What Do You Like To Do?

Almost everyone has a hobby.  Have you ever considered selling your crafts or artwork?  There are many ways to make your hobby profitable.  

I make candles and other products aimed at making my home smell good.  I started out making them for myself because it was fun.  Then I started giving them to family and friends as gifts.  Then I decided to take it a step further by turning it into a business.  I started at a flea market.  It was a very slow start, and I learned a lot in year that I was there.  Then I did one festival, and it was amazing, and a lot more fun, so that is my current niche.  I'm working on setting up shop in my garage, and doing other small scale advertising things in order to build up more awareness of my product and find more customers.  

I highly recommend the festivals.  The major start up expense is buying a canopy tent.  After that, the hardest part is the setup and take down.  If you aren't ready to buy a tent yet, craft shows that are inside are a good option.  You'll just need a couple tables, and some nice signs and displays.  One of the most important things to remember is that how you display your products is almost as important as the items themselves. Show them in a way that adds value.  Handmade jewelry looks better in jewelry boxes than it does just laid on a table.  Even better if you can get a glass case.

If your hobby is more informational rather than producing an item to sell, consider starting a blog.  My blog is going to be more aimed at people who sell a product, but I will also eventually include some resources for information or service based hobbies.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Adding Value

Something I mentioned in my previous post was about adding value. For example, if you knit a blanket, then the value of the blanket is much, much higher than the value of the yarn that you bought. You added value to the yarn by turning it to something else.

This same concept applies to items that you simply resell. If you buy . . . let's say some blanket holders. Those wooden rack things that hold several blankets. You add value to them simply by having them available at the same time and place that people are buying blankets. They don't have to make a trip somewhere else to find one. Maybe they need one but didn't even know they needed it until you put it on display. I have a friend that was reselling some cute little Christmas Tree ornaments. She felt bad about marking them up to several dollars when she paid much less. However, she bought a little Christmas Tree to display them on. She bought a plastic bin to store the tree in. She added value by showing the customer exactly how nice the ornament will look when placed on a Christmas Tree. She incurred costs. She transported everything to the place she was selling them at. She took the time and effort to to create the display and thus added value in the eyes of the customer.

Another way of adding value is buy putting items together in a nice gift basket. Or by adding to the item you're reselling by painting designs on them, adding lace, ribbon, flowers, etc to dress it up. Even if you do nothing at all, you are putting the work into locating and ordering the item so that you're able to make it available to your customers.

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