I'll never forget how difficult it was to talk about my business at first. I was so sacred of rejection. I thought people would think it was stupid. Frankly, not every person I talked to was interested. especially when I was talking about crocheting. I found the key was being at the right place at the right time. Literally shopping at places that I believed my items would do well. Wearing my items was huge! People would ask, "Where'd you buy that?" Of course, this was an opportunity to talk about the stuff I make. Now, I am shameless! I had to find out who would buy this and where are they? With the Handmade market taking off, this can be difficult.
I consign. I consign my items and patterns. This doesn't make me hoards of money at this point, but it sure helps to get me exposure. Plus then I can brag about it on my blog and websites.
Networking online was really something I did not do for a long time. I was never big on forums and such. Now, I realize I have to. I also need to look at other people shops and support them. I don't have loads of time to be on Etsy forums for example, but I try to make an appearance, or do a critique to help a newbie.
My three rules to live by: Be Kind, Be honest, Be helpful.
Frankly, not everyone cares that the item(s) are made with hemp or fair trade sari silk. They just loved the item. Point is I cannot give everyone the same spiel, they are not all interested. So is researching my fiber choices is not a waste of time, because when someone does ask, I have answers.
Constantly, I get you don't use acrylic yarn? No, I don't and no, I won't. I have my own personal beliefs that I will keep to myself.
Realize that your business is built on others businesses. :)