Some years back, I decided to make crafts and sell them from my home and at craft shows. I would stay up late at night creating my silk arrangements and wreaths. I also added T-shirts with iron-on designs outlined with fabric paint. It was a time in my life I really enjoyed. However, once I started working at the floral shop, I didn’t have time to do craft shows anymore. Do you also enjoy making crafts and want to start your at-home craft business? How do you go about it?
To begin with, you have to realize making crafts for sale turns an enjoyable, part-time hobby into a full-time job. You need time and patience and must put in the effort to achieve this goal. You can watch instructional videos, read books, and take classes for what your speciality. This will help to hone and strengthen your skills and refine your talents. You will need to set up a space to work in, purchase some crafting tables, and have a storage area for your inventory and space for your merchandise. You will also need some type of filing system to handle your orders, what you sold, and what’s on inventory. Segregating your work space from your living space is important. When you close your door to your craft area then you are “at work.”
If you’re serious about making this a business, where do you get your supplies? Going to a craft store and buying what you need won’t make you money. Unless it’s on sale cheap, you’ll be paying top price for your materials. You’ll have to find wholesalers who handle the products you’ll be using. By using search engines and typing in Wholesale Craft Manufactures or Silk Flower distributors, you can find the supplies you need at a much cheaper price. You will need a business license and sales permit though. You can obtain information for a business license through your city hall or your city’s website. If your state is one that collects sales tax, you will need a seller’s permit or a resale license. You will have to submit quarterly and annual reports of what you made to your state for tax purposes. Make sure you keep an accurate record of all your transactions.
You will need to figure out where and how to sell your merchandise. Check out the local craft shows. Try fairs, flea markets, and bazaars to showcase and sell your product. There are also online auctions and websites who deal with only selling crafts and artwork (think Etsy.com). Some consignment shops will handle crafts for a small fee. Always include your business cards either attached to your merchandise or prominently displayed where you are showing them. If you’re selling online, include your business card when you mail out the package.
Starting a craft business from home isn’t impossible but it does take a lot of hard work and vision. You have to give it deep thought and make sure it’s the right choice for you. A hobby crafter is in it for the fun. A serious crafter is working to make a livable profit. Are you willing to put in the hours to create a successful home craft business? If you are, it can be a successful venture.
What tips can you give about opening your own craft at-home business?