035 · Produce and Sell Your Own Handmade Creations

Perhaps you are already a creator of handicrafts, or you would like to become one? Not only is it a very fulfilling activity, but it can also allow you to earn money, sometimes quite a lot, while working comfortably at home. So, if you’re not sure where to start, or if you’re struggling to sell what you’re already creating, here’s an article that should interest you.

Crafting has been on the rise for the past few years, and this trend is continuing to grow, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic that hit the world at the end of 2019, which pushed a lot of people who were out of work to look for a plan B to continue feeding their family and paying the bills.

There’s also a growing number of shoppers looking for things that are a little out of the ordinary, and online shopping has never been better. If you’ve been thinking about starting a craft business, you couldn’t have picked a better time. So, let’s take a look at some of the useful things you need to know to get started, or things you could optimize if you’re already in the “business”.

Quel type d’artisanat pourriez-vous créer et vendre ?

Let’s say it right away—the choice that is offered to you is absolutely plethoric. And if you feel the need to create but have no idea where to start, I suggest you first make a list of things you like (hobbies and passions but also materials, colors, etc.). I have a friend, for example, who has always loved stones of all shapes and sizes and one day decided to paint them (patterns, landscapes, and other cool stuff). So, first look for your own affinities.

And if you really can’t find what you’re looking for, here is a (non-exhaustive) list of handicrafts that are always popular:

  • Masks with various designs (trust me, these will be selling for a long time)
  • Handbags or reusable bags for shopping
  • Jewelry of all kinds, jewelry boxes
  • Wooden games and toys
  • Compositions florales artificielles
  • Embroidery and knitting
  • Paintings, drawings, and sculptures
  • Soaps and other wellness products
  • Scented candles
  • Enamel brooches
  • Lamps and lampshades
  • Pots, vases, and other ceramic objects
  • Restoration of old objects (furniture, toys, chests, machines…)

A good way to get ideas is to go and have a look at the different categories proposed on the online sales sites that I will talk about later. And then there is also Pinterest or Facebook where you will find pages and groups entirely dedicated to crafts and DIY (Do It Yourself).

Example of hand painted stone (mandala stone) Example of hand painted stone (mandala stone)

Don’t have any talents? Develop one.

You may not know it, but there’s an artist in all of us. It’s up to you to bring it out and let your creativity explode. You can work with all materials, wood, leather, wool, metal, stone, fabrics, natural fibers, paper and cardboard, etc., opt for all styles, from the most modern to the most baroque, through the most grunge, of all colors, all shapes… in short, give free rein to your imagination which is probably much more fertile than you think. Think that if you like what you create, there is no reason why others should not like it.

However, certain work may require some technical knowledge (e.g., melting metal, building a small electrical circuit, working with clay, etc.), but also artistic knowledge (sculpting, drawing, or painting). If you’ve spotted a type of craft that really appeals to you, but it requires a skill you don’t have, don’t hesitate to learn it yourself. Google and YouTube are full of tutorials of all kinds, most of which are very well done and mostly free.

But whatever you do, do it with passion because nothing great has ever been achieved without passion. If you don’t have a minimum of motivation for what you are creating, there is little chance that you will be successful.

Where to sell your creations?

There are several places where you can sell your creations. But the Internet is probably the easiest and most efficient (well, depending on the case). Here’s a short list of the most popular craft selling sites:

  • Etsy: This is an international online marketplace, probably the most popular, where individuals and professionals come together to sell and buy all kinds of craft creations.
  • eBay: also a marketplace that at the beginning was mostly known for selling second hand items via auction. But this has changed a lot, and you can now find a lot of different creations from all over the world.
  • Amazon: Amazon, the undisputed world leader in online shopping, needs no introduction. But this platform also allows small artisans to sell their creations via Amazon Handmade, a category that is specially dedicated to them.
  • Facebook et Instagram: There are several places you can post your products on Facebook. Your page, but also groups for buying/selling manufactured products, and then the unmissable FB marketplace. You can also sell your creations directly via your Instagram posts using the e-commerce tools at your disposal.
  • Afrikrea: This platform gathers thousands of creators from all over the world and offers very diverse creations, mostly from African culture.

There are other more localized sales sites, so don’t hesitate to do a little Google search to find those operating in your country. And then there’s not just online sales, of course. There are all sorts of opportunities for you to sell your small artworks close to home. I’m thinking of small local markets, Christmas or other themes markets, trade shows, various festivals, etc.

And why not a real physical store in a mall, a shopping street, or near a tourist spot? If you find that your creations are popular on the web, chances are it will work more locally as well. You might even consider opening your own online store? There are many possibilities, and each one deserves serious consideration.

