July 3, 2011
Business As A Craft
A few months ago I was in the my local Safeway, and while passing through the magazine aisle, I discovered a copy of "Where Women Create," a blissfully colorful publication that spotlighted women artists and their studios. I spent about 20 minutes sitting on the floor in the aisle perusing its pages, before plunking down the cash to buy it.
I've bought one other copy since, and pick it up whenever I need inspiration. In its pages, I found a regular column that talked about the business of selling your art and crafts. It was the first I'd ever seen. Normally I get my information on how to run my business from business magazines and books.
I own a bath and body products business that I started in 2006. It began as a hobby but blossomed into a venture for which I have higher aspirations. For the past three years, I have been packing up my wares and heading out the markets to meet my customers - some who turn up visiting my online store - and others who prefer to buy from me directly. I have learned how to discern what markets are good venues for us and what markets don't work, no matter how good they appear to be. Case in point, one of our markets this year had tons of people visiting and showing up for the community experience. But none of them bought anything. So we decided not return.
There is no primer for making that sort of decision. It's that entrepreneurial "gut check" but information abounds for out to reach out to customers, the best way to take payments, how to protect client information and what's the best way to create new market opportunities.
I decided in this blog to regularly pull together really important innovations in business that would help artisans and crafters, especially those who sell at markets during the year.
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