Shop Talk Spotlight: Sonja Rasula

Planning January's Shop Talk conference had us extra excited for one reason - the Big Cartel crew had the perfect excuse to work with Sonja Rasula and Unique Markets.

Sonja portrait

Sonja Rasula started Unique Markets in 2008, and it's grown to become the largest 'buy local' shopping event in the country. Every year, close to 100k attendees come to the markets to discover independent designers and artists and to buy local. In 2013, Sonja started CAMP, an inspiring 4-day retreat for creatives and entrepreneurs. She knows a thing or two about creating events and building communities, and most of all, she believes in the power of small businesses.

Sonja holding hands

At Shop Talk, Sonja talked about DIY publicity and marketing. One of the more intimidating parts of running your own business is getting word out, so Sonja gave us a step-by-step guide on how to pitch your brand to magazines and online publications. The biggest takeaway was a simple tip: Do your research. Know who you're emailing, what they normally publish, and make a pitch for how your products and business could fit in their schedule.

Sonja phone

With a background in social media (and her own killer Instagram account), attendees convinced Sonja to spill her sure-fire suggestions for creating a great-looking feed. Some of her secrets stay with those who made it to the event, but we can share some of her favorite photo editing apps: Snapseed, TouchRetouch, and her most recent discovery, A Color Story.

If you're looking for opportunities to sell products in person, check to see if there's a Unique Market in your city. And if you attend the market, tell Sonja that her friends at Big Cartel say hello.

Sonja giveaways

Read more about Shop Talk in our recaps of Emily Katz and Jolby and Friends. Photos by Gia Goodrich.