(GivenUs.com) – Crafting can be both entertaining and stress relieving. A simple scroll through Pinterest shows us that the types of crafts we engage in may be limited only by our imagination. Some crafters are in the business of upcycling the old to make it new again while others knit, crochet or macrame creations from little more than yarn and a dream. There are those who transform dolls, turn old wooden pallets into birdhouses or create the most beautiful works of art from seemingly ordinary objects.
While most people would consider it a hobby, there are those who have taken their passions and turned them into full-fledged careers. It may come with some risk and require an investment in time, but it can also become a lucrative side or full-time business. Here are a few steps to transform a crafty hobby into a money-making opportunity:
Do the Research
First, consider the costs of creating the craft. Then, do a little research to see what others who produce similar work may be charging for it. Compare the two to determine how much profit could be made from this business. Begin with modest estimates, factoring in any shipping costs.
Consider the Target Market
When the idea is in its formative stages, consider showing off the crafts across social media. Sharing on a personal page could give an idea of how many people express interest in it. Creating a public page could help build a following, identify the target market and generate interest in the craft. Building a customer base could begin as simply as showing off the craft and collecting followers who could later become customers.
Participate in Craft Fairs
For the most hesitant entrepreneur, consider starting out with a booth rental at a local craft fair. Even sharing the cost of a booth with another new crafter could make this an affordable way to test out the craft’s selling power with a larger market. If the craft fair market proves lucrative, traveling further from home could be worth the time and effort to attend other, larger craft fairs.
Set Up an Etsy Shop
Etsy is well-known for catering to both hobbyists and career crafters. Setting up a shop can allow for sales to a larger area, and it also offers greater exposure for those searching for the specific craft being sold. Etsy offers the option for custom-making items, which allows crafters to take pre-orders and then deliver the goods within a certain timeframe.
Take It to Facebook Marketplace
While Craigslist used to be the place where personal sales were most prevalent, these days, Facebook Marketplace is the home for everything from buying used cars to purchasing local crafts. Having a local presence on sales boards online can help spread the word. While this is unlikely to be the strongest form of sales, it shouldn’t be overlooked entirely.
Learn About Marketing
Taking a marketing crash course or even picking up a book for tricks of the trade can help us expand our knowledge about how to better advertise crafts. While a social media account and a presence at local events can be a great way to share a new business, learning the best practices for marketing a product can’t hurt. This can be a great way to figure out how to navigate sales and reach the target audience.
Invest in the Business
This isn’t the old “spend money to make money” philosophy, but it can’t hurt to order a small batch of business cards to have handy to give out to friends, family and interested parties. As a craft business expands, it could become worth it to invest in tents for outdoor craft shows, banners that advertise the business, professional logos to represent the brand or other products like brochures. Consider how to make a small crafting business seem as professional and upscale as possible.
Keep Professional Boundaries
While many crafters gift their crafts for birthdays and holidays, shifting into business mode could create a need for professional boundaries with friends and family who may think they’re entitled to a freebie. Choosing to give something as a gift is different from being pressured into giveaways because of a personal connection. Valuing the time, effort and talent it takes to create a craft people will buy means learning to say no to those who aren’t willing to invest in the business with a purchase.
Turning a hobby into a career isn’t an easy proposition, but many entrepreneurs have made that leap and turned a passion project into a lucrative business opportunity. By taking a few initial steps and testing out the market, we may create a side hustle that could lead to a full-time career. After all, what could be better than doing what we love for a living?
~Here’s to Your Success!
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