7 Steps To CraftingAre you gURLs DIY-obsessed? There's a whole movement out there of people taking their crafts and basement projects to the web (largely with the help of etsy.com) and selling their stuff for serious $$$! If you have a talent for a craft or you want to start crafting for fun, think of how you could start up a small business with just the help of your computer, your creativity, and these 7 steps to success. We checked out BUST magazine's awesome Spring Craftacular in Brooklyn last weekend and got motivated. Click for details and to see pics of our favorite crafts that we perused (and bought)!
Photo: adorable bags by SML Bags
1. Do What You Know
Figure out your passion and capitalize on it. Love beads? Start beading jewelry for your friends and see if you've got a talent for it. Can you sew? Start mulling over the idea of making purses or clothing for yourself and your friends and then gauge their reactions. Don't be discouraged from branching out and trying something new, but generally the things you're already good at will allow you to create a niche that will be eye-catching and easy to brand. And be yourself. No one likes a poser, right?
Photo: couldn't stop LOL-ing at the postcards by Rarrar Press
2. Get Designed
Your craft needs to shine when you post it online and the only way that's gonna happen is if you have really great photos of your work. We're talking professional, here. The more pro your photos look, the more users will think you are legit and worthy of their time and money. All you need is a camera and someone with a good eye for photography. Doesn't sound like you? Grab a design-oriented friend for help. You'll learn quickly that delegating responsibility is an amazing strategy when it comes to business. If everything that you're making looks good, people will respond to the aesthetic.
Photo: can never have enough statement tees, especially if they're as funny as the ones by Made With Awesome
3. Choose a Name for Your Craft Persona
Your name is your first introduction of yourself into the world. Users will see your name and either click to see what you're about... or move onto the next seller. It might take some time to brainstorm the perfect nickname for your business, but it will be worth it. Check these tips for creating a catchy moniker. Best hint: make it Google-able. You want people to be able to find you fast and not have to wade through a million pages of things by the same name.
Photo: a birthday cake dress. enough said. by New York Couture
4. Keep It Consistent
You know when you're flipping through a magazine and the awesome clothing has descriptions about its price and where to buy it and you're like, "Ah! Awesome!" or sometimes, "Wow! Those are expensive shoes!" But then sometimes there's nothing and you can't get the info you want about something you so covet. Don't let that happen with your online shop. Make sure your descriptions are detailed and easy to read and you're giving users what they want. No one wants to have to dig for info. Lay it all out for them and make it consistent across all photos and crafts. Don't give measurements for one thing and not for the next. Branding your crafts with your signature tone will be an advantage to your customers.
Photo: vintage charm bracelets by Species by the Thousands
5. Communicate with Your Customers
Stores with great customer service are all of our favorite stores. You don't want to buy something from someone who refuses to communicate with you or give you what you want in return. Keeping the flow of communication open will facilitate a great relationship with your users and it will also allow you to understand what they're looking for as buyers. You can learn from them and create new products based on what they tell you.
Photo: that's me! channeling my inner carmen sandiego in a hat by Artikal
6. Be Social to Go Viral
Tweet, Facebook, text, shout it from the rooftops. You want people to know what you're up to. Don't sit at home creating and then not publicize your products. Create a separate Twitter account/Facebook page for your business and start networking. It will be a great way to get feedback on what you're putting out and also a great way to notify people when new products are up. If you want to pound the pavement the old fashion way, or you like giving parting gifts for your prospective customers, print business cards! When strolling around The Craftacular, one of the coolest parts was seeing all the individually unique business cards that we could take home and then reference later. Check out moo.com for starters!
Photo: couldn't end the day empty-handed (literally), so i purchased this adorable rose ring from Schmutzerland. Their motto is "satisfy your inner tchotchke."
7. Have Fun with It
Crafting is all about having a good time and broadening your horizons. If it seems like too much work, you're not doing it right. Branch out, try new things and get noticed while doing it! You'll gain a new hobby and hopefully some new dough (and friends!) in the process. Good luck!