If you love crafting and spend your weekends happily knee-deep in glue and paint, chances are you will have dreamt of quitting the day job and earning your money doing the thing you love most. However, most of us live in the real world and realize this is never actually going to happen…or is it?
Homemade and ‘shabby chic’ products equal big business and big bucks to most major stores and boutiques. People are going crazy for rustic, traditional, well-made accessories for their homes, gardens and jewelry boxes. So, if your creative soul is bursting out from your corporate body, why not take advantage and cash in on the gold rush? For anyone about to take the plunge, you will find the following guide helpful for starting your new crafting business:
For anyone wanting to turn their part-time hobby into a serious money making business, they will need to get serious about the business they’re going into.
Whilst working for yourself is a dream to most people, you need to make sure you have considered the legal, financial and personal pressures this will put on you and your family.
Make what will sell – not what you like
One of the biggest mistakes people wanting to turn crafting into a business make is that they think everyone else will be as passionate about their creations as they are. Not everyone will love the things you make and you will have to develop a tough skin to survive in the business, and make what sells not what you think is nice.
Do your market research and test the water with a few key pieces from your collection. Send a few free samples to selected bloggers in your genre and gauge their reaction, and the reaction of their readers.
Calculate your costs
I won’t lie, knowing how much to price your products at is difficult. Of course, to you they are priceless, but you need to be realistic about how much they are worth to someone else.
You also need to ensure you don’t price them too low. Remember to keep a note of your material, labor and energy costs. How long will the products take you to make? Will you use any additional electricity or gas? Does your current material supplier offer good value for money?
Where to sell
Whilst craft and street fairs are still great places to sell and advertise your products, you shouldn’t underestimate the power of the Internet. Etsy, Folksy and Big Cartel are fantastic sales sites for crafters, and attract a big and loyal following.
Registering and setting up your online shop is easy and free, and listing your products is about as complicated as Ebay (i.e. not very!) Each site has its own cost structure, so do a little research and find the one that works best for you and your products. Most sites charge a fixed amount for listing and will take a small percentage of whatever you sell. You could also start a craft blog featuring ‘how to’ articles, using the platform to promote your products for free!
This article was written by Kathryn Thompson. Kathryn is a freelance writer, mom to three daughters and craft enthusiast.
Image source: paperangelcraftretreats.com