If you sell your handmade jewelry or crafts on Etsy or another website AND you’re doing all the right things to drive the traffic (buyers) to your site, that’s wonderful. Remember, though, a lot of people are last minute shoppers and won’t begin shopping until Friday for Mother’s Day Sunday.
Many artists, crafters and jewelry makers assume everyone knows about Etsy but you’d be amazed at all the qualified buyers with money to spend who would never dream of looking on Etsy for a Mother’s Day gift. There are also many people who want to see and touch the gift before they buy. That’s one reason brick and mortar jewelry stores still exist.
Your job, the week leading up to Mothers’ Day, is to get your work in front of buyers where they already spend time:
offices and hospitals
spas and barber shops
If you took my advice and set up some trunk shows for Valentines Day, this week you should just call the places where your sales were best and schedule a date to do it again in May. If you haven’t taken any of these suggestions yet, now is the time to follow through and plan to make more money from your craft.
Remember it’s to their advantage to have you in their establishment. To read why and for more about this, go HERE
Sometimes we stumble upon a craft medium or art technique that we just love and make it for the joy of the process. But what do you do with products of your latest creative obsession? You can only give so many away as gifts and there is that uncontrollable urge to buy more art supplies.
Recently, I’ve reconnected with an old love. No, I’m not referring to my college beau, though that did happen too. My new/old love is dyeing and painting textiles. I can’t get enough of playing with color and water and fabric but as I just placed an order for more silk and bamboo and dye, I realized I need to sell some of these finished scarves before I spend any more money on supplies.
I took some to an artist and writers event where my intention was to debut a new bracelet for poets and writers. More about these beauties soon. The scarves were such a hit that I didn’t even make a display for the bracelets.
But that was a one-time event. I’m not setting up a sales page or site for the textiles because they’re each one of a kind and I don’t want to mess with updating them each time one sells. (if you make one-of-a-kind art, I have some solutions for you HERE).
Do you see the dilemma? I want, no NEED, to make more art. I’ve ordered more supplies. When the bill comes for the supplies, I want to have paid for the last batch. I made an artist date for next week to make more scarves and I need to create an outlet to sell them,
It occurs to me that the women at my mom’s senior housing place dress for dinner. I’ve also noted that their adult children and grands go to take them out or join them for brunch on Sunday. Note: this is not a nursing home. It’s an upscale independent living facility so most of the residents (except my mom) are wealthy or their kids are footing the bill.
On my to-do list today is to contact the activities director and offer to set up a display of silk scarves on the Sunday before Mother’s Day. Assuming it goes well, I’ll probably do the same in December, there and at other area independent living facilities.
What ideas do you have for turning your finished craft into cash? There are many more proven ideas HERE.
Are you feeling overwhelmed by everything you hear you should be doing to market your craft? You aren’t alone. Most of us need a map before we start out on a journey we’ve never taken before.
So, take a deep breath and know that if you just start somewhere, take one simple step today, you’re on your way. Wait, don’t decide to start fresh Monday. That works about as well as waiting to join the gym on January first. Just take one step, right now, yes, begin a new project on a Friday. Even if you take the weekend off, you’ll be able to relax knowing you’ve taken that first step.
Today’s assignment: choose your very best piece. Something that hasn’t been out in the marketplace yet. Now, photograph it. OK. I know you might consider that two steps. If you’re really feeling ambitious, upload it to your i-photo or other photo program and save it. So, three easy steps. (if you really must be a stickler about the one step a day, choose the piece today, photograph it tomorrow and upload on Sunday. Those are very tiny steps.) Monday morning, it will be so easy to continue knowing you’ve already done the first 3 steps.
Now, you are ready to take a BIG baby step on your craft marketing plan.
I’m not calling this a BIG step because it’s difficult. It isn’t. It’s simple and just so obvious but is a big step because it will make a huge difference in getting your sales rolling Continue reading →
You’ve probably read books on how to start a business and even some on creating a business selling your art or handmade crafts. There are even some courses out there on starting a crafts business but most are from the perspective of someone who has sold their craft online OR at craft shows OR sold wholesale. None give you first hand advice and stories from artists and crafts people who have experienced ALL areas of the hand made world.
I keep hearing from readers that they want to make a living selling their handmade art and they’ve read books and even sought advise from SBA advisors but that they are more confused than ever because they don’t understand the MBA speak. Creative entrepreneurs think differently and need advise from someone who speaks and understands their language.
I’ve been listening to your questions and challenges, making notes from my decades of experience as an artist and gallery owner and interviewing artists and crafts people, makers and bakers.
it’s all in one place, a course that speaks a language
that creatives like YOU understand.
I’m not going to waste your time or mine on the stuff you can find in a “how-to” business book. This is first hand advise on the stuff YOU need about how to make a living from your craft
because the myth of the starving artist is a bunch of baloney.
I’ve taken a lifetime of wisdom and experience in the business of handmade art and put it all together in a comprehensive course. You’ll get worksheets and references and hear advice and real life examples of fine artists and crafts people who make a living creating and selling their paintings, calligraphy, textiles, candles, bath and body products, jewelry, graphics, photography and just about every craft you can imagine. Some are even bringing in a six figure income from their art and they’ve offered up their wisdom, experiences and secrets to success on topics about all areas of the handmade art world, online and off. We share what we all learned from our mistakes and what we’d do differently if we knew in the beginning what we know now about starting and profiting from a creative business so that you can do it right the first time.
We’ll cover every aspect of making money selling your creations ONLINE AND OFF, at retail and wholesale to shops, at craft fairs, home parties, in galleries, even how to open your own craft gallery or co-op. We’ll talk about pricing, photographing and writing descriptions for your handmade.
I know we all have different learning styles so you’ll get a mix of PDFs, worksheets and Audio files which you can download and listen to at your own pace.
Are you participating in craft fairs or any face-to-face shows this holiday season? How have your sales been?
Do you know there is one simple thing you should be doing that will increase your sales drastically and create loyal customers? One easy, obvious thing that you probably aren’t doing.
Place your work in their hands. That’s it. Easy peazy, right?
When I attend craft fairs, I notice artists only speaking to people who ask them questions and mostly just saying “hi, how are you?” or “thank you”. Or worse,
sitting in their booths texting, reading or looking bored.
People who shop in-person for crafts want to have face-time with the artists, to know the person who makes the art. To be able to tell the gift recipient or their friends who admire the piece they met the artist. They want to touch and feel the work.
Try this next time you display your art: Greet every single person who walks by your booth. If they hesitate, they are interested in knowing more. Invite them into your space and tell them a little about your work. Talk about the process. If they are looking at a particular piece, put it in their hands and even invite them try it on if it’s wear-able.
I guarantee you will have a lot more sales and happy, return customers.
Let me know how it works for you.
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.