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Craft sales: they're a harsh mistress! I'm always making stuff anyway, so I do a couple of craft sales every year around this time, and this year I'm doing three. I just figured, why not? I don't sell drawings or paintings, it's generally cards and beaded jewelry; I made some cards years ago with origami figures on them and I got a good response, and it kind of went from there as something fun that could make me a little extra spending money. I knew what the negatives side of craft sales could be from my mom's experiences, when she and her friend used to sell cards made from recycled junk mail (her friend made the paper and she stencilled the images on the front). Some days you sell, and other days you spend 8 hours sitting there for nothing. But there are worse ways to spend an afternoon, I guess!
Does anyone else make and sell "craft" items? What do you make? What have your sales experiences been? Is it just casual or do you run it as a small business? I'm interested in knowing and sharing!
I might be soon.
I've come up with an idea for making some fun pillows. I'm in the beginning process of getting the pattern down, trying to figure ways to speed the process, etc.
So, if you have any words of advice...I would love to hear them.
I had been selling coloring books, t-shirts, stickers, buttons, temporary tattoos, postcards, jewelry and prints at craft shows and conventions for about 7 or 8 months, and ... well, I decided it wasn't for me. It was awesome to meet some people who knew my work and to get to connect, but dragging all the stuff around, trying to stand out in what was usually a luke-warm sales market, and just the overall cost vs. benefit didn't work out for me.
I did learn ALOT about how to make various products, had some happy accidents and some hilarious failures. And I met some really funky people. These days, it is all online if I sell things, or I just craft for fun.
I make bead and metal jewelry on the side. I've sold to a couple of gallery boutiques but I haven't taken the time to go the craft show route. It's a lot of work. Eventually I'll set up an Etsy site.
I make plush toys. It's all I do, all the time. It's my full-time job.
I sell them on etsy.com, dawanda.eu & I have them in various handmade shops & art galleries. To do it not just casually & be successful in making a decent amount of money at it you have to do it a LOT. & be really consistant about promoting your work. In addition to posting on this site I post new toys on kidrobot.com, deviantart.com, craftster.org, twitter.com, myspace.com, facebook.com, getcrafty.com, flickr.com, and livejournal.com probably some more too that I just can't think of at the moment.
I haven't done a craft show yet, but my first one is coming up in October that I'm doing with some other people just to "break me in" to it since I'm real shy :C
It probably is better to do craft sales as a casual thing, and go online if you want better luck. I've been wanting to ask people who already have Etsy shops what it's like, I'm seriously thinking about getting one.
Darkwolf29a: advice, hmm...well, as JessiBean said, it can be a luke-warm market for sure, but sometimes a particular item will really catch people's attention and sell. I can see handmade pillows going over well, especially at Christmastime when people are looking for unique presents and they're clutching their wallets a little less, heh! Make sure you don't price yourself too low, either. Yes, people can be cheap, but you're selling something that took time, effort, skill and creativity, it's not like a yard sale where you're just selling stuff you don't want anymore. Your work is worth something more!
Me and three friends have been learning screen printing for a few months now, and we do posters and shirts for ourselves and others, some of our first stuff is available online. Facebook has gotten us most of our attention, but we haven't really tried anywhere else either.
Where do you work on it? I learned silkscreening and a few other printing methods in my second year of college, seems like something that would be fun to do without the assignment guidelines and due dates. Takes room and lots of equipment, though, that's why I'm curious where you do it.
We have our setup at college in a old photostudio, there is a picture of our space here:
We have spent a bit of money on equipment, and use an old Svecia hand printing table we managed to buy cheap off a retired screenprinter, who had bought it off the shop where he worked when they went automatic in the 80s, early 90s. We have a darkroom at college which we use for coating/wash-out of screens, and an exposure room, which you can see in the back.
The t-shirt carousel I built myself, but it is not functional ATM, so we print shirts on the Svecia-press. It has extreme micro-registering so you can print pretty much everything you can imagine on there, detail-wise. It does take quite a bit of space, but hopefully we'll be able to have it at it's current location for another year, while three of us are studying for our BA i London. Then we'll find a new place for it when we come back to Norway, atleast that's the plan.
BTW: if any of you are interested in having something screenprinted, just hit me with a PM and perhaps we can work something out. We can do things like t-shirts, posters, art-prints, wallpaper or custom patterns for textiles (size can be about 65cm x as long as you want), at a reasonable price depending on quantity. We'll ship everything pretty much anywhere, allthough shipping can obviously be expensive for larger stuff.
Sweet setup, very impressive!