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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


TODAYS NEWS BY OFFICEJAX FREE ADVERTISING AND AD EXCHANGE SOLUTIONSMORE RESOURCES updated Sun. August / 20 / 2017


Early Bird Newspaper (press release)

Union City welcomes new craft, hobby shop
Early Bird Newspaper (press release)
UNION CITY, Ind. – Union City community members welcomed it's newest small business Tuesday morning with the official grand opening of the Artisan Loop – located at 336 W. Oak St. Shop owner Jamie Matchett says she is hopefully the environment will ...



Wicked Local Marshfield

Marshfield Fair: From Arts & Crafts to Country Arts
Wicked Local Marshfield
Exhibits have changed reflecting the times to include expanded needlework, hobbies, and crafts. Now in the 21st century, traditional handmade items and modern crafts are all exhibited together; including woodworking, art and photography. Men, as well ...

and more »


MyCentralJersey.com

What happens when you reach SABLE
MyCentralJersey.com
SABLE is a popular term among yarnaholics like myself. It probably goes back to Stephanie Pearl McPhee, the Canadian blogger, author and knitter who goes by the name "The Yarn Harlot." SABLE stands for "Stash Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy.



Business Notes: Glen Road Plaza Hobby Shop Evicted
Valley News
West Lebanon — The hobby and crafts supplies store known as Hobbies 'N' Stuff and Valley Art Suppliers was evicted from its Glen Road Plaza site by the Grafton County Sheriff's Department on July 13 after Triton Realty Corp., owner of the plaza, filed ...



Idaho Mountain Express and Guide

Blaine County Fair celebrates 4-H rodeo and crafts
Idaho Mountain Express and Guide
The fair is a celebration of rural expertise in 4-H livestock-raising, gardening, canning, crafts and hobbies. Rodeo stars of all ages can compete at the nearby rodeo arena. Animal shows and judging, a petting zoo, rodeo action, commercial exhibits and ...



Weakley County Press

HOPING FOR BLUE
Weakley County Press
Fair volunteers were on hand at the fairgrounds accepting entries for adult art, photography, sewing, hobbies and crafts, canning and senior hobbies and crafts. All other categories are to be submitted this weekend except culinary, which is to be ...



MyCentralJersey.com

I started another sweater
MyCentralJersey.com
Have you tried this cabled chemo cap yet? The pattern is in my last blog post: http://www.mycentraljersey.com/story/life/arts/crafts-hobbies/in-stitches/2017/08/02/using-knitting-as-an-escape-free-hat-pattern/104216322/ (Photo: Pamela MacKenzie/Staff ...



Crafts come alive in Marton
New Zealand Herald
A crafts show next month in Marton is a collaboration between the Marton Women's Institute and community organisation Project Marton. Institute president Gillian Futcher said the women's institute had been a big part of her life since she was a child.



Piqua Daily Call

Troy baker takes the cake at fair
Piqua Daily Call
Winners of the Artisan of the Year award are honored for their culinary and craftsmanship talents, and they must enter at least one entry for the categories of needlework, crafts, hobbies, and baked goods. Winners of the Golden Trowel award are honored ...



The Winchester Star

Competition, ribbons, smiles take over Ruritan fairgrounds
The Winchester Star
The homemaking department includes baked goods, preserved food, clothing, needlework, crafts, hobbies and collections. Ball said it took 32 judges to look at everything in the homemaking building alone. The agriculture and horticulture department ...


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