I’ve been thinking for a while about selling the things I make, but haven’t been brave enough to take the ‘big step’. Things like tax and insurance are scary enough let alone the regulations that you need to comply with. Even something like a ‘sock monkey’ can cause great headaches if you start to look into the plethora of guidance on the web!
In April our local church is hosting its first craft fair and my daughters are encouraging me to apply for a stall. As I’m still not quite sure whether to grab this opportunity with both hands or run very fast the other way, I thought it might help to share some of the things that are buzzing through my head.
What to sell, what to charge? – Visit a craft fair and you will see that beautiful bunting, lavender filled hearts and applique aprons adorn the tables, but what differentiates one seller from another? What is each stalls unique selling point? What makes it stand out from the competition? As a business you need to price your creativities to cover the costs of materials and overheads like stall hire as well as include a charge for labour….all without scaring off your buyers! So what quality products can you make that will sell well? No wonder patterns and make-it-yourself kits are popular!
Where to sell? – Online, house parties, craft fairs, playschools, independent shops, or sidelines in tea rooms – as you can see I’ve had my thinking cap on! Whilst a craft fair seems like a good option to gain customer feedback, I’ve heard sales can be slow as us crafty folk like to visit for ideas and prefer to buy things like buttons, rather than the finished article.
Labelling – During one of my ‘braver’ moments, I thought I would order some labels.The wording “The Stitch Sharer, Handmade in England” seemed simple enough ….. but what about something made on my trusty sewing machine? I’ve ended up going around in circles on this one! Is there a difference between a fabric being guided across the footplate of a sewing machine “by hand” and a jumper being created on hand-held knitting needles?
Perhaps it would be easier to just have “The Stitch Sharer”, but then how do buyers know the piece is lovingly made by my own “fair-hands”!
As you can see I’m a bit confused! To help find my way I would love to hear any:
- Valuable nuggets of business / craft selling advice
- Your “If only I could buy a ……” moments – to inspire the things I design and make
- What type of textiles (especially knitted, sewn or crocheted things) you buy at craft fairs
- Whether you want to hear more about how my “selling” journey unfolds – if there’s enough interest perhaps I could develop a ‘craft business’ section on my blog!