Every since I was small I have love crafts, both the making itself and the exploration of other people’s work. There was a little shop in Slane we used to go to when I was at primary school and I adored it. There were all manner of crafts from Irish makers and I spent as long as I could on each visit there marvelling at the intricate work and the creativity that went into every unique piece.
At the back of my mind there was always the idea to start my own craft business. So far I haven’t, but I still love to craft and think about what might be. Nowadays when I look at small craft brands, I look beyond the craft itself and try to see what it is that is making that brand eyecatching and sucessful.
A craft business can be a great way to make money doing something you love. Many people start by giving away crafts as gifts to friends and family before branching out into selling their handmade crafts via Etsy and local craft fairs. However, few people actually turn their craft into a fully-fledged business – it usually ends up being a way of making some extra money on the side. To take things to the next level, you need to start treating your craft business like a full occupation. This could mean making a few improvements to make your business to improve profitability and credibility.
Here are just a few ways in which you can do that.
Create a distinctive brand
Having a distinctive brand will help to separate you from other craft businesses. Even if every item you craft is different, you should still try to keep a signature style. This will help people to easily identify your work. Having a company name and a logo could be important if you haven’t got one already. You may even want to invest in packaging or bags to print your name and logo on so that your crafts feel more like official products.
Speed up production with the right equipment
It could also be worth investing in some equipment to speed up the craft process. Obviously, you may not want to completely industrialise your business. It is a craft you are proud of after all. However there could be small ways of mechanising certain parts. For instance, a vinyl cutting machine like these at www.vinylcuttingmachineguide.com could help to speed up the process of cutting. Not only could this allow you to craft items faster, but it could help to improve consistency and ensure accuracy each time, giving a professional finish.
Build an online presence
Having an online presence will improve your credibility as a business and give you great exposure as well as allowing you to build a community around your product. The two most fundamental elements you should have are a website and social media pages. Both a website and social media can be used to draw in extra customers. It can also give you a platform for showing off pictures of your work, displaying testimonials and even sharing videos. Setting up social media pages is something you can do yourself quite easily. You can even build your own website using WordPress or similar sites (if I can do it, you can too!). Alternatively you might prefer to hire a web designer who can take care of your logo and branding too.
Sell your crafts via retailers
Selling your crafts independently
can be is a lot of hard work. By selling some of your crafts to retailers, you’ll likely make more money. You’ll need to be able to produce enough to keep up with the demand of the retailer. This depends on how well your product sells and how big a company the retailer is. You’ll probably want to start by approaching small local retailers or possibly small online retailers before branching out into bigger stores.
[Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post. All photos are my own.]