March 19, 2016

Best Selling Crafts that Will Sell

What are the best selling crafts that will make your crafts business successful? How do you know what’s really hot? Research buying trends from reading fashion blogs and magazines like The Crafts Report and Sunshine Artist which feature craft business news. Knitted items like scarves and things for babies are always popular. Knitting for Profit provides proven ways to make money from your knitting or crochet crafts.

The challenge with relying on trend information for finding best selling crafts, however, is that by the time you learn what’s “in,” the trend is already peaking and on its way “out.”

The trend issue becomes confusing if you take what you hear or read as gospel. Popularity can be seasonal, geographic and/or demographic to name a few qualifications. Be cautious when evaluating news about hot selling crafts. For instance, be aware that . . .

  • Crafts related to gardening will be more popular in Spring months.
  • Christmas craft sales will swell the three months before December.
  • Crafts business sales will be higher in tourist areas than metropolitan shops.
  • Seniors purchase more toys as gifts than young adults.

Many craft artists say they don’t care about the nationally best selling crafts because to do so would make them manufacturers, not artists. A friend of mine has grown an exceptionally good crafts business selling her wearable art to stores in tourist areas. If she stopped creating her original designs in favor of constantly pursuing the best selling crafts, she would quickly be out of a business she enjoys and find herself on the endless road of chasing after the next hot trend.

There’s nothing wrong with being a manufacturer if that’s your thing, but let’s not confuse that with art or craft. Mass production involves mass marketing of products — this is opposite to the nature of those who sell what they make through artistic inspiration. The popularity of well made craft, regardless of the medium, is the attractiveness to the consumer of owning a piece made by the craft person. This has always been the draw for thousands of buyers of handmade crafts.

Several craft business industry leaders were asked what they expected to be the “best selling crafts” one year. Not one named a hot selling craft, although one did say that glass art may have reached its ceiling.

Craft industry experts seemed to agree that the real trend is the Internet and how it will affect your ability to sell. If you aren’t already selling on the Web, learn more about selling crafts online.

If you really want to know what are the popular best selling crafts, wear or display something you have made and keep track of how many people ask you where you got it!

One big attraction for those who buy and collect arts and crafts is the originality of such work. Given that there is and will be for a very long time, a market for handmade items, below is a suggested list of consumer products that can be handcrafted. Craftwork is divided into categories of use.

Crafts Business Product Ideas:

Home & Garden: candles, placemats, napkins, curtains, towels, potholders, coasters, fire screens, baskets, pillows, quilts, room dividers, coverlets, throws, wall hangings, carvings, floor rugs, lamps, chairs, swings, stained glass, birdhouses, wind chimes, clocks, mirrors, cutting boards, pottery, plant holders, window boxes, potpouri

Clothing: dresses, shawls, blouses, aprons, suits, kimonos, children’s clothing, men’s and women’s: shirts, vests, ruanas, sweaters, jackets, coats, painted sweatshirts, t-shirts

Accessories: handbags, purses, belts, sashes, babushkas, mittens, mufflers, house slippers, men’s ties, men’s and women’s: scarves, hats, caps, bandannas, boots, sandals, moccasins

Interior Design: paintings, wall hangings, rugs, upholstery fabric, throws, curtains, passementeries, pillows, room dividers, screens, window frames, furniture

Corporate: rugs, tapestries, wall hangings, sculpture, furniture, stained glass, paintings, batiks, folk art, carvings, flower arrangements

Graphic Arts: stationery, books, calendars, gift cards, note cards, posters, caricatures, buttons, bumper stickers, photo prints, signs

Toys: stuffed toys, dolls, puppets, animals, teddy bears, wooden trains, puzzles, building blocks, toy boxes, kaleidoscopes

Special occasion: bridal gowns and shawls, baby blankets, greeting cards, Christmas ornaments, stockings, Easter bunnies, heart pillows for Valentine’s day, wreathes

Religious: altar objects, vestments, tapestries, chalice palls, baptismal towels, banners, stoles, stained glass, candelabras

Jewelry: earrings, bracelets, necklaces, rings, anklets, headbands, jewelry cases, leatherwork, nose rings

Other: tote bags, duffel bags, backpacks, garment bags, saddle-blankets, musical instruments, dried flowers, book ends, confectionaries, keyholders, seatcovers

That’s over 120 items that could be turned into a crafts business. Of course, it’s impractical to try to make and sell this many different craft items yourself. For a one-person craft business, it’s more reasonable to concentrate on one or two markets and a focused line of craft products aimed at particular buyers. If you try to make too many different items, or try to sell to those who don’t want your products, you dissipate your momentum and waste time and money.

The practical approach is to find a few arts crafts items that sell well and concentrate on building a ‘bread and butter line.’ Choose crafts that sell steadily to earn the money to stay in business from month to month.

Once you have established that wonderful menu of income-producing handmade crafts, you can expand into other lines and develop new designs. If you are the type of person can adjust to working with employees, hire others to produce or do the finishing process. You’ll soon be creating your own catalog of best selling crafts.

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