Spring is now in full swing and we are speedily approaching the summer months. Prime season for farmers markets and a few craft shows as well. Both great places to start growing your handmade business, or to give your business a boost.
Farmers markets are a great way to share your handmade items with your community and to help spread the word locally about your creations. I love selling in person and having the opportunity to interact with people who are curious about how my items are made, where the inspiration came from, and who are able to actually pick up my jewelry and get a closer look. That aside, setting up at markets and shows is also a great way to drive traffic to online shops as well, especially if you sell things like soap, skin care, edibles, drinkables and anything that gets used up and needs to be replenished.
But how to get started? Maybe you have been mulling around in the back of your mind for a while about starting your own handmade business but don’t really know where to begin. Or maybe you have an online shop and would love to grow your business through the craft show circuit. It can seem overwhelming at first; considering displays, inventory, finances or even just how to find someplace to sell. When I started selling at shows and markets 5 years ago I was really just figuring it out as I went along. Luckily I had years of retail and direct sales experience under my belt that gave me some ideas of what I should be doing and what probably wouldn’t work.
Last year, as the market season came to a close I was inspired to share what I have learned through the many, many venues I’ve sold at. I wrote a little guide book with the intention of helping others to get started with their handmade businesses. I realize that it’s not as simple as making pretty things, setting them out for six hours and selling everything- though that would be awesome and I would love to hear that inspiring story if you have it! There are a lot of behind the scenes operations that go into any business, like budgeting, finding the best deals for the best quality, organizing, etiquette, connecting with customers, presentation, promotion…don’t get scared, it’s really not that bad once you break it down.
So that’s what I did with this book- I broke it all down into steps that will make the idea of selling your arts and crafts less daunting and more profitable. My book will offer you tips and advice on:
- Pricing your products
- Building your business on a budget
- Organizing your finances and taxes
- How to find venues to sell at
- Using social media to promote your business
- Creating your display
- A show checklist so you can be fully prepared
- Basic show etiquette and interacting with customers
- What you need to do after a show
I have gotten some wonderful feedback from people who have already ready this book, and even some business owners who have gotten new ideas. I hope that if you are considering starting your own handmade business, that you will check it out and that it helps you to get your best possible start. Or if you have been in a bit of a rut with your handmade lovelies (it happens to all of us at one time or another!) I hope that you will find some new ideas and inspirations.
Your Handmade Business: A Guide to Craft Show Success, by Sandra M. Belz is available on Amazon Kindle as well as in paperback. Many Blessings for your business!
Where else you can find me: