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One of the big questions both seasoned pros and newcomers to the craft business ask themselves is "what should I make?" The answer to this question is actually made up of several components.

What Crafts Are You Passionate About?

Find the answer to that, and you will be on the right track. If you are enthusiastic about what you are doing, your work will reflect it. You will produce more, faster, and enjoy your work. Crafting as a business requires imagination, creativity, and drive. If you dislike what you are doing you will have a hard time tapping into the creative process.

One of the hard realizations that you will eventually face is that you will not always be able to manufacture what you like. So, at least manufacture items that you enjoy creating, even if the current popular style is not to your taste.

Manufacture What Sells

If you want to have a business, not a hobby, you need to make what sells. Find out what the public wants and give it to them.


Don't resort to simply "chasing the dollars" - manufacturing an exact copy of an item everyone else is making simply because it is "hot". The only way to go with that sales route is to lower your price, in order to undersell the next guy. Which leads to lowering your standards of quality, which leads to lower sales. Your business will then be heading into a downward spiral, the market for that must-have item will eventually be saturated, the fad will have ran its course, and you will then be left searching for the next "hot" item to copy so you can start the process all over again.

Develop Your Own Style

Develop your own "look", stand out from the crowd. Keep creating and evolving, don't keep producing the same exact things. Today's craft market is filled with look-alikes: patterns, crafts, styles, even web sites and advertising that are almost identical. The import items flooded the US market, and at some point the handicraft producers may find themselves playing catch-up with the new designs being imported.


"Carol Gunkel / Professional The Craft Business Information Network all rights reserved.This article may not be reprinted, all or in part, without the author's express permission.


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