Creation of handmade jewelry Creation of handmade jewelry

Some Tips to Ensure Your Success

Selling online is all well and good, but faced with the competition that is sometimes very strong in this type of business, it is crucial to be able to stand out from the others. That’s why I’m offering you a few tips that will help you reach your goals.

  • 1An eye-catching photo: This is the first thing the buyer will see, so it is important that the image is of optimal quality, and that it catches his eye immediately. I will not dwell on this point because I have written an entire article on the subject.

  • 2A title that makes you want to buy: This is the element that the eye usually turns to right after seeing the image, at least when it has sufficiently appealed to the buyer. So, make a clear description, not too long, and insert a few “trigger words”, charged with positive emotional resonance (e.g. magnificent, rare, new, heartwarming, magical, amusing…).

  • 3A convincing presentation text: If the buyer has made it this far, you’ve done a good job with the previous two points. But it’s not over yet. Now it’s time to finish convincing him or her. To do this, add a description containing all the elements describing the product, but also answering the questions he or she might have. Use sales techniques such as “storytelling” and “trigger words”, and that’s one more sale made.

  • 4Take care of the quality of your products: Just because it is “handmade” or “homemade” does not mean that the quality should not be optimal. Avoid traces of glue, crooked cuts, unpleasant smells and textures, etc., in short, anything that gives the impression of sloppy work or a very “cheap” product when you have it in your hand.

  • 5Build customer loyalty: Send the package as soon as you receive the payment, answer emails as soon as possible, include a kind word, a coupon or a small gift in the package, offer simple and efficient solutions for returns, etc. A happy customer is a customer who comes back but also one who tells people about you.

  • 6Launch small advertising campaigns: Create small advertising campaigns on Google and on social networks (e.g. Facebook and Instagram). This usually doesn’t cost much and can not only help boost your sales but also get you noticed. You might even consider partnering with an Instagram or TikTok influencer, for example.

  • 7Follow the trends: Every year old fads disappear to make room for new ones while others seem to persist over time. Anything “eco-friendly” for example, keeps gaining in popularity. Keep up with the latest trends, especially via social networks, and see what you can apply to your work.

There is obviously a lot more to say on this vast subject, but if you already follow these tips carefully, your business should take off quite quickly. Well, it depends on how popular your creations are, of course.

Conclusion

I did not address the question of income because it’s, in my opinion, impossible to estimate. There are craftsmen who earn only a few dollars each month while others make thousands. The range is wide, and it will depend on a lot of factors. But as I said before, if your products appeal to a wide audience and you can showcase them well on online sales sites, it should go well.

Try to be original and inspired, but don’t put pressure on yourself. We don’t all have the same creative talent, and it’s even possible that your first works don’t look like much and won’t interest anyone. Be persistent, keep working on your skills, get inspired by what others are doing and find out what you like and don’t like. With hard work, you should find your way and become an accomplished artist.

EcoTips

Environmental and climate change issues are more than ever at the heart of the concerns of this 21st century, which is why I am proposing a few ideas that will enable you to limit the negative impact that the implementation of this idea could have.

These solutions that I suggest are sometimes largely insufficient to compensate for these negative impacts, such as carbon offsetting. Unfortunately, there is not always an ideal and 100% efficient solution, far from it. And if you have others, please do not hesitate to share them in the comments below.

It is difficult to find suitable advice on such a vast and varied subject. It will be up to you to see which points you can act on to limit the negative impact of your activity on the environment. Analyze the products and materials you use, the places where you buy them, the waste you produce, the energy you consume, etc. And if you need specific advice, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments. We’ll answer as best we can.

Pros

  • A rewarding and fulfilling activity
  • You work at home, at your own pace and for as long as you want

Cons

  • Income difficult to estimate
Disclaimer, please read this

Legal and administrative aspects of the ideas you'll find on Sweekr are rarely discussed because they vary greatly depending on the country you live in. I would advise you to check with your local adminitration before starting any business. Keep in mind that if you make money, the state will ask for "its share" in order to guarantee the proper functioning of schools, hospitals and other public services. Therefore, you will probably have to acquire a micro-entrepreneur status, or any other similar.

Please also note that there are currently NO affiliate links on Sweekr! This means that NO commission is charged when you make a purchase from any of the sites recommended here. Some links are optimized for performance testing only, and each recommendation reflects the opinions or evaluations of the writer of this article. And be sure you'll be notified if (and when) this situation ever changes.

This article could be completed or improved with your help. Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any question, a relevant remark, a feedback, additional information or spotted any error.Go to comments

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