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1  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: Do you charge your friends for commissioned gifts for others? on: November 26, 2014 04:14:42 PM
If you're making it for someone you don't know, of course you charge. A general rule of thumb is 3 times the retail cost of the materials used. Including the scrap. As an example, if you use a square foot of material, and cut a 10 inch circle in it, you charge for the entire square foot.
Just make sure you agree on the price before you start.
2  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: We're doing a Holiday themed craft box! on: November 19, 2014 04:22:06 PM
So where does Kickstarter come into play?
3  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: Open House on: November 17, 2014 04:11:46 PM
Cindy might be doing a few shows between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I sure know I am.
4  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: We're doing a Holiday themed craft box! on: November 17, 2014 04:09:23 PM
"...First, we love trying new craft projects, but dislike having to always buy a bunch of stuff to see if we'll enjoy our new project or not..."

So you do what, have other people buy it for you?
5  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: Open House on: October 22, 2014 04:16:49 PM
Christmas... We've been so busy I forgot it's coming.
I made a 3/4 scale cutter sleigh and put it on the front porch and decorate it with packages, etc. Looks like I'm gonna have to find it in the shed.
6  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: Open House on: October 22, 2014 04:13:48 AM
Go for it.

If nothing else you can get feedback on your work, quality, prices, etc.
7  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: Trinksy? on: October 17, 2014 04:53:21 AM
I'm sorry if I came across as gruff. But I am very passionate about this business, and I want people to succeed. Succeed enough to consider it a full time job with an income that's equivalent to a "real" job.

Cindy can back me up on this. There's a whole industry of people who are making a living doing this full time. And a very small percentage are doing it sitting at a computer waiting for orders to come in.

There's an adage that just as true today as it was 100 years ago. "You must spend money to make money." I just don't understand why people don't want to make as much in one weekend as they do in a year online.

I just don't get it.
8  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: Trinksy? on: October 13, 2014 04:38:42 AM
I have to chime in here.
Today, everybody who considers themselves to be a crafter, or artist, or whatever believes all they have to do is open a "shop" somewhere online and the world will beat a path to your door.

Then they try to find the cheapest online marketplace to sell at. Nobody seems to consider the customer at all. In reality, the main site for buyers is ETSY, and only ETSY. That's why there are over 300,000 "stores" there.

But when I go there I see some prices that are just plain unbelievable. One time I saw a shop that was selling basic canvas bags with some silk screening and they wanted $75 each! I see these at craft fairs every weekend, and the most expensive ones I saw were $35 each. They're usually in the $25 range. This past weekend I was doing a 2 day craft fair and I was across from a woman who was selling these type of bags, and she sold over 100 of them at $25 each.

I see people wanting to know where the cheapest place to sell is. Well, you can set up in my front yard if you want, because I live at the end of a dirt road in Vermont, and you'll get just as many customers as you will going to the cheapest or free websites to sell your work.

Selling worldwide? I hope the OP knows the costs involved in that!

I hate to be Grumpy Chris, but it's sad to see so may people with good work not making money at it. I see so much good work out there, but the people have no clue as how to sell it. Sitting behind a computer screen a few hours a day won't make you the money you think it will.

You can make a LOT of money in the crafts business. It just depends on how much actual work you're willing to do.
9  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Tips for Participating in Craft Fairs / Re: Any Corporate Crafters out there? on: September 23, 2014 04:23:36 AM

I expect to meet both of you at Chester next spring. The space is $265 for two days. Setup is Friday or early Saturday.

Next get out a map and a compass. Draw a circle from home with a radius of 200 miles. That's usually a 6 hour drive home on Sunday night. Take a look at all the places you can do a show! Look at what's going on at the Allentown Fairgrounds. RV shows, dog shows, other events you can do that we crafters don't because of your product.

And commit this to memory: Selling is 50% of your business! Be passionate about your product and transfer that passion to your customers by actually enjoying being with them. Banter with them, joke with them. Even if they don't buy at that time, if they leave your booth with a smile, they WILL remember you!

If I can be of any help, just ask.
10  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Tips for Participating in Craft Fairs / Re: Any Corporate Crafters out there? on: September 22, 2014 05:07:13 PM
All number I quote are always gross sales. Naturally we deduct our costs of doing the show, inventory, etc.

When I lived in Effort I too commuted to NJ every morning, so I know all about getting up at zero dark thirty and getting home 12 to 14 hours later. But I got to the point where I was making just as much from shows as I was at my "real" job. But my passion was no longer in the steel business. So I walked away while I was still young enough to enjoy life and do what I loved for a living.

We had to change our lifestyle. No longer was I going to buy a new vehicle every 2 years. I kept the one I bought in 1990 for 314,000 miles traveling to shows. And we made mistakes. Boy did we make mistakes! But we learned from them. And we still learn something at every show we do.

We also learned to do as many shows with as few promoters as possible. At one point we were doing over 40 shows a year.  But with only 5 promoters. 15 with one promoter alone. We were doing 40 shows and we averaged $3000 per show. You can use a rule of thumb that 50% of sales is eaten up in costs.

We also found out we can live wherever we wanted, so we escaped from the Poconos and moved to the country. We went from PV school system to a school with 60 kids K thru 6th grade. At one point 3rd grade had all of 2 kids. Today the average class size is 9.

So netting 60K in Vermont is nice money. That's because as I said above, we changed our lifestyle. I haven't been inside a mall in over 10 years. I still keep our SUV for a minimum of 150,000 miles. Vermont supports the arts too. And what you guys are doing would definitely be supported here.

There are even a couple places that will do all your canning using your recipe for you. I have a good friend who makes salsa who uses one. He picks up his stock and goes to craft shows. All his certs are in place so he can sell in any state.

But all of us have that one thing. Passion for what we do. And this passion is described as "I would do this even if I didn't get paid!"

Do you have that passion? You cannot work two full time jobs and be good at both.
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