Founder and CEO of Craft Box Girls, Lynn Lilly, has taken the craft/DIY social sphere by storm. With her unique ingenuity and passion for connecting, Lynn has broken ground as one of the most recognizable names in the craft industry.
1. What was your inspiration for getting into crafting?
I was diagnosed with Leukemia when I was 3 years old, and because I had a low immune system and couldn’t be around a lot of other kids, I would watch Martha Stewart with my mom and make crafts. By age 6, I was crafting tablescapes for family holiday dinners and making t-shirts for every occasions. The love of creating continued to grow as a passion. I grew up sewing my own Halloween costumes, decorating our home with handmade decorations and eventually hosting craft nights with friends well into adulthood!
2. How long have you been in this business?
As of February 2020, Craft Box Girls will be celebrating our 6-year anniversary.
3. What inspired you to start your own company?
I was laid off from my experimental marketing job at large start-up. After working in marketing and events for 5 years, I was at a crossroads and decided I wanted to follow my passion and I challenged myself to turn my love for crafting and DIY into a business. Six months after getting laid off, I launched Craft Box Girls as a basic blog with a plan to create a multiple platform media company dedicated to inspiring the everyday person to add creativity to their lives through easy do it yourself projects.
4. How has social media, such as Instagram, changed the way people talk about crafting/DIY?
Social media has been a huge vehicle to expanding crafting to a mainstream audience. It has allowed expert crafters and DIYers to share their skills and projects with people across the world and be a megaphone for the diversity of the arts and craft industry. Social media also provides an a free/inexpensive way to marketing products, share tutorials, build a tribe and get immediate feedback from your community.
5. How has the rise of product influencers impacted the craft/DIY industry?
"Influencer" is such a loaded term and is being used in so many different ways. At its root, an influencer is someone who has influence over an audience or group of people. Influencers have grown in popularity over the last five years as consumer buying behaviors have shifted. Consumers are more likely to search for a project than a product. They are discovering products to purchase through content created by…. guess who? INFLUENCERS. This is not a new concept. Most marketers know that word of mouth is the most powerful marketing. Now, instead of picking up a phone or hearing about a product over coffee, consumers are going to their favorite, trusted blogger, youtuber, television personality or instagrammer for ideas and techniques that involved PRODUCTS.
6. What is the nature of the relationship between a manufacturer/craft entrepreneur and an influencer?
Every time I have an introduction call or meeting with a manufacturer, they always ask how to I work with brands. There is no one standard way I work with manufacturers but rather a constantly evolving relationship based on the manufacturers needs, my skills and audience.
A common misconception is that an Influencers' roles in working with a manufacturer is just to promote products through blog and social media posts. This is definitely the most common way to work together but there are so many other ways Influencers can impact your business. A few additional ways I have worked with manufacturers include white labeled content creation, new product testing, broadcast and digital brand spokesperson work, social media consulting, product licensing, event/workshop hosting, and custom activations.
A few sample relationships:
I started working with Surebonder after they saw how much I loved their product through my content on social media. Our initial relationship started as me sharing their glue guns through sponsored content and evolved into their first ever licensing deal with the launch of a Lynn Lilly cordless detail point glue gun.
Michaels Stores (retailer):
I was asked to be apart of the Micheals Maker program 2017 and embarked on a relationship of creating content to promote products sold at Michaels Stores through sponsored content. This relationship has evolved to more involved content creation, launching a weekly live broadcast on their facebook page that I have hosted for over a year as well as working as a spokesperson for their brand on shows like Good Morning America.
The point is to not put Influencers in one box. In addition to helping you promote your products, Influencers can impact the success of your business in so many valuable ways!
7. Have you ever leveraged or know someone that has leveraged an influencer to promote your ideas?
As an influencer, I work with over 30 brands a year to share their products with my audience and help create content and strategies that will engage their audience.
8. Additional thoughts?
As social media continues to be a driving force in buying decisions, influencer marketing is becoming essential. In additional to adding influencer marketing to your marketing plan, I highly recommend thinking about the content you are sharing on your platforms. As an influencer, I will not work with a brand that does not have high quality content on their social media platforms. The worst thing I could do is drive an excited prospective buyer to an inactive social media account or one that has less than impressive projects and contents. There needs to be a balance of quality content living on your platforms and working with outside sources to create content that drives to your platforms. You might be thinking…. I am not good on creating projects, photography or videography; well, there just might be an Influencer who has those talents and can help you create content under your brand! The possible are endless as long as you are open to them!
Make sure to attend Lynn Lilly's exciting workshop at Creativation! Workshop details can be found below:
Learn & Make: 3 Trending Crafts with 3 of Beacon's Most Popular Products
Sponsor: Beacon Adhesives
Day + Time: 1/17/2020 3:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Difficulty Level: Beginner
Instructor: Lynn Lilly
Fees: Member: $45.00 / Non-member: $75.00
Class Description: Join Beacon Adhesives and DIY Expert Lynn Lilly for an active workshop featuring 3 of Beacon Adhesives most popular products. Attendees will recieve all supplies to make three crafts to take home while learning about Beacon's leading adhesives. Each attendee will take home their finished craft project and a sampling of Beacon Adhesives including the brand new Beacon Glo-Brite. Not only will you be inspired during the session but Lynn will also share tips and advice on how to market the products to your consumers so they fly off the shelves!