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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Southeast Michigan
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    2

    Craft Business Tips?

    I've recently started a floral and home decor business. I have been selling on eBay, my website, and at craft shows. I have found it very hard to predict what people want to buy. I had early success selling fall wreaths and a few fall centerpieces. I started making items for the Christmas season and have had very few sales. I have been learning as I go but it can be very frustrating when you go to a craft show and only sell one item (it does not even cover the cost of the space at the show) while a person across or near you selling the same category of items but of lesser quality at higher prices does. I wanted to position myself to sell items that are unique and you would not find in Michaels or Joann’s, but it seems that is what people want to buy. I have a very hard time putting my name on something that I just do not think looks good. I am not saying that I do not make things that I would not personally buy for my home, but when I do, I make sure that it is of high quality and of impeccable design. Anyway, good luck to all of you. If you have any advice it is appreciated. My web address is: http://www.shopprettythings.com

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  3. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Wisconsin
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    1,563
    Moving this to "Share a Craft."

  4. #3
    Guest
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    North Georgia Mountains
    Posts
    191
    I have noticed it too. I think mostpeople are looking for something decorative, but do not want to spend $ for unique items. We are in a throw-a-way society and temporary sells better than long lasting. Any body with experience agree?

  5. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Portland OR
    Posts
    315
    If you want to make higher-quality, higher-price things, you might be better off finding a different venue for your merchandise. All craft shows are not created equal. They all cater to different people with different wants, needs, and budgets.

  6. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Northern California
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    2,021
    i agree with yardenxanthe. i don't think everyone who buys handcrafts is looking for a disposable item, i think some people are willing to pay top prices for something beautiful and well made. but, you have to set yourself up where they will find you! instead of huge christmas bazaars, try finding boutiques or small artist fairs that cater to, well, rich people.

    i don't sell my stuff, but i grew up with a mom who sold her art, and she always did better in high-end shops, even consigning, than at craft fairs.

  7. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Southeast Michigan
    Posts
    2
    Hi,

    Thanks for the advice. I have been trying to reach my target market through online auction, website, and even mailing postcards. I had some early success with my fall wreaths on the auction but have not had luck with any of my Christmas items.

    How does consignment work? I think I have a general understanding but not totally clear. How do you get started?

    Thanks, Ronny

  8. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain
    Posts
    15

    craft business tips

    I don't like consingments at all. My business is mostly jewelry so it's easier to sell directly to customers. One of my closest friends had a shop and asked me for some jewelry three years ago. I gave him a lot of jewelry and not only he just let it in some messy shelf but also when he closed broke it took him two years to give me my jewelry back! it was dirty (everyone knows jewelry oxidizes on air, everyone but him I guess) and I had to undo everything, save the beads I could and throw the rest to the thrash can. obviously he's not one of my closest friends anymore...

    I agree with the other posts that say that you don't have to lever down your products but search for wealthy costumers. Look for different and creative market niches. For example, I am starting to customize my customer's shoes! They see the shoes I customized for myself and ask -"¿Where did you get those?". I offered them to bring their own shoes and find together a project that was the closest to their taste. I give them a price and, if they accept it, I plug in the hot glue gun!

    I really hope you're lucky in your business.
    Carolina

  9. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    59
    Maybe make up a few pieces and see if any local restaurants, shops, or even offices would like to display them. This is done all the time with paintings, why not centerpieces and wreaths?

    I wonder about craft fairs when multiple people sell similar things. I've seen where the cheapest one wins, the best looking booth wins, the most clever designs win, the best quality wins, and the most congenial seller wins - it is truly dependent on the venue and even the weather (it puts us in a different state of mind on a pretty day or gray, cloudy day).

    As someone who watched themselves outsold by price alone, by someone with a very less quality of product; it does tend to feed on itself. You watch the other booth and your dander raises and so does the scowl on your face. Not saying this was you - but, it certainly was me and is easy to do. Customers pick up on the scowl and think she's unfriendly - regardless of how nice you might be.

    To be honest, when I look at buying a centerpiece, I don't need the seller to tell me that they use quality materials - I can tell that by looking at them. Some florals simply look like crap and others look so real you have to touch them to know they aren't. Perhaps instead of focussing on high quality focus on classy or something that sells a mood or emotion?
    If you are looking for public domain images, be sure to check out our trio of websites - http://www.freevintageart.com free images based on American copyright law, http://www.reusableart.com our first and oldest site with public domain images from around the world, and http://www.thefamousartists.com a celebration of the works of some of the world's most famous artists.


 

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