This article will give you essential tips for making money with your craft. Meet our Guest Author, Joyce from Heavenly Bodies. We appreciate the extensive experience that she brings to this subject.
Essential Tips for Making Money with Your Craft
There are many reasons why one would choose to use their crafting skills to make money.
Reasons why you may choose to make income from crafting
- Extra income
- Love of people
- Retired and want something to do
- A need to bring a product into the lives of others
- The desire to share your talent
- An abundance of crafts completed just sitting around
What to Sell?
If you already have this figured out, please read on as you might get more ideas. I started selling my organic skin care products at 2 farmer’s markets. As business was slow I decided to expand my small business and incorporate other items, Kombucha, jewelry, key chains, prisms and bookmarks created with crystal beads. The greater variety of items the more chances to make sales.
Stand out from the crowd
If the crafting you do can be expanded do so. There is a lot of competition when it comes to selling artist created items so think of everything you can do to stand out from the other vendors. To find inspiration view some Pinterest pins. Do not copy, take an idea and make it your own to be unique and stand out. It stinks to stroll around an event and see the same thing you are selling in another booth.There is a lot of competition when it comes to selling artist created items so think of everything you can do to stand out from the croud - learn more about making money here. Click To Tweet
When pricing items consider these issues
- How much it cost to make
- Your time
- Other’s prices
If you order off the internet be sure to include shipping into the price. It is also good to go a little higher on your price to leave room for hagglers and wholesale sales. Sometimes you may have to encourage a customer to haggle, don’t be afraid to do this. Remember that is one more sale at the end of the day you may have missed.
Name and Logo
It is important to find a name that says what your business is about and gives an idea of what is being sold. Involving others in the task is a good idea as sometimes we are too close. Be sure to write down all of the names being brainstormed. Once I have decided on multiple names I love to invite my friends and family in for the final decision.
There are various ways to create logos, Fiverr, various image programs or a freelancer. The logo is important and should be on everything you create and any takeaway materials used in your booth.
Business Cards & Brochures
I have heard multiple customers ask for a business card from another vendor, just to hear them say they did not have one. Business cards are a must if you have an internet presence or not. Vistaprint is a great place for business cards. If your budget is less you can make your own.
Brochures are not for everyone it all depends on what you are selling or trying to accomplish. I have four different brochures, three educate on various items I sell and one lets people know I am available to give health talks and what I talk about. Brochures can be easily made using Microsoft Word, Pixaby is great for copyright free images along with the clipart available within the program.
The supplies a vendor needs depends on if the event is indoor or outdoor. However, there are some basic supplies that are needed no matter the location of the event.
- Table covering
- Something to keep track of sales
- Business cards
- Business card holder
- Containers for hauling products
- Display items such as risers, table shelves, racks
- Cell phone
- Cash drawer
- Paypal Here or Square
When selling outdoors the weather has to be taken into consideration. Be sure when choosing the display for your products that it will not easily be blown over by the wind. A tent is a must as it gives the feeling of an actual shop and can be decorated as such. Side panels can be purchased giving more of a shop feeling and I have seen some with cute little windows. These are also good when dealing with rain and wind. Weights and or stakes to weigh down the tent should also be in a vendor’s arsenal. I actually have both and some vendors make their own. Bunchy cords can be used to mount a banner across the top back of a tent. I bought mine from Build a Sign for about $55.00.
The only thing to consider when doing an indoor event is what type of space you have to work with? Some indoor events will allow vendors to put up makeshift walls. If you have a hanging banner consider purchasing something to hang it on or make your own. Some events will supply tables, chairs, and table coverings. There may or may not be an additional cost, so be sure to read the documentation carefully.
Where to sell
There are a variety of places to sell artist created products.
- Farmer’s markets
- Craft shows
- Holiday events
- Local events
- Business website
- Amazon now has a section for artist created products
- Local shops
- Trade shows
Farmer’s Markets, Craft Shows & Events
When selling at farmer’s markets, craft shows or other events consider the price. Not only do you have to sell enough product to cover the initial cost, but also to make a profit. The initial cost is not just how much is paid to have a booth, but also gas along with food and drinks. Some vendors set a price for themselves as to how much they are willing to pay for an event. Others go by the distance to the event.
