Have you noticed that many of the small boutiques that sell handmade are low in inventory the last couple of weeks in December? As a maker with crafts to sell, it’s to your advantage.
Many indiependent retailers respond to the media’s fear-based projections by ordering light this season in anticipation of slow sales due to ever increasing online buying. But the trend of discerning consumers searching for unique, handcrafted, meaningful gifts is catching retailers unprepared with insufficient supply and no time to re-order handmade gifts. Last minute shoppers are too late to order from Etsy sellers in time for Christmas and shop owners are missing out on revenue if they don’t have inventory.
How can your work translate into something that you and/or your friends can showcase in the workplace? Even if you don’t work outside the home, here are some tips for getting more people to see and buy your craft.
If you or your friends work in a hospital, bank or institution that requires employees to wear a badge, you have a great opportunity to get your handmade jewelry or other craft noticed. Particularly if you make beaded jewelry, you can add a badge holder attachment to any of your necklaces. Invite your friends or co-workers to wear them and make sure they have your card or contact info. Then when patients, clients or other employees compliment the badge holder, you or your friends can let them know you make these and can make them as necklaces or eyeglass holders as well.
If you are a metalsmith, you can also make a version of badge or eyeglass holder as a pin with a loop to hold the badge or glasses.
Whatever your medium, be creative about making pieces that people can see in the workplace and spread the word about your work. If, for example, you work in ceramic, polymer clay or even fused glass, consider making a business card holder that you and your friends can put on their desk where others will see and comment on them. You can also make picture frames that you keep on your desk and when people will comment on them, let them know about all the other work you do.
Even if you create high end pieces, putting more moderate work out where people can see it will interest them in your art and give you an opportunity to introduce them to the rest of your line.
Think about what other objects can can you add to your line that will showcase your art in the work arena.
The whole idea is, get it out there because you aren’t going to sell it if it’s sitting in your studio unseen.
While the majority of my clients are now reporting excellent sales, I am getting inquiries from other crafters saying they are getting hits on their sites but that their work isn’t selling as well as they would like. Normally I would first evaluate their marketing. If a site is getting lots of hits but no sales, it’s possible that there is something weak about the site itself, not the aesthetics, necessarily, but likely, the marketing funnel. Being curious, I couldn’t help checking out some of their sites.
We all know that you can make the most gorgeous product but if it isn’t marketed correctly, it won’t sell. Likewise, it doesn’t matter how great your marketing is if you don’t have something people want to buy. I know, this is common sense, but there is much more to having a marketable product than its’ being beautiful or functional. I decided it was time to take a look at what these crafters are making. Maybe there was a common product factor among those who were not making money with their craft. Bingo! Those who were reporting slow or no sales mostly had lovely crafts but their products all had one thing in common. Continue reading →
In the waiting room at the Mayo Clinic yesterday, I picked up a Forbes Magazine. It’s not typical to see an outdoorsy “Field and Stream” looking image gracing the front of a business publication but the cover of the April 13th edition featured a man with a walking stick surrounded by the most magnificent Retrievers. The headline read, “What Recession?”. While I am hearing these words from my entrepreneurial friends, it was refreshing to see this in the media. The handsome man on the cover , dog breeder MIke Stewart, was one of six featured entrepreneurs whose businesses are thriving in this economic climate. Stewart has a long list of customers waiting to pay him $12,000 for one of his Continue reading →
Terri has been self employed for over 30 years in businesses developed out of personal interests in the advertising, home furnishings, fine arts, healing arts and contemporary crafts fields. She started her first business in her 20s . Her most recent business, a gallery of contemporary craft, continues to thrive under the creative direction of a new owner. The businesses were all profitable and started on very little capital. Since selling her gallery in 2007, Terri has continued to help aspiring entrepreneurs, artists, crafts people and collectors become their own boss while making a living based on their passions.