Resource: How To Start A Craft Business

A excellent resource of articles on many topics but this link directs you to article on ~starting a home home business by  crafting~ It’s not easy to make money selling your handcrafted work but it is easy to find inspiration by reading how others have accomplished their dreams. Stop on over and get started in your home business research today!

Resource: The New Way Crafters Are Working From Home

One of the oldest and most traditional ways to work from home is to make and sell handmade crafts.

In the past, crafters would sell their wares at craft fairs, flea markets, consignment stores and more recently, on eBay or their own websites. Unfortunately after the fees and travel expenses involved in these markets crafters would end up with minimal profits. Fortunately, there is now a new virtual venue, Etsy.com, where crafters can sell their homemade goods.Etsy.com is called a “marketplace as unique as the goods themselves.” Crafters of all kinds now have access to the world through this virtual marketplace. Etsy.com is just over a year old and already has somewhere in the range of 75,000 registered members. This doesn’t include the thousands that come to Etsy.com to browse through items listed by over 16,000 sellers.

Etsy.com is not an auction-based site. Instead, each seller sets the price that they feel is fair for their homemade items. The fees on Etsy.com are incredibly affordable compared to other similar virtual shopping sites. Sellers pay a $0.10 listing fee per item and a 3% commission per sale. Each listing can be left posted for as long as six months. Each seller also receives a complimentary “shop” where they can list all of their items.

The creators of Etsy.com have also built in many unique and fun ways to browse through all of the items listed on the site. Shoppers can sort by color, by most recently listed and, of course, using the standard categories as well. This unique way of browsing the items is a great way to hook shoppers and keep them on the site.

There is a great sense of community between the sellers on Etsy.com. The founders have created a mentoring program that pairs up new sellers with an experienced user. This allows those who are new to the site to have a way to interact with sellers who are experiencing success on Etsy.com and to have a simple way to have their questions answered. This not only creates a camaraderie between merchants, but also alleviates that sense of “virtual insecurity” that one feels when using a new website. Instead of leaving new users to fend for themselves they have established a fabulous way to plug them in and make them feel connected to the community.

During an interview on the Inside the Net podcast (twit.tv), the creators of Etsy.com stated that they even though they have only been in business slightly over a year, they already have people making a living using Etsy.com. They stated that they knew of a number of people that had been able to quit their day jobs and stay home and sell on Etsy full-time. They mentioned the story of one woman who had quit her job and was now living out her dream of living in Europe. She makes her living selling her homemade items on Etsy.com and no longer has to live each day in the rat race of corporate America. Dreams do come true.

Etsy.com is a valuable tool for handmade craft sellers because you’re not in competition with cheap mass-produced items. What is considered “handmade?” From the Etsy.com FAQ, “You can sell anything that is handmade or, a bit more loosely put, hand-assembled or hand-altered. For example, screen-printed shirts are OK. A custom-built computer is OK, as long as you’re making the case and not buying prefab. Furniture is OK as long as it’s nothing mass-produced (yes, you can use power tools to build it). If human hands put some love into the object, odds are you can sell it on Etsy.

Please note: we do allow some non-handmade items in the Supplies & Vintage categories.” (http://www.etsy.com/faq.php)

What may be the most unique part of Etsy.com is that they seem to truly care about the success of their craft sellers. They have gone out of their way to help their merchants to achieve success in making sales. They have incorporated numerous unique ways of browsing the shopping categories and they keep fees minimal and offer complimentary virtual stores to each seller. Crafters now have a better chance than ever before of making a living making and selling their homemade goods from the comfort of their own home.

Stop by Etsy.com today and shop, set up a shop, or both. With the holidays rapidly approaching, this can be a great start to the season.

About the Author:

Jill Hart is the founder of Christian Work at Home Moms, CWAHM.com. This site is dedicated to providing work at home moms with opportunities to promote their businesses while at the same time providing them spiritual encouragement and articles. Jill and her husband, Allen of CWAHD.com (Christian Work at Home Dads) reside in Nebraska with their two children. Listen to Jill’s radio show, Christian Work at Home Moment, at http://www.cwahm.com/loudblog 

Article: Driving Traffic to a Crafters Web Site

Ok.

