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If you own a craft business, you are probably selling crafts from home. This post covers where to sell your crafts as well as other craft business tips. If you are looking to start your own craft business, I cover that in detail as well.
Selling Crafts at Home
Selling crafts from home can be a great way to make extra money. If you are super motivated, you can also build a lucrative full-time craft business. There are crafters all over the world who are making a full-time income from their own craft business.
How to Start a Craft Business
If you don’t already have a craft business, there are a few steps you need to take before starting one. If you do have a craft business, you can skip to the next section if you prefer.
The first step in starting a craft business is to determine what type of craft, or crafts, you want to make and sell. Many crafters end up with a craft business out of a crafting hobby. If there is a craft that you are good at, that people constantly compliment you for, you should consider turning that into your craft business.
If you aren’t sure what type of crafts you want to sell, read on for some craft business ideas.
7 Craft Business Ideas
So you love crafting, but you aren’t sure what types of crafts to sell. Thankfully, there are literally hundreds of options for you. Following is a list of ideas to help you brainstorm. You may not be familiar or experienced with some. That’s okay. Many crafters are self taught. If you see an idea you like, do some research and try it out. You might find a craft that you are great at.
1. Sewing Business
If you know how to sew, you can make money with your craft. The ideas here are endless. You can create and sell your own patterns, work as a seamstress, or sell your own sewn goods. Some popular items are pillow covers, clothing, quilts, pot holders, and handbags.
2. Jewelry Business
If you love jewelry and working on a small scale, a jewelry business might be for you. There are a ton of Jewelry Making Books available, and so many mediums that you can work in. You can try beading, paper clay, wood, buttons, recycled materials, and more.
See my post Button Jewelry for more ideas.
3. Weaving, Knitting, and Crochet Business
Weaving, knitting, and crochet take a bit of education and practice, if you are not familiar with any of them. However, if you are good, the opportunity for a lucrative craft business is huge. Products include hats, socks, mittens, blankets, sweaters, kid’s sweaters, stuffed animals, and more. Hand woven and hand knit products often sell for a high price at craft fairs and boutique stores.
4. Paper Crafts Business
Paper crafts are crafts made with paper. You can create handmade greeting cards, hand bound books, bookmarks, paper ornaments and more. If you love working with paper, a paper crafts business might be right for you.
5. Painting Business
If you are a painter, or love painting, consider turning your art into a craft business. Whatever you can paint on you can sell. Think furniture, ornaments, wall art, and more.
6. Pottery Business
If you are not a potter, there is a bit of a learning curve here. However, a pottery business can be another lucrative business idea. Most potters create beautiful works of art that are also functional. Mugs, bowls, and plates are items people use on a daily basis. Ornaments and jewelry are two other ideas as well.
7. Digital Art Business
Digital art is art that is created on a computer. If you are creative, tech savvy, and have access to a computer; digital art is a minimal cost business to start. You can create printable wall art, invitations, greeting cards, and more.
Other Craft Business Ideas
These are just a few business ideas to get you thinking. Figure out what it is you LOVE to do, and get working.
For more craft business ideas, see my post Hot Craft Ideas to Sell.
Legalizing Your Craft Business
Before you start to sell your crafts, you need to look into legalizing your business. Laws vary by town and state, so you’ll need to look into the laws in your own area. Many states have a small business section on their government website. If you can’t find one, do an internet search for your state and small business. Or go to your local town office for help.
If you are just starting out, there is a good chance you can file a DBA which stands for “Doing Business As”. This enables you to work and collect money under your social security number.
However, if you are a larger business or have numerous employees, you may want to look into forming some form of corporation.
Either way, you will need some form of business identification when selling your work through outlets other than yourself.
In addition to legalizing your craft business, you’ll also need to look into your local and state tax laws. You may need to collect sales tax, and you will need to know how to pay taxes as a business owner.
Where to Sell Your Crafts
The next step in making money with your craft business is selling your crafts. Luckily there are a variety of ways to do that. Some are easier than others, and some are more lucrative than others. Choose one or choose all of them. This is your craft business and you are only limited by what you are willing to do.
Create Your Own Website and Shop
One of the best ways to sell your crafts is to create your own website and online shop. It takes bit of time to get started. However, once your site is up and running, you can spend your time creating your work.
The benefit to your own online shop is that you do not need to pay a commission, or fees, to anyone else. What you charge is what you get.
Social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube) has been great for artists and crafters. With the use of hashtags, and by growing a following, you can leverage your social media accounts to make sales. Keep in mind that it helps to have an online shop to direct people to.
