Hand-knitted or crocheted items are just one example of something you might begin making as a hobby and later find a profitable venue for.
At some point you might discover that your homemade hobby actually has business potential. Maybe people have seen your beautiful pottery and asked if you have any for sale. A neighbor of ours has experienced just that - her lifelong passion for pottery has blossomed into a home-based business and, as they had saved money, into a tiny home-attached studio. Maybe you’ve seen some handmade candles at an artisan fair and realized that your own are even prettier, so why not try selling them? Or maybe your home is full of homemade soap you don’t really have much to do with, but making it is too much fun to stop.
There is certainly a niche market for lovingly, individually made items, and you can explore several sales venues, such as:
Artisan fairs. I once had a stand for my candles at a local artisan fair, and it was great fun. The diversity of products made by local artists was amazing, too: pottery, rag dolls, soaps, wood-carved items, and more. Artisan markets are also a great way to make connections with like-minded individuals.
Home Tutorials. The people who would buy your hand-crafted product will also often want to learn to make it themselves. So you might offer, for example, group soap-making sessions in your kitchen, and at the same opportunity display your beautiful soap for sale.
Local Ads. There is nothing like good old-fashioned advertising in local newspapers. Make your offer enticing by advertising themed gift baskets for holiday seasons, packages for new mothers (for example, homemade baby skin care products + gentle laundry soap), and so on.
Online Sales. When you’re ready, set up your Etsy shop and advertise your products through social networks like Facebook and Pinterest. Offer giveaways, discounts and bonus items. You can offer not just the actual product, but also compile e-booklets on relevant issues. Think titles such as The Beginner’s Guide to Hand-Crafted Pottery. Are you inspired yet?
Either way, I would caution anyone against beginning by making a big investment in a home business that might or might not take off. I know people who have placed large orders for expensive materials and later experienced a bitter disappointment when they discovered there simply isn’t enough of a market for their product. Start small, build up your circle of customers and grow slowly.
Anna Twitto’s academic background in nutrition made her care deeply about real food and seek ways to obtain it. Anna and her husband live on a plot of land in Israel. They aim to grow and raise a significant part of their food by maintaining a vegetable garden, keeping a flock of backyard chickens and foraging. Anna's books are on her Amazon.com Author Page. Connect with Anna on Facebook and read more about her current projects on her blog. Read all Anna's Mother Earth News posts here.
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