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Topic: What Are Your Goals?  (Read 3810 times)
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Chris in VT
« on: February 11, 2013 07:09:48 AM »

I have been on this forum for a while now and have seen members wanting to sell their work by posting their website, or Etsy shop etc.

I know selling on Etsy can be tough. Naturally when there are 300,000 sellers on that site alone you can get lost real easy. I read somewhere that on Ebay, only the top 2% make any real money and I'm sure it's true on Etsy also. Etsy is fast becoming the main place to steal ideas and designs too. That's one reason people get a lot of hits but no sales.

Some of you know that I make my sole living from selling my crafts. Our business is the sole source of income in our home. And after expenses we make a nice middle class living.

I curious as to what your goals are. Do you want to make a living selling your work? Do you want to contribute a good portion to the household income? Are you doing it for just a few dollars so you can purchase more supplies? Or are you doing it for the fun of making something?

Where do you want to be in 5 years?

So like I said, what are your goals in the crafts business?

By the way, there's no wrong answer, just starting a conversation. Smiley


There's NOTHING at a craft show, or on Etsy, anybody NEEDS. NOTHING.
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2013 07:42:38 PM »

Great topic!

Im 22, and at the moment I do Etsy and shows/markets/fashion events. Its been alot of work developing my brand and getting a name out there. But its happening slowly, I think! Ive only been seriously doing it since last year.

Well, my goals are to make a living off my crafts/sewing/fashion! So far it's been keeping me afloat, but no way will I ever be able to buy a house or holiday off it yet! I would LOVE to be in a brick/mortar shop in the heart of the city here in Perth within the next 5 years. It's a huge goal, but it's always been my dream to stock my own shop and bring my bird to the shop everyday, talk to people, just sit in my shop and be awesome (way more work than it sounds i know!)....

To get there, I'll have to work my butt off to get an inventory going and start consigning my clothing to existing shops here too. Make more clothing to take to shows, right now I do enough to give me back 10 times the show cost, but I need to just sew, sew, sew!

Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick, and pull yourself together.

« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2013 12:43:55 AM »

I'm trying to build a business but am still a little bit ambiguous of what I want to sell - do I want to start making my own clothes and selling them, or do I just want to embroider on things? Are my main target market the individual people who want something extraordinary done to their clothes, or should I try to sell to different businesses or sports teams etc and just embroider their logos on caps and shirts? I don't know yet, but I'm happily floating around in the sea of ignorance while going to a "real job" and school. So there is still time to figure things out. I'm not decided on anything yet - not even, if I'd just like to be a part of some larger organisation and not be my own boss. Tough things to decide on, and I feel like we all have the chance to ponder on these things our whole life.

« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2013 02:25:28 PM »

I've only really gotten serious about crafting in the last 6 months or so and I've been somewhat prolific, especially in the last month.  I started out with ideas about making things for friends, family, etc., but it's quickly become "I want to make this thing, who can I give it to?"  Although I'm still pretty new at sewing and crochet, I seem to have some natural talent and I've gotten a lot of response from friends about how I should sell the things I make.  Of course, I suffer from self-defeating behavior so my initial reaction is "but look how I messed up in this place," or "who would want to buy this?"  The biggest issue, I think, is that I work very much off of patterns and so even though the things I make are unique in terms of color/fabric choice/etc., I don't know that I can sell something that I made off of a commercial pattern...can I?  It feels sort of uncreative to me.

But the idea of being able to sell some stuff to give me reason to make different things and to help pay for the hobby itself has been sounding pretty appealing.  I don't think I could make a career out of it by any means, but if I think about what I'd like to see in the future I think it would be working part time (I'm a social worker) and selling enough crafts to make working part time a non-issue financially.  I know I have a long way to go before then, and I have absolutely no idea how I would go about getting started with selling stuff.
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2013 09:38:13 AM »

I've listed a few items on Ebay, but was never very serious about it until recently.
Same story you've heard dozens of times.  Economy took a nose dive and my hours where cut back from 40 to 16 a week,  Ouch!

