I'm late on the thousand true fans boat, but I'd still like to discuss it. Even though it sounds like the premise of an anime- gain a thousand true friends...I mean...fans...and you'll become a real girl...I mean business... but it may have some validity to us crafters. Many people knew of the etsy famous Black Apple who even though most have never heard of her is doing alright with her fanbase.
Of course, as they say, different things are different. It's a bit easier for soapers as people consume soap and will often buy from the same soaper month to month. I like a lot of variety in my soap buying, but I will return to the same 'favorites' as well. Jewelry isn't consumable and you can only have so many earrings, but your true fans act as evangelists to the more casual types. They are the ones who retweet your tweets, advise others to go to your shop, etc. I think that more than the mere 1000 people a year giving you $100 once aspect that that is the true value of true fans.
People fall out of love with things, they move on, but before that happens, they can show your work to people who really are turned on by your art. Different methods work for different people. You don't see a lot of very very personal stuff on this blog as I am really shy, but other people display their daily life. But getting people to engage with your work, standing out from the crowd- that's something we can all relate to.