If you are trying to decide whether or not to take your crafting hobby public, there are several things you can do to inform your decision. Firstly, attend some craft fairs, if possible. Think about how what you do compares to others, and think about the niche you wish to fill. Make a note of the things you like about the overall event. Is it well organized? Do you like the vendor displays? Does it really seem like a craft fair or more like a flea market? Would you want to have a display booth in the event?
What are the booth space rental fees? These are just a few of the questions you may want to ask yourself. Next, decide on a niche and try to come up with a unique way of approaching the image you want to create. For instance, if you are a bead artisan, you might wish to focus on statement necklaces, something that might set you apart from other necklace designers. Maybe you focus on western designs? What makes what you do unique?
When first starting out it is helpful to host a home show where you invite friends and family and listen to their comments about product quality, display, pricing and merchandising. They will help you generate lots of ideas. It is especially important to be sure that your chosen niche can be profitable from the outset so pricing can be one of your most important considerations. Be sure to factor in all of the costs of promoting and marketing your niche when setting your product pricing.
Next, you want to start researching local arts and craft opportunities. It is easy to find internet sites that list dates and places of local and statewide events. The deadlines for securing booth space usually happen well in advance of the event, so it is important to think ahead. Get a calendar and start planning now for next year’s events.
You will want to have a name for your business so that you can order business cards and perhaps even a banner or two. There are some internet sites that are very handy for the beginner where you can build your own business cards and banners from templates they provide. You can also build your own website. It’s that easy. Also, if you do any outside events, you will need to invest in a canvas gazebo, tables, and display supplies.
These are also easily sourced, usually at your local big box store.
So, if you are a bead artisan looking for ideas on how to market your products publicly, here’s a short summary of some of the things you may want to consider:
1. Attend local craft fairs or trade shows and basically any event that could relate to your chosen niche.
2. Take notes, what were your impressions
3. Decide on a niche and how you can make it unique
4. Determine your costs and profits
5. Host a home show
6. Research arts and crafts opportunities (trade shows, state fairs, etc)
7. Start planning
8. Decide on a name for your business (you may want to have it registered with your local secretary of state office)
9. Get some business cards (and banners, if applicable)
10. Consider building your own website
11. Get some basic supplies such as gazebo, folding tables, etc