Climbing the Crafting Ladder
Posted: Apr 06, 2018
Crafting for a living is something that most crafters strive to accomplish, but climbing the crafting ladder is a different experience for every artisan. The ladder rungs can get a little wobbly over time yet can tighten and gain strength at different intervals, brought on by bursts of creativity and upswings in niche market demands. Seriously, crafting for a living takes more than just having a great idea and they know how to follow through and perfect a project. So, what does it take to craft for a living?Find a Market or Selling Venue
First things first, and that means finding somewhere to sell your wares, whether it's through online venues like Etsy, Artfire, eBay and others, or by establishing your own website and storefront.
Craft fairs, craft malls, art festivals, and neighborhood or church craft events are also good places to get a foot in the door. Family and friends can be helpful as well with craft exchange parties and support through word of mouth. Consignment shops that sell housewares and decorative items are also good places to approach. You never know, a local decorator or designer consulting firm may be interested in using your whimsical craft items found in out of the way boutiques and small gift shops.Know the Business Angle
If you want a craft business to grow, whether on or offline, and make a living from it, knowing and understanding the business side of it is important. Here are a few steps in the right direction and a simple breakdown of what is necessary to succeed.
These days the crafting barrage has become a worldwide industry, so developing a varied inventory, or one fast selling item that can be made repeatedly, are the keys to beating the competition. Some other high points of what a crafting business should entail include:
Determining Trends You have to determine what is selling and research will help you discover current market trends. It is important to know about the latest craft market crazes along with what more traditional types of items continue to have a stable footing in the marketplace. If your particular craft does not fit within those parameters, you may want to rethink or modify what you are making to meet market demands yet still maintain your basic design and individuality.
When you understand the trends, decide on a company name and put together an inventory of what you do best first, or find one specific item that creates repeat sales. Signature type crafting and licensing a craft with a specific look in mind are other channels for craft development.
Renewing and reinventing what is old, or re-purposing are other niches that would pique the interest of people that are into sustainability and the green scene. One example is the use of weathered wood or scrap metal from old barns and buildings and turning them into architectural pieces for wall decor.
Professionalism is another "have to" in business relations, like dealing one-on-one with customers, whether they are pleased or dissatisfied. Customer satisfaction, and appreciation of them, as well as a friendly attitude, are your goals, as any customer is a lifeline to future business and business growth.
Distinct pictures If you have an online site or are promoting your business through brochures, pamphlets or one-page handouts, make sure any pictures of your crafts are as close to professionally done as possible. Photos are what gain a customer's attention and create sales for you.
Pricing The bottom line is don't undercut what your crafts are worth as well as the amount of labor that has gone into them. Find a pricing system that helps you make an above livable wage and stick to it.
Website/Blog With increased business in mind, every crafter should have a separate website and blog that is independent of any other selling site. A website and blog can help you personally promote your work and sell directly to interested buyers.Sideline Work
If you are developing and growing a small craft business, online or outside of your home, you know that there are going to be lean times, which usually means finding part-time work. If you work on your crafts from home, oftentimes taking on a side job is a necessity, such as online writing, or learning how to become a lipsense distributor, or baking specialty cakes, or soliciting calls or email inquiries for a fresh food delivery company. The security of a second job can help with the replenishing of craft supplies, plus pay a few bills, so it never hurts to have a sideline job in reserve.
Never Give Up
If you love crafting that much and want to do it for a living, you will find a way to accomplish your dream, whether it means working another side job, improving upon what you already know, taking on other projects, and perfecting your craft through years of practice. One such artisan knows that practice and patience are the keys to success, and he emphasizes that in his blog.]
Crafting for a living is the dream of many, and each and every crafter that wants to go into business for themselves soon becomes aware of the challenges that they face, but with determination and a firm grip on their talent, abilities and business sense they know they can make it to the top of the crafting ladder.
Damien Justus writes in the business, home improvement and real estate spaces, and is very passionate about health, cooking, diet plans and anything that has to do with staying fit.