For a lot of us mums out there, crafts are essential to keeping us healthy and sane. Between juggling multiple kids, and sometimes multiple jobs, we barely get any time to ourselves to relax, unwind, and enjoy a long pour of a nice red or white wine. (Or both. It’s been a long day). Crafts are a perfect way to fill that gap, because they can be quick projects or long endeavors, depending on how much time we have to spare; we can make our own simple household items that we will actually use, like coat racks or pencil holders; and they’re very cheap to get into!
If you’re a DIY type like me, and enjoy knitting your own socks, but want to get a little more out of it than just a few relaxing hours of silence, you should consider selling your handmade wares at market! You don’t have to make it a full time industry for yourself, and you don’t have to make that much money for it to be worthwhile.
Following are a few ways you can get the word out about your unique, handcrafted works, and make a little extra spending money to invest in your family.
Attend a Crafts Trade Show
Crafts shows are always great fun, and there’s so much to see! Depending on the size and location, getting signed up to run your own booth can be both easy and affordable, and you get to interact directly with the people who love your wares!
There are many different crafts shows that you can attend, and you should consider the following before you commit to attending, and vending at, a show:
- Show Focus – Different trade shows focus on different aspects of arts and crafts, and depending on what’s available, you may be able to stand out in the crowd, or risk being overwhelmed with competition.
- Production Costs – How much, in total, did it cost you to craft your wares? This will help you both set a price per item, and determine how much you need to sell to make a profit.
- Cost of Attendance – Everything from vendor registration, airfare or gas costs, lodging, meals and the like needs to be taken into account, and tied with the previous point about production.
- Proximity – How close are you to the show? If it’s going to require extensive travel, and by extension, time off from work and family, it may not be worth it to attend.
A final great point about choosing to attend a craft show to sell your wares is that you can meet and discuss your crafts with other vendors, and get some great tips and ideas for your future projects.
Open Your Own Shop
If you don’t have the time to invest in extensive travelling to sell your crafts, another option is to open your own small store and let your customers come to you!
You don’t have to take out rent on an extensive piece of real estate; many crafters sell their wares out of the back room of another business, or even their own homes. Opening a crafts shop will also allow you to save shoppers the hassle and expense of going to different shows and far-away shops themselves, while providing the perfect, unique selection of crafts they’re looking for right in their own backyard.
Start Your Own Website
If you don’t have the kind of money needed to invest in a rental space, or don’t have a strong enough local customer base to justify a brick’n’motor shop, you can consider starting your own website.
In addition to saving you rental expenses and insurance coverage, your own website offers several other unique advantages you can’t get in any other way. For one, it will allow to reach a much wider audience of crafters who will want to purchase your wares; so long as they can pay for shipping, they can buy your crafts from anywhere in the world! Having your own website also allows you to customize your own brand image to a much greater extent, tying in not only an online store, but potentially a blog to offer your own tips to up-and-coming crafters.
Finally, starting your own website is an incredibly simple to start option, and you’ll only have to manage one aspect, the site itself, instead of travel, lodging, insurance, etc. You’ll just need to get your own unique domain, establish a basic design (either one you make yourself or with a template), and upload your product information. Once you’re done, you’re ready to start sharing your crafts with your devoted customers!
Sell Through a Third Party Store
Maybe you don’t have a lot of time to devote to your own site, don’t want to juggle filling multiple orders yourself, or just don’t want to deal the hassle of shipping. Whatever your reason, there’s nothing wrong with selling your wares through someone else’s store.
Aside having someone else manage your inventory for you, and cover shipping preparation and costs, going through a third party can help generate awareness of your brand quickly. Since shoppers are already familiar with your host’s store, they can get you instant visibility through the reputation for quality they’ve already established, rather than you having to prove yourself from the get go. Just bear these considerations in mind before you commit to an online store:
- Know Their Fees – Depending on how much they charge you to stock, advertise and ship your product, you may be paying more than you can afford.
- Their Shares of Profit – Third party stores charge anywhere from 10 to 45%, per purchase, that they will deduct from sales of your crafts.
- Minimum Stock Count – Some vendors will only work with you if you send them a minimum amount of each item, and renew it at regular intervals. If you want to knit a unique pair of socks every time, this could be a deal breaker for you.
Get to Crafting!
Regardless of what venue you choose to connect your customers with your crafts, remember to focus on having fun! As I said at the beginning, crafts are there to give us a break between 9-to-5’s and diaper changes, and if we’re not enjoying what we’re doing with our crafts, it will show in our work. Stay relaxed, enjoy your time with crafts, and share your talent with the world!