How to Make a Living from Crafts
Here’s an excerpt from the first part of one of my craft eBooks – hope you find it useful.
“For over twelve years, I’ve been running Time4me Workshops from my home in Hampshire on the South Coast of the UK. During that time, I have often been asked for advice on how to start a business making crafts and running workshops. This book is my response to those requests and I hope it will encourage you to follow your passion and turn your hobby into a business.
Assessing the Opportunity
This first part will help you decide if you’ve got the skills to teach and if there is any real potential in a business like this.
Making a Living from Making
Many people turn their interests and hobbies into small businesses by making things and offering them for sale. These include, artists, writers, photographers, bakers, confectioners, jewellers, knitters and stitchers. But to make enough money from making you need to be both good at what you do and good at running a business.
When I visit craft fairs, I always make a point of talking to stallholders and ask how they are getting on. Most, in the spirit of the event, will say that things are going well. But when pressed will admit that they are not making a living from their business. Many don’t even cover their costs.
Craft sellers often tell me that they cannot charge what their items are worth, that they don’t charge for their time or that people won’t pay any more. Many more tell me that they love what they are doing and aren’t interested in making money from it.
Making a Success of Crafts
Making your living by making things is always going to be difficult, even for the best craft business, and in order to stand a chance of success, take some time to consider the following principles that I have learnt from my own, and other peoples, mistakes.
1. Charge a realistic price for your goods
2. Make high-quality items
3. Make unique items
4. Make something practical
Finding New Customers
The main disadvantage with operating a business that sells craft items is that you have to find new customers every day – there are few repeat customers, especially at craft fairs.
If you run your business online, via a social media site or online shop, there are many ways to get your items seen by the public but getting them to buy can take a little more time and effort.
Keeping Hold of your Customers
Wouldn’t it be good if every customer became a life-long regular customer? And what if every customer found you even more customers? That would offer real stability to your business. In fact, it would thrive and grow exponentially. You could spend less time and money on advertising and doing more of what you enjoy.
Teaching as a Sideline (or a Mainline)
Many crafts people discover that they can achieve a stable regular income by teaching other people to do what they do. There are many people out there who want to be able to make things – people who wish they had paid more attention in crafts lessons in school and young people who didn’t learn traditional skills from their parents. If you have developed your skills to a point where you can make high-quality goods, then you probably also have the knowledge to teach others“.
I’ll share more about teaching crafts in my next post…
I’ve just given you a flavor of the book in my posts as it is too long to reproduce completely but if you want to buy the book in it’s entirety, here’s the link:
If you’re in the US:
or if you’re in the UK: