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Crafty Business Guide - MailChimp

As a maker, a doer, a creator of homemade things in all their forms,
there may come a time when you want to get your wares out into
the world. What started as a hobby might become more than that,
as friends and family share your goods with others and word of
your awesomeness gets around. You’ve got a gift, and gifts are
meant to be shared, right?
Michelle Riggen-Ransom has been a writer since she could hold a
pen, a crafty marketer, a passionate start-up founder and a longtime MailChimp customer.
Michelle got her start-up chops at, where she fell
madly in love with the internet. She’s written for everything from
parenting blogs to BusinessWeek, and dozens of places in between.
Michelle now runs SocialGlu, a communications consultancy, out
of her homebase of Seattle, WA. She lives with a good dog, a bad
kitten, two curious kids, and a very fun husband.
It Takes a Nation of Millions to Promote Your Craft
A good way to begin researching is to check out handmade and craft-
Thanks to the internet, you’re not alone. There are countless sites out
What’s selling? What’s being featured on the homepage? Can you
there for crafters and their various wares. The crafting community
is as tightly knit as an angora sweater. From the self-defined “crafty
hipster” community at to the creative readers and
writers of sites like Hello Craft,В Design Sponge, Instructables, and
oriented shopping sites such as Etsy, Artfire, and Urban Threads.
identify a void in your potential market that your product could
fill? Join the forums on these sites and listen to what people are
saying there. You will learn a lot and start building an all-important
community of folks who will help you along the way.
Ravelry, crafters love to connect, inspire, and showcase what they
make, sharing stories about their success along the way.
There are almost as many cool tools to help you run your business
as there are craft sites out there, which is a good thing, but it can
be pretty overwhelming when you’re just getting started. To make
things more manageable, we’re breaking this guide into short
sections, each one focused on a specific aspect of starting a craftbased business. If you’re already awesome at what you’re making
and you’re looking to turn your crafting into a legit business, this is
the guide for you.
Whooo are You? (Who Who, Who Who?)
Participating in TweetChats is another good way to glean
information. A recent Twitter discussion on #crafterminds
(sponsored by Crafterminds and held every Monday at 4 p.m. EST)
focused on whether or not you should develop a niche for your craft
blog. Past topics have included taking good product photos, SEO
basics and adding text to your product images. All really useful stuff
from people who are immersed in craft business.
You also need to decide early on if you are going to focus on selling
your product retail or wholesale. If you’re just getting started, it may
make sense to create some of your product and see how it does (and
how you do) in both spaces.
[photo by Kristie Gagner]
a la mode owner Linda Demers has tried both avenues to sell
One of the first things you should ask yourself is this: Who are you
started selling her upcycled handbags and messenger bags at local
hoping to market to? How will you present yourself to appeal to
her unique, urban-inspired jewelry and home decor. She first
boutiques, where she had some connections. However, the growing
these folks? Who is going to buy your product?
success of her products meant having to scale up and produce a lot
Maybe you’re making robot salt and pepper shakers out of upcycled
Demers, who briefly tried outsourcing the sewing of the bags but
tin. There are several types of folks who might be interested in
purchasing this item: robot collectors, fans of Americana or green
dishware, gourmet cooks. Each of these potential buyers is a market
segment. This means they likely hang out in different places, read
more quickly. “It was hard to sit down and make 300 bags,” says
ended up taking it back. “I ultimately decided it was something
I didn’t want to focus on.” She is now selling directly on her own
site as well as on Etsy, and is very happy with the direction her
business is going.
different blogs, shop at different stores. Knowing who might buy
your product will help guide the choices you make when setting the
direction for your new business.
Jessica Partain, who runs Inedible Jewelry with her sister
Of course, branding is much more than choosing a company
Susan, says she does both retail and wholesale by scheduling
name. You’ll need to come up with a logo, decide what colors you
work around selling times. For instance, in August when retail
want to use, design a website, and order business cards to help
is slow, they focus on wholesale orders as stores get ready for
spread the word. All of these are crucial elements in creating the
the holidays. In the fall when wholesale orders slow, retail sales
public image of what your company will be—the brand of you!
pick up. This gives them much-needed control over what they
are required to produce. If you are interested in checking out
Fortunately, there are tools that can help you with all of this,
wholesale options, try sites like and trunkt.
too. Not an artist but need a logo? Check out 99designs, which
will work with designers to create a selection of logos for you
Whatever path you choose to sell your product, researching your
to choose from. Need to put some colors together to see what
potential market is key. It’s one of the most important steps to
looks best? Try ColorPicker, and experiment with a few simple
take when establishing your business.
clicks. Or, upload a picture that you like to Pictaculous, and let it
generate a snazzy palette based on the colors from your photo.
Strike Up the Brand
Before you set up a website, make business cards, or even create
a sign for a craft-show booth, you need a name for your business.
This can be a huge task in itself, as your company name should
consist of all of the following:
• Meaningful to You: It’s your company, after all!
• Easy to Spell/Remember: You may know that Hephaestus
is the Greek god of fire and metalworking, but sheesh, that’s
tough to spell. Keep it simple so you’re not creating unnecessary
Cindy Tollen, “Chief Bubble Wrangler” of soap purveyor,
Sudz’n’Bubbles, says she couldn’t believe the difference after she
got a professional logo and chose a color palette to start tying her
merchandising together. Early on she made the “big mistake” of
trying to create her own logo. Once she hired someone to create
her (now signature) pink polka-dot logo and started branding
around it at local craft shows, Tollen says she saw a big increase
in sales. “People were drawn in by how professional the booth
looked,” she says. “Now people recognize and seek me out because
I stand out.”
roadblocks for people who are trying to find you online and
• Related to Your Product: In a crowded marketplace, you need to
identify exactly what you sell.
• Availability: Google your potential name and see what comes up.
If there’s already a business with your name, try again. No need
to confuse people. If it’s available, buy the URL even if you are not
100% sure you want it—better safe than sorry.
TIP: You can buy website domains on the relative cheap via
sites like Namecheap, Network Solutions, and Pear. Consider
purchasing your URL for at least two years—you don’t want to
finally get your business up and running than have to deal with
an expiring domain. You should also grab the Facebook, Twitter,
and Flickr account names even if you’re not ready to start using
those services. They’re all free and easy, and you’ll be prepared
when you’re ready to begin using social media.
[photo via]
For business cards, we can’t say enough good things about MOO
cards, especially for crafters. MOO allows you to make regular
sized or “mini” cards featuring different photos of your product
on the front and your contact details on the back. Not only will
people have your contact information, they’ll be able to see at a
glance what it is you do.
TIP: Make sure you stay “on brand,” using the same fonts,
colors, and writing style across your various platforms. This will
reinforce your marketing messages, help people recognize your
company, and make you look more professional.
Your Tea Cozy is a Centerfold
It’s Business Time
Good pictures are important. In the visually-focused and fickle
You’ve got a great name and logo, you’ve done market research
world of online shopping, there is nothing more essential than
making sure you’re showcasing your product in literally the best
light possible. Crappy pictures mean no buyers, and no buyers
means you’ve wasted a lot of your precious time. In an online world,
your pictures are your best advertising and are often the difference
between making a sale or not.
There are lots of photography resources both online and in bookstores, but here are the basics:
• Good Lighting: Showcasing your product’s quality is key. This is
one time when you should definitely be afraid of the dark!
• In-Focus: A quality product needs a quality picture. Shaky hands
are bad, so save that second cup of coffee for after the photo shoot.
• Multiple Angles: Show off what is unique or special about your
product. Since people won’t physically be able to pick it up, let them
do so virtually.
• Get Cozy: Up close = personal.
• Editing: “Crop” is your friend. Zoom in on the best part of your
photo and remove the rest. Be wary of color correcting or enhancing, as you want the pictures to be true to your actual products so
your buyers won’t be misled.
• When in Doubt, Take More Shots: Post the best, delete the rest.
It might take some effort to get the photo you’re after, but it will be
worth it to get a picture that actually helps sell the product.
for your product, identified where you’d like to start selling, and
snapped some fantastic product shots. Nicely done! Now, it’s time to
get down to business. No successful homemade candle maker started out by saying, “Hey, I’d love to start collecting invoices, paying
taxes and filing a bunch of paperwork for stuff!” And yet, for better
or worse, when you start a business, there are certain, business-y
obligations to fulfill.
Before selling anything you should check with your local Chamber
of Commerce or Small Business Bureau to see if you need a license to
operate a small business (even if you’re the sole employee). Generally, these are not expensive and only take a week or so to obtain
once you submit an application.
You’ll also want to establish a bookkeeping method to keep track of
income and expenses related to the business. There are some great
online tools out there to help with this, including Outright, which
organizes your bank, credit-card and PayPal accounts. There’s also
FreshBooks, which allows you to track your time and expenses and
generate invoices.
Another useful online service is Shoeboxed, which allows you to
send in all of your business-related receipts (for supplies, shipping costs, printing, etc.) and combines them in a nicely-formatted
electronic file. This will free up more space for craft supplies! And
Endicia is a site that can print postage-paid shipping labels for you,
and even create custom postage from your photos.
Having a good customer relationship management (CRM) system
in place as you start working with different suppliers, vendors, and
shippers is also important. Online CRM’s like Highrise and Capsule allow you to keep track of your network as you build it so your
people are as well-organized as your financials.
Two web-based tools that can help manage your ideas and inspirations are Pinterest and Evernote. Pinterest is a virtual community
bulletin board, where people can “pin” and tag internet images that
interest them, and share and comment on them with others. Evernote works similarly, but also allows you to create checklists and
tasks, run a calendar and create tables and graphs—it bills itself as
[photo via Inedible Jewelry]
“your personal virtual assistant.”
Setting up good systems takes some initial work and it might take
TIP: Etsy makes it easy to get started selling your goods online,
some trial-and-error to see which ones work best. But as your busi-
but there’s still a lot to learn. Check out one of their bi-weekly
ness grows, you’ll be glad you did it right.
video chats (held every Monday and Thursday) to ask questions of
company staffers. There’s also an Etsy mentoring program called
TIP: For other business-related software listings and reviews,
Team Sassy, where seasoned sellers offer feedback on your site and
check out CNET’s business-software page. Most software products
otherwise help you get up and running.
have free trials so you can see what works best for you, and many
integrate with one another to make running your business more
Other online marketplace options worth checking out include Big
seamless. В В Cartel, Bonanza (formerly 1000 Markets), and, of course, the site
Where to Shop Your Stuff
A renewed public interest in all things handmade means that sellers
have many options for selling their products. From traditional craft
shows and bazaars to online stores and websites, there are many
that started it all, eBay (which has a “Crafts” category). Your best
bet is to spend some time on marketplace sites to see which ones
will work best for you, join the forums, and ask around.
Consign O’ the Times
wonderful places where you can hang your hand-stitched hat.
The Etsy Bitsy Website
The grand-mommy of craft websites is, of course, Etsy. Started in
2005, it quickly became the place for buying and selling homemade
and hand-crafted items. If people are making it, you can probably
buy (or sell) it on Etsy.
The beauty of Etsy is that it does much of the work of setting up
a storefront for you. You don’t need to be a designer or know
how to install shopping-cart software—you can just set up a
seller account, upload your pictures and descriptions, and get
[photo by Kerry Hawkins]
to selling. Using Etsy even helps with marketing, search-engine
optimization, and payments, and they offer terrific support
Consignment shops and galleries are oftentimes great options for
through their active user forums, a comprehensive Seller’s
craft sellers. Places like Craftland, the Northwest Craft Center, and
Handbook, and even video chats.
Renegade Handmade sell hand-crafted items year-round, usually
on a short-term basis for a percentage of the sales price. This is
Nikki McGonigal, owner of Nikki, In Stitches, sells her sewing
a nice sales avenue because it means getting your work in front
products both on Etsy and her own site. She suggests one way to
of real-life buyers without having to do the legwork of hauling
get found on Etsy is to take advantage of the multiple tags you
your product and display at crazy hours of the morning to set up
can use when you list your products. “You can do 14 tags for each
at various craft shows. They also usually handle marketing and, if
item—use every one of them!” she says. In our robot salt shaker
they have an online store, sales via that channel as well.
example, you could use the tags: “salt and pepper shakers,”
“robots,” “upcycled,” “tin,” “kitchen decor,” etc. Tags help you get
listed in search results, so it’s important to determine what people
might be searching for and tag your items appropriately. In other
words: Think like a buyer.
Providence-based Craftland grew from a pop-up holiday craft show
Some of the bigger craft shows out there are Bizarre Bazaar
into a year-round store that sells everything from silkscreened
(started in Boston, now also in Cleveland, San Francisco, and San
t-shirts, handmade jewelry, and tiny felt animals. Devienna
Mateo), Washington DC’s Crafty Bastards, and the Urban Craft Up-
Anggraini, the “Princess of Power” (AKA: inventory control) at
rising show in Seattle. There’s also the ginormous Renegade Craft
Craftland, says they sell work from about 100 different artists
Fair, held every year in Brooklyn, Chicago, Los Angeles, Austin, and
year-round and around 150 during the holidays. Artists submit
an application and items are selected and curated by Craftland
staffers and are generally on a trial consignment for about three
A nice thing about the big craft shows is that, in addition to sell-
months. Their online shop features mostly Craftland regulars and,
ing your wares, there are often opportunities to give tutorials
says Anggraini, “We promote a featured artist every Friday on our
to attendees, participate in workshops, and otherwise network
blog.” Crafters and artists who sell through Craftland set their own
extensively with other crafty folks. Again, this community is very
retail price and keep 60% of that price when the item sells.      inclusive, and you’ll likely make new friends and be inspired by
all the cool stuff people are making. If you’re not ready to make
TIP: If you go the consignment route, make sure you develop a
the leap to actually selling at one of these events, find out if they
good working relationship with the store owner, as this will benefit
need volunteers. This is a good way see what they’re all about, get a
you both. Find out when you can expect to get paid (weekly?
sense for what’s selling, and help out other crafters without com-
monthly?), and keep track of what you’ve got out there in stores in
mitting to a booth.
case your items don’t end up selling.
Jessica Partain of Inedible Jewelry recommends showing in juried
Bazaar Craft Triangle
shows once you get your business established. This means you
submit an application—which sometimes comes with an application fee—and are selected to participate by a panel of judges. “You
know you’re going into a show that will have fantastic crafts,”
Partain explains. “And the types of buyers that go to these shows
definitely appreciate handcrafted items more. They know the value
of handmade.” Partain adds that early on in her business, the feedback she received from attendees of these shows really helped her
refine her product and ultimately sell more.
The downside to doing shows includes set-up and travel, which can
be costly and time-consuming. You have to be comfortable doing
sales, as well as talking to and working with the general buying
public. Doing shows also takes you away from doing what you love,
[photo via Renegade Craft Fair/Sara Wright]
which is your craft. Still, for building exposure and community, it’s
probably the best way to grow your business.
If you enjoy meeting your customers face-to-face and want to get
some relatively easy exposure to new people, bazaars, farmer’s
markets, art shows and craft fairs are the way to go. Most charge
a fee to set up your wares (in general, the bigger the show, the
greater the cost.) And unlike selling at a gallery or even an online
marketplace, vendors aren’t required to share their profits with a
third party, which means more money in your pocket.
Your Website
Your Website
If you’re tech savvy and craft savvy, selling through your website
One of the biggest surprises for Cindi Tollen of Sudz �n’ Bubbles
or blog is a great option. There’s no commission to pay, no signage
was how many people wanted to pay with credit cards at craft
to schlep around town, no competition to be a “featured” item or
shows, which she was initially not set up to process. “If you are
artist. And shopping cart software like Shopify or ZenCart makes it
expecting people to pay with cash or check at a craft show,” Tollen
fairly simple to get a small store up and running.
cautions, “you’re going to be losing sales.” Once she got credit-card
processing in place, she found that about 90% of her sales were
Of course, selling on your own means you’re also on your own
purchased with plastic.
when it comes to marketing your site. You’ll have to worry about
keywords, search engine optimization (SEO) and how these things
affect your Google page rank. You’d have to worry about most
of that stuff regardless of what platform you choose, but many
crafters opt to do the selling at an established marketplace rather
than run their own retail sites. Ultimately, the choice is up to you,
and it may be helpful to talk to other crafters in your field to see
what’s worked best for them.
Money: It’s a Gas
The biggest difference between making products for people you
know and the general buying public mostly comes down money.
Whether you’re looking to supplement your income with some
additional pocket change or are hoping to turn your crafting into a
full-blown career, you’ll have some important financial decisions
to make. What payment options you’ll accept, where you’ll sell
your product, and determining pricing are all crucial factors in
establishing your business.
Kristie Gagner, a longtime crafter, began her foray into selling her
handmade cards at gift shows and farmer’s markets. She says her
biggest challenge was pricing her product right. “Smaller items
like cards have a price ceiling,” Gagner says. “Even though it took
me a long time to make the cards, you really can’t sell them for very
much.” She recommends calculating the cost of materials it takes
to make something, adding an hourly rate for the time it takes you
to make something and arriving at a per-item price. If this is higher
than what you can realistically sell the item for, maybe you should go
a different route. Gagner ultimately decided the card business wasn’t
worth the time and effort, and is now starting a family-friendly
portrait-photography business. В [photo via Square]
A credit-card imprinter can be bought from a bank or an online
merchant. The imprinter, custom plates (which have your business
name on them) and imprint slips will cost you about $50 total.
Tollen, like many other crafters, now uses Square, an application
that allows you to accept credit-card payments via your mobile
phone. She initially tried running cards with a traditional swiper,
but thought the process too cumbersome and distracting. Plus, it
took valuable face time away from her customers. She also tried
the PayPal virtual terminal, but found it too expensive. “Square
has been great,” Tollen says. “We run the Square app on an iPad
and have found it to be easy and actually a great conversation
piece!” Square provides you with a nifty little reader that turns
your iPhone, Android or iPad into an on-the-spot card processor.
You can request the reader and download the software on Square’s
PayPal and Google Checkout
To Market, to Market
PayPal has become an industry-standard for processing online
Marketing your product is probably the single most important
payments. Depending on what plan you choose, PayPal will handle
both your payments and your invoicing. Because so many people
use it (94.4 million, according to the service’s site), it’s become a
straightforward and trusted option for people looking to transact
Google also entered the payments space with Google Checkout.
Their fees are comparable to PayPal’s, so which one you go with
depends largely on personal preference and your specific needs.
part of your new business. It also takes the most effort. It doesn’t
matter how cozy your knitted baby hats are or how much feathered
creatures love your hand-painted birdhouses if no one knows
about them, and an unvisited Etsy shop is just as depressing as an
overlooked card table at a craft show. Whether you are selling online
or in person, you’ve got to get people’s attention, connect with them,
and make them want to give you their hard-earned cash. В Successfully marketing your wares could comprise a whole guide
unto itself, but we’ve got a few ideas on what you can do to help get
your name out there.
Understanding whether or not you need to charge tax on your sales
Crafter B. Goode
is important. In general, you’re responsible for collecting sales tax
for any state in which you operate. This means if you do a show in
New York but live in Kansas, you have to charge New York state
taxes on your products sold at the show and submit a sales tax
return to New York. Online sales made in the state where you do
business have to reflect a sales tax for your state, which, depending
on the state, are required to be filed monthly, quarterly, or annually.
Sales tax audits on small businesses are not uncommon, which is
why this is not to be taken lightly. Googling “sales tax permit” for
your state should help you find the information you need, but it’s
important enough that you may want to consult a professional to
make sure you’re doing it right. Otherwise, you could be faced with
paying big fees in back taxes and penalties later!
[photo by Michelle Riggen-Ransom]
Above all, you should love what you do. There is no better marketing
than creating a product that people want to buy, share with their
friends, and seek out again. This is true regardless of what you
are making. The point is you need to know you have an awesome
product before you try and sell it, and you need to care about it
enough to stick with it—even through the tough parts. Many
successful crafters out there have been doing their work in some
form or another since they were kids. Cut them, they bleed glitter
glue. They’ve got real passion for what they do, and it shows in the
quality of their work and the dedication they have to getting it out
into the world.
Building a Familistery
In this hyper-connected age of social media, building a community
of people who support you and your work has never been more
possible. That’s not, however, to say that it is easy. Growing a loyal
fan base takes time and is usually comes as a result of much effort.
We’ve covered some of the tools already, but here are five tactics that
will help you start getting the word out about your awesome new
product or store.
• Join: A good first step is to join existing communities. Join forums,
subscribe to the blogs of crafters you admire, get a Twitter account,
see what folks are saying about your particular craft. There’s a big,
active, crafty world out there. If you want to participate, you need to
come to the party, preferably with a friendly smile, proper attire and
a nice bottle of Prosecco.
• Engage: Once you feel you’ve got a sense of how the conversations
work, jump in! You’ll find that these communities are generally
quite welcoming to newbies, and that quick online conversations
can develop into something deeper, whether it be a new friend or a
great business opportunity.
• Share: Use your blog to post interesting stories about your daily
process. Shoot videos of your favorite crafting techniques and post
them to YouTube. Give your feedback and opinion when asked for
it. Donate to worthy causes. Help promote other folks’ blogs and
online stores. Sharing knowledge and helping others out are two key
elements of a successful community. Plus, it’s just nice.
• Respond: If someone reaches out to you (via a blog comment,
Twitter, or in an email), be sure to respond in a timely fashion. This
is especially true for your customers who, for better or for worse,
now expect almost real-time communication. While 24/7 coverage
certainly isn’t possible for one person, do your best to respond
• Go: All the hashtags in the world can’t replace the importance
of face time with your community and customers. Attend events
like craft shows and conferences where you’ll meet like-minded
folks doing similar things. The connections you make at in-person
events will be well worth the time and effort, and you’ll likely have
some fun while you’re at it.
Crafter Nikki McGonigal has a great story on her Nikki, in Stitches
blog about how she got featured as a Martha Stewart Doer of the
Week. McGonigal says the best way to market is to “join conversations and reach out.” In her case, it was Twitter conversations with
Stewart staffers that ultimately landed her in Marthaland, and even
earned her an all-expense-paid trip to NYC!
Guido Stein’s interest in knitting and desire to connect with other
knitters led him to start a podcast about the subject back in 2006,
before sites like Ravelry existed. “I wanted to listen to what other
knitters had to say and help expand knitting out into the world,” he
says. The community he built with his podcast led him to help found
the Common Cod Fiber Guild and even start an event called “Ignite
Craft” in Boston, where crafters of all kinds take the stage to share
their stories. “The community is already out there,” Stein says. “And
it’s a powerful place.” The key is to find your particular community
and get engaged.
