The 5 Knows of Having a Handmade Business
Hi LMM friends!
My name is Alissa aka Rags to Stitches.
I have a lifestyle blog here…
and I have a handmade shop here.
Maybe you’ve seen my Neon Bow Clutch pictures floating around the cyber channels.
I’m so excited Ashley’s letting me take over her space today to chat with you a little about handmade.
So here are my 5 “Knows” for having a handmade business
1. Know your Market.
I think before you can open your own handmade business you need to really know and research your market. When I say research the market I don’t mean, check out other peoples stores, see what you like and then try to duplicate it in your shop. I’m saying know how many other people in the market are also making monkey sock dolls, for example, and figure out if you have an edge you can bring to that market that no one else has already done.
Use the market for pricing research as well. If someone is selling their clutch for $24 it’s because when you add up the materials, labor, packaging, shipping and marketing costs, that’s what the selling cost comes out to. That $24 is not just a made up price, put there for you to beat by selling your products cheaper. But more on that later.
When opening a shop, it’s important to know that it takes a lot of time and dedication, not only to your craft, but also to marketing your products so you want to make sure it has a unique flare in the market.
When I started Rags to Stitches back in 2009 I was making mostly mommy and baby products. In fact one of my most popular items was my Infant Car Seat Canopy. When I listed that baby on Etsy, I was the only one making and selling them. Of course weeks later I was not the only one anymore so I had to figure out how to once again set my products apart from others. So I created the Peek a Boo canopy, where you could snap or unsnap the front to peek at your little one snuggled in their car seat. As more and more baby product companies popped up on the market I decided it was time to rebrand my products and move forward with the market. Again I did my research to make sure that fabrics and designs I was wanting to work with were unique in the market. I truly believe that’s why the Neon Bow Clutch sells as well as it does.
So ask yourself:
2. Know your Price Point.
Once you’ve researched the market and determined your product to have a unique flare and you’re getting ready to load all those adorable items in your shop you need to think about your price point. When determining your price point you should alway double the cost of your materials, then add in labor costs. Labor costs should include time to make the product, take pictures of it, market it, package it and ship that baby off to its new home.
How do you determine your labor costs? Simple. If you were to go to work outside of your home and you wouldn’t take a job for less than $13 and hour because that’s what you’d need to make to pay the bills, then you need to pay yourself $13/hr to work at home too. Value your time. Remember whatever time you are spending making, packing, shipping and marketing your products, it’s time you could be spending with your family, friends or relaxing. Yes you are doing it to build your brand, but you need to value that brand in order to build it.
I’ve said it before on my blog and I’ll say it again here, you are not doing yourself or anyone else any favors by making a similar product to someone else and charging less for it.
So ask yourself:
3. Know How to Photograph your Items
You may not believe me when I say this, but it’s not enough just to have a unique product, you need to know how to showcase that product in a way that tells people they absolutely have to have it. Photography is so important to your brand and anyone who has gone before you in the handmade world will tell you the very same thing. Find a photographer, if you’re not one yourself, who can help you take pictures of your items in a way that tells your customer exactly how it will look on them or exactly how to use it.
For example, if you sell jewelry. I’m not going to buy that necklace, no matter how adorable it is, if I can’t see in a picture how it will look when it’s on me. I need to see a clean picture with great white balance that shows me exactly where than pendant will sit once it’s around my neck. Why? Because I know exactly what kinds of clothes I own and if that necklace doesn’t hit a certain spot on my neck it will get covered by my shirts and no one will ever see it. It might sound completely OCD, but I promise I’m not the only customer who shops with those kinds of things in mind.
When I launched my line of iCozy’s and Neon Clutches I came up with slogans like, “designed with your lifestyle in mind,” and “treat yourself to…” so I had to make sure that my photography and the images I put in my shop reflected those slogans. They needed to tell my customers, these Neon Bow Clutches were designed for you and for me, and you know what if I look good holding it, you’re going to look good holding it too. The result…lots of sales!
Take the time to research and find a photographer who understands your style and who you feel you can work with to create great pictures of your products for your shop and use them every time!!
So ask yourself:
4. Know Your E-Commerce
So now you’ve researched the market and you’ve discovered your unique style.
You’ve figured out how to best price your items in your shop.
You’ve found a great photographer whose taken amazing pictures of your awesome products.