I’ve seen artists and crafters do one day restock sales, and sell out in a matter of hours, just by sharing the sale information on their social media channels.
It may take a while to grow a following. However, once you have your tribe; they are likely to keep purchasing from you and recommending your products to their friends.
Etsy is an online shop for all things handmade. Lots of artists and crafters use Etsy.
The main benefit of Etsy is that you do not need to run your own online store. An additional benefit is that there are shoppers already on Etsy, so they may find your products easier.
The drawback of Etsy is that you have to pay a small fee for listings and a commission on items sold.
Etsy might be great for you if you are just starting out and want to see if people will buy your products. However, if you are already making great sales; you should consider opening up your own online store.
Amazon Handmade is similar to Etsy. You simply sell your handmade items on Amazon.
Keep in mind that their fees may vary, and that you should compare both Etsy and Amazon to see which is right for you.
Other Online Stores
If you are interested in selling your designs, or art work, there are online stores for that too. With these sites, you create an online shop of your designs. These designs can be printed on shirts, mugs, and more. When someone places an order, the company creates the item and ships it and you receive a commission.
If this interests you, check out these sites:
Local stores and boutique shops are a great place to sell your crafts. The key is to find shops that already sell handmade goods. Bonus points if you can find a shop that doesn’t sell your exact item or style. This means there may be a space for you.
If you are interested in working with a local store you’ll want to contact the store owners. Ask to set up a meeting to show them your work. Be prepared to also present a wholesale and retail price list.
Non Local Stores
If your items are light and inexpensive to ship, you may be able to sell them at stores outside of your geographic area. Do an online search for “gift stores” or “craft stores” or your own particular craft.
Museums are a great place to sell high end crafts. Smaller museums and specialty museums are easier to get into. For example, a museum that focuses on pottery might sell work from local potters. Larger museums usually only sell work from well established artists and crafters.
Call the museum store to inquire about the process of getting your items into their store. You’ll likely need to set up an appointment to show your work.
Art and Craft Fairs
Many crafters make good money at art and craft fairs. However, a number of people do not. The key to being successful is to know the art and craft fair demographics and vendors ahead of time. Community farm fairs are better suited to country style crafts and lower priced items. High end art fairs are better for higher priced items. Just keep in mind that booth prices vary and depend upon the size of the fair, location, and number of days.
To find art and craft fairs to attend, do an internet search for “art shows”, “craft shows”, and “craft fairs” followed by your town or state. You can also visit fairsandfestivals.net. Use their search tool to find fairs by zip code, state, and date.
You might also want to check out Maker Faire. Maker Faire is a celebration of invention, creativity, and curiosity showcasing the very best of the global Maker Movement. They hold fairs all over the world.
Depending on your craft, you might have great success with farmer’s markets. Visit a local farmer’s market to see what types of art and craft vendors are there. While a craft related to food or cooking would be helpful, it’s definitely not necessary. I’ve seen jewelry, knit sweaters, and more at farmer’s markets.
Many farmer’s markets have a website where you can find out who to contact.
Industry Expos and Trade Shows
There are a number of industries that have expos and trade shows specifically for people within that industry. Oftentimes you can also rent a booth and sell your crafts there. Expo booth prices are typically more expensive than craft fairs. However, the people who attend are already interested in your particular craft or niche.
To find an expo near you, do an interest search for your industry/craft/niche followed by “expos” or “shows”.
Craft Business Tips for Success
To run a successful craft business you have to treat your craft as a business. I know, this sounds like a no brainer. My point here is that you likely run your craft business, first and foremost, because you love to craft. Making money is probably a close second.
Crafting for fun, or for gifts for friends, is different than running a craft business. As I mentioned above, you’ll need to form some type of legal business and pay taxes. You’ll also need to pay close attention to supplies, what they cost, and how much to charge in order to make a profit.
Having a website, and being active on social media, can also go a long way towards getting noticed and making sales.
For help on starting your own website and/or blog, see my post How to Start a Blog to get started.
Lastly, you should get business cards printed up for your craft business. Pass them out whenever you can. Ask to leave them in stores, cafes, and other high traffic locations. This is a low cost way to spread the word about your craft business.
You can design your own business card, or use a template online. One great place to get high quality business cards, printed inexpensively, is MOO Business Cards.
I hope you’ve found this article helpful and that you are excited to start, and/or grow, your own craft business. Don’t forget to bookmark this post, and share it using the social sharing buttons below.
Know of an additional great place for selling crafts from home? Let us know in the comments section below!