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Tips for Making Cash From Crafts

Quality Costs -- But it Pays!!!
as excerpted from the CRAFTLINK Newsletter

By Karen Booy, CRAFTLINK Newsletter; Crafting the American Dream; Ewe & Me Pattern Co.

I am often asked, how did you get started? After twenty-one years of owning and operating several craft businesses, I have had lots of experience of what WORKS and what DOESN'T! I have also had the opportunity as the publisher of West Coast CRAFTLINK, to get to know many other craft business owners. I have watched some businesses thrive, while others dropped out of site.

After contemplating the various aspects of running a successful business, I thought it would be great material to share with others. In coming issues of CRAFTLINK we hope to share with you a different tip or technique for successfully running a craft business. It you have an interesting craft business tip to share -- send it along. As a thank you we would be happy to give you credit for the tip, so be sure to send along a little write up about yourself and your company (if you have a great photo of you or your workshop send that along too!).

One of the most important aspects that comes to mind is so simple that many people never stop to think about it! ALWAYS INVEST IN QUALITY SUPPLIES!

Buy the very best raw supplies that you can possibly afford. When you purchase top quality, not only is it easier to work with, but your product will be of greater value when it is completed. As a result of starting with quality, your finished product will sell for a higher price once it is completed. Work with the best!

Try to source out new sources for supplies. Industry newsletters, such as CRAFTLINK, CraftTrends, CNA (Craft & Needlework Age) are a few of the craft industry publications.

For a hands-on approach to selecting your new product materials, consider attending a wholesale trade show. If you do not belong to a national craft association such as CCHA (Canadian, Craft & Hobby Association), HIA (Hobby Industry Association), or ACCI (American Crafts and Creative Industries), consider the benefits of joining. Industry publications including newsletters and magazines, free attendance to trade shows and networking with other members are just a few of the many benefits.

If you have reached a plateau in your craft business, perhaps it is because you need to take the next step and become more serious about your goals and expectations. In order for others to take your business seriously, you must first take yourself and your business seriously. If you don't believe it, how do you expect to convince others? By investing the time and money to attend a major trade show, you have demonstrated that you are committed, this is not just "a little hobby" -- you are SERIOUS about your business. This can have a very positive effect on your mind set and as a result influence the direction and speed your business takes.

In order to make money with your crafts, you have to stay alert to buying trends and produce quality items from top quality supplies. How do you know what is hot and what is not? Read your industry publications and attend as many trade shows as possible. Topics on trends are always included on the program. Something as simple as updating last years product with this years new colors can send sales through the roof. If you can't afford to travel to trade shows, visit your local library and check out the latest fashion and home decorating magazines. These magazines will be indicators as to which directions trends are heading. Watch for trend updates in the next issue of CRAFTLINK.

So plan now, and make quality buying decisions. Don't overlook this simple but effective way to increase your craft sales!

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