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Beyond Craft Fairs How to Expand Your Craft Business

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We spend a lot of time focusing on craft fairs and trade shows, but what about other ideas for how to expand your craft business and increase sales?   Here are a few great ideas for broadening your horizons beyond just selling at craft shows.  Successful craft business ideas include consigning, selling services and not just products, and even teaching.

Craft Business Opportunities

Wondering how you can expand beyond just selling your items at shows? Here is a list of ideas for how to grow your handmade business.  Most of these ideas are free/inexpensive and don’t require a huge investment of time or resources.

Consignment Shops

Many areas have shops that will allow you to rent space and sell items.  Other stores may be willing to carry some of your items on consignment, particularly specialty items.  Search your local area for retail possibilities.

Wholesale

Can you build your product in bulk at a good price and in a reasonable amount of time? You may want to wholesale your products.  Usually this involves a minimum purchase requirement.

Teach Classes or Develop Tutorials

You can do this a couple of ways.  Video tutorials are very popular. If you’re comfortable in front of a camera consider posting some video tutorials on YouTube, your own blog or on other crafting websites.  You could also teach classes locally if you have a skill that is marketable.

Consider a Niche

Let’s say you create custom soaps and bath products.  Perhaps you can narrow your niche to “vegan” products and market to vegan shops/groups.  If you specialize in custom frames, you can market your products or services to photographers.

There are many ways to nichify your market and it can help you not only increase income, but decrease competition with “generalists”.

Sell Patterns or Plans

If you build specialty items or sew clothes, consider creating patterns or plans and selling those also to people who may be looking for a project to do on their own.

Sell Online

This one is obvious, but what if you don’t want to compete on Etsy for example? Don’t worry, there’s still other avenues.  Take great pictures and post your items on Facebook marketplace or in groups for handmade items for sale.

If you create custom pieces, create (or pay someone to do it) a fantastic flier with your projects and post them around your local area on bulletin boards.  Be sure that at the bare minimum your business has a custom Facebook page.

A blog or small website featuring your crafts is also an excellent idea.  You can show your customers more about your process, offer items for sale and even blog about your experiences (and earn some revenue).  If you need help doing this, I am happy to give you a free estimate.  Visit my portfolio and contact me for a free quote.

Creative thinking can help you expand your business interests and thrive.  What ways do you plan to grow your business this year?  Feel free to share in the comments below!

 


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Comments 2

  • I’ve thought about putting my jewelry in hair salons, even florists .Would also like to set up a table at local hospital at holidays.Just have no idea. of how to approach this.Do I offer them a fee? If so how much? A percentage of my sales? Who would I even discuss this with at a hospital?

    • The hospital is a lovely idea. I would seek out the manager of the hospitals gift shop and ask them if they would be willing to sell your items on consignment on a trial basis. When you pitch to them be sure to state very clear reasons why your items would sell well, the benefits to the patients, and of course how the hospital can profit from it.

      As for the other shops, I’d just have a casual conversation with the owners. Maybe show them an item or two and ask if they ever have considered carrying items on consignment. Let them lead and see what they offer you. If they have consigned items before, they likely have a set price they are willing to pay.

      If they never have, then you should maybe take the owner for coffee and sit and discuss an arrangement that would work for you both. Consignment is usually a percentage, but sometimes the owners want to buy from you at a discount (wholesale basically). I’ve done both in the past and honestly prefer wholesale because it’s one payment up front. Some businesses may not want the risk though so perhaps you can offer them a small display of your items to put in their store for a month to see how they sell (with a commission for you of course). If they go well then they may decide to do wholesale with you.

      Good luck!

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