Thursday, July 22, 2010

Encouraging Words for Discouraged Crafters

It isn't easy being a crafter. We haul our equipment and supplies to various craft shows and spend hours creating products in the hopes that someone will buy them. Most people start crafting as a hobby, just something to do in their spare time and expel their creative energy, but some people take it a step further and sell what they have made.

The first craft show is always a little wracking. I remember staying up all night making more inventory and only getting three hours sleep. I woke up early the next day, packed up my truck and drove to the gas station to fill up. At the time I had a partner and she needed to charge her phone, so she plugged it into the outlet in the dash. Little did we know that the wiring in my truck was malfunctioning and it ended up starting a fire. So here we are, next to a gas pump, with all of my newly made crafts stored in the truck and there's smoke billowing from the hood. Long story short, the fire department was called, I freaked out and cried, borrowed my husbands truck, composed myself and repacked my stuff. The truck was later towed and fixed.

Most first craft show adventures aren't quite as dramatic but it was one of the best learning experiences I ever had. After all the trouble from the beginning of that day and all the work I did to prepare for that first show, I only did "ok." I didn't sell nearly the amount of product that I thought I would and I found that my sales skills were lacking. But after a few more shows I learned about what crafts were popular, what my customers liked and how to talk to them. The more I applied what I learned, the better my sales got.

Crafters shouldn't be discouraged from selling their products just because they don't sell right away. It takes time and practice. Don't be afraid to take that step and introduce your product to the public. You should be proud of your creations. Ignore scrutiny, but not constructive criticism because you should never stop trying to improve your product.

Selling what you make is incredibly challenging but just as rewarding. Build a positive support system for yourself among other successful crafters and learn from their experiences. Research your competitors and know that as much work that you put into selling your craft is what you will win back in return.

Good luck and never stop trying!

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