So you’ve got your website done and stocked with your crafts that you have put your heart and soul into. So you sit back and just wait for all those millions of people out there to come and buy. You check your email, check your stat counter and still nothing. Then, you start checking your competitors sites, and look at how many you have to compete against. It just makes you want to scream. Now it’s time to get some of the world to look at your site. There are plenty of Internet shoppers to go around.We all know people love getting freebies. I do, I know that. Now you could put some kind of promotion on your site but it still will not drive them there why, because they do not know about your site. My suggestion would be to do a sweepstake. Now I know, we don’t like giving things away for free but it will attract visitors and that is what you are looking for isn’t it? It does not have to be anything expensive, believe me people are drawn to just about anything just so it is free. Find something you think you can part with. Try one of your less expensive items and put it on a sweepstakes website. These sites are totally free to the person hosting the sweep and you decide the rules. 10 days, 30 days, over 18yrs etc…

Remember draw them to your web site. When you fill out your form for the sweep, don’t just say “Send and email and the winner will be drawn at random” Make them be redirected to your site, and then at that page in your site you can have a link to your email.

Now before you do that make sure your site is ready. Pick your item that you will be doing a sweep with. If that is the only one in stock, PLEASE make sure you take it off the catalog page. You don’t want to have the item in both the catalog and sweep and find out one day low and behold someone else wants to buy that item and unless you can make another one in record time it’s not very good customer service. The next thing is to make a page on your site just for the sweep item. Remember again; draw them to your site.

Set up a contest page. Make sure in that page you have a picture of the item and your rules of the contest as discussed earlier. Don’t forget to put a link to your email, sweepers do not want to go hunting around your website to look for a contact page. If you have any other specials running, (example) 25% off your first order, or free shipping, try to include that in your contest page so they are aware you have specials running on stocked items. If they like your item and realize there are other specials they might want to shop while they are there.

Now find some system that will work for you on how you will handle the emails coming in. Can your server handle 500 emails? If not, maybe you should print or write down all the names every other day or so, that way it won’t take much of your time each day.

All depending on the time of year (Christmas is best of course) and how long you host the sweep will depend on how many people will visit. I really don’t suggest a sweep longer than 30 days.

Good Luck! Happy Sweeping! And many sales to come.

Stained Glass Crafter Marie Sylvester is author of this newsletter and can be reached for comment at marie@enchantedstainedglassart.com or by visiting her website at http://www.enchantedstainedglassart.com

Article: Crafting For Profit & Pleasure

Spending your time doing what you love and getting paid for it seems like the ultimate dream job, but as you start crafting for profit, the pleasure can so easily wither away.

Once you’re a professional crafter, your focus is on your business and making money, and your creativity and enjoyment usually suffers first.

When you first start selling your crafts you get such a buzz from it! But what happens when you are making that same item again and again (and again!) You started crafting because you enjoy the creative process, but now you feel like a factory worker, just churning stuff out.

And then there are those customers who want something different. ‘Great!’ you think, ‘a chance to create something unique again.’ But it’s the customer who ends up ‘designing’, while you just follow orders and assemble it. Again, you’re back in the factory!

Finally, you hit a quiet period and have a chance to create some new designs and ‘do your own thing’ again. But what happens? Your muse deserts you and you go completely blank. You can’t for the life of you think of anything new to do, and don’t even know where to start.

Does any of this sound familiar? I’ve been through each of these stages and they’re no fun – you end up wondering why you ever wanted to sell your crafts in the first place! But it doesn’t have to be this way. Over the years I’ve developed some tricks to pull me out of these slumps and back into creative heaven.

Firstly, to avoid the boredom that often comes with crafting for profit, see whether any of these ideas will work for you:

  • Reward yourself with creative sessions. For every day spent doing the more repetitive jobs, give yourself a few hours of fun crafting. This way you’ll be motivated to finish the boring stuff quickly.
  • Also alternate custom orders with time spent letting your creativity go wild. As custom orders aren’t particularly time efficient anyway, you don’t necessarily need to do all of them together in one session. Perhaps reward yourself for every custom order finished with a block of time to do your own thing.
  • Make sure you account for the extra time custom orders take in your pricing (including time spent sourcing materials) in order to make it worth the hassle. You’re much less likely to become dissatisfied if you’re being richly rewarded!
  • You could consider limiting yourself to doing one-offs or limited editions. That way the customer gets extra value for their purchase and you don’t get fed up doing the same thing over and over. Or if this isn’t practical for you in terms of earning a good income, consider doing this for just a selection of your crafts.
  • When you have to make lots of the same item, get a production line going. Once you know an item sells well, rather than having to replace it every other day, put in one really good session and make loads. OK, so it will be even more tedious while you’re doing it, but you’ll get them finished much quicker this way, and then won’t have to make any more for ages!
  • Outsource the production of popular items. That way you can pay someone to replicate your popular designs while you concentrate on creating new ones.

