Making and selling crafts provides many options available for income using the knowledge, experience and personal contacts you have gained from your craft business. This article offers some ideas for extra or alternative income. Many of these spin-off craft businesses require as much or more time as producing and selling homemade craft products.
Teach workshops, public speaking
Teaching isn’t limited to the famous; if you can do something, you can teach someone else. Not only will you earn money, you might just inspire others to make important changes in their lives.
Many colleges and universities have continuing education departments that offer many kinds of craft classes. Find out their teacher eligibility requirements. Teachers pay at institutions will be fixed, but guaranteed.
Put on your own seminars for much more profit. But be prepared to do lots of prep work to make your workshops successful.
Did you know there’s a substantial market for paid speakers? Even local events often invite speakers to open their meetings.
Sell craft supplies
When teaching from crafts, generate a back-end business by selling supplies, books, and equipment to students coming to your studio.
This could easily evolve into a full-time retail supply business. You may be able to expand the business into a mail order operation through classified ads in crafts magazines.
Open a retail craft store, craft mall or gallery
A successful store can bring in huge profits over time. Many owners of going stores even open second and third outlets.
Open a craft mall and rent out 10′ by 10′ booths to craft artists. You can charge a monthly fee and a percentage of each sale, from 5% to 15% is average. Visit a local craft mall to get an idea of how they are set up. You will find craft malls often listed in your local Yellow Pages.
One retail survival trait is the owner’s ability to provide exclusive merchandise to customers. For trends and tips in retail store operations, see periodicals like Giftware News, Profitable Crafts Merchandising, and Accessory Merchandising.
Starting a crafts cooperative
As a new start-up business, joining with others to form a cooperative costs less than opening your own store. The federal government can even offer you assistance in starting a co-op venture.
The Cooperative Approach to Crafts (see Cir. 33 on the web site) by Jan Halkett, William Seymour, and Gerald Ely is available FREE from: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Agricultural Cooperative Service, Washington, DC 20250.
Writing and publishing
If you’re proficient in a specific technique or school of design, consider writing how-to articles for the appropriate craft magazines. Payment may be nominal, but as you become known as an expert, you will be sought out as a teacher and lecturer; for a fee, of course.
Look through Books In Print in the library under the subject heading of your craft. The number of books about a given subject suggests the amount of interest the public has toward it and the potential market for sales.
Consider self-publishing. I have self-published six books which have led to being invited to write for national magazines, appear on radio and TV and to join advisory boards of large organizations.
Offer your web site visitors products or services related to your products and earn commissions on referrals who make a purchase. Affiliate marketing online is one of the hottest growth trends.