As the economic recession takes a downturn more people are trying to supplement a low family income by turning their hobbies into income. If you are good at it – why not? Some tips:
Evaluate what your hidden talents are.
Think about what your STRENGTHS and WEAKNESSES are and be honest with yourself.
Check out the opportunities for selling your service, product or your type of hobby craft. Where are they? Is there much competition?
Would you need any additional items or skills to take your hobby further? A course is always useful, but also so is mentoring. There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking someone to let you watch how they do something or to teach you to do it, especially if you are not going to be competing with them. For instance, I asked a man in a craft market in Gambia if he would teach me how to do sand paintings. Since I was not going to be doing them in Gambia there was no threat to his livelihood and I gave him a generous tip for letting me watch him and pick his brains.
Don’t go it alone. Find a mentor, take advice, go on a fact finding mission.
People are now taking an interest in organic gardening but many are new to it all and want to be able to take short cuts by buying seedlings started off by those who are well established gardeners. Some gardeners are making a good living out of buying large garden planters and planting them up as portable herb gardens which keen cooks will buy as a source of fresh kitchen herbs. Growing your own vegetables saves you money. Selling a few prettily potted up window boxes can be a good Craft Fair idea.
Craft workers need to keep ahead of the game. Every craft fair is oversubscribed by card and jewellery sellers. Try to do something completely different where possible. If you do want to stick with making jewellery try to avoid just stringing beads onto ear hooks and bracelets. Do something that is fashionable and which none of the others selling jewellery do. Try to think up a novel idea and test it out.
American crafts companies are usually way ahead of the rest of the world so you could look at what they have on their sites as inspiration. Look for Free Downloads of patterns. They usually come in PDF format.
Again, try to find crafts which are fashionable. There is no point of making crocheted toilet roll covering dolls when these went out of fashion in the 1970’s.
Be honest about what you are making. Would YOU buy one? Or does it look like something a child made? Is the finish as good as it could be? What about packaging? Could it be packaged nicely? A note on packaging. a friend of mine packaged her product well and in pretty boxes which she had printed up especially to make the product look professional. Then she posted the items off in padded envelopes where the lovely and likely expensive packaging got bashed about, crumpled around the corners and arrived at their destination the worse for wear. You need to make sure if you are posting things that they arrive in as good a condition as they left you.
Use all the free advertising you can but remember that Twitter followers aren’t following all day every day and may not see tweets or lead to any custom. Facebook friends soon get bored of you spamming and either unfriend you or just take you off their news feed so that they don’t have a lot of advertising coming through to their news feed. Adding thousands of friends also doesn’t lead to sales as only the recently interacted few friends see the messages you are sending out. Don’t waste too much time on this type of activity. Internet free advertising sites never generate the level of sales that face-to-face marketing does. If you do advertise in local shop windows for instance – include a photo to show people what you do and to tempt them to buy.
Car Boot sales can be poor places to sell craft items but are usually good for selling garden products like bedding plants and house plants.
Know your market. The more you analyse the more it will lead to success. Good luck with it!
Published in: Gardening