Date of Completion

Spring 4-24-2018

Thesis Advisor(s)

William Congdon

Honors Major

Digital Media and Design


Advertising and Promotion Management | Digital Humanities | Entrepreneurial and Small Business Operations | Graphic Design | Interdisciplinary Arts and Media | Marketing


For the scope of this thesis, my focus is on independently owned businesses

run by “creative micro-entrepreneurs.” I’m using this term, coined by the digital

selling platform Etsy, to encompass artists, craftspeople, and others who sell artistic

goods and services they have made themselves. In addition to being part of this

community personally, I also think that it is important for these small businesses to

have the resources they need to thrive in our rapidly changing economy. Selling

online, clothing & accessories businesses, and cooking & baking businesses are

among the top 5 “side hustles” for Millennials, making creative small businesses one

of the most popular and fastest-growing segments in this market.

It is often difficult for artisans to make the transition to the digital space, and

with online shopping becoming the norm it is more important now than ever for small

shops to gain visibility in the digital space, where most consumers are spending their

time rather than visiting small boutiques or attending craft fairs. It is my goal that

these creators can use my thesis paper to learn more about current digital trends and

how they have changed in the past, and gain greater insight into the future of the

industry and the direction it is heading. I want the insights from this paper to inform

creative business owners of best practices to use online to grow their audience and

consumer base through the use of digital marketing, social media, and proper selling