Now you need to figure out what online storefront works best for you. Keep in mind that what I’m about to say is personal opinion. Each person uses the online storefront they use for a reason and if it’s successful for them, great. You will figure out what works best for you.
Etsy: There are so many handmade shops that start out on Etsy. They have great search engines, options to pay extra to promote yourself within the site and the ability to be featured in treasuries. What’s not so great about Etsy is that when you list your item in your Etsy shop and someone does a search for it, what comes up? Your item and everyone else who makes the same or similar item as you. Not so great if you ask me. Plus, it costs $.20 cents to list your item and then you pay Etsy a percentage of your sale along with paying PayPal a percentage of your fee. Your customers also have to be a member of Etsy in order to purchase from you. If you’re opening a brand new shop and have no idea how things are going to sell, you may not want to have to build all those extra fees into your pricing and you may not want your customer to have to go through the trouble of joining Etsy to sell.
Big Cartel: I have the least amount of experience with Big Cartel. When you open a Big Cartel shop if you have more than 10 items you are given different prices, depending on how many items you choose to list, to pay monthly to keep your shop open. I believe their lowest option is $10/month. So while you’re moving away from listing fees, if you don’t sell a great deal of those items each month, you’re putting out $10 and maybe not making it back. You also have to drive a lot of your own traffic to your shop as, from what I’ve heard, their search feature is not as easy to navigate as Etsy.
Storenvy: I have a storefront on Storenvy and I believe they are a great option for new shop owners. Do you need to do a lot of work to drive traffic to your shop because they are a smaller online market place than Etsy, yes, but it’s completely FREE to set up a storefront. No shop fees, listing fees or promotional fees. The only fees I pay are to PayPal and since most e-commerce sites use PayPal it’s hard to avoid those fees. Storenvy’s store fronts are completely customizable so you can set them up to look however you want. Their forum is also a great place for learning html tricks for spicing up your store all on your own. If you want to learn more about why I chose storenvy, you can read all about it in this post I wrote.
So ask yourself:
5. Know how to Rock it!
So you’ve got your product and pricing, everything is photographed, loaded into your shop and your shop has launched… what do you do now?
I’ll tell you what not to do. Don’t sit back and wait for the sales to roll in. Your work is far from done. Now you’ve got to start marketing yourself and your product. Why? Because you’re building your brand and your brand is not just your product… it’s YOU!! You and your product make up your brand.
So if you won’t rock your products everywhere you go, why will anyone else. I’ve learned this from some very important people in my life and I’ll tell you it’s the best advice I’ve ever gotten.
Now I take my Neon Bow Clutch with me everywhere I go. Every time I pay for something, I whip it out. And I’ll tell you what, not only have I met some great people who have approached me about it, but that little zippered pocket I sewed in the back helps me to sell them. It shows that you have a confidence in your brand and people will buy into that confidence… and essential YOU.
I also encourage people who buy my clutches to take cute pictures of them using their Neon Bow Clutch and send them to me so I can feature them on the blog or in the shop. It never hurts to use others to help you market your products.
So ask yourself:
Whew! I know that was a lot y’all, but I hope you found it helpful and informative. If you have any other questions feel free to email me:
ragstostitchesblog [at] gmail [dot] com
I love meeting new people!
Thanks Ash for having me, love ya girl!!
Great post. I hadn’t heard about Store Envy. And I agree, photos, good photos, are key.
Salena Lee @ A Little Piece of Me
This is very helpful. Thanks so much for sharing this. I have things to think about now. 🙂
Thank you Alyssa and Ashley!
My hobby of sewing turned into a fundraiser and is now starting to turn into a business and I honestly have no idea what I’m doing! God has brought some amazing opportunities about, but I want to get a little more on board with what I should be doing to market what I’ve made so far.
Thanks for the great advice!
hi got a question if i make dolls out of socks that i got in the store can i sell them beings they are made with someone elses socks
Thanks so much for taking the time to share all of this! You are right on with everything you said. 🙂
Thank you for sharing this with us. This is a great article for those who want to open their own handmade business. I have booked marked it to re-read it again later.
LOVE this Alissa! Photography is my business so I know all about making photos sell your product and what you’ve done looks fab! Way to go girl! xoxo
Thanks for such a great post! I recently opened an Etsy store so I’m hoping that these tips will help me to increase sales. 🙂 Also, had no idea there were so many options out there to sell on other than Etsy!
ArtFire.com is a great alternative to Etsy…if you don’t want to pay listing or transaction fees, just a flat monthly rate (plus other extras for a small fee). You can even transfer your items from your Etsy Shop onto your ArtFire shop! Check it out: http://www.artfire.com/
Thanks for sharing, I needed this!
Thanks so much for this post! I’m reworking both my shops and have been waffling between etsy and storenvy, but I think now I know which one I’ll go with. Appreciate your tips, I think they’ll really help! (also, great clutches!)
What a great post with some really good advice! Thank you for all the tips!
Sparkle and CO
Great post and thank you for those tips. My shop isn’t open yet but I working on it!
Mondays are for lovers // Passionfruit Addict
[…] guest posted on Ashley’s Little Miss Momma, also a proud member of the Family™, on the 5 Knows of a Handmade Business. She asks great questions appropriate for any business, but questions which are practically laws […]
your blog and all info is a great inspiration to me. I feel like I’m not alone in this. I love to sew most anything
And the creative things one can do. I really do enjoy reading your blog. Lots of good sound advise.
Thank you so much!
These are some really helpful tips! I always find pricing to be a little tricky though. Take knitted hats for example… it takes me 3-4 hours to make one (so cost of time would be $13×3=$39 to $13×4=$52) plus double the cost of yarn ($3×2=$6 to $4×2=$8). Should I really be charging $45 to $60 for a hat??? I doubt that anyone would pay more than $25 or $30. While I realize it’s not good to undersell yourself, it’s also important to keep in mind what the market will bear.
Thanks for the advices.
– Pricing is something most of us struggle with. I like your suggestion to look around at prevalent prices. Some blogs just suggest to calculate how much it costs to make the item plus profits and pay. But that forgets the law of supply and demand. Looking at prices around does just that : gauging supply and demand through the resulting price.
– Good Photographs is much more tricky than anticipated and very important!!! My photographs suck for the moment.
– I wish I could “rock” my products wherever I go except I am a man making women jewelry LOL
Wow, what great tips! I thought at one point I wanted to make clothing but I just don’t have the time to devote to sewing right now. (I have 2 little boys and we know we want another baby at some point.) But you have 2 kids so I am wondering how you do it! You must be superwoman!
Fashion and Beauty Finds
Thank you. This article is aspiring!
Great article. Thanks for the tips.
Good tips. Thanks.
Excellent post. I was checking continuously this blog and
I am impressed! Extremely useful info particularly the last part :
) I care for such information a lot. I was looking for this particular information for a long time.
Thank you and best of luck.
Very very good post! Wow, so much information. Very good tips, thanks for sharing.
If only people could appreciate how dangerous gas burning appliances can be.
A yearly gas safety inspection could save lives.
5 Knows for Twitter
[…] I hope you were able to find some of these tips helpful. You can also check out my 5 knows for Advertising on Blogs and 5 Know for Having a Handmade Business. […]
Many people have exercised the dome shaped vaporizers, which
are deadly for the human body and thus keep them from getting
dispersed in diy vaporizer the open air. This has moree of the substance, which
is usually a unit that models using cigarettes by enabling a consumer to gently
breathe a nicotine solution into a vapor. It has some good
flavored mixtures I diy vaporizer must admit.
brave frontier hack gratuity
May be this will stand you as a possible
authority yet others will refer to you as expert and knowledgeable way to obtain information. Of course brave frontier cheats cleary plays
a huge role between the creating middle classes.
The dominant myth of Western political thinking is
that of the self-creating individual, propelling him or herself from vacation cabin to White
House, inside a sheer triumph in the personal will.
pawn shop chronicles
Why viewers still use to read news papers when in this technological
globe everything is existing on net?
Another good web host is ‘shophandmade.com’ They are totally free and use PayPal as their Ecommerce. You are also set up market places for more than one vender. I think it is a great place.
This post was great and very clear with the info and tips. Do feel that although you wrote this a few years ago, it is still the case now? any other info you feel has come into play since your wrote this ? Thank you!!
