You buy handmade goods, right? Your friends buy them too. You might even know people who make a living from their hand-crafted items.
So have you ever thought of trying this yourself?
Many sewers easily have the amazing skills and tools needed to earn a living from their craft. But few have the gumption to actually try it. Imagine turning your hand-sewn items into a successful business!
Certainly, starting out won’t be easy. But if you put in the work, your dream could become a reality in no time. And instead of sitting around day-dreaming and waiting for it to happen, you could start now.
Here’s exactly what you need to know.
How To Make Your Crafted Goods Sell
If you plan on selling your hand-sewn items on websites such as Etsy, remember that there’s a learning curve and several key points that you’ll want to keep in mind.
Know What Appeals to Consumers
What are people looking for in crafted goods? It’s important to narrow down your goods to what it is that consumers want instead of producing just anything that strikes your fancy. Know your market and look for goods that people are looking for.
Furthermore, always have a custom order option for each product that you create. Someone might be interested in one of your items for sale but want to tweak it slightly. This shouldn’t be too hard for you, and it can get you a lot more business.
Make Sure You Have a Selling Venue or Platform
Even if you create the most wonderful hand-sewn items in the world, not having a selling platform or venue means that you likely won’t make any money from your creations.
Many sellers of handmade goods go to arts and crafts fairs to sell their wares. This can be great, but you’re out of luck in this department if you don’t live near these fairs or can’t get to them for whatever reason.
The good news here is that even if you don’t have arts and crafts fairs nearby where you live, you can always sell your products online. And this is what thousands of artists do worldwide to great success.
Play to the Right Audience
If you plan on selling kids hats and gloves to folks at a home-improvement fair, you probably won’t sell many items. If you sell them at an art fair where lots of parents will be, you’ll probably have better luck.
In other words, it’s important to play to the right audience, meaning that the items that you create are made available to the people who are most likely to buy them. If you don’t have the appropriate audience nearby or at your disposal, that might mean that it’s time to start creating something different with your talents.
Use Only the Best Materials
Most of the time, if someone is going to take the time to purchase a handmade item and pay the extra price, they want something that is high quality.
On your end, this means using only the best materials. And for most seamstresses, this translates directly to fabric and thread. Purchase only the best fabric and thread for the greatest success in selling. As a side note, various other notions should also be the highest quality.
Be Wise With Your Time
Make sure that you know how long each project is going to take. When you consider your time as a business owner, you need to look at potential profit above all else. Figure out your expenses and the worth of your time and subtract this number from your final sale.
In terms of the value of your time, you also need to make sure that you’re focusing when you’re at work. If you spend 3 hours making a small change purse, you likely won’t make a profit. If you spend 20 minutes making a change purse, you can bring home a significant amount for just one item. Multiply this amount by the number of change purses that you make and sell, and you have a good income.
On the other hand, losing even a few cents on each product will ultimately create a deep deficit that will surely put you out of business.
Check That Shipping Won’t Bog You Down
The great thing about selling handmade items in the digital age is that you can easily access millions of people from the comfort of your own home.
In fact, your audience and number of potential buyers goes significantly up as soon as you get online with your products. With that being said, there’s definitely a benefit to selling to someone who is right in front of you, and that is the lack of shipping costs.
If you can sell a hand sewn purse to someone is right in front of you, you don’t have to ship that item. And shipping can cost a pretty penny when what you make is big and heavy. Furthermore, the farther you have to send your item, the more it will cost.
If make most of your money online and need to worry about shipping, try to focus on making products that are small and lightweight over those that are big and heavy.
Set Yourself Apart From the Herd
It needs to be said that there are simply too many phone cases and tote bags up for sale. These two items among several others are available in huge quantities on the hand-sewn goods market. And when the availability of certain items goes up like this, the demand goes down, which means that you can only charge a little bit for what you’re selling. Otherwise, you simply won’t sell anything.
On the other hand, if you set yourself apart and create something that is truly unique and in high demand, you’ll be able to charge more, and you’ll make more money in the end.
Look for niches that you can fill. If you see that people are clamoring for fun and unique stuffed animals for their children, try creating some of your own and see how they sell. A lot of the potential success that can come from home businesses will arise out of trial and error.
Make Sure That You’ll Make a Profit
Again, you need to look mathematically at your creation and selling process. If you’re spending copious amounts of money on your materials and hours upon hours on the creation process only to charge a median amount for your final product, you won’t make a profit.
That’s just basic accounting. Check these numbers before you waste your time, money and energy.
Aim for Quality Feedback
Finally, don’t forget how important awesome customer service and how vital getting good feedback will be to your ultimate success.
Sellers who have already sold at least a few handcrafted goods and received great feedback usually get a lot of new customers from this initial feedback.
This is also a great way to receive custom orders too. Potential buyers will see that you do good work and put their trust in you. Don’t let them down.
It’s time to start your business. After all, there’s no time like the present!
Beginning a new business endeavor certainly won’t be a breeze, but just keep in mind all of the wonderful things that can come of it, and these points will help keep you motivated.
I wish you the best of luck on your journey to success!
Also, I want to mention that you must have a top quality sewing machine to get started with. Don’t forget about this point! After all, this will be your main tool.
And if you don’t already own one, just check out our complete sewing machine buying guide. It’s got everything you need to know.