Posted on | April 12, 2009 | 1 Comment
With today’s problematic economy, folks everywhere are searching for alternative ways to bring in extra income. For crafters, our hobby provides an obvious source of extra cash. Four popular income producers are teaching, selling our products, writing and providing services.
1. Local community centers and youth groups frequently have teaching jobs available. My aunt taught sewing at our local JCC for many years. The pay wasn’t great, but she was able to do a job she loved.
2. Give weekly craft classes for adults out of your home. I sometimes go to a Tuesday morning craft class in my neighborhood. We each bring our own project and the teacher walks around giving advice and ideas as we need them.
3. Several times a year, a neighbor of mine gives jewelry classes out of her home. The classes are aimed at pre-teens and usually last for six weekly sessions.
4. When I first got my new sewing machine, I decided to take a series of sewing classes, given by another neighbor of mine. We each worked on our own pattern and the teacher helped us through each step of the process.
Selling Our Products
5. Try selling your product on Etsy. Thousands of people have had great success using Etsy as their primary sales venue.
6. Ebay also offers sales opportunities. However, because of the cut-throat competition, look carefully before investing too much time and money.
7. About 10 years ago, I sold handmade hats out of my basement. I advertised to a very specific group of individuals and I usually made about $400 – $600.00 a month profit, working part-time. I did this for four years.
8. Three or four times a year, I sold my hats at local fairs…Hanukkah fairs, local chamber of commerce fairs, etc. These were a great success.
9. Craft fairs are an obvious outlet for craft products. However, as these can be very expensive to enter, do some research before jumping in.
10. I once sold some handmade greeting cards, on consignment, in a museum gift shop. For me, the sales were extremely slow. But who knows? You might have better success.
11. My handmade greeting cards also made the rounds of stores in the hands of a sales rep. Again, the cards didn’t sell, but another product might have.
12. Consider starting your own craft blog. I’ll never get rich from Craft Stew, but it does bring in a nice, consistent, monthly income from advertising.
13. Not computer savvy enough to start your own blog? Suite 101 and About.com always need writers. Problogger also advertises blogging jobs.
14. If you think you can come up with enough material, writing a book may be another way to go. Sterling and Krause are two of the major craft book publishers.
15. I always see tutorials for sale on Etsy. They cover subjects like jewelry making, knitting, crocheting, sewing tote bags and lots more. As a matter of fact, I’m planning on purchasing a tutorial on macrame jewelry making.
16. Magazines frequently pay quite well for craft articles. Many of the larger publications have staff members write the articles, but small specialty publications, use primarily freelancers. Check out Writer’s Digest for appropriate magazine markets.
17. I have a friend who made a decent income crocheting replacement hair into high quality wigs that were starting to bald. She went on to travel all over the world giving classes on the process.
18. My old next door neighbors used to make baked goods for special occasions and events. They rented commercial equipment and worked out of the house.
19. My great aunt did mending from her home. Some of my earliest and most comforting childhood memories are coming into the house each day after school and seeing ladies being pinned in the living room.
20. A friend of my husband used to do bookbinding during college to earn extra money. His work was not the fine sort, that museums and collectors require. Instead, it was the strong and efficient kind of binding that students need for their books.
These 20 craft business ideas are just a sample of the hundreds of categories of businesses that crafters participate in. I picked these 20, not because they are the easiest to duplicate, but because they are the ones I have personal experience with. I hope, after reading this list, that you’re inspired to at least consider, starting a craft business of your own.
Note : This article was originally posted in four parts, but for the convenience of our readers, we are reposting it as one longer article.