I can’t believe it has been a little over a month since my last craft fair. For a while there it felt like I was doing one every week…and for a little while there I was. That will soon kick up again as March comes rolling around but I am not pushing too hard to make a lot happen before then. I need this recovery time to reevaluate what I am making, what works and what doesn’t, and to reflect on why I do this in the first place. Plus it is really hard to try out new designs when you are constantly selling your wares. In case you missed the first few posts on Selling Your Wares here is a link to the first and second posts I did on the subject. All of this brings me to my next Selling Your Wares tip; Evolve! What does that mean exactly?
1. What are you selling? or trying to sell?
If what you are trying to sell isn’t selling then that in and of itself is a problem. There could be a dozen reasons for this, but you really need to dig deep to figure out what your specific reason might be. Are you selling to the right audience? Are you selling an overly saturated product? For instance, I don’t sell hair bows, of any variety. I can make them. I think they are cute. I have made several and tried to sell them at least in the very beginning, but as I got out into the crafting world a little more I realized that the market is grossly over saturated with bows and hair accessories. I’m not that attached to the product. I don’t have a little girl. It isn’t the best use of my talents. Therefor I don’t sell them. I used to make tablet cases, and while I am dipping my toe back into that market, I am doing it from a completely different perspective because again, the market is over saturated online and locally they simply don’t sell. No one here in my area wants one that isn’t highly customized. So I customize, but I don’t take the shot gun approach like I do with some of my other products.
2. Say what you are selling is actually selling very successfully, Is it actually profitable?
This is sort of hard for me to answer sometimes. Unless I am on a special project all my fabric is discounted or thrifted. I don’t really believe in buying new fabric at outrageous prices when there is so much at discount markets and that can be thrifted and given a new life. I am a recycler at heart. Still I have to put some thought into pricing. I’m not a charity. How much an item costs in supplies is often only a small percentage of the price. When you are making something please remember how much time it takes to make and figure that into your overall costs. Otherwise you are just throwing time and money away.
3. Are you enjoying making it?
This is probably the easiest question to answer in some ways. If you aren’t enjoying what you are making you are never going to be successful or enjoy the success when you make it there. I sold pajama pants for a year or so but I hated making them. Therefor I finally stopped making them because there just wasn’t enough actual profit in it to get past my dislike of that making process. You are a maker. Make what you love!
If you can answer all those hard questions then you can take the steps to use the information you have painstakingly gather about yourself and your craft to evolve into something better and more profitable and more fun for you as a maker.
How do you self evaluate your creative venture?