Bloom Business Basics Bootcamp Week 1: Can I Sell My Craft?

Tell me if any of these sound familiar:

“You should totally sell these!”  

“I LOVE your necklace! Wait..you MADE it???!!!”

“You should open an Etsy shop!”

“I bought something like that at a craft show…”

 

As a crafter, one of the most common struggles occurs when the urge (or suggestion) arises to sell your work. That little seed of an idea, once planted, can quickly take root in your artistic brain and grow wild and strong with potential (and doubt!).

 

There’s an inner dialogue...well, more of an inner ramble...that sounds something like this:

 

“ohh...I SHOULD totally sell these! 

I can’t believe she likes my (insert name of your art here) enough to buy it. 

Yup, I’m going into business! 

Wait...maybe she just said that because she was being nice. 

Would anyone even buy this? 

I don’t think anyone would buy this. 

No one is gonna buy this. 

...Maybe someone would buy this?”

 

If you have had a conversation like this with yourself and have sold at least one of your handmade items, then congratulations...you are on your way to being a craft business owner.

 

Let’s fast forward through the self-doubt and talk about how you can get a real gauge on whether or not your products can sell to people who don’t already know and love you. I can say with a fair amount of confidence that there is indeed a market for everything. To support this notion, I will refer you to this book on crafting with pet hair and this lady who makes (and sells) crafts from moose poop. As the saying goes, the riches are in the niches. If you are the proverbial queen (or king) of your respective craft, all you have to do is get yourself a solid sales channel and some good marketing. 

Here are a few major points to consider (and be honest with yourself) when you are evaluating whether or not you are going to turn craft hobby into craft business:

  1. Are there people who want to buy this product?
  2. Can I make this product and sell it for a price high enough for me to make a PROFIT (profit is the key word here folks...without profit it’s still a hobby)
  3. Does my craft product stand out in a niche? (i.e., everyone and their mother makes jewelry...think about how you can drill that down even further to get yourself established as the “go to” person for a certain style or type)
  4. Do I have the bandwidth to do what it takes to run this as a business?
  5. Am I able to source materials to have enough products to sell?
  6. Do I have a place to sell these items (this is a trick question...if you are reading this blog then you have all of the equipment you need to sell items online)

 

On the flip side, here’s a list of hurdles, not roadblocks, that you may come up to when moving into the handmade business space.

  1. I don’t have a website
  2. I don’t know how to set up the legal “real business” stuff
  3. I don’t have an audience or a customer base
  4. I don’t know how to use Facebook/Pinterest/Instagram/whatever the newest social media channel is
  5. I don’t know how to take good pictures of my products
  6. A LOT of other people are selling what I sell 

Spoiler alert: NO ONE in the handmade business space starts out with a website. I mean...how could you? A blog, maybe...but I am pretty confident in my statement that handmade sellers don’t have websites until they have products to sell. 

 

The social media hurdle? The photo hurdle? The “everyone else is selling what I sell” hurdle? Hang with me, friend, and we’re going to jump right over those in our free group and a bit later on in the Bootcamp. 

 

The legal business-y hurdle? Yeah, that can be intimidating.

 

I’m going to lend you a little mantra of mine though…

 

“If everyone else can do it, I can do it too!” 

 

(you’re gonna want to put that little gem in your back pocket...it’s going to pull you over some of these hurdles!)

 

In Week 3 of the Bloom Business Basics Bootcamp, you’re going to get a checklist of “to dos” that will walk you through exactly what you need to do to get your handmade business out of “hobby” status and officially in to “business” status. *if you are ALREADY an established business, this checklist is going to include ways for you to double-check your details and tips for how to be sure you are taking the most advantage of your established business status. 

 

Bloom Business Basics Bootcamp Business Week #1 Action Item:

Take stock of these questions and really be honest with yourself when you answer. Some of these points can be addressed by surveying your potential audience (friends, family, anyone you know who will be honest and not just complimentary). 

 

  • Are there people who want to buy what I am making?
  • Can I make this product and sell it for a price high enough for me to make a PROFIT (hint: we will be talking about pricing in Week 2)
  • What is my niche? (i.e, what makes my “widget” different from all of the others?)
  • Do I have the bandwidth to do what it takes to run this as a business?
  • Am I able to source materials to have enough products to sell?
  • Do I have a place to sell these items?

 

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT, let tech, confidence, or mindset issues get in the way of you moving forward with a dream. There has never been a better time than NOW to be your own boss, and being in the handmade seller space can be freeing, rewarding, and empowering. Be honest with yourself when you are asking and answering these questions. Deep down in your gut, you KNOW whether or not you can sell your work. If the answer is yes (or even maybe), then you are in the right place with Bloom!

 

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