Thanks for the tips. I’ve been on etsy over a week now and had no idea it would be so expensive to get my stuff out there. Do you do a lot of social media/ pitching your work to blogs or bloging yourself to get your work seen? I like to make not sit on the computer all day. Also this is a question a really need answered: a interior designer whose work I really admire contacted me about making her some stuff to use for a kid room project–great right? Well, except she wants me to do it all for free and ship it to australia–ugh. She said 100k of ppl will see it and its great marketing but to me it just feels like another person trying to get an artist to do something for free. what would you do?
I love handmade products . I have started web stores dedicated to various handmade products. Pls visit http://www.onlyhandmade.in/
I love handmade products . I have started web stores dedicated to various handmade products. Pls check http://www.onlyhandmade.in/
electronic cigarette Saskatchewan
This doesn’t mean that if you feel the urge to smoke and you do that you have a weak will.
Electronic cigarettes are without harmful components which do
not cause lungs cancer, heart stroke issues or anyy of thee respirattory tract problems.
As studies show that not even half of the millions who
try to quit each year are able to overcome this unhealthy habit successfully.
Very nice article, I am selling Handmade Leather Slippers for Men and Women and also Baby Footmuffs for Pramps, this article is very interesting, My story is little similar, when I started my business i first started it by selling on eBay, i saw I was getting Good response and also buyers were very happy, however I felt I need my own brand and identity for handmade Unique Footmuff I made also Leather Slippers Which are made in Poland so I started my own website call http://www.reindeerleather.com with one Aim to have good customer satisfaction and much more flexibility in terms of design and brand awareness all around which i was not able to do on eBay, very interesting Article.
Great post with awesome tips. Thanks for sharing this.
handmade products online
This post is worth everyone’s attention. Good work.
If sales depend on prices only, handmade cannot survive. I believe handmade is a luxury and should be priced as such. This is a good article for the new.
I am expecting more interesting topics as handmade business from you. And this was nice content on mommy and baby products and definitely it will be useful for many people. This is a nice listing. There are a few that I did not know about and next time I am on line I shall surely give them a look see. Use fabindia promo codes for handmade products.
Very good article. Useful tips that a lot of people who are just starting or who have been doing this for awhile.
Thank you so much for this wonderful article really!
If someone want to learn more about Vitastik I think this is the right place for you!
excellent points altogether, you simply gained a new reader.
What may you suggest about your post that you made some
days ago? Any certain?
business class deals to paris
Air France’s New Business Class seat may be new to Air France, but it’s been round for 4 years and is already featured in Cathay Pacific Business Class, US Airways Envoy Class, EVA
Business Class and AA’s New Enterprise Class on the 777-300ER.
Paket wisata seo indonesia bisnis villa jual jodoh villa
Terima kasih untuk berbagi Anda Info. Saya benar-benar menghargai usaha Anda dan saya akan menunggu Anda berikutnya
menulis up terima kasih sekali lagi.
Search Industy Hardware
Computers are receiving better and better in the way
that they function these days. There’s no
question that people rely on them in their daily lives now.
If you are prepared to learn about how exactly an iPad can make your daily life easier, read on to
find out about all the options.
When you are looking into purchasing an iPad you need to look at a few things to
get the best price possible. If you want to use the iPad beyond your office or home,
then you will want to buy the more costly version which includes 3g as well as WIFI.
Battery life is typically shorter when working with heavier applications like movies and games.
Adjusting screen brightness can help to lengthen your electric battery
life. You can enjoy your iPad without requiring it to be on the brightest environment.
Avoid being fooled into convinced that iPads are just
useful if you are into video gaming or entertainment.
There is actually a credit card applicatoin for anything you can possibly envision. This consists of home organization apps like personal costs as
well as recipe books, calculators, and anything else possible.
Before you purchase an app, you should check out any alternatives that are cheaper or even free.
Many times popular applications have free light versions that are simply the exact same
thing except; They include advertisements.
If this doesn’t bother you, it could be a good way to save a
You can use shortcuts for text messages. Just tap your space club two times as
you type a sentence, and an interval and space can look by the end.
You won’t need to labor over your communications like this.
Everyone loves it when individuals get together and share views.Great site, stick with it!
Awesome article! Just opened my new store. Agh!
Thanks for th egrets tips
scie radiale classement
I’d like to find out more? I’d like to find out some
Australia Campervan Rental
Since the admin of this web site is working, no doubt very quickly
it will be well-known, due to its feature contents.
What i don’t realize is actually how you are not actually a lot more
neatly-preferred than you might be right now.
