Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Crafting for Profit: An Intro

Crafting is something I have done all my life, from creating little ornaments as a kid to owning a full blown craft store now as an adult. It's not easy and the best I can do is share with you the basics of what I have learned over the past eleven years. I have a series of crafting subjects to share with you over the next few weeks and I hope that I can give you all some insight into how you can make your own crafting adventure profitable. What I have to share does not encompass every entire aspect of the business of crafting, it's mostly for beginners, but I hope that it will help you along and be a guide for you.

So this week we discuss, "What are you Selling?"

It's a simple question that I'm sure you have already established but ask yourself again, "What am I selling?" I ask because sometimes you can get pulled in so many directions in your projects that you don't know what you're making anymore. In the past I've dabbled in paper crafts, wood crafts, jewelry, photography and every other craft out there that I lost sight of what I really wanted to focus on, which was my clay projects. Variety is important when crafting but don't spread yourself so thin among all your projects that you can't concentrate on any of them.

Another reason why we take a second look at what we make is we have to make sure that it is unique. Jewelry crafters, for instance, have the most difficult time trying to distinguish themselves from their competition. There are so many jewelry crafters out there that it can be hard to distinguish one from the other. So when you're crafting and looking at what you've made, ask yourself why you're different from your competition. Is it style, quality, material or is it you and your unique selling capabilities that makes this product different?

Sometimes you don't have to worry about competition as a crafter. Some crafters are so creative that there's very few people who make a similar product. Sounds great right? Well that depends. Is it so different that no one knows what it is or what to do with it? That's when you start to research your product and see whether there is a need for it or if you need to genereate one. I'll give you an example...

I held my Spring craft show earlier this month and I had one crafter there that had something I had never seen before. It was a plant hanger that required no nails because it hung using it's own support. Hard to describe, but trust me it was neat. They also had an option to purchase a hammock, using the same hanger, that you could take anywhere and use it, another great idea. They went through the trouble of patenting this idea and they are currently marketing it. So they had a product that was not common but useful, and unique, all examples of how we all need to look at our own creations. Get away from the thinking that "I like it so everyone else will too." Think more about the customer's point of view and what they like to buy and you will see a difference in your sales.

Most importantly, never stop trying because doing nothing will get you nothing. Always strive to improve and don't be afraid of change because you never know how it's going to turn out.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know! If you have any of your own insights please feel free to share them with me and leave a comment.

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