne Hawker, the brains behind #MarchMeetTheMaker, to discover how it all started and get her top tips for joining in.

Joanne Hawker, March Meet The Maker, Awesome Merchandise, Maker

For those who don’t know you, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hello! I’m Joanne! I’m a dungaree wearing, stripe mad, lover of yellow! I live in the south west of England in a small village in Somerset. When I’m not running #MarchMeetTheMaker I’m busy running my own handmade business selling special occasion cards, pocket mirrors, prints and pins!

Describe #MarchMeetTheMaker challenge in one sentence.

A creative, small business Instagram challenge where the maker community comes together to show the world their makes, tell their handmade story and make new connections.

Why did you start  #MarchMeetTheMaker?

The challenge was created in 2016. At the time, I was in bit of a creative rut with Instagram and couldn’t find a way to pull myself out of it. Feeling determined, I went in search of a challenge aimed at small creative businesses but couldn’t find one. Feeling inspired, I went ahead and created a 31 day challenge which aims to show the different aspects of my business and asked my creative, small business friends to take part. And that’s how #MarchMeetTheMaker was born.

Have you been surprised by its huge success?

I will be forever grateful to the creative community for how they welcomed the challenge with open arms and for everyone who takes part. At the end of the 2016 challenge there were around 25,000 posts on the hashtag and at the end of the 2017 challenge a further 80,000 had been added! I had no idea it would evolve to be as big as this but it really is exciting times. For as long as people want to do the challenge, I’ll keep making it and adding new and exciting things each year! I’ve got a few surprises up my sleeve for this year too!

Joanne Hawker, March Meet The Maker, Awesome Merchandise, Maker

What’s been your favourite moment from the #MarchMeetTheMaker challenges?

All the comments at the end of the challenge usually get me. I almost cried reading them last year, they made me so happy! I love hearing about how it’s helped people, from gaining sales and followers, to even helping to grow their confidence with posting about what they make. Those are my favourite moments for sure.

What are your top 3 tips for people wanting to get involved in the challenge for the first time?

1. Plan ahead

Plan as much as possible so that you don’t feel overwhelmed or stressed on the day of posting. I have a free planner for that over here.

2. Just be you

Don’t compare yourself to other people’s feed. Each and everyone of us is different and are at different stages in our creative journeys so no two feeds will be the same.

3. Don’t overthink it

Have fun and make some new creative friends!

Joanne Hawker, March Meet The Maker, Awesome Merchandise, Maker

You can follow Joanne’s #Marchmeetthemaker journey here.

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