By Annabelle Short
When you think about art and craft, what comes to mind? Looking back to your childhood days when art meant painting eggs for Easter and drawing weather chart for your science class, starting an art business may seem like a fantasy, but it isn’t.
When you decide to make money out of your creative talent, you should put more thought into it. Now, you will not be sewing or drawing before dinner or during the weekends. Instead, you will start a business to help you pay your bills, so, you should put in a lot of time and effort into it.
1. Decide why you are starting the art and craft business
Before taking any further steps, you should do some soul searching and figure out what this business would mean to you. If you are doing it to earn some extra cash, it is okay because you will still have a lot of fun while at it. If you are doing it to supplement your income or as a full-time job, you ought to get serious, and here’s how:
2. Read widely
You don’t require an MBA to run a successful in-home art and craft business. All the same, knowing how to wield a needle isn’t enough. It is not paramount that you have a business background, but having one is essential. Visit your library and look up business magazines and book. You can also enroll in community adult classes.
If there is a gift market in your area, visit the place and look for someone willing to advise you without competition in mind. Many generous people appreciate that someone helped them get to where they are and are eager to help another person.
3. Do market research
Your friends and family might be excited to be buying for you such that they fork out even $20 for an item, but will others do the same? This is why you need to research your market extensively, without factoring in your kin and friends. Don’t assume there is a market for printed table cloths until you find it.
Scour the internet, visit craft fairs, read through trade publications and talk to other crafters to understand the items that sell well. When you research your market thoroughly, you will find the best outlets for your products and know whether they will sell. The reality is that for you to succeed in the crafts business, you must have an outstanding product.
4. Determine where you will sell your product
Now that you understand your market, you know where to find customers for your crafts. In the past, selling handmade items, vintage, artisanal and crafts was all about attending fairs and craft shows. All this changed when Etsy came along. Etsy is an e-commerce store that deals with the trade of art and craft items.
Some of the benefits of selling on Etsy include:
- The customer base is targeted
- It’s possible to make custom orders
- The site facilitates wholesale business
- Collective store give sellers more options
- Sellers can receive crowdfunding through Fund on Etsy
5. Choose a business structure
If you are working by yourself, choosing a business structure is easy because it will be a sole proprietorship. Partnership refers to when more than one person is running the business. If you are more than three, a Limited Liability Company might be appropriate.
6. Name your business
If you are planning on using a name other than yours, you need to apply for a DBA, which stands for Doing Business As. Before settling for a business name, it is vital to research widely and ensure that nobody else is using the name you desire. This is also the best time to choose a domain name for your website if you are planning on having one.
7. Consider the packaging
Is the item fragile or breakable? If it is, how will you deliver it to the client? Consider investing in padded envelopes, bubble wrap and other shipping supplies like tape and boxes. Use some colored tissue paper, ribbon, and personalized labels to make an impression.
8. Set up a payment method
If you are selling on an e-commerce platform, you should consider setting up a payment processor. If you choose to sell on an e-commerce platform like Etsy, you will have a payment processor set up already. If not, consider reputable online payment platforms.
Apply for a sales tax license by emailing or calling your State’s Controller office. They will advise you on the relevant forms to fill out. You may also want to contact your local Internal revenue Service (IRS) office or consult an accountant to discuss tax structures of self-employed individuals.
Waking up to a job you enjoy is not a privilege that many people get to experience. If you are talented at handmade crafts, you should consider starting an in-home art and crafts business. Everything you need to begin is explained above.
Annabelle Short is a writer/editor and seamstress of more than 7 years. Annabelle runs home-based sewing business. When not working, she’s spending time with her family or putting pen to paper for her own personal pursuits. Annabelle likes to make DIY and crafty projects in her free time with her children.