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What is the next step?

I like to make things.  I would definitely consider myself crafty.  Now, I'm thinking I'd like to take the leap over to start selling some of my creations.  I'm starting with hair accessories since I've had some success there.  Unfortunately, I have no idea what I'm doing on the business side.

I know how to make many different kids of hair accessories, so should I make a bunch up for each design?  I plan to put a link or something on the side of this blog to some Picasa pictures I have of what I can do.  What do you think of that idea?  Should I print off a few business cards to throw in with hair bows I make as gifts/ silent auction baskets etc.?  What should I put on those business cards?  How do I even name my business?!  (I really don't plan to sell on Etsy- so much competition.)

I feel like I'm doing well on my side of the cliff; enjoying the things I have created.  The other side of that cliff looks interesting as well; selling my creations for people to enjoy.  However, building that bridge is very intimidating!  I would appreciate any suggestions, encouragement, comments, lessons learned from those who have built such bridges as well as those on the observation deck of either side of the cliff who have wisdom to offer.  Thanks!


Anonymous said...

When my mom started making glass jewelry, it became apparant that she would need to try to sell it because you can only make so much for yourself before it starts to get expensive and you want to keep making and growing your skills.

She got into craft fairs, but the hard thing with them is the booth fee. Some small ones are fairly low, but don't get much foot traffic, either. She was able to set up a case at a gift shop and have sold stuff to small businesses at a huge discount. You may try talking to some small business owners about an option like that. I've seen booths in craft malls as well, but I have no idea on the fees there.

Other thoughts might be getting into or hosting a mixed-vendor event. I'm not sure what they are called, but I have been to one where the lady sold Arbonne and had an event and invited other representatives from Avon, Tastefully Simple, Premier Jewerly, Purses, etc. and one was a lady that made baby blankets, clothes and bibs and I think she did better than all the others, but it was great because no one felt pressured to buy and there was a mix of interests to draw people in. Plus, each vendor invited people, so it drew in more than a typical party.

It would be really easy to print your own business cards from the do-it-yourself packs or Matt used Costco photo to print out a 6 per 5x10 and cut them down when he built playsets. They looked good because they were glossy and it was cheap.

Last thought... I wonder if you could get into one of those City-wide consignment sales? I think it's something like a $10 fee to be a vendor and then the company gets 15%. You can choose to pick up an unsold items at the end, so not much of a loss. I'm not if they would let you sell new, but it is probably worth looking into.

~Jean K.

PS - I really like the idea of gift baskets.

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