And if you’ve run out of inspiration, here are some ideas for getting it back:

  • As a preventative measure, set aside a block of time (daily or weekly) that is purely creative time. Don’t worry about whether what you’re making will sell or not, and don’t think about the other things you need to do, just throw yourself into doing whatever feels good. I find that once I start I get carried away with all sorts of new ideas!
  • Read books and magazines about your crafts. This feels wonderfully indulgent, and you may think time spent reading is wasted, but it’s so important in order to generate new ideas and to keep abreast of new techniques and trends. So when you’re feeling a bit jaded, grab a cup of coffee and settle down with your favourite (craft related) glossy.
  • Invest in some new and different materials or supplies. I always get excited when a parcel full of new beads arrives, and can’t wait to try them out!
  • Have a clearout. You’ll find things you’d forgotten you had, and seeing your materials arranged differently can often inspire you to try new combinations or techniques that you haven’t thought of before.
  • Take a course. Learning a new technique, or brushing up on old ones can help you rediscover your inspiration. And you’ll find it refreshing to mix with others who are excited about the same craft as you.

When you’re crafting for profit, you do need to resign yourself to some of the less exciting tasks, but do everything you can to keep yourself at your creative best. If you don’t love what you’re doing, it will show in your work.

Don’t feel guilty about treating yourself to a craft magazine subscription, a day off, or whatever else you need to keep those creative juices flowing, because as a professional crafter you are the number one asset in your business!

Louise Longworth works from home selling her handmade jewelry at home parties, and has published Craft-Selling-Parties.com to help other crafters do the same.

Flickr

This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Bidville Auctions & uBid ~One of The Same~

 Mix up your auctions by placing them into different auction houses..

I wanted to let you know about a great auction site, Bidville.com.
If you register with them as a new user I will receive $5 in
enhancement fee credits. If you refer others you will receive them too!
There is no limit to the number of referrals and the credits never
expire so you can use them when you sell on Bidville to get your
items noticed. Start by going to:

Click Here To visit Bidville

Certainly ebay is tops but with higher fee’s more listing than one can read through in  month, it might be a good alternative to place some of your products into other auction venues. We use Bidville and have been a member for years. Love the easy process of uploading images, the listing prices are great and they have now merged with uBid.com

Come on over and check it out…

Bidville was founded in 1999 by Dr. Ed Orlando as an online auction alternative to eBay.  The company provides unique user features, such as Watch List, Image Gallery, and fixed price listing options.  In 2001, Bidville merged with NoBidding.com, one of the first online fixed price marketplaces.

In August 2003, Bidville was acquired by Royal Palm Capital Group.  Bidville, Inc. has been a fully reporting public company since December, 2003.  Additional information, including current financial data, is available in current Securities and Exchange Commission filings under the symbol BVLE.  The company is headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida U.S.A.

~Hot Biz in December~

While surfing craft sites we came to a totally awesome site called Jaybird Designs.

Being a home business selling hand created work for children this site caught my attention without hesitation! I love all forms of crafts, but those who crochet remind me of the good old days. Handmade clothing is such a wonderful gift to give someone. So here we are introducing a wonderful artisian/crafter who offers exceptional handmade gifts for children.

ABOUT JAYBIRD DESIGNS

I am the mother of a beautiful little girl and wife to my amazing husband. We live in the beautiful state of Colorado, but we grew up outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

 Growing up in the 80’s and 90’s definitely gave me an unusual perspective on style and I always seemed to add my own unique twist to it. But lately I have gone back to simpler styles and enjoy making things that can be worn daily…not just for special occasions.Like a good friend of mine once said, “If your child is not wearing JAYBIRD DESIGNS, they might as well be naked as a jaybird!”

Become a vendor at Partnership Market Arts & Crafts Directory

~For under .15 cents a day your business and products can be showcased all year long~

Special introductory offer!