About

Welcome to the Indie Business Network: For Makers and Handmade Entrepreneurs!

Launched in 2000 by award winning home-based business advocate Donna Maria Coles Johnson, Esq., Indie Business Network is the first trade organization serving manufacturers of handmade soaps, cosmetics, candles, artisan perfumes, aromatherapy products, jewelry, baked goods, confections and other artisinal consumer products. Here’s a quick video message from our founder.

Since 2000, we have provided numerous tools, resources, and professional services designed to empower and to encourage the success of creative entrepreneurs.

From our affordable product liability insurance program to our annual #IndieCruise to the Caribbean, to our webinars with FDA officials and small business experts, Makers and Handmade Entrepreneurs enjoy thousands of hours of carefully curated original content, ideas and step-by-step tips to help them launch, own and manage a profitable enterprise.

More Than A Trade Organization … We Are A Community

In addition to a professional services provider, the Indie Business Network is a community — a community of women (and some men too!) from all walks of life who inspire, uplift and encourage each other every day. From our public social networking community to our exclusive private Indie Business Network member area where we enjoy intimate sharing, the Indie Business Network is designed to help you break all the rules, build your own corporate ladder, and create the life you love.

Indie Business Network helps you break all the rules, build your own corporate ladder, and create the life you love.

The Indie Business Network helps members embrace entrepreneurship by doing a lot with a little. Rather than focus on making millions, we focus on planning your best life and then wrapping a profitable and sustainable business around it it. We empower Makers and Handmade Entrepreneurs to take action based on what you know, not on what you have, so you can plan your best business around your best life.

While many of our members start off as hobbyists, our focus is on business. If you have a creative business, or you have a hobby you want to turn into a business, you have come to the right place. Indie Business Network is for you!

Here’s a link to a list of our member categories and benefits (get ready, there’s a lot!), along with links to join Indie Business Network in one of our three categories of membership!

Meet the Indie Business Network Team!

Donna Maria, founder and CEO of Indie Business NetworkDonna Maria Coles Johnson, Founder and CEO

Donna Maria Coles Johnson is an attorney and an award-winning entrepreneur, and the founder and CEO of the Indie Business Network. She is the author of “Making Aromatherapy Creams and Lotions,” and the host of #IndieCruise, an annual Caribbean retreat to help Makers and Handmade Entrepreneurs take their businesses to the next level.

Donna Maria and her work to encourage entrepreneurs has been hailed by Black Enterprise as a “Haven for small business owners.” Her expertise and/or story has been featured in dozens of media outlets including Working Mother Magazine, National Public Radio, the Washington Post, the Houston Chronicle, the Chicago Tribune, Time Magazine, Global Cosmetics Industry Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, NPR News, ABC World News, Entrepreneur Magazine and more.

Donna Maria was named by Forbes.com as one of the Top 20 Women In The Country Tweeting About Small Business And Entrepreneurship. She is also a winner of the United States Small Business Administration’s Home-Based Business Advocate of the Year Award.

Donna Maria is a guest blogger for Small Biz Trends and American Express Open, and is one of the first contributors to Chris Brogan’s Owner Magazine. Her mission, both personally and professionally, is, “To empower women to maximize their potential through small business ownership.”

A native of Washington, DC, Donna Maria lives in her adopted hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband and their children.

Donna Maria (or “dM,” as she is sometimes called) Tweets for Indie Business Network from our Indie Business Twitter, and you can connect with her on her Profile Page at our social networking site. You can also follow Donna Maria from her personal Twitter account if you’d prefer more intimate interaction with her.

 


 

Darryl Johnson, Director of Digital Media, Indie Business NetworkDarryl B. Johnson, Director of Digital Media

With a background that includes 20+ years of videography and photography experience, Darryl creates and produces many of IBN’s original graphics and all of its original video programming. Darryl has worked with dozens of well known media outlets, including ABC, NBC, the NFL, Discovery Channel, ESPN, Irish Television, America’s Most Wanted and more. Darryl is the co-producer with dM of the #MakerShine Documentary.

 


 

Kim Baron, Web Designer, Indie Business NetworkKim Baron, Website Designer and Code Ninja

Kim has been IBN’s website designer for over a decade. Kim knew how to code when coding wasn’t cool. Today, she can make a website page do everything we need it to do and more.

A former handmade beautypreneur herself, Kim knows what it’s like to sell the products you make. She can still be found from time to time making this or that for personal use, but what she likes to do most is code — and she’s really good at it. Lucky us.

 


 

Jennifer Smith, WordPress & Graphics Design, Indie Business NetworkJennifer Smith, WordPress and Graphics Design

Jennifer is our WordPress design and maintenance professional and our main graphics artist. She has a passion for the environment and helps us to gently use the earth’s resources. Jennifer is the reason our WordPress hosted sites hum smoothly and always look neat and tidy. Jennifer creates graphics for us that are clean, uncluttered, colorful, and fun.

 
 
 


 

Sharon Broughton, InfusionsoftSharon Broughton, Infusionsoft and Database Management

Sharon has a passion for all things digital. She likes to garden and play in sunny Sacremento, which she calls home. She is the proud mom of three humans and 7 rescued cats. Sharon makes widgets talk to each other, which is a really cool thing if you depend on technology to help you keep your customers and clients happy. If it’s a techie thing that works, Sharon probably created it — or fixed it after someone else pictured on this page (wonder who that could be …) broke it.

 
 
 


 

Jan Lyons, Assistant to Donna Maria, Indie Business NetworkJan Lyons, Assistant to Donna Maria

Jan is a certified “craftsy girl,” and helps Donna Maria keep her head on straight as she serves Indie Business Network members. Jan “gets” makers and creative entrepreneurs, and she helps to curate and design our Maker subscription box.

If we produce anything with a ribbon, bow, or fancy stamp, it was probably born first in Jan’s head.

 
 
 


 

Megan Walker, Social Media and "Indie Coordinator," Indie Business NetworkMegan Walker, Social Media assistant and “Indie Coordinator”

Megan is the “Indie Coordinator” that our members see interacting in our private forum. Part creative assistant, part social media consultant, part sounding board, Megan is the person Donna Maria goes to first when she has one of her “new ideas.”

Megan thinks really fast on her feet, so she can keep up with dM. If you love anything new that we do, it’s probably because Megan had a hand in making it happen.

 


 
 

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