There are probably as many ideas on how to make money selling crafts as there are different crafts! Craft fairs and shows – locally, regionally or nationally – other local events, deals with local stores and now more and more the internet – either through your own site, various co-operative ventures or auction sites like ebay.But just because there are lots of options and outlets, doesn’t mean it’s easy to do. Nor does it mean it’s easy to find accurate information – especially for those who are perhaps hobbyists who want to turn their passion into a full-time occupation – whether that’s in a store environment or a business where they can make money from home.
There are also the many questions which arise from running any business – legal entity, banking, tax, administration, registration… the list can seem daunting.Internet search engines can offer a huge amount of helpful information – and may seem a great place to start – but the trouble is there are just so many sites. I wouldn’t want to put anybody off of course, there are many excellent resources online. The problem isn’t the lack of information, it’s knowing how to sift the diamonds from the dirt. How do you tell which is good information and which is just some slick marketing hype trying to sell you something? There are dozens, maybe hundreds of sites trying to sell you directory listings or online stores or a guaranteed list of contacts for trading abroad (for a fee of course) or any number of “useful” things.For my money the best first choice is always a book or two. Now I’m quite prepared to admit that I might be considered biased as I run a website reviewing craft books, but a good book about making money from your craft is seldom trying to sell you something else. A few dollars invested in a good book and you get access to a wealth of information. It’s usually from someone who has intimate knowledge of the craft arena – but with no axe to grind – and isn’t it best to learn from someone who has already done it or helped others to create their own successful enterprises? You aren’t reading it online so there’s no temptation to buy anything on the spur of the moment. The information is there whenever you want to refer to it – whether you’re taking your first tentative steps and thinking of starting a craft business or reflecting on an established business and planning ahead.
These days, with the availability of some excellent e-books you can buy online and have access to the information in minutes.
So what might you expect to get from such a book? As an example I’ll use Chuck Smiths’ excellent “How to Start Your Own Craft Business”. Chuck doesn’t waste any time and gets straight down to the nitty-gritty with “Where Do I Start” and then takes you through reasons for starting a craft business, types of craft business, pricing and supplies, marketing, planning and keeping records. Along the way he delves in detail into practically every facet of running a craft business. No-one can guarantee you will make money selling crafts but this is invaluable information and could help prevent you from making expensive errors.
Of course Chuck’s is just one of many and although I’m happy to recommend it to you I don’t suggest it has all the answers for every situation. The key to success, as usual, is the correct balance and several viewpoints are always a better idea than one. Your local lending library may well have books that can help, there are your local bookstores and of course the internet. Buying e-books online with instant delivery is without doubt the quickest way to get the information you need but by no means the only one.
I’m fortunate that crafts is how I earn my living. To some extent I’ve already been down the path you may be thinking of taking. That doesn’t mean I know it all and I’m always seeking out new information that can help me build my business. I have at least a dozen books that I refer to regularly – if not on a daily then at least a weekly basis – and dozens more in my collection. I don’t imagine I will ever stop adding to them.
So when you’re starting out down the road to make money selling crafts don’t forget some of the less fashionable ways of learning, try a book or two. Good luck in your endeavors.
Xandra Veal is a well know ceramic artist and also runs http://craftbooksnow.com
a website which reviews over 70 craft e-books covering needle-crafts, kids crafts, jewelry, beading, scrap-booking, soaps, fragrances, candles, flowers, leather, wood and more.