"All that really belongs to us is time; even he who has nothing else has that. "
- Baltasar Gracian
If you’ve got an artistic hobby, you’ll cherish the special feeling of having someone admire your product. This feeling of satisfaction in your craft multiplies ten-fold when you’re able to turn the hobby into a business that’s not only loved by many, but also profitable. Crafts and DIY never go out of fashion ; almost everyone appreciates the authenticity and personality injected into handmade crafts. But simple passion from your side and compliments from people do not help you make money. So how to make money selling crafts?
1) FIGURE OUT WHO YOU WANT TO SELL TO :
A solid customer base is intrinsic to any business. So even before you decide on the products you want to be selling, think of who you want to appeal to. Begin with basic demographics such as gender, age, location, marital status etc, and then go deeper into your target market, by focusing on a specific detail of the target market. This is the first step towards creating products and a brand that suits your chosen customer base perfectly.
Once you know who your products will be targeted towards, the next step is finding your customers. For example, suppose your interest lies in decoupage and you want to sell to people in their 20s and 30s ; with the product design aligned with pop culture. How and where can you find your ideal customers? Check social media ( Facebook groups, Reddit, Instagram and forums) to know what’s trending in both decoupage and pop culture. Pick up craft magazines to see what readers are interested in. If possible, visit stores catered towards your target market and see what’s most popular in the crafting section. In short, look for both platforms that your target market uses, gather relevant information and create a product to market and sell to them.
2) PERFECTING YOUR CRAFT
Now that you have your customer base sorted, it’s time to focus on the actual product. If you’re a crafter, it’s a given you are creative! But everyone can use a bit of inspiration to help hone their artistic talents. Find blogs, YouTube tutorials , online workshops and e-books to refine your skills and get your DIY juices flowing. For decoupage some top creators to follow include Svetlana AistCraft , DIY blog The Paint Palette and Creator’s Image Studio etc. Whether your chosen craft is decoupage, knitting, glassware, sewing, painting or something even more niche, there will be inspiration out there for you!
3) MARKETING AND SELLING YOUR CRAFTS ONLINE :
With customers and products sorted, it’s time to actually sell some crafts! An aspiring crafter has many options to choose from when it comes to marketing their product. When you’re starting off, online is the best route, as it’s easy to set up. First off, set up a business PayPal account to receive payments. You are now set to explore your options to sell your crafts online.
START A BLOG : One of the easiest and most profitable ways to earn by making crafts is to set up and blog and sell your products straight from the blog. Here’s how you do this :
Blogs can be started for free but you can’t make sales off that type of blog. So, opt for a self-hosted blog through a provider to enable your blog to allow you to sell your crafts online. Many bloggers use WooCommerce, which is a free WordPress plugin that you install and activate on your blog. Create an account, then create your product – add images, description and pricing of your crafts – and your page is ready for crafts to be sold.
SHOPIFY OR ETSY : Another way to make money with your crafts online is setting up a Shopify or Etsy store :
– Shopify is a great option if you want an all-in-one platform where you sign up for a site that is already enabled for selling. This Shopify store of hand crafted crates is a great example of a Shopify craft store.
– Another great e-commerce option is an Etsy shop which is a popular, budget-friendly, easy to set up platform where crafters can sell their products. You can even link your blog to your Etsy shop.
4) SELLING YOUR CRAFTS IN-PERSON :
Once you’ve found your feet online, it’s time to step into offline craft spaces such as craft fairs and art shows. If you are hoping to establish yourself and make a living in this circuit, here’s what you’ll need to know :
– Visit fairs as a customer first :
Walk the aisles, talk to people and sellers behind the booths, get a feel for the quality, price, and nature of the products being sold and whether your products would fit in.
– Draft a budget :
Running a booth at a fair isn’t inexpensive. So tally all your potential expenses ; including the booth, material cost, marketing and promotional material, table, inventory, travel and permit if needed.
– Set up the perfect booth :
When it comes to setting up the booth, make a list of everything you’ll need to make it perfect – Banners, signs, poster boards, business cards, a means to accept card payments, calculator, cash register, and merchandising/window displays that are creative enough to set you apart from your competitors etc
– Making profits at a craft fair :
Once you’ve selected the fair you’ll sell at, put together all materials you’d and officially opened business it’s time to make money; sell your products at price points that cater to more than one type of ideal customer, offer consumables such as food/ beverages or do a giveaway, build a mailing list for after the fair with either as a sign-up sheet or an app like Chimpadeedoo, upsell by offering complementary products.
– After the fair :
Evaluate your performance. If you’ve made a profit, well done! Maybe reinvest part of what you earned and go slightly bigger the next time around. If it’s a loss, try to understand where you went wrong and try a different approach next time!
Trying to earn a living through crafting is like any other means of earning. It will take time, effort, money to establish yourself and get to a position where you can comfortably live off your love for crafts. But keep up your enthusiasm and keep experimenting until you find what works best for you!