With the recent economic downturn, crafting has once again become as popular as it was for our Grandparents! And popular to entrepreneurs means big business….
There are two ways to cash in on the “new” interest in all things homemade, and lots of money to be made.
Method 1: Sell Your Wares:
If you can knit, crochet, sew, felt or make candles, jewellery, pottery or even blow glass then get to work. Set up shop on Etsy, Misi, Folksy, Notonthehigstreet, Facebook, Amazon Marketplace or Ebay. Perhaps even go the extra mile and set up a real market stall!
Even if you don’t have a particular talent in the craft area, you can still cash in by selling items you have simply put together; such as kids party bags or travel game sets to keep the kids occupied on long journey’s (parents will love you!). Have a brainstorming session and see if you can think of something that would make your life easier, you can then presume it would help others in your situation too!
You get to work from home, doing something enjoyable, for little or no start-up costs.
When you are thinking of starting up a new craft business, the most important decision is which craft to choose. There are many craft areas to decide between, and it’s becoming quite a competitive area. It’s important to offer something different to the usual hand-made greeting cards, try thinking outside of the box and look for a gap in the market, or just put an interesting twist on an old method. For instance; If you make candles or soaps then don’t just offer the usual vanilla scented – see if you can create something that smells like Cola or bubblegum or newborn babies! (I would buy some of these off you!). Personalised items for kids (especially little girls) are always well received; think hair bands, bracelets, socks, money boxes, purses, plates, stuffed animals, blankets, the sky is the limit!
Check Ebay, Amazon and Google for items that are selling well and put your own stamp on it.
Once you have decided on your choice of craft, it’s time to get busy! Make as many products as you can afford, and package them up to look appealing before you try selling anything. Be sure to take plenty of photographs – both of the finished product and the making process (people like to see that what they are buying is, in fact, hand-made).
Most of the sites mentioned above have support Forums, and are full of people offering tips and advice on marketing your produce. Buyers also visit the forums looking for a bargain, so make your presence well known in those circles.
You will also need a Facebook page to pedal your wares on, and a blog (you can get one for free) so that you can use Pinterest as a marketing tool. Linkedin is also a good resource for new business.
Method 2: Supply the Crafters!
For hobby suppliers, the new crafting bug means big business, and expanding rapidly. According to figures released by HobbyCraft, cake baking alone is up by 85%, and sales of knitting supplies are up almost 28%. Sewing and knitting groups such as Stitch ‘n’ Bitch are popping up all over the country. Home baked is fast becoming the only way to go, so why not go grab a slice of the pie?
If you don’t have the funds to buy wholesale, you can source (carefully) drop-shippers or become an affiliate for Amazon or Ebay partner networks.
Marketing will be similar to the methods used above: make your presence known in the crafting forums, set up shop on Ebay or Amazon, create a Facebook page, join the usual list of social networks (Linkedin, Twitter, Pinterest) and start a blog.
Tips for success (both methods):
Take pride in your work; if you don’t like what you’re offering then why should anyone else?
Value your customers. Offer great customer service, word of mouth can make or break you!
Make use of the forums, the people there are in the same boat as you and are generally only too willing to help out a newbie on the block.
When pricing your products make sure to take your own time into consideration.
Buy wholesale or bulk where possible when making crafts, you won’t make much profit paying retail prices for you materials.