A craft business gets started for so many different reasons. A craft business also has so many different beginnings, from a quaint home-based small set-up to one that processes thousands of orders every week.
In this post, we will share 7 stories of different people who got started in different ways and for different reasons. In the end, they made a success out of their art and craft businesses and achieved the life goal they had in mind.
We are certain that you will be able to establish some similarities between these stories and your own situation. However, even more importantly you will realize that if you dream it, you are not far away from starting a craft business yourself.
Some artists want to start something with their creative talent. They want that shift in their careers and hope that they can create a source of income that will sustain them. Others are content to do this part time (at least till the time they realize the potential for growth).
Many are already running a craft business but want to scale it and expand, whereas others are content to run it at a small scale that allows them to financially support their hobby.
Along with the goals and the aspirations, the backgrounds of the crafters also differ a great deal. This point is important because you don’t want to feel lacking in qualifications, as long as you have the talent, creativity and passion.
Talent, Creativity and Passion are the three things that all successful craft business owners have in common regardless of whether they are self-taught or have attained advanced degrees in art from well-known institutions.
A craft business can germinate with ample funding, or it can start on a shoestring budget and in between other jobs.
The message we would love for you to take away from this post is that you are ‘ready to make a start’.
Part Time Hobby and Business
Jude works with special children and loves every bit of the job she does. And we are glad that she does because she really accomplishes a world of good. But she also loves making exquisite jewelry.
She has a particular fondness for stones like crystal and moonstone. She did the next easiest thing to showcase her work to millions of potential buyers. She opened a store on Etsy. (We have written a great deal about Etsy in our “Selling On Etsy” section, and you can also download the entire “Etsy Selling Guide.”)
The result is that her hobby gives her the relaxation and recreation she needs, provides her with an extra part time income, and allows her to enjoy success on a professional and more personal front.
Home Based New Parent
Beatrice had a job with an international law firm. She even had the option of working from home. However, after the birth of her most recent child, she did not have time for even that.
So she took recourse to making a business out of what she had been doing in her spare time since childhood, crocheting and knitting.
She sells lovingly and beautifully created handmade, knitted and crochet accessories and jewelry.
She also writes a blog about her journey and progress with selling her crafts online. She likes to encourage her readers to do the same.
As any ‘stay at home’ parent is aware, having a flexible work schedule from home allows you to be an active participant in your family’s life. You are there when your kids need you, you have the time you need for yourself and if you manage things properly you are able to strike a great balance between different aspects of your life.
A Painter Starts Selling Online
Alex has always been a really talented painter. But his work got a tremendous amount of exposure when he started selling online on Etsy. The beauty of selling online and especially on Etsy is that you have the potential of being found by millions of buyers. And the format of your work can change. This happened with Alex as well. Apart from getting orders and appreciation from individuals, his work got noticed by galleries and publishing houses who wanted to use him for illustrating book covers.
A Business Out Of Necessity and Circumstances
Mason was laid off. He tried many things and places to get work but nothing was working out. He finally took recourse to a skill he had for years, woodworking.
Till now he had only delved in it as a hobby. But the need of the moment made him rethink his whole approach.
He did some research, figured out what sells well and what he could easily ship and sell online.
He setup a shop on Etsy for small and hot selling wood crafts like fruit bowls and candle stands, and he hasn’t looked back since then. His Etsy shop is a success and the business is picking up locally as well.
Circumstances made Mason rethink his hobby and with just a little change in mind set, made him realize the earning potential for his crafting hobby.
Change In Career
Karen had a full time job in a bustling city with a busy and hectic urban lifestyle. One day she decided she had had enough and decided to quit. She wanted to get more quality time in her life. Time she would have for herself and her family.
Now Karen did not have already have a craft she was good at. What she had instead was an interest in pottery. She had done some pottery many years back in college and enjoyed it.
Karen had always dreamed of making a career out of something she loved to do. She figured it was time to at least try to make the dream come true. Since she had no recent experience with pottery, she joined a pottery class, bought books on pottery, watched videos and online courses and started practicing.
She quickly realized that if she liked pottery it wasn’t without a reason. She was also really good at it!
Karen wasted little time in opening her shop on Etsy and listing her crafts on eBay, where she now sells an assortment of clay items, all with her distinctive and signature designs and color combinations.
Henry has been blowing glass ever since he can remember. He even has a degree in design and making glasswork is what he loves to do. He has a successful company that does good business locally through his own store as well as a host of other local retail outlets.
However, Henry never really explored the possibilities for growing his business online. This was mainly because his business kept him pretty busy during the initial years. And as all ‘one man show’ entrepreneurs know, things can get pretty hectic when you have to do most of the things yourself.
However, he reached the stage where he could look at expansion and going online made perfect sense. He started out with listing his items on Etsy to test his products. After the great response he received there, he went ahead and opened his own website as well.
Having his own website allows him to write about his work in detail, showcase more items, capture email and phone leads and use social media promotions to full effect.
There is work involved before you can start selling online and Henry pays great attention to all the prep work. He takes clear, sharp, bright and colorful photographs of his products. He ensures that the buyer gets to see every aspect of the craft in as much detail as possible.
Henry takes time to write short and accurate descriptions of his crafts. He makes sure that the potential buyer learns everything about the craft before buying.
The Husband and Wife Team
Amy and Anderson are a perfect example of a husband and wife partnership in a business. They make and sell doll clothes. Well Amy makes the doll clothes and Anderson takes of the selling process for most part. And this makes perfect sense because Amy is an accomplished seamstress and Anderson is actually head of faculty at a local college and teaches marketing.
It all started when Amy made doll clothes for her daughter’s dolls and fashioned them to certain themes and popular characters. Pretty soon other mothers started asking her to make similar items for their daughters as well.
It really has been a long journey since those days to today where they run a successful business on eBay. They now work with extra hired help that includes another designer and a seamstress.
But in the beginning it was just the 2 of them. Amy did all the sewing while Anderson used his knowledge to launch the business on eBay following all the right steps of: Branding, Pre-launch, Launch and Retargeting. Today they have a successful eBay business in place and the bids for Amy’s doll outfits easily goes up to hundreds of dollars.
These are just 7 success stories for an online craft business. You can be sure that there are thousands of them. Every crafter on Etsy and eBay has a story to tell and their own kind of success.
You decide what kind of success you want and let these stories be an example that you too can pursue your dream of starting a craft business online.
We finally recommend downloading the complete craft business guide and ebook from this page.