Tuesday, September 21

Starting an Online Craft Business

There are many talented people who like to work with their hands and fall into the crafts category. I count myself as one of these individuals – and I’m always checking online for an ebay promo code, or codes for the other sites I know I can source my raw materials from. I find there are many advantages of being a craftsperson but I also found there was a downside to this as well. It’s why I went down a different route myself. However, a friend of mine made a discovery that gave them an additional opportunity when it came to crafting.

Their Passion
Being in their early retirement years their friend needed something to fill their time. They had always been a crafter but only when they could find the spare time. Now I have plenty of time I am enjoying their passion on a full-time basis. This is great except it had created one major problem. What were they supposed to do with all their completed projects?

Gifted Out

Their friends and family had become gift overloaded with their generosity of presenting them with their completed crafts. Now they were building up quite an inventory of completed projects. After a while, this became a little disheartening to see all their hard work just gathering dust.

An Exciting Suggestion
A close friend of mine recognized their demise and came up with a wonderful suggestion. She encouraged them to sell their crafts online. At first, they were skeptical but being fairly computer savvy I knew she was on to something, and so after some encouragement they boldly set out to follow her suggestion.

Getting Started
They began by checking their options which there were several. They could join a platform that was already established to sell their craft items. Or, they had the option of setting up a store on a social media platform like Facebook. Then there was also the option of having their own website. These were all great choices but also created some confusion as to which to choose? Getting started also means buying all the necessary supplies needed. Thankfully, there are plenty of free resources to use, like these free quilt block patterns, but the cost of raw materials does need to be considered.

The Decision
They decided to go all in and start their own website. There were a few reasons why they chose this option. The most important one was that they would have total control over it. The other options were great but came with some restrictions.

The Launch
They started by depending on some great resources for setting up a website. Although these came with a learning curve they had the time and the determination to follow through. Eventually, after many hours of getting their website developed the day of the launch arrived.

Overcoming The Challenges
One of the challenges they had to overcome was the nervousness that they were experiencing. Not only were they now responsible for creating the products they had to deliver them and provide customer satisfaction. This was a new area for them. However, they took things slowly and only offered crafted products that they knew they would be able to deliver on. One of the challenges was keeping their product line down to sizes that could be shipped at a reasonable price.

Putting On The Business Hat
Although they had no doubts about their ability to create and deliver beautiful handcrafted items they soon found that a good portion of their time was being spent on the administrative tasks that come with running a business. They realized the importance of this but they also had set some reasonable expectations for themselves.

A Paying Hobby
In their case, the purpose of starting a handcrafted business was to find an outlet for their finished products. For others, they may be looking at this business venture for the main purpose of generating an extra income. For them, they must realize the additional responsibilities that come with a craft business and that these will demand time that will not be able to be spent on the actual crafting itself.