Making money from home and using your artistic talents to make a living is no longer something hard to do, thanks to the Internet and the worldwide network of crafters and artisans. There are dozens of websites dedicated to selling crafts and artisan pieces, such as Etsy, ArtFire, BigCartel, Storenvy, Zibbet, Yokaboo, Bonanza, DaWanda, and so many more, and hundreds of craft entrepreneurs who make a good living selling their art and crafts on these sites.
There are also craft fairs and specialized boutiques where you can sell your items. If you are artistically enclined, have free time outside of work and are ready to do some research, you too could be making money selling your crafts, and even eventually make a living out of it. In this article, we’ll look at how you can build your small business to easily sell your crafts.
We will look at:
1) How to find a niche
2) How to exploit your niche: Learn the craft, hone your skills and be different.
3) Your crafts and your brand: Get yourself known!
4) Find your customers, find your price.
5) 10 crafts to make and sell.
1) How to find a niche
You might ask: “Why find a niche? Can’t I sell my craft in the big, general market?” The answer would be; the general market is already flooded and everything “mainstream” is already mass produced. If you want to make money, you must chose a niche. Your niche could be “handmade baby quilts”, “vintage-inspired florage arrangements” or “wooden name plates”. As you can see, these niches are very specific but also allow for a lot of creativity. You do not want to go too specific, but stay away from very mainstream categories. For example, “ribbon hair tie” is a very broad category and is most likely already flooded.
Now that you know why to find a niche, you need to know how. You can, of course, invent your own niche! If you notice a need in the market, go for it! Exploit that need. This is how inventors make money. If you don’t have any “new” idea, pick a niche. Start with a broad category and slowly find the niche. For example: “shoes,” than you may think “baby shoes,” and eventually “vegan shoes for baby.” Research your niche. Find what kind of products are already being sold and how you could do better than the competition. Of course, if you are already an artist or a crafter, pick a category which fits your talent. If you are a seamstress, you may look into “quilts” or “baby quilts” or “baby quilts made with bio cotton.” Think about what you enjoy doing, and go from there.
2) How to exploit your niche
So you’ve found the perfect niche, and now you have to get creating! Maybe you’re an already very artistic and talented person, and you can start right away creating your items, but maybe you have no idea where to start. If you’ve found a niche which is out of your artistic comfort zone, don’t worry, there is a way around it. There are thousands of craft learning video, books, websites, tutorial, everything you need to become a master in any art form. You may have to practice for the first few months, but eventually your items will be beautiful enough to sell.
Once your items are of high-quality, make sure they are better, or different, than your competition. Of course your art, your craft will be infused with your personal sensibility and style, but you must also make sure that what you are offering is not already offered by someone else.
Pick a unique color pattern, hone your skills, create an artistic identity.
3) Your craft and your brand
You will need a logo and a name for your craft identity. It can be something as simple as your name, like “Julie’s Quilts” or “Marianne’s organic soaps,” but if you can, find something more original. Design a logo for your brand, something which represents the spirit of your craft. For example, if you are making homemade lipsticks with natural ingredients, your logo could be a pair of lips with dainty flowers and plants around it, or if you are making baby quilts, your logo could be a teddy bear wrapped in a quilt, in any case, find something original and run with it. If you aren’t comfortable designing a logo, you can ask a friend or a freelance graphic designer. You can also write a paragraph or two about your brand and crafts. Take good looking pictures of your items, with nice natural lighting and a beautiful background. You now have a small press kit ready to be sent!
Now that you have your mini press kit, send it to bloggers who cover your niche. There are blogs for everything, every niche, every interest, every item has someone dedicating a blog to it. Find these blogs, send them your press kit and offer them samples to try (if your crafts are big-ticket items, do not offer samples, but take more time taking really nice pictures of your items). These bloggers will get a buzz going for your brand. And this leads us to our last point.
4) Find your customers, find your price
You have to find where your customer shop. We have listed many online craft stores above, but there are others. There are also boutiques where you can sell your items. Try to be everywhere and get as much store presence as you can.
You will also need to find your price. You may be tempted to undercut everyone at first and charge a very low price for your work, but know that, in the long run, this will not help your brand. Too low a price may mean that your crafts are not of high-quality. It can also mean that you are subcontracting the work for a very paltry price. Handmade items are worth their price, and your work should be adequately rewarded. Never undercut yourself.
5) 10 crafts to make and sell
After hours of research, we have put together a list of then crafts which have a particular niche and are in high demand.
These crafts demand a certain level of skill but nothing which cannot be picked up over a couple of months.
1) Baby quilts:
We’ve mentioned them before, but handmade baby quilts are loved by parents. Parents always want the best for their little one and customized, handmade baby quilts are of incredibly high quality, will last forever and are a perfect addition to any nursery. Let your customer customize their quilts with different fabric and colors, which will allow you to charge an even higher price.
2) Wedding hair ornaments:
A hand-crafted hair ornament is so much more special than something bought from a store, and most brides know that. They want to wear something unique on their wedding day, and this is why they often go for hand-crafted hair ornaments.
3) Handmade candles:
There is nothing like the soft scent of a handmade candle. Most people will always choose a handmade bees’ wax candles over something sold in store. The variety of scents you can make is amazing.
4) Handmade Shea butter lip balms:
Organic, natural skin care is really trendy right now and there is a lot of customers looking for handmade alternative to their regular, store bought products. Add a touch of color to your lip balms to reach more customers.
5) Glitzy, costume jewelry:
These big pieces of very flashy, almost tacky jewelry are a huge hit. They can be worn with a classic dress for a statement, or used when cosplaying. They are also loved by little girls who use them in their play. Even high-end brands are branching out into the costume jewelry niche.
6) Knitted accessories:
This may seem like a broad niche, but since there is so much room for artistic freedom, you will not get lost among the crowd of other crafters. Develop your style, add embroidery to your items, and you are sure to reach a customer base.
7) Personalized stationary:
This is a particularly good idea if you have some design knowledge. Customers are forever looking for personalize stationary, wedding invitations, custom cards, baby shower invitations, etc. Since these are disposable items, your customers will come back for more after a while. A loyal customer base is what every crafter must aim for.
8) Baby mobiles:
Handmade baby mobiles are loved by almost all parents. You can use crochet, fabric, clay or any other medium you like, to create the mobile’s figurines. You can use virgin wood or another noble material for the mobile’s body. These, of course, are only ideas to get you started, your imagination will do the rest!
9) Rings from vintage jewels and recycled accessories:
If you like going to estate sales and markets, look for old, vintage jewelry. These are usually sold for very cheap. Old necklace, rings, bracelet. Salvage the stone or metal, and create new jewelry with it. Your jewelry will have a unique, vintage look and a story behind the piece, which a lot of customers love.
10) Homemade tea bags:
You can buy high-quality teas in bulk, create cute, personalized tea bags, fill them with tea, and then create amazing little degustation sets. Make sure you do everything in a very clean environment. These little tea bags will set like hot cakes!
These ten ideas are just that: ideas. They are meant to get your creative juices flowing, to get you in the mindset of a crafter looking for a niche. We hope this help you get started in your small crafting business, and that you can reap the benefit of your hard work very soon.