Wordy Rappinghood
Once you’ve begun building your community, you’ll want to stay in
contact with them. In addition to keeping your store’s site updated,
writing blog posts, answering Facebook and blog comments, and
tweeting, you may want to consider sending out a newsletter. This
will help you keep folks informed about what your latest products
are, where you’ll be exhibiting, and give you a way to stay connected.
There are several options when it comes to email marketing services, so you should definitely check them out to see which one best
suits your needs. Naturally, we recommend MailChimp, because the
app is easy to use and fun. Plus there are tons of beautiful templates
and a free plan for up to 12,000 emails per month for up to 2,000
subscribers. Eep! That’s a lot of free.
But however you choose to connect, make sure you do so in a way
that reflects who you are. Keep in mind that all your communications and public posts are extensions of your brand and make sure
to write them accordingly.
SEO Sophisticated
Like most things worth doing, the success of turning your crafting
While SEO gets a bit of a bum rap, it does make sense to think about
lots and lots of hard work. But the benefits of turning something
what’s going to help get your content found on the web due to the
sheer volume of stuff out there. As you’re crafting your blog posts
and item descriptions, be aware of what words and phrases you
are using. If, for example, you’re selling feather hair accessories,
research what words people are searching for to find these
particular products. Google has a keyword tool you can check out to
see what kind of traffic certain words are already generating on the
web. You can try checking similar listings on shopping sites and see
how they are tagged. For instance, listings of feather hair accessories
on Etsy are often tagged accessories, hair, feather hair extension,
feather hair kit natural feathers, feathers for hair, etc. Try and work
those phrases naturally into your writing so you can help Google to
help people find your site. В SEOMoz publishes some useful content about SEO on their blog as
does Hubspot, if this is a topic you’d like to learn more about.
Brown Paper Packages Tied Up with Strings
You’ve made a sale and are now delivering the goods. Make the
experience of receiving your product just a little more exciting for
someone, and they will love you for it. Throw in some free stickers
or use beautiful ribbon to wrap it. Add a hand-written “Thanks for
shopping at my store!” note. These little touches add up to a great
experience for your customer, which is ultimately what you want to
They say, “A happy customer tells three friends, an unhappy
customer tells the whole freaking internet.” Well, maybe we
just said that, but it’s true that the rise of social-media tools like
Twitter, Facebook, and blogs make it easier than ever for people
to vent if they’ve had a bad experience. Most shopping sites have
hobby into a viable business takes a stellar product paired with
you created into earned income, being your own boss and setting
your own schedule are well worth it. Now, armed with your new
knowledge, go forth and craft!
Ten Things Crafters Wish They’d Known When They
First Started
A good crafter is always learning and growing, both artistically,
and as they enter the wonderful world of business. Below are some
valuable tips compiled from some fabulous contributing crafters
about what they wish they’d known when they were first getting
• Find a mentor.
• Join a community (but don’t let it take away from your production
• Price things right, and don’t undervalue your time and effort.
• Use Help a Reporter Out (HARO) to share your expertise and get
good, free press.
• Most craft show sales come via credit cards. Be prepared to process
• Take good pictures and take a lot of them.
• Get your financials in order before making a single sale. Hire an
accountant if necessary.
• It’s going to be harder than you think it is. And’s going
to get even harder. But it’s worth it to push through if you’re truly
passionate about what you are doing.
• Use apps like Square, Evernote and the mobile versions of Etsy and
PayPal so you can do business on the go.
• Believe in yourself! This will get you further faster than anything
public reviews and star systems, which can either hurt or help you,
Chances are, you’ve been a shopper longer than you’ve been a seller.
Treat someone exactly how you would like to be treated when you’re
shopping and you should have no problem turning browsers into
customers and customers into fans.
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