Selling at a local event can give your name and product exposure. There is a local event here that happens twice a year. It is for 3 days and costs $100, that’s $33 per day, not bad. This event attracts people from all over the state and some nearby states as well. It allows me to talk to the locals and let them know I am here and where they can find me. This has gained me more customers who come to me on a regular basis.
When it comes to selling on Facebook there are two things you can do. The first is to create a business page for your business. In order to create a business page on this platform, one first needs to have a personal page. From here you can post products for sale, hold events, promote your products with paid ads and more. The second is to join buy, sell and trade groups that are local. This is another way to not only sell specific products but let people know where you are going to be.
Every business needs a web presence. Having a website allows customers to purchase from you no matter where they live. At the farmer’s market and various events I have met people who were from out of town. It was nice to be able to give them my business card and let them know they can purchase from my website.
There is a lot to talk about concerning a website, but as this is about crafting to make money, I will not go into more details. However, if there is an interest in this topic please leave a comment.
Etsy, eBay, and Amazon
Etsy, eBay, and Amazon are other places to sell online. However, you must consider their fees, competition with many other similar products and postage limitations.
There are also pros like not buying a domain, easily offering gift cards, less maintenance and easier than creating a website from scratch. Personally for crafters, if you don’t want to have a website at least consider Etsy.
Find local shops that fit your niche to either buy your products wholesale or where you can consign your products. This is another area where pricing needs to be considered. If the cost of a product is at its lowest price there is no room to create a wholesale price. When consigning products the most common practice is to offer the owner 20% of all sales. Whichever route is taken it is important to either visit or call the stores to see what items have sold and if more are needed. I can say more on this topic, but I need to stay on track. Leave a comment if you would like to know more on this topic.
Trade shows are a way to get your products in front of retailers but can be costly. There are some trade shows which are geared towards crafters or some have a category for crafters. When we did our first trade show I watched videos and read articles on trade show dos and don’ts. I advise anyone considering this to do the same.
Let’s Get Legal
Every state is different as far as cost and what is required for a home business, do your homework. Here in Louisiana, I have an occupational license which cost $50 a year. You may not think this is important because you are small and it may just be a hobby, but…… By becoming legal it allows you to get a resale certificate and avoid paying taxes on the items you purchase for creating your products. Be aware that some stores have their own criteria for how this is done. For instance, Walmart issues a card for the business to be used when making business purchases. This allows you to use any purchases for your business at the end of the year for tax season.
Some states require vendors to pay tax, I do this every month. Here I pay 5% on my sales to my parish/county and to the state. If I do an event I always have to pay tax at the end of the event. Every state/town is different be sure to check with who is running the event to see what the laws are. Most of the time they let you know up front.
Save all Receipts
All receipts that are associated with the business must be saved. If you sell at a farmer’s market be sure to get a receipt every time you pay or at least once a month. Any paperwork showing you paid for an event should also be kept. I have a filing cabinet just for my small business receipts. I have them labeled to make things easier at the end of the year.
If crafting to make money is something that you want to do don’t wait any longer take the plunge and just start somewhere. Because of legal documents It took me over a year to start selling at the market where I now make the most money. Of course, I wish I had done it sooner. The only thing to fear is fear itself.
Crafters are artistic creators and have a lot to offer the world. We are gifted and can come up with ways to do things and get things done that others cannot. Heck, we are thrifty!!
Essential Tips for Making Money with Your Craft
Joyce’s passion is to aid others with living a happy, healthy, natural lifestyle. She does this through her blog, organic skin care products and interacting with her customers at the local farmer’s market. She is certified to specifically formulate organic skin care products and can formulate custom blends. Formally she was a freelance writer, magazine owner, publisher and contributor and had her own weekly podcast all geared towards natural living. Follow her on Facebook where she posts links pertaining to her passion.