Crafts & Hobbies Information

Getting Started Selling Your Crafts


Until recently crafts were usually sold locally or, at best, regionally. Now you literally have the whole world at your fingertips! Some of you may choose a gradual progression from selling to friends, to selling at fairs and shows, to retail selling ? and so on. Others may decide to jump directly from selling within their circle of friends to the worldwide Internet market - the costs are low enough that this is surprisingly doable.

My first career was as a special education teacher. After 15 years of teaching I earned an MBA degree followed by CFA (Certified Financial Analyst) certification. After 15 years in finance I was a vice-president and portfolio manager of a major insurance company before I was downsized. Tired of the rat race, I opted for early retirement. Looking for something to do with all my free time, I started crafting and am now making a nice supplemental income from it.

As a crafter and a businesswoman, I feel I have some valuable insights into the craft business that I can share with you.

Getting Organized
to Sell Your Crafts for Profit

At some point in your progression from crafting for fun to crafting for fun and profit, you go from handcrafting individual items for yourself and friends to filling quantity orders for a broader marketplace. That's the time to take a very business-like approach to your craft business. This needn't be daunting. You don't need an MBA or management experience - just a bit of common sense. If you're going to do this for profit, you need to understand

The Four M's:

1. Meet your market;
2. Minimize your costs;
3. Maximize your selling price; and
4. Market the heck out of your product.

Simple, right? But very few people get it. Look at the high failure rate for new businesses. It takes effort to be successful, but the task is hardly impossible.

Traditional craft retailing methods are what most crafters use to get started. They're the easiest way, especially if you don't know if anyone will buy what you make.

I believe that there is a market for any well-made craft, whether decorative or useful. The problem facing many crafters is how exactly to go about selling them, or more accurately, finding paying customers. The fact is that there is an awful lot of competition out there.

My own business got jump-started by my "circle of friends". My friends noticed and liked my calling cards and began to ask me to design and make cards for them. Starting with just Broderbund's Create-a-Card program, I was soon earning a nice supplemental income in just a few hours a week. It probably helped that I was retired and live in an area dominated by retirees.

But I think that everyone has a "circle of friends" either socially or at work. Of course you don't want to impose on their friendship by making a hard sell, but rather use or display your crafts in front of your friends to see if they draw any interest. If they do and if they're priced right, you're on your way to craft retailing for profit. If your "circle of friends" market starts extending to friends of friends, you're probably ready to tap the general marketplace of craft retailing.

Most crafters are aware of the periodic craft shows put on by local groups or even by the local Parks Departments. These usually cost little or nothing to join and should give you a fair idea of whether there is any broader interest in your craft. What better way to jump into craft retailing?

There are also organized craft shows that tour the country, most of which charge an entrance fee for participants. Check your local papers, especially the free shoppers, for information about upcoming shows

Another venue for craft retailing is at the local flea markets that spring up in every community just about every weekend. Again the entrance cost is usually minimal. The only other thing you need is a little marketing savvy.

With little cost and some effort, you will be well on your way to knowing whether there is a market for your craft. Once you know that, you can move on and think about other ways of selling, such as in galleries, on consignment, on eBay or from your own website.

All these methods and more are discussed in great detail on my website,
www.theartfulcrafter.com. Come visit and see what you can do to become successful in the craft business!

By Eileen Bergen
The Artful Crafter
www.theartfulcrafter.com

Eileen Bergen

The Artful Crafter

www.theartfulcrafter.com


MORE RESOURCES:
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news


MyCentralJersey.com

Book review: 'Design your own crochet projects' by Sara Delaney
MyCentralJersey.com
This review is for all my readers who complain that I never have enough posts about crocheting. Here's a book written by an avid crocheter who got serious about helping others duplicate the designs she was spontaneously creating. Actually, she got ...



Lake Mills Winter Market
Madison.com
Our 6th Annual Winter Market is coming up on December 9, 2017. Our market will again be held in the spacious gymnasium and commons of the Lake Mills Middle School at 318 College Street. Mark your calendars and plan to get that last-minute Christmas ...



MyCentralJersey.com

The Gates Avenue Knitters do more than almost any other knitting group
MyCentralJersey.com
The Gates Avenue Knitters, who meet every second and fourth Wednesday at the Long Hill Township Library, do more to help their communities than any other group I know. Started 17 years ago by Arlene Kaplan, a retired staffer from CBS News, the group ...



Stanly News & Press

Tame stress and improve health
Stanly News & Press
Stress can affect people of any age. While small amounts of stress may stimulate adrenaline responses and help people power through difficult projects or solve problems, chronic stress can impact the mind and body in harmful ways. WebMD defines stress ...



MyCentralJersey.com

Back to Mom's sweater
MyCentralJersey.com
I tried to deliver hats on Friday to Mercy House in Perth Amboy, but when I got there, the house was all locked up, as was the Cathedral sanctuary next door. So I'll have to try again another day. In the meantime, I decided that since it's Thanksgiving ...



St. Nicholas Day / Craft & Cookie Sale
Madison.com
Cookie sale at Swiss Church. St. Nicholas Day shopping downtown. Crafts for kids and visit with Santa. Not enough time to do all that holiday baking? We hear you! Don't miss the Swiss United Church of Christ's annual holiday cookie sale. You'll find a ...

and more »


Slate Magazine

The Year in Best-Sellers
Slate Magazine
In fact, Amazon produces so many niche bestseller lists—in topics ranging from “Crafts, Hobbies and Home” to “Engineering and Transportation”—that many a book can claim Amazon best-seller status while only moving a couple of hundred copies. (The ...



Longview Daily News

Online- Gift Certificate
Longview Daily News
Effective immediately, all comments will display the user's FIRST AND LAST NAME rather than a screen name. Anyone with an existing account that did not provide a first and last name when registering will be required to update their profile before ...



MyCentralJersey.com

Can't go to Rhinebeck
MyCentralJersey.com
In Stitches blogger/columnist Pam MacKenzie visits the New York Sheep & Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, NY on Sat. Oct. 15, 2016. Pamela MacKenzie/Staff Video. On Tuesday, I learned that I absolutely have to buy a new car, sooner rather than later. So I am ...



MyCentralJersey.com

Queen City readies its month long Plainfield Music Festival
MyCentralJersey.com
Entertainment Reporter Bob Makin suggests 10 best Halloween events in Central Jersey, including zombie paint ball at Cheesequake Farms, Old Bridge; Frightfest, Schaefer Farms, Readington; Metuchen Zombie Walk; and Haunted Village, Red Mill, Clinton ...


Google News

home | site map | Shell Art
© 2006