Now I have lots of time and tons of collected materials so  I might as well do something with it.  Right now I'm hand painting wooden boxes and pirate chests.  Listing them on Ebay again, but I'm really not sure what to say about them.
I'd like to quit my job by Oct., as it's working outdoors and it gets pretty miserable in the winter.
Can't post pics yet, but I do have some up on Flickr under the name "MrPKitty" if you'd like to see them.
pointers welcomed.
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2013 06:05:19 AM »

I've been selling at two local craft shops for several years with the odd alteration and custom sewing work.   Last spring I had an opportunity I couldn't pass up and opened a sewing school in my friends Christmas tree shop (they only use the building 2 months of the year).  Classes trickled in through the summer, fall was dead, but alot of interest has popped up over the last two months for private lessons.  I've also been asked to make t-shirt quilts, memory bears and shooting vests. So, my goals for this year:

1. Craft fairs - to get my name "Pine Needle House" out there for service orders and lessons
2. I'd like to bring in about $600 a month - pay for my truck payment and it's insurance so hubby can go buy a new car guilt free (right now I"m feeling guilty because *I* have the nicer vehicle and *he's* the meat and potatoes earner.
3. Work about 20-30 hours a week
4.  Share my love of sewing and satisfaction of creating beautiful things through sewing with others! 

 I have a website, word of mouth is starting to get around, now I just need the perseverance and patience!   

I tried etsy, it's saturated, ebay is too. I"m more interested in face to face transactions and if I'm going to get my sewing school going full force, face to face transactions are in my best interest, I feel.

PS.  any tips, books,  or articles that you think would help I'm wide open to reading !  reply here or email me at pnhsews@gmail.com


xdm aka pnh aka......... Kip. www.pnhsews.weebly.com
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2013 05:25:51 PM »

I curious as to what your goals are. Do you want to make a living selling your work? Do you want to contribute a good portion to the household income? Are you doing it for just a few dollars so you can purchase more supplies? Or are you doing it for the fun of making something?

Where do you want to be in 5 years?

So like I said, what are your goals in the crafts business?

By the way, there's no wrong answer, just starting a conversation. Smiley

Earlier this year I started a ledger to keep up with income and expenses using a spreadsheet.  At this time I am a little behind entering info but will get caught up this week.  My goal for this aspect is to get on a schedule of entering income and expense receipts on a certain day of the week.

I have, I guess, a short-term goal of clearing $200.00 a month.  Sales are building toward that but I have a long way to go to get there consistently.  In craft show season of course it's easier to make that number or even much better, even with expenses of booth rental.  I am not sure how to get that consistency yet except to develop my customer base.  I usually post something on facebook about upcoming holidays, special events to promote my coasters and trivets.  Of course this time of year I am promoting Christmas.  I also promote Valentine's Day, Boss's Day, Administrative Assistant's Day, Easter, graduation, mothers day, father's day, shower or wedding, hostess appreciation, teacher appreciation, etc. 

I want to take an ad out in a local upscale magazine that is geared toward middle and upper class locals with disposable income.  It features articles on locals and almost all, if not all, ads are from local businesses.  Dh, who deals with advertising for our other business, says the magazine charges reasonable rates.  I just need to get some fees out to upcoming craft shows before I do the ad.  Cash flow is better though than it was because I had some good sales at some fall craft shows.

This has really been thought-provoking and I need think about this more seriously on several levels.  Thanks for asking.

God Bless,

Given enough coffee, I could rule the world!
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2014 04:49:19 PM »

WOOT !   I almost made my monthly goal  for the month of February and March is looking pretty darn sweet too !   Grin

Hope your goals are coming along too !

xdm aka pnh aka......... Kip. www.pnhsews.weebly.com
Chris in VT
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2014 04:16:50 AM »

Congratulations!! Cheesy

There's NOTHING at a craft show, or on Etsy, anybody NEEDS. NOTHING.
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« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2014 10:09:05 AM »

This is such an interesting topic! I really like looking at everyone's shops and thinking about what they want to do with their business. Very cool, and way to go, everyone!

I've been thinking about this topic a lot lately. I tried making a go of my business a few years back, but things went horribly wrong when the economy tanked. It got to the point that I was having a hard time affording food, and I couldn't find any job that would take me, even fast food! I went back to school to get a business degree (to go along with the art degree I already had), got a bit sidetracked and became a CPA, but now I'm really interested in using my new business sense to work on my art business.

I love my Etsy shop, and I think I'll always keep it, but I've been trying to think of ways to get larger amounts of income at a time. I'm thinking I'd like to work on wholesaling and maybe even licensing my illustrations and designs. (If anyone has any tips on that, I feel totally in the dark, so I'm a sponge for that info right now!) I'm even working on a book, so maybe I'll add publishing to the list. Smiley

Fascinating topic, and I look forward to reading more. Best of luck to everyone!

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