Look for the Unusual to Sell Your Crafts
With the economy spinning out of control, many people are turning to crafts as a way of making more money. A relative of mine started her own embroidery company and works from home adding custom embroidery for companies and individuals and makes cash on the side writing about embroidery machines. But now she’s hit a plateau – how can she keep growing?
Craft shows seem like the most obvious venue, but the traffic for these events have slowed down tremendously and it seems like most of the customers are there looking for ideas, rather than buying. This can, of course, vary from location to location.
So, what can a crafter do to sell his crafts? Look for the unusual. The best marketing plan I have seen is to look to local businesses for opportunities. Businesses that sell other services are wonderful opportunities for a crafter. Present a plan of consignment to your local shop owners. It is better to do this in person rather than over the phone. For some reason it just seems easier for people to say no to your proposal when they are not looking you in the face. If there is interest, they will most likely ask to see samples or pictures. You should always make sure you have those in your car. When visiting local shop owners, the best time is usually in the morning during mid week. Monday they will be busy getting their week going and Friday they will be anxious for the week to end.
Landscaping greenhouse businesses are wonderful for a variety of crafts, but especially those that are garden or garden related. Many businesses of this type may be more than willing to set up a whole area of the store with your merchandise. I had tremendous luck with this. They built me a whole room.
Restaurants and hair salons provide an unexpected location for jewelry, floral arrangements and candles. Many times they already have glass enclosed cases that you could use to showcase your crafts.
Place handcrafted local souvenirs for your state or city at a travel agency.
Don’t forget insurance agencies, real estate and accounting offices. All of these places have a variety of clientele that pass through their doors daily. This extra merchandise is an economical way for them to stock their store or offices and will help to draw customers in for their individual services.
The crafter benefits with free advertising and items steadily on display. There is no need to be there to sell it, the business will take care of that.
Items can be priced to offset the consignment cost.
Be sure to offer a special order service and use the business location as your drop-off and pickup point.