Turning Your Craft into a Business

If you’re passionate about the crafting that you do, you might have wondered whether it’s something you could turn into a career. There certainly is an appetite among the public for everything from handmade candles to homemade quilts, pottery, and much more, but making a living at it, or even a profit, may be harder than it looks. By no means does that indicate that it’s impossible, but you need to think through your plans carefully.

Turning Your Craft into a Business

Formal Education

One thing to consider is whether you want to get a formal education. This may be necessary for certain career paths, such as teaching at a college or in a public school. There are a number of colleges and universities that offer fine arts majors with a focus on various crafts, and this can be an excellent opportunity to refine your skills and make connections even if you don’t plan on a career path that requires a degree. The other option would be to get a degree in business, which would help you in marketing and running your own enterprise.

Even if your major is in the fine arts, you may want to take some business classes. These classes can help you better understand branding, marketing, and how to run your own business. As a parent, you might have some concerns about going back to school. One concern might be the time it will take away from your family, and you may want to talk to your partner and children about this. Another might be money. Keep in mind that there are a number of scholarships for college students that you might be eligible for. You can search online for scholarships and apply.

Types of Work

There are various types of work you can do as a full-time craftsperson, and you may want to do some combination of these. Of course, one element will be creating and selling your crafts, but there are a number of different ways to do this. You could sell them online, either on an existing site or by creating your own website. You could go to arts and crafts fairs. You could even open a shop where you sell your items. Another thing to consider is teaching others. As with selling, this can happen in a number of different environments. You might teach in a school, a community center, or privately in your home. You could even teach online, putting up videos that could be monetized.

If you have a knack for writing, you might write articles or an eBook about what you do or things you excel in. If you are a parent you can write on tips for back to school shopping or how to make meal time fun. There are many other avenues you may not have considered as well. If you work with fabric, you could end up creating costumers for theater groups or film and TV shows. Be sure to thoroughly explore the multiple streams of income available to you.

Things to Consider

There are a number of things to consider if you’re thinking about trying to turn a craft hobby into a career opportunity. First, be sure to take a realistic look at the cost of supplies and your time in making these items when it comes to pricing them. There’s a certain threshold below which you’ll be making very little on an hourly basis. On the other hand, there’s a certain threshold above which people will not be spend. Your task is to get as close as possible to the latter. Another thing to consider is whether you really want to turn this into your job. Some people do so and enjoy getting paid to do something they love every day. Others find that making it into a job takes the enjoyment out of it.

There may be elements that you like and dislike. What if something you don’t particularly enjoy creating becomes a big seller? Will you be able to force yourself to make it over and over? You’ll need ample space to create and store your items. You will also need to make sure that you have all your paperwork in order, including taxes. These need to be paid on a quarterly basis to avoid penalties. Figure out how much money you need to make in order to survive and then how much you need to thrive. You may decide that you’d rather be part-time, or you may want to keep your regular job while you build your business.

This is a partnered post.

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