You’re very intelligent. You recognize thus considerably relating to this matter, produced me in my view believe it from so many various angles.
Its like men and women don’t seem to be interested until it’s something to accomplish with Girl gaga!
Your personal stuffs nice. At all times handle it up!
This is very fascinating, You’re an overly professional blogger.
I’ve joined your feed and sit up for in quest
of extra of your fantastic post. Additionally, I’ve shared your web site in my social networks
I’m no longer certain the place you are getting your info, but great topic.
I needs to spend a while learning more or figuring out more.
Thanks for excellent information I used to be in search of this info for my mission.
cheap jordan shoes
A while back, individuals equally bring out similar
in the coming year deliver Air Jordan 4 retrooreo
color-matching, due to each hd photograph you’ll see from
the web just after inscribing our preferred new texures is extremely powerful overall body
produced from this kind of leather proper footwear, has
a tendency to adjacent year’s companies are an crashing furthermore name.
for this one should have genetic talent or handmade talent. However if some is coming in this sector after leaving job behind then risk is also a major factor through which we have to go through.
The 5 understanding of having a Handmade Business are
• Know your budget
• Understand the market
• Know how to display your products
• Know your e-commerce
• Know how to maintain your business.
meilleure coupe branche
I do not even understand how I stopped up right here, but
I thought this put up was good. I do not know who you are but
definitely you’re going to a famous blogger in the event you
aren’t already. Cheers!
whoah this weblog is magnificent i really like
studying your posts. Keep up the good work!
You know, lots of individuals are hunting around for this information, you can aid them greatly.
tondeuse electrique Chien
Link exchange is nothing else but it is only placing the other person’s blog link on your page at suitable place and other
person will also do similar in support of you.
Today Offer Deal
This is very fascinating, You’re an overly professional blogger.
please keep up
Hurrah! At last I got a web site from where I be
capable of actually obtain valuable information concerning my study and knowledge.
You realⅼy make it apppear reaⅼly easy togｅther ԝith yoսr presentation but I to
fіnd thjs matter to be reaally ߋne thing which І
feel I might never understand. It kіnd of feels tօߋ complex
and verry broad foг me. І’m loooking forward tо yοur subsequent pսt սp, I’ll attempt to get tһe hang oof it!
Very very good post! Wow, so much information. Very good tips, thanks for sharing.
Nice Blog post. Information is good.
If you want to obtain a good deal from this paragraph then you have
to apply these methods to your won website.
very informative article thank you for sharing
Amazing post with fabulous pictures. Thanks for the sharing:)
Flat 90% OFF For Online Shopping In India at best prices…
Your search for deals and coupons, coupon codes savings ends here. Find the best bargains and money-saving offers, huge discounts, promo codes from the trusted DailyDealsOnline community.
Today’s Offers: Avail daily deals on wide range of mobiles, apparels, TV’s, Beauty, Home & Kitchen, Books, sports, Fashion…etc….
Deals, Deals Of the Day, Online Shopping, Promo codes, Coupon Codes, best deals, discount codes india, Search For Deals, Top Deals Online, Today Deals, Daily Deals.
Its Awesome Idea. Today i will discuss with my husband to do the same. Thanks Very Much for sharing this.
Deals of the day India also provides great discounts on large range of products and free samples. We offer new deals every minute. but please remember, “DealoftheDays” doesn’t sell the products we only list. If you have a trouble with your order, please contact the merchant who sells that product.
Dealofthedays design simple and clean user interface for both mobile and desktop user. we divided our site in different sections.
Exclusive deals : in this section user can get deal which is only exclusively available on our site deal of the day india.
So we love to add movement Beer Costume with these bands that emulate fringe,
I advise you to start a business only if you have carefully thought out a plan of action to manage it during the pandemic. In general, the demand for products such as dietary supplements has only increased, and this may be a great idea for a startup. In addition, if you cooperate with Private Label vitamin supplier, you will get a high-quality range of active additives, which will bring you closer to profit much faster
It is very important for any business to present its product qualitatively. It depends on how quickly your customers will pay attention to it. Independently cut out each image of the product and paste it on a white background is a very energy-consuming idea. But using automatic background remover for this purpose will be much more productive
Wonderful idea! I have a one start-up idea. I hope this